Shunpei is admiring the rings Haruto has used so far and points to one they don’t know the use for. He calls it “a dud” which Wajima takes offense to.
While Haruto is playing with Garuda, a white Garuda quietly enters the shop and places a box on the table. They try to catch it, but it manages to escape their grasp as it exits the shop, politely closing the door behind it.
Koyomi opens the box and it’s a new magic stone. The “dud” ring reacts to it and Wajima quickly gets to work on a new ring. Koyomi has a bad feeling about the new stone though.
Across town, Madusa sets her sights on a new Gate, this time a little boy. Haruto, Shunpei, and Rinko are walking at the park when Garuda alerts them. Ghouls are going after the little boy, who is dressed exactly like Shunpei by the way, and Haruto henshins to save the day. Medusa watches from above.
Shunpei looks for a band-aid for the kid’s scrape and Rinko says they’ll have to take to the boy’s guardians before hanging around, protecting him. But the kid’s not having any of it. He screams kidnapping, kicks both Shunpei and Haruto in the groin and tires to run off. Rinko goes after him and a uniformed cop brings her into the station as a suspect.
After they clear everything up at the cop shop, the boy’s mother, Mikiko arrives and Haruto immediately recognizes her.
Meanwhile, Phoenix expresses his displeasure with not being able to go out and grab Gates himself, saying he’d be able to easily take care of the Wizard that’s stopping them. Medusa says he’s too reckless and can’t risk him accidentally killing a Gate. You don’t trust me, Phoenix says and he goes off to get permission directly.
They take the boy, Hiroki, for a donut while Haruto and Mikiko talk. Shunpei wonders what their relationship is, but Rinko says not to pry. Haruto doesn’t really open up about his past though, Shunpei says and suggests maybe Mikiko is his first love. Donut manager starts to recall his first love until both he and Shunpei get their feet stepped on by donut worker and Rinko respectively.
Haruto explains everything to Mikiko and summons Kraken to prove to her that he’s a Wizard. He tells her that he’ll protect Hiroki.
She mentions how he’s grown into a fine young man. Haruto flashes back to a rainy night. He’s in the backseat of the car with his parents , enjoying a donut, when they get into an accident.
Haruto is at the hospital with both his parents in bad shape, but awake. His mother tells him that he is their hope and that him being alive gives them hope, like he always has and always will. Mikiko, the nurse on duty at the time, watches them as both mom and dad flatline.
The doctors try to revive them. Back in the present…
“I was Father and Mother’s hope, after all,” Haruto says in response to Mikiko’s compliment.
Mikiko says being a parent now, she understands how his parents must have felt at that moment.
*Insert donut manager slapping donut worker.*
Mikiko tells Hiroki it’s time to go home and that Haruto will come along to protect him. He says No, he’d rather go to Haruto’s than go home since he hates his parents and wishes they were gone.
Mikiko protests, but Shunpei says it’s okay. He’ll also stay over at Haruto’s so they can watch Hiroki together. She reluctantly agrees, but Hiroki’s shoulders droop when she does.
At some dark lair, Phoenix is making his case… to Wiseman. If he were out driving Gates to despair, it wouldn’t matter if the Wizard showed up or not.
Wiseman laughs and says he’ll let Phoenix rampage a little. Wiseman says he has just the perfect plan for him to use on the little boy.
At the shop, twins Shunpei and Hiroki are playing Jenga with face painting punishments. Shunpei promises to protect him himself, but ends up falling asleep sitting by Hiroki who is in Haruto’s bed.
Haruto comes into the room, seeing that Hiroki is crying and knows he actually really wants to go home. Hiroki admits he thinks his father doesn’t listen to him and only cares about his work. Add to that his mother taking dad’s side and Hiroki feels like his parents don’t care about him.
That’s not true, Haruto says. Hiroki brings up how his mother just easily let him stay with Haruto even after almost being killed. Haruto pulls his phone out and show Hiroki all the texts his mother has sent.
Haruto tells Hiroki there is no such thing as a parent who doesn’t care about their child and that his mother left him in his care because she trusts him.
Haruto tells Hiroki to talk to his mother about his feelings tomorrow.
The next day, Haruto and Shunpei walk Hiroki to his home so they can stay there instead. But on the way, they are stopped in their tracks when they see Phoenix hurling a bruised and bloodied Mikiko across the park.
Phoenix gloats about how easy it was to beat Mikiko and that he should be able to do the same to Haruto. Haruto henshins and battles Phoenix, but is overpowered no matter which ring he uses. Hiroki unsuccessfully tries to wake his mother.
Phoenix tells Haruto to die and sends him into the water with his sword.
The past seven episodes, I wasn’t sure if Wizard was able to balance the tone all that well. But I think they did very well this episode. It started out all happy and fun and definitely took a very heavy turn halfway through.
First, the reveal of what happened to Haruto’s parents. It definitely put a whole new perspective on Haruto’s “I’ll be your hope” line he tells to all the Gates. It definitely helped build Haruto’s character as someone heroic and sincere.
Then of course, having Phoenix manhandle a woman right in front of her kid. That’s crazy dark. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that since maybe Master Org gloating about murdering Cole’s parents in Power Rangers Wild Force.
Seeing Phoenix pretty much own Haruto at the end complete with that eerie soundtrack that uses the creepy horn or trumpet to full effect just put an emotional and dramatic end to I think Wizard‘s strongest episode yet.
This episode is the kind of thing I look for in a Power Rangers or toku series. I want to see fun, lighthearted stuff, but I also want to believe the stakes are high for our hero(es). Like, stuff happens. It’s not all going to be donuts and lounging around on your pirate ship. No need to be so dark and depressing, but give our hero(es) a reason to fight. And they did that here.
I think this might be the episode that officially sells me on Wizard.