Houtarou is excited about all the Chemies he’s been able to befriend. But Sabimaru shows him all the other Chemies that are still out there. Houtarou calls out to Santa to help point him to the missing Chemies. Renge says he has a lot of free time to go out and search, but Houtarou remembers he has a lot of work at the restaurant since it gets pretty busy for Christmas. He asks if they could help out, but Sabimaru hates crowded places and Renge has a part-time job selling Christmas cake. That leaves Rinne to become Houtarou’s special helper.
Meanwhile, Lachesis finishes examining Clotho who requires more recovery time. Clotho yearns for more power to finish “that kid” off. But Atropos surprises them with a special gift from Gurion. A mysterious figure emerges from the darkness and forces himself into Lachesis’ body. Atropos says to be a good little girl and accept the present.
Gurion, now in Lachesis’ body, prepares for his first experiment.
Over at Kitchen Ichinose, Houtarou and Rinne are hard at work helping Mama Ichinose with the Christmas rush while trying to keep their Chemies under control too.
Mama Ichinose notices Rinne’s different-colored ring from Houtarou’s and Rinne explains that her father gave it to her. Mama Ichinose reminds her she should always take care of something so special.
Later, Mama Ichinose is happy as she watches Houtarou and Rinne together. Rinne and Houtarou both promise to work together and to do their best.
Meanwhile, Supana visits his mentor Professor Kyoka. He thanks her for fixing Valvarusher. Though she had tasked him with retrieving the Dread Driver. Supana says he let his guard down with the Meikoku Sisters and his also continued his surveillance of Rinne. Turns out, they are doing so in believing Papa Kudo is alive. And they are just waiting for information on his whereabouts or his eventual return.
Supana marvels at the Driver that is being developed in Professor Kyoka’s lab. The Alchemy Union is putting all their technology into this new Driver, partly in combining the alchemy used in Gotchard and Valvarad’s Drivers.
Downtown, Ryo is being a grinch about Christmas. But is excited when he hears bells ringing in the sky thinking it is Santa Claus. It is actually a snake that pops out of thunderous clouds.
Ryo tries to get photos of it, but the snake breathