Keiichiro admires the cherry blossoms and notes that crimes and weirdos tend to increase this time of year. Speaking of weirdos, Zamigo walks past him enjoying an ice ball.
Over at the bistro, Umika sees famous French jewelry designer Emma Gordini is in Japan for an exhibit. Kogure pops up and says they should meet her and steal the pendant she’s wearing because it might be a Collection piece.
Gangler Brez Arenishka beats them to Emma as she meets with the Japanese museum curator. The Lups burst through the window to save her. They take the battle outside and the security guard calls the Pats.
Kairi pretends to save her, but the Gangler points out that they’re both after Emma’s pendant. She runs away. Kairi follows and orders Tooma and Umika to deal with Brez Arenishka.
The Pats arrive and take on the Podamans chasing after Emma. Kairi swoops in, dressed in the uniform he stole from the security guard. Brez Arenishka realizes Emma has gotten away, so he destroys the Podamans and leaves.
Kairi gives Emma the all clear. She wonders about her pendant. Kairi offers to buy it from her if nefarious entities are after it. Of course not, she says as the pendant is a memento from her grandmother. Kairi says that’s not important and proceeds to offer her a blank check.
Emma thinks Kairi was sent by her rich sister to try and give her money. But she refuses and says she is not returning home. Kairi says he doesn’t know her sister.
The Pats are going over what they know so far. They believe Brez Arenishka is after the pendant. Because of that, the jewelry exhibition has been cancelled. But Keiichiro says it should go on as planned. They can put a fake pendant on display to lure Brez Arenishka while also keeping Emma safe.
Kairi has brought Emma back to the bistro and she tells her story. She had been a rebellious teenager despite her older sister being kind and caring and awesome. Kairi remembers his own childhood looking up to his awesome older brother and wanting to be like him.
Emma says she soon started to feel inadequate compare to her sister, which led to her rebelling. Kairi knows the feeling.
Emma says she hasn’t seen her sister since leaving home, but big sis has always continued to send messages and money. Kairi says she should go see her sister before it’s too late and she regrets it. Just like how he regrets being a jerk to his own brother before he was iced.
News reports the exhibition is back on. Brez Arenishka meets with Destra and promises to retrieve the pendant. Tooma says he and Umika will deal with Brez Arenishka at the exhibit while Kairi should focus on swiping the pendant from Emma.
Emma overhears the Lups discussing their plan.
Next day, the Pats are looking dapper in their disguises as they wait for Brez Arenishka to show up at the pendant. And he does. The Pats morph, but the Lups burst through the wall ready for some thievery.
Kairi creeps on Emma as she walks downtown. She cuts to the chase and says she knows Kairi is just pretending to be nice to her because he is a kaitou who wants her pendant. He tries to guilt her into handing it over for free.
But just then, Destra appears so he can retrieve the pendant himself. Kairi morphs and grabs Emma as they try to escape Destra’s explosions. They find shelter under the walkway and Emma is finally guilted into handing the pendant over.
Emma says she has to live to see her sister and she hopes Kairi can see her brother again.
Destra busts through the rubble and he and Kairi battle some more. Kairi holds the pendant to his VS Changer and it turns into scissors. Kairi hops on and Destra summons a Golam to chase after him.
Meanwhile, the Lups and Pats battle each other while also battling Brez Arenishka. The Pats are keeping Umika and Tooma too busy to get close to Brez Arenishka’s safe.
Tooma and Umika think they have the opening they need. But they are too slow as Keiichiro fires and destroys Brez Arenishka. The explosion sends Tooma and Umika flying back, both shocked and distraught.
Keiichiro, Tsukasa and Sakuya surround Tooma and Umika. But Kairi and Golam laying waste to the city distracts them. Good Striker comes in and joins the Pats into forming PatKaiser.
The Pats fire at both Kairi in the Scissors and at the Golam. Good Striker can’t have the Pats destroy the Scissors so he leaves and forces PatKaiser to separate.
Kairi uses Blade and Scissors Vehicles to destroy the Golam.
Emma calls her sister and says she’s coming home.
Kairi excitedly returns to the bistro to show them the new Collection piece. But Tooma and Umika are upset about losing Brez Arenishka’s piece.
Well, this was no question a much better episode than last week. And I think the main reason I feel that way is because of one specific scene. And that is Keiichiro destroying Brez Arenishka before Tooma and Umika can take the Collection piece. I literally applauded when they cut the audio, inserted that dramatic silence and the Gangler blew up right in front of them.
Now, storywise, this obviously doesn’t mean their iced loved ones are gone for good.
(Unless they were never going to come back in the first place. What is this, an Ex-Aid V-cinema?)
I mean, you can’t even be sure Brez Arenishka is actually dead. No Naria… I mean Nurse Goche popping up to embiggen him, so he’s still around somewhere. He might have even been a fake, part of his plan with Destra.
But whatever happens, this was an important moment to finally knock the Lups down a peg from their contrived invincibility pedestal. Last episode was the worst offender and continuing down that path of making the Pats look like incompetent idiots just to make the Lups seem that much cooler would’ve really started to hurt the season, maybe irreparably so. But throwing this one little bone to the Patrangers at least slows down that descent.
Toy spoilers and common sense obviously says the two teams will work together in the future. But until then, the show needs to continue to develop parity between the teams. They need to be equals. Otherwise, like I said last week, what’s the point of having the VS concept if one team will always be the hotshots and the other team aren’t even treated like underdogs, but bumbling idiots.
I just find it hard to empathize with the Lups. They have what is supposed to be a very sad and emotional story and a noble cause for their kaitou ways. But for some reason, it feels hollow. Maybe it’s because Kairi had been an ass to his brother before he got iced and since then has come across as some annoying and cliché-spouting brat. And not in a “I need to put on a brave face to hide my pain” kind of way. Actually seeing Kairi’s flashback and then him basically saying he regrets not appreciating his brother and their time together more is a great step in the right direction. We need more of that.
With Tooma, he’s just another in the line of broody Blues and it feels very tired and old. It doesn’t help that Ex-Aid also just had a broody Blue in Hiiro and coincidentally also lost his girlfriend/fiancé as well. It just feels recycled, therefore hard to truly feel empathy for them. Umika balanced them out originally, but seems to have pulled back a little by them instead.
It says a lot when Emma Gordini’s story was more emotional and relatable than the Lups whom we’ve known for now nine episodes. Emma said her pendant was a memento from her grandmother and Kairi just brushes it off as not being important, only because he wants to take it from her. Of all people, you’d think Kairi would understand how something like that would be important to someone. A memento from a family member that might be long gone. Just another example of how it’s not easy to quickly feel for him and the others.
Elsewhere, it was nice to see the Pats out of their uniforms. They definitely clean up well. But I also hope to see them more on missions and operations unrelated and uninterrupted by the Lups. I think maybe it would be better even if the two teams stayed away from each other for a while and each do their own thing.
More excellent drone use during that morphed battle with Brez Arenishka.
But where’s Zamigo? I was really hoping we’d get to see him more after his tease of an introduction. I guess next episode is his big introduction. I don’t even know if he’ll be a good, fun character or not. But I’m already hoping he’s part of the endgame.
Overall, a much better episode than last week and a step in the right direction if they continue in this way.