Daiji runs over to a dehenshined Vice and asks where Ikki is. Vice doesn’t know either until Ikki pops out from his ear. They have somehow switched places.
George comes running up and grabs the Driver Vice used, marveling at how something so advanced could’ve been developed by a mere human. George believes someone is trying to set him up and orders Fenix officers to take Vice into custody so he can open him up.
Vice swats them away and laughs that this is his chance to make the most of his newfound freedom. Ikki demands Vice give his body back, but Vice laughs that Ikki looks good like this and that betrayal is a demon’s specialty. Vice (and Ikki) fly away.
With the Libera Driver and Rolling Vistamp popping up, George believes someone is secretly in contact with the Igarashis.
Over at the mannequin factory, an acolyte reports to Olteca about Ikki and Vice trading places. Olteca says this is the perfect opportunity to finish off Daiji and Sakura. But Aguilera says all she cares about is her beloved Gifu-sama.
Meanwhile, Manager Mayu is reporting to the CEO that Kuuki Kaidan are refusing to leave their home. So the CEO decides to permanently replace them with Pavlov’s Dogs for all their gigs.
Over at the Spa, the Ushijimas come in for a soak. But Sakura suddenly gets a call from Daiji about Olteca and Aguilera popping up downtown. She hurries out and Papa Ushijima motions to Hikaru to follow. What they don’t seem to know is George secretly following them as well.
Olteca and Aguilera are sitting in the rubble of a plaza they’ve torn up when Daiji and Sakura arrive. Olteca taunts Daiji with Hiromi’s “death” while Aguilera cheerily greets Sakura. “Just how much do you like me anyway?” Sakura asks.
They all henshin and battle. Sakura asks Aguilera why she dumped Tamulio. Aguilera says it’s because she knew he would go to her. And just like Sakura protects Lovekov, she can also protect a weakling like Julimaki.
Daiji asks Hiromi to lend him some strength as he battles Olteca. But it’s not enough. Olteca forces Daiji to dehenshin and then easily does the same to Sakura. Olteca asks Aguilera if she wants to deliver the final blow, but she just leaves.
Before Olteca can kill Sakura, Kagerou suddenly pops up and says he’d like to protect her in order to eat her curry. Kagerou is able to counter Olteca’s power ups enough to drive him away and to keep Daiji safe after dehenshin.
Daiji is shocked that Kagerou helped them.
Nearby, George chuckles when he’s lost track of Hikaru.
Back at the Spa, Sakura fills Tamakulio in on Aguilera actually caring about him and his safety, thus pushing him toward Sakura. Juliamaki is so touched by his dear Aguilera-sama’s kindness.
More importantly, Daiji realizes that Vice must also be intentionally putting up a front in order to protect Ikki. He and Sakura hurry out to look for Vice who has been hanging out downtown using Ikki’s money to play games and sports.
Vice admits that he really was just protecting Ikki. He says he was getting bad vibes from Kari-chan earlier and felt he needed to get Ikki as far away as possible. Ikki, speaking through the phone, says it’s not Vice’s place to meddle. But Daiji and Sakura says Ikki of all people shouldn’t be saying that.
Sakura wonders why people can’t just be honest instead of putting up a front. Daiji says it’s because they’re protecting those precious to them. Like Vice.
The sentiment makes Ikki realize what’s happening with Kuuki Kaidan. Turns out Manager Mayu is the Deadmans birther. Sakura finds her about to stamp herself with two Vistamps. Mayu just wanted to protect Kuuki Kaidan’s careers as she has always been a fan of theirs.
Sakura unsuccessfully tries to stop her and Manager Mayu activates the two Stamps, summoning the Deadmans to attack Pavlov’s Dogs.
Vice and Ikki arrive and Vice again uses the Rolling Vistamp to henshin to Jack Revice. He makes quick work of the two Deadmans.
Kuuki Kaidan catch up to Manager Mayu before she is taken to Fenix rehab. She apologizes to them and says she just wanted to prevent them from suffering at the hands of haters. Kuuki Kaidan promise to keep at it and become comedians she can be proud of. Mayu promises to keep cheering them on.
For now, Ikki and Vice says they will just have to keeping working on figuring out how to get themselves back to normal.
At his office, George is sure the Ushijimas are suspicious people.
Sakura visits Weekend and confronts them about giving Ikki and Vice the Rolling Vistamp.
Papa Ushijima says it’s time to come clean and he introduces Sakura to the real leader of Weekend: Karizaki.
An okay episode. I guess the switched places plays into the fading Ikki. But we’ll see next week.
That was really the main development from this episode. Just setting the stage for this flipped situation and whatever will happen in the coming weeks.
Connected to that is continuing to establish the Weekend. And the biggest surprise was the appearance of Karizaki. I assume that’s George’s father. And it’s interesting to see him pop up here after having been namedropped in the ongoing Mystery miniseries.
One thing that has been most interesting with George is seeing him have to face situations that he has no control over. So it will definitely be interesting to see him have to face his father(?). We know they are both geniuses of some sort. So that dynamic has a lot of potential.
So, I didn’t really care about the “Aguilera’s actually cares about Julio” “twist”. The pushing someone away to keep them safe trope I can believe with a relationship like Ikki and Vice. But with Aguilera and Tamakulio? It feels tacked on and contrived.
I really don’t know why I’m so annoyed by their story pivot. But maybe it’s because everything else is so much more interesting, it stands out to me more. Oh well.
Vice’s pretending was predictable. But they were able to get the point across. It’s just another episode where we see how far Ikki and Vice have come since they first met. I’m happy to see that the growth and development in that relationship continues. And the, I’ll say lazy, idea of Vice actually betraying Ikki and eating the Igarashis gets less possible with every episode. So that’s very good.
I don’t get the random Kagerou cameos. Though I enjoy seeing an eyeliner-wearing Wataru Hyuga ham it up as Kagerou from time to time, the way Kagerou keeps randomly popping up kinda knocks the established (though loose) rules about demons and humans off balance. So that can muddy the waters for that part of the overall story. Like, is he gone? Is he not? Can Daiji control him? Does Kagerou have free reign? Is he just hanging back? I dunno.
Overall, it was a fine episode. Nothing explosive, but definitely laying the groundwork for what’s to come.