Tsukasa tells the others about suspecting the Bistro Jurer crew of being the kaitous. Jim Carter pulls up short dossiers on each of the three. Sakuya can’t believe his precious cute Umika would be a phantom thief. Keiichiro is more receptive of the theory, but Commander Hilltop says they don’t have the authority to just arrest them without a warrant or evidence.
Tsukasa suggests they monitor them to find the proof they need.
Tsukasa and Sakuya are surveilling the bistro where Umika and Tooma are the only ones working again. Sakuya thinks this is a waste of time since he doesn’t like suspecting his future girlfriend. Meanwhile, Keiichiro is on Kairi’s tail. Kairi returns to the industrial area where the Lups had lost a Podaman earlier and tries to find where it could have disappeared to.
Good Striker crawls up Kairi’s body to warn him of Keiichiro following him. Goodie says the Global Police suspect them of being the kaitous.
Kairi heads back to the bisto to tell Umika and Tooma. Good Strike asks them why they became kaitous anyway. Umika explains they all lost someone dear to them last year and Kogure had told them if they gathered all of the Lupin Collection, their wish would be granted. That is, save their loved ones.
Good Striker says he’s helping them because he is tasked with protecting the Collection. But he also can’t ignore his good feeling of the Pats from time to time to not help them.
Umika gets a text from Sakuya asking if she’ll be at the bistro tomorrow. Tooma thinks the police are setting them up.
Sakuya tells the others about his text. They will leak false information about the location of a Gangler and then see if they rush out, falling right into their trap. Keiichiro remembers Kairi sniffing around the purification plant earlier. That would be the perfect place to lure them to. But now they need a Gangler to use as bait.
They all look at Jim Carter.
Keiichiro tapes a safe to Jim Carter’s head and has police officers disguise themselves as plant workers. A reluctant Jim Carter accepts his mission and promises to do his best.
Tsukasa and Sakuya head to the bistro and wait for Keiichiro’s signal. Keiichiro lets Jim Carter and the cops know it’s time to start.
They hear the operation has started and put on their best acting skills to make it seem they are being called to a Gangler’s location. They hurry out of the bistro, but keep watch across the street. Tsukasa hopes to see them run out of the bistro, but Sakuya still believes his Umika-chan is innocent.
Jim Carter lets out his pent-up frustration on his fellow cops. Just then, the Lups appear and confront Jim Carter. Keiichiro tells Tsukasa who says no one has walked out the bistro door yet. Sakuya is ecstatic.
The Lups are ready to attack Jim Carter, but he decides to distract them with a riddle: “It sticks to monaka and manju, but it doesn’t stick to dorayaki!”
The Lups pause to think about it. Keiichiro tells Tsukasa that their objective now is to capture the thieves at the plant site. Tsukasa isn’t giving up that easily and she storms the bistro, thinking there’s another exit they must’ve used.
Tsukasa is shocked to see Umika and Tooma inside. She demands to inspect upstairs to see if Kairi is indeed resting there. But Kairi comes walking in.
Jim Carter speeds off, but then falls through a hole in a wall.
Tsukasa informs Keiichiro of the three seemingly being present at the bistro, much to Sakuya’s excitement.
When Tsukasa and Sakuya leave, Kairi removes his mask to reveal he is actually Kogure in a costume. The real Kairi laughs contently as the fake news Tooma and Umika pull off their spandex to reveal they were just Kairi clones.
Kairi overhears Jim Carter calling for help and sees the open door in the wall. He walks in to see Podamans have chained Jim Carter up on a table as well as chained up several civilians as well.
Goche Ru Medu pops up and introduces herself as the best Gangler doctor who was looking forward to experimenting on live subjects until Kairi showed up.
Keiichiro arrives and shoots at the Podamans, allowing him to save Jim Carter and the other civilians.
Kairi takes on Goche and the Podamans, but he is no match for her. One of Goche’s Collection pieces gives her the power to instantly analyze anyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
Goche then takes out her other Collection piece to embiggen the several Podamans before she leaves.
After getting the civilians to safety, Keiichiro and Jim Carter watch as the Lups hop into their Dial Fighters and then combine into LupinKaiser to take care of the Podamans.
Back at the bistro, Kogure apologizes for being late earlier as it’s been a long time since he’d last dressed up. Anyway, he’s surprised Good Striker helped them out this time.
Kairi asks Kogure about Goche’s Collection binoculars. Kogure says he doesn’t know anything about them. He makes a face to himself and leaves.
Over at the GSPO, Tsukasa is disappointed since she was sure she had cracked the case. Commander Hilltop says they were able to destroy the Gangler hideout and rescue the people, so that’s a success. Sakuya thinks the biggest success was clearing Umika’s name.
Keiichiro wants to know the answer to Jim Carter’s riddle. Commander Hilltop says it’s “lips” because your lips don’t touch when you say dorayaki, but they do when you say monaka and manju.
Is that riddle going to be a future plot point? Have the Patrangers been reduced to being narrators for show bumpers and end of episode games?
So I’m really starting to tire of the imbalance between the Lups and Pats.
It’s hard to believe the only thing the Global Police can do to track three suspects is to have two cops and a rookie literally follow them around. It’s another example of dumbing down the Pats to prop up the Lups. And if they continue like this, especially as the Lupinrangers are obviously top billing, what’s the use of the whole VS concept when it’s a very lopsided match up.
Jim Carter can access any tech that’s available, especially as they are the Global Police force. No one thought that maybe the bistro had back or side exits. The Pats obviously weren’t tracking the Lups if they didn’t see Kairi leaving the bistro. No one thought to follow the morphed Lupinrangers and see where they disappear to or come from? CCTV footage? The fact that the three bistro workers wear the same colors as the kaitous? They didn’t even need to have the elaborate trap. Just shut up and follow them all day. Easy.
That is all simple stuff even the most basic cop would think of. It is absolutely impossible that if they really suspected the three, they could have easily watched them for a few days and gotten what they needed. But all in an effort to maintain the Lupinrangers being too smart, too quick and overall too awesome than the dumb cops.
Obviously, they weren’t going to have the big reveal this early. But then why do this episode? Are they going to be doing this over and over again until the late 30s when the Lups’ identities are finally revealed to the Pats?
It appears ToeiBandai wanted this thieves concept but didn’t want a team of five or six thieves running around. Three is a good number, but then how are Toei and Bandai going to make their precious money off of only three, maybe four Rangers only? So throw in the three cop Rangers to fill out the toy line.
Commercially, that makes sense. Storywise, it leaves much to be desired. So much so that I am rooting and anxiously awaiting the episode Kogure screws over the Lups.
I honestly have zero emotional connection to any of the Rangers, except for Tsukasa who seems to be the only one who is competent and skilled at what she does. Keiichiro’s only problem is being a little too hot blooded and maybe too reckless for his own good.
Last week, I mentioned how I thought Sakuya and Umika might be cute to watch over the course of the season. I take that back. Easily the worst subplot so far. Especially since this episode firmly established Sakuya is more concerned with banging an 18-year old high school student than being a police officer. Uhh… okay.
Anyway, it was nice to see Jim Carter involved out in the field. It’s definitely fair to be suspicious of Commander Hilltop just as we obviously have to be suspicious of Kogure.
But overall, this episode was another one that really just does not work for me at all. And if this keeps up, I’ll quickly lose patience with the season. And I would hate for that to happen. =/