Parado is beside himself thinking about Cronus killing Bugsters, like, permanently. Papa Dan walks into their lair with a fruit basket to offer condolences on Loverica’s death, but also to assure them that they are very important to the continued success of Chronicle. To allow that, Papa Dan promises to keep the Kamen Riders under control so everyone can still have fun.
Graphite isn’t too keen on being used in this way, but Papa Dan reminds them that he alone judges their fates. Either they prove their worth to him, or they die.
Emu, Hiiro and Asuna are on the rooftop discussing who could’ve possibly taken the Proto Gashats from the Ministry. But they are interrupted by an emergency call as Salty is fighting with a new Ride Player.
Graphite appears to help Salty, but Papa Dan also shows up as Cronus wanting to curtail this potentially Chronicle-harming battle between the Riders and Graphite. Papa Dan freezes everyone and when they are unfrozen, find Hiiro is gone.
Papa Dan has taken Hiiro to an undisclosed location to make him an offer: Be his right-hand man. Hiiro henshins to Level 50, but Papa Dan hits Pause and is able to deliver a dehenshin-forcing attack. Papa Dan says if Hiiro accepts the job offer, he will be compensated with a Proto Gashat.
Back at the CR, the patient refuses any treatment and runs out with his Gashat.
Emu and Asuna head to the lounge area to meet with everyone else, including Hiiro. Hiiro tells them that Papa Dan stole the Proto Gashats with the possibly resurrectable lives.
Emu and Asuna go talk to Papa Dan directly. Papa Dan says they are also valuable to him so he would like if they worked together. Emu asks for the Proto Gashats, but Papa Dan says they’re GENM property anyway. Asuna asks what Papa Dan’s endgame is and his answer is that he wants to sell Chronicle worldwide and make GENM the #1 game company in the world.
Emu says he will not stand for a life-threatening video game, but Papa Dan says their intention is not to kill people. That’s why he even has a Master Gashat that will allow him to kill Bugsters with just the push of a button.
Papa Dan presses the button for Salty who disappears right before Parado and Graphite’s eyes. Parado cannot believe it at all.
Emu and Asuna are shocked to see Papa Dan being able to take someone’s life away so easily, though Papa Dan points out that the Ride Player from earlier is now cured.
Emu is incensed and says he will just have to stop Papa Dan through force. Papa Dan is unmoved.
Emu and Poppysuna return to the CR. Kuroto can’t believe what his father is planning.
Kuroto will not allow his father to steal the game he created. But Kuroto admits that he never included a way for Cronus to ever be beaten since it was supposed to be ultimate power that could be obtained. Hiiro suggests Emu reprogram him, but Kuroto says as long as Cronus can hit Pause, it would be impossible.
Emu and Kuroto both realize there actually is a way to beat Cronus’ Pause power.
While Nico plays with a ball, Taiga wonders why Cronus whisked only Hiiro away.
Emu assures Hiiro that they will recover the Proto Gashats. But Hiiro is unsure about them being doctors and accepting the idea of resurrecting dead people. Emu isn’t sure about any of it either, but if it means returning Hiiro’s smile back to his stoic face, then he’s in. Poppy wants to do that too. They run out.
Papa Dan is in the car talking to a foreigner interested in bringing Chronicle to their unsuspecting country when Kuroto pops up in the middle of the street.
Papa Dan makes it nighttime and says he is just overjoyed to get a visit from his only son. But Kuroto reminds Papa Dan that he was only ever one of his products. Papa Dan says he has always loved his son. There’s no better example of that than him taking the blame for Zero Day five years ago.
Kuroto knows that is a lie and that Papa Dan only did that to allow him to be free and finish Chronicle for him.
Kuroto demands his father stop the international distribution of Chronicle especially since he is the creator. Kuroto henshins.
“You’ve always been nothing but trouble,” Papa Dan says as he henshins.
Daylight returns and the father and son battle. Emu, Hiiro and Poppy watch nearby, waiting for the right moment. Graphite is also watching what’s happening, but Parado is still curled up in a ball.
Graphite grabs Parado to try and get him to snap out of it. They have to stop Cronus so that Parado can enjoy killing off humans and most especially playing with his beloved Emu.
Kuroto asks why Papa Dan isn’t using Pause, but he says he doesn’t need to. Indeed, one swipe and Kuroto loses another life. But he doesn’t Continue immediately.
Emu and Hiiro run out from the shadows to maximum henshin. Papa Dan hits Pause. But turns out Kuroto inserted himself into his father’s Bug Visor which allowed him not to be affected by the Pause.
Kuroto has his father in a hold and presses Restart, which releases Emu and Hiiro. Kuroto tells Emu to commence reprogramming.
But as Emu is about to deliver the Maximum Critical Break, Hiiro inexplicably blocks him and knocks Emu to aside.
Poppy is shocked as Taiga and Nico arrive. Taiga says he knew it all along.
Papa Dan knocks Kuroto off the side of the cliff. Hiiro asks Papa Dan if he’s okay.
Papa Dan explains to everyone that he hired Hiiro to keep the rest of the Riders in check. He delivers a Critical Sacrifice at Emu to force him to dehenshin. He tells Hiiro “Good job” before they leave.
Emu calls out “Hiiro-san.”
A very nice episode. Nothing too surprising, but well executed developments all around.
Of course we can’t take Hiiro’s “betrayal” at face value. Who knows what’s really going through his head. The easiest route is he’s just gambling on getting what he needs with minimal collateral damage, especially to his friends while being noble and finding a way to basically take down Papa Dan by being right beside him. But at the same time, there’ve been times when Hiiro’s been closed off to Emu and Poppysuna. Kind of standoffish and even at one point focused on winning the “game” and being the best only. That might have been related to a lingering hope of resurrecting his girlfriend. But him being overcome with some negative, evil thoughts wouldn’t be the most illogical twist.
With Parado, who knows what to make of him right now. I certainly hope they add a little more depth to what his endgame is. I almost have a feeling like he’s going the way of Heart/Brain/Medic who only suddenly found real depth and meaning and story potential in the immediate episodes before the finale. (meaning, the episodes where they die!) Hopefully Parado gets that depth sooner because I think there’s definitely some nice potential there, especially as a contrast to Papa Dan and his more straight forward shenanigans.
I liked the father and son Dan convo because it was direct, blunt and helped set my simple mind straight lol
Papa Dan was basically just using Kuroto to further his evil master plan just like he’s planning on using everyone else to make it all actually happen in some #worlddomination sort of way, I guess. That’s fine. I think though while he’s positioned to be the big bad, the more interesting stories will come from everyone else’s reaction to whatever his plan’s consequences will be.
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hello there Kougami’s office which is probably a Toei or Bandai office. I assume. lol
Overall, a good episode that helped raise the stakes and keep the story moving forward.