Dogranio laughs at Zamigo having been defeated, resulting in all the frozen people being restored, unharmed at all. And also at the fact that the Lups are trapped inside his body forever. Good Striker panics and flies off.
The Pats won’t give up, however. They take on Dogranio’s unlimited Piece power head on. The Lups conclude that this is the end for them. They assume the Pats will choose saving the world over opening the safe and saving them. Kairi says it’s alright, he’s just happy his brother and the others are unfrozen.
The Pats are forced to demorph. Noel runs in to take Dogranio on himself so he can save the Lups as well as save the world. But it’s no use. Dogranio easily forces him to demorph as well.
The Lups look at all the Pieces floating around them when they suddenly realize something.
Tokyo is burning. Dogranio wants to rampage in a less-ravaged area. Keiichiro, Tsukasa, Sakuya and Noel still won’t give up and they are resolved not to let Dogranio go without paying for his crimes.
Dogranio uses more Piece powers and is about to kill the Pats for good. But the Lups are transferring the Pieces from inside Dogranio’s safe using Kogure’s book, back to the Lupin vault.
Dogranio is losing his powers one-by-one. The Pats grab the opportunity and do a helmetless morph.
The Lups are happy that Noel may still have a chance to wish for Lupin’s return now with most of the Pieces back.
Noel goes Super and the Pats are able to really take it to a now weaker Dogranio. Noel points out that the Pieces were holding together Dogranio’s old, frail body.
Just then, Good Striker arrives to drop off Siren Striker. Noel hands it to Keiichiro and he is able to go Super as well.
The Lups say their goodbyes to their loved ones. Keiichiro shoots at Dogranio and it’s an immense power as Dogranio tries fighting back. Tsukasa and Sakuya help Keiichiro push back at Dogranio.
A huge explosion, but the chains are still very much intact on Dogranio and the safe. Keiichiro orders Dogranio to surrender and Noel orders him to open the safe.
Dogranio refuses. Commander Hilltop and Jim Carter are watching from HQ.
Commander Hilltop tells the Pats not to hesitate and that he will take responsibility for whatever happens. Just destroy Dogranio!
Keiichiro lowers his blaster. He then remembers Kairi saying that Keiichiro saves the peoples, not kaitous like him.
Keiichiro walks toward Dogranio as he continues to remember more moments with Kairi. Sakuya falls to his knees as he and Tsukasa remember moments with Tooma and Umika. Noel remembers moments with the Lups as well.
Keiichiro not being able to help someone like Kairi weighs heavily on his mind. He arrives in front of a weak Dogranio and points his blaster at his head. He still can’t bring himself to shoot.
Keiichiro finds himself in a dreamland with Kairi smiling at him.
Keiichiro screams and a shot can be heard as we smash to black.
One year later, Tokyo has been completely rebuilt again with the peoples living in peace and kids playing with Patranger toys. The Pats have been working the last year taking care of Gangler stragglers.
Kairi’s brother Shori, Tooma’s fiance Aya and Umika’s BFF Shiho seem to have been able to get back to their normal lives. Umika is an aspiring manga artist who is presenting a story involving the Lups who she says will be returning to action soon.
Meanwhile, Dogranio is alive and chained to a monolith deep in the bowels of the GSPO with tons of firepower pointed at him. He says he would rather die than remain imprisoned and powerless.
Jim Carter alerts the Pats to a Gangler appearing downtown. Commander Hilltop deploys them.
The Pats arrive in a dance hall and they realize the Gangler has a Collection Piece. They suddenly hear Kairi’s voice say it is the last Piece in a Gangler posession.
The Pats look around and are shocked to see Kairi, Tooma and Umika standing on the balcony, safe and sound.
They jump down and explain how they got out. Jackpot Striker flies out of nowhere to say he opened the safe. Keiichiro remembers that his power is to control people’s actions.
Turns out he flew out of the book while Umika was cutting Tooma’s hair to control Dogranio’s chains and release them from the safe.
But apparently Jackpot Striker was missing all this time. So who brought him to the Lupin vault? Three mysterious figures approach them.
Three new kaitous…
Shori, Aya and Shiho.
The Lups share an emotional reunion with their formerly-frozen loved ones. Kairi apologizes to his brother for being a jerk and they hug.
Kogure had recruited the three to become kaitous to find a way to save the Lups. Noel jokes that Kogure is a horrible person for doing that. Good Striker says Noel is one to talk since he was the one who trained the three.
The Pats are emotional by the Lups return. But they realize the Lups have gone back to kaitou-ing. The Lups say they will take this last Piece as well as swipe all the ones in GSPO posession.
One last roll call for the Lups as they and the Pats take on the Gangler, Podamans and each other.
Hmm… probably the one thing I *loved* this episode were those awesome solo shots of the LuPats before the all white title card.
Otherwise… it was an okay finale for a season I just didn’t connect with. Though the fact that they used a movie toy (Jackpot Striker), that was never mentioned in-series, as a finale deus ex is pretty sketchy.
I guess it’s really hard to comment on the finale without going right into my season thoughts, so here we go.
I honestly feel some sort of apathy to the season itself. I don’t hate it or dislike it like I do maybe Zyuohger or Kamen Rider Ghost (probably my least favorite Sentai and Kamen Rider seasons). But the season is definitely nowhere near my favorites either.
