“The Salvation of Job”
This was the most disturbing episode so far and showed a really ruthless and almost careless side to the Sybil System and those working for the MWSPB.
Representative Masuda has been brought in for questioning and Akane decides to interrogate him herself, while sending Mika, Yayoi and Hinakawa to assist Aoyanagi and her two Enforcers with the Area Stress issue. Mika is still distrustful of Akane’s belief that Kamui actually exists, though, and is more insubordinate to her than usual. I find it kind of amusing how Ginoza sort of stands in the background and just listens to their one-sided argument, because Akane is so unbelievably cool throughout the whole thing while Mika gets more riled up.
While Akane and Ginoza attempt to interrogate Masuda about Kamui and how he contacted him and what he did to help his hue stay clear, Masuda played the dumb card and said that he’d never heard that name in his life, refusing to answer any of her questions. Akane’s got the patience of a saint, though, and she almost never gets mad to the point of lashing out. It’s pretty incredible to watch! Meanwhile Mika, Yaoi and Hinakawa are locked outside of the mental health facility that’s on lockdown, and the culprit has stripped Aoyanagi and all the other hostages down to their under garments, which I think is one of the first things that ended up raising their stress levels. He’s also incredibly brutal, all the while spouting about how the medication they’re all on may help to keep their hue clear but at the same time ends up turning them into mindless drones. He literally beats a man to death by stomping on his head – that was seriously disturbing – and whacks another woman on the head, knocking her unconscious, while her friend frantically screams over her. It was really an insight into the failures of the Sybil System; these people can barely handle themselves in such a stressful situation and are just so fearful of their hue getting cloudy. Aoyanagi’s Enforcers are outside with no idea of the situation inside and when Mika comes, she objects to forcing the doors open, afraid that if something goes wrong it’s going to be on her head, and just wants to wait for Aoyanagi to contact them all from inside. This is clearly not something that Yayoi is pleased with.
Back at the lab, Akane and Saiga work on the evidence they have and he drone that was found several kilometers away from the crime scene and theorizes that a person could have fit into it. Ginoza is still skeptical and calls it a long shot at best but Akane is completely certain that Kamui exists. Nevertheless, Ginoza says that he’ll happily play along until she’s satisfied, which, while not entirely reassuring, is still a sign that he trusts her. I like how they do have each others’ backs, even if they don’t express it in every scene. I just really enjoy their dynamic so much because they’re so different and yet the same as before and I just like the way they interact with each other. They finally get a lead, though, and discover that on the day of his speeches, Masuda was communicating with a device nearby and that same device just so happens to be at the same mental health facility where Aoyanagi is currently trapped. Akane quickly contacts Hinakawa and asks him to see if he can identify any potential holos in the area outside.
Inside, Aoyanagi has managed to escape her binds, thanks to the help of a male nurse who sounds suspiciously like Kamui, but when she tries to point her dominator at the culprit, the dominator doesn’t find him a target of elimination, whereas nearly all the hostages are. He brutally attacks her and opens a channel to the team outside, declaring the Sybil System a failure and that those who have their stress taken away from them suffer from something called Eustress Deficiency, which makes them all numb and unfeeling. Mika calls this a mere urban legend and again refuses to open the doors and let the hostages out, but moments later Division 3, sent by Chief Kasei herself, arrive to take over the situation from Mika and the remaining team members, as she doesn’t want anything about Eustress Deficiency getting out into the public.
On the way to the site, Akane realises that Kamui, whoever he is, seems to have a knack for separating Inspectors from their teams, and believes that as opposed to targeting Inspectors themselves, he could be trying to understand the way Dominators work. At this time, Aoyanagi, stressed, injured and frightened, manages to severely injure the culprit when Division 3 cut all power to the facility. She holds her Dominator up to him, declaring that because she’s an Inspector, she will administer justice against him and everything that he’s done. Outside though, a large group of Division 3 members have placed themselves into position with their Dominators trained in on the facility, and all their Dominators tell them that everyone inside is a target for elimination. In the car, Akane and Ginoza realise that if Kamui had taken such a large number of MWSPB members into account, then he isn’t going to try and kill Aoyanagi, but leave it to the Inspectors and Enforcers outside to do it for him.
And that’s when something really awful happens. One member from Division 3 has his new Assault Dominator aimed at the individual with the highest stress level inside. Aoyanagi manages to grab get the doors open, but just as she’s about to shoot the culprit, she’s killed by one of the men outside. In a panic, the hostages all start running to escape the facility but Division 3 shoots them one by one in a really awful bloodbath and Mika’s group just stand, horrified while innocent hostages are killed. Yayoi urges Mika to act, but she’s so shocked by what she’s seeing, and so intent on going by the book that she can’t even think straight. Ginoza and Akane arrive on the scene and Akane really blows up, demanding what they think they’re doing, having killed all the hostages and seeing the brutality all around them.
Inside, Kamui has taken off his holo, having understood that Inspectors can also be judged by Dominators. He leaves and the culprit allows himself to be eliminated, leaving behind the same message ‘WC’. Inside, Ginoza is horrified and saddened to find that Aoyanagi has been eliminated, and as Akane looks at the message on the floor, written in blood, she sees that it’s a message to all of society; what colour is the Sybil System?
*takes a deep breath* Wow. Akane’s really got her work cut out for her, and I think the actions of Division 3 really shed some light on Mika’s path while also shadowing what she knows about the Sybil System and whether or not she believes in it. It was a deeply disturbing but also such a good episode that really gets the action going and makes everyone begin to wander where they stand on such a situation and how far they’re going to go as Inspectors to protect the people.
Sorry for such a long review but it was necessary considering the complexity of the episode. I’m SUPER pumped for the rest of the show and as usual, so looking forward to next week!