Toonami Airdate: November 14th, 2015
So I guess this is why last week’s episode was upbeat: to offset… this.
We open on Satoshi getting a drink at Bar do Ermo, and he asks the bartender about some wacked-out people sitting on the other side of the bar about to get it on. He takes out a jar filled with a substance called Yu Ming, a drug belonging to the Heike crime syndicate (the Chinese gang from a couple of episodes earlier). Satoshi responds by smashing his mug to pieces and angrily asking why Heike is allowed to deal drugs on his turf, threatening to kill the bartender if he doesn’t call his associate Bonfa. He waits around in the bar until he hears cars pull up, but he trips as he walks out of the bar, suspecting that the bartender laced his drink with something. He looks up and sees young Hiroshi firing a gun at him, but it’s clearly a hallucination. Once he finally comes to his senses, he notices Heike gang members heading his way, and he gets ready to take them on.
Meanwhile, the authorities (led by Ricardo) are investigating a freight train headed to Goinia, believing that Michiko and Hatchin are onboard somewhere. As it turns out, they are indeed on the train hiding, as Michiko recounts a dream she had while looking at the letter from the last episode: a dream of finally encountering Hiroshi and the three of them living happily ever after. The officers open up the train cart they’re in, and the two immediately duck out of sight long enough for them to give the “all clear” sign. Ricardo speaks with the train conductor for a bit before finally letting him go. We cut to Atsuko meeting up with someone in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, promising him some important legal documentations for fulfilling an important favor. As this is happening, Shinsuke and Chas show up at the bar from earlier, and the neon sign looks shot to hell. Shinsuke walks in and sees a box in the middle of the bar floor with blood leaking out of the bottom. We get a flashback to earlier of Satoshi interrogating a man named Irmao about how the Heiki got on his turf, firing off a round at him and successfully hitting his mark. Irmao finally caves and confesses that Shinsuke is now in charge of Monstro and is the one responsible for forming an alliance with the Heike syndicate. Satoshi, having finally gotten his information, decides to… shoot Irmao dead, anyway. Back in the present, Chas gets a call from one of his allies who finds Satoshi’s car parked just outside of Desfiladeiro, a location that we saw Atsuko mark on a map earlier.
The train makes a stop at the Desfiladeiro station so a new conductor can take charge. While this is happening, Satoshi manages to sneak onboard one of the train carts before it takes off. We then cut to Chas handcuffed to the wheel of a truck, with Shinsuke asking if he won’t let them down, suggesting that Chas is off on some kind of suicide mission. As the train is on its normal route, Michiko is asleep dreaming about Hiroshi, and Hatchin decides to go for a walk, eventually noticing a small trail of blood outside one of the cart entrances. Michiko gets awakened from her nap by the sudden appearance of Atsuko who, after a bit of banter from Michiko, knocks her down and aims a gun at her head. As this goes on, Hatchin comes across Satoshi in the corner of the train cart, clearly out of his mind and still suffering from the effects of a laced drink. Seriously, his mind is more gone than a flight from Malaysian Airlines. He swipes at Hatchin several times as she manages to dodge every single hit. She eventually manages to buy some time to get away by slamming the door on Satoshi’s hand. We go back to Atsuko and Michiko. Atsuko tosses her a passport, telling her that a truck will be waiting for her to take her past the border and finally be free, offering to take care of Hatchin in her place. Michiko won’t let this happen and gets up in Atsuko’s face about it, and then Atsuko starts to belittle and psychologically torment her about Hiroshi and how she’ll get her heart broken again when they reunite, continuously hammering this point over and over. Michiko is resilient and claims she needs to at least try to find Hiroshi, but Atsuko responds by firing a bullet in her direction, grazing a box behind her. As Satoshi and Hatchin continue their fight, she finally realizes who he is, as he immediately wonders if Michiko is actually her mother at all. He brags for a bit about how he’s eventually going to kill Michiko, but Hatchin intervenes by saying she knows where Hiroshi is and can take Satoshi to him. Meanwhile Chas drives the truck onto the train tracks, and he pulls the emergency brake after a few moments, leading to a massive train derailment.
Moments later, Satoshi and Hatchin come to, as she looks outside to see the results of the wreckage. She calls out for Michiko, but Satoshi immediately silences her, hoping to not draw any attention. He looks out to see what’s happening outside, and he catches a glimpse in the distance of Shinsuke’s allies. Suddenly, it’s revealed that Michiko’s motorcycle is in the train cart with them, and Satoshi decides to agree with Hatchin’s deal: she leads him to Hiroshi in exchange for not hurting Michiko. As the two are about to ride off, Michiko gets up and finds her way out of the train cart, seeing Satoshi and Hatchin together. She tries to chase them, but it’s no use as Satoshi manages to get away. Atsuko catches up to Michiko who tells her to butt out of the situation, promising that she will find Hiroshi for sure. She tosses her a gun, but as she reaches for it, Atsuko stomps on her hand. The two continue to fight, exchanging harsh words and physical blows as all their built-up tensions from the past reach a clear boiling point, with Atsuko getting in one last punch at Michiko before declaring “I’m done with this shit!” and walks away. The two finally declare themselves as strangers, running off in their own separate paths. The episode ends with the two remembering the various struggles they’ve gotten into over the past several years, as Atsuko breaks down crying.
There’s no doubt about it: this was a HEAVY episode and kind of tough to watch due to the intense bleakness of it all. The plot threads and conflicts that had been building across the series so far – Satoshi and Shinsuke’s rivaling gang activities, Atsuko and Michiko’s life-long bitterness towards each other etc. – imploded here. Shinsuke and Satoshi are out for BLOOD, taking no prisoners and getting relentless in accomplishing their goals. Shinsuke sacrificed one of his own to get at Satoshi, so he’s clearly past wanting to try resolving anything. Meanwhile, Atsuko and Michiko have reached the point of no return in their conflict. Atsuko clearly never had much patience for Michiko’s criminal activities, but at the same time she still always felt something towards her. Michiko’s inability to ever listen to reason or anything Atsuko ever said, especially given that the two grew up together and were friends before, came to a head and basically devastates Atsuko, as we see from the crying fit at the end. The song that plays during the final moments of the episode reinforce the emotional damage being witnessed, and it’s really powerful stuff. More than likely, I think this will be the last we see of her for the rest of the series, but I could be wrong. The plot’s at the point of no return, and it’s now or never as the hunt for Hiroshi heads towards its inevitable conclusion. Hatchin’s on the run with Satoshi with Michiko in pursuit, with three episodes left to see just how heavy things will get before it’s all over.