Instead, I found it hard to truly connect with any of the characters. And the biggest reason might be the imbalance in how the show treated the Lups vs the Pats. Then there’s the lack of a truly cohesive and well-developed story and weak foundation for what should’ve been a strong endgame.
These are the kinds of things I tend to give a pass to if I find something else to truly enjoy during the season. Just look at my season reviews of other Sentai or Kamen Rider seasons. I do point out areas the seasons might have come up short in or instances where they’ve dropped the ball. But I usually am able to point to something else during the season that can redeem the season for me or at least keep me engaged and help me enjoy still watching.
With LuPat, while there were some good things, even great things, during the course of the season, I arrive at the end of the season feeling apathetic and unsatisfied.
I point to Zyuohger as my least favorite Sentai season mainly because of how unlikeable the Zyumans ended up being and how horrible they and the show treated Misao who had a legitimately emotional backstory. A backstory involving a violent and sad past and trauma that was turned into a running gag and joke. Absolutely disgusting.
So I have strong feelings about Zyuohger (even though negative), but I honestly don’t for LuPat.
Another comparison to Zyuohger for LuPat is the horrible lack of development for the villains. Dogranio and Goche are essentially discount versions of Ginis and Naria from Zyuohger. The only difference is Ginis’ evil was on display all season, despite him lounging about on his throne (technically his body) all year. Dogranio sat on his throne without a clear goal other than wanting to find a successor which actually ends up inconsequential in the end. Goche and Naria also suffer almost the exact same fate after spending the season in the exact same roles. Destra was completely wasted as well and the tease of some tension between him and Goche and even Zamigo eventually went nowhere.
Even for Kyoryuger (which, again, I still haven’t finished past Episode 30 or something), while it’s also far from being one of my favorites, I can still say it was fun for as much as I saw. And the villains were certainly more fleshed out and unique as well.
For LuPat, the season focused probably 75% of the time on the Lups with the Pats taking up 25% of the focus. That’s can be okay with proper writing. But unfortunately, it didn’t work. And it wasn’t even just an imbalance. The show routinely dumbed down the Patrangers in order to boost or prop up the Lupinrangers.
For example, the Lups must always outsmart the Pats. The Lups always have to swoop in to finish the job. The Pats get shoved to the sidelines or are made to look like incompetent buffons just to make the cooler Lups even that much more awesome.
The imbalance in focus and treatment made me root for the Pats more than the Lups. And the favoring of the Lups by way of being propped up by the Pats proved too tiring for me.
That in turn made me not care about the Lups’ predicament. That’s as much on me as it is on the writing itself.
*spoiler alert for previous seasons*
But other seasons and series did similar things in the past and LuPat didn’t necessarily do anything much more creative or refreshing or different.
Go-Busters had the team wanting to save their parents, only to have to see them die, twice. Gokaiger had the “Gotta catch ’em all for a wish/treasure” plot already (not to mention Kamen Rider Ghost).
The fact that the Lups wanted to save their loved ones didn’t register immediately for me. Partly because they weren’t easily accessible at the beginning of the season. But also because you go into the story assuming the loved ones are going to be saved, no matter what. There was no sense of urgency or danger. It was only until the idea that the frozen people might actually be dead and that Zamigo ripped their skins off their bodies so Ganglers can use them did this part of the overall plot start to seem interesting and exciting.
Zamigo’s lack of screentime (an injustice to the talented Jingi Irie) when he was the key to the loved ones being “restored” also lessens any depth to what is pretty much the central and driving force for the season and the versus concept.
But instead of going for the high stakes, the season went for the easy route. And what could have been a MaGMCM for me on any other season, went by with not even a quiver on any part of my face.
Noel and especially Kogure disappeared this final episode too. And I actually might be annoyed at how all the mystery surrounding Kogure and his sinister smiles throughout the season turned out to mean nothing. Even his focus episode where he regrets putting the Lups in this kind of danger is almost counter to the way they portrayed him throughout the season before that.
Sometimes I do wonder what’s worse. Apathy or strong dislike.
But the season did have some good to great things going for it.
The strongest episodes of the season for me were the big, emotional two-episode (14 & 15) focus on the Pats earlier in the season, the Keiichiro girlfriend ep (17), the episodes where Tooma broke through his cold personality to be an older brother-type (12 & 23) as well as the Tsukasa-Tooma ep (41) and the Christmas episode (45).
The use of handicams/GoPros for some of the fight scenes as well as continued expansion in the use of drones were also huge pluses. They helped make the usual and familiar choreography and locations feel fresh and new. And in turn helps keep Sentai feeling modern and contemporary.
Overall for LuPat, I don’t dislike it. I’m not even sadly disappointed by it. I do think this had the makings of an epic, dramatic season. These final episodes showed that it was possible. But despite whatever exciting and dramatic moments these final episodes had, it all just fell short. The VS concept is interesting on paper. But if you’re going to do a versus concept, there should be parity between the two teams.
And the show didn’t seem interested in doing that. I remember regularly seeing tweets from fans that it was because the Lups drove toy sales more than the Pats. Perhaps the in-series jokes about the kaitous being more popular than the cops was more meta than anyone could ever think.
Even though I know Sentai continues to exist because there are toys to sell (even if sales continue to drastically drop as they have the last few years), I’m here to watch a fun show with a great story, great cast and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, I finish this season unsatisfied. And feeling more excited for the upcoming four-episode miniseries than feeling separation anxiety for a just-concluded season.