I’ve seen some mixed reviews of this episode, but I thought it did a very nice job setting up next week’s finale. Thematically consistent, the story focused on the three kids wrestling with their regrets over past actions and puzzling over what to do in what, for each, feels like a no-win situation.
Of course, the grown-ups each have their role to play, and all were in their hitting zone here. Izaya still madly scheming away, Simon offering words of wisdom and pleas for peace, Shinra patching up wounds and generally being a buffoon, Shizuo being ridiculously GAR and Celty continuing her adopted place as den-mother.
Not surprisingly, Shizuo not only didn’t die but walked into Shinra’s flat under his own power, more concerned with killing his assailants than his own wounds. Celty, unaware of Shizuo’s situation, races to Mikado’s hovel to finally enlighten him to at least part of the truth, and prod him into action. Masaomi, betrayed by Harada and his fellow Blue Squares, heads for Yellow Scarves HQ to kill Harada before he can harm Mikado. And Anri flees Shinra’s apartment, desperately calling out for Saika’s children to protect Masaomi. And thus, fate finally brings our three young protagonists together to face each other and the truth of who they are.
No doubt, we have a lot of loose ends to wrap up in one week, and a couple mysteries to boot – who is Maruyama Ou, and why did Saki call Russian Sushi to warn (presumably) about Izaya’s plans? There’s the straightforward matter pf the gang war to be decided, the future of the Dollars, and possibly the reveal of Izaya’s ultimate motivation. That’s not even to discuss the matter of Celty’s head, and any coda involving the romantic side of things between Mikado and Anri – both of which I expect to receive short shrift if they’re covered at all. This is classic Noboru Takagi – too much going on involving too many people to have a real ending for all of it and everyone, but I have enough faith in him as a writer to expect a satisfying conclusion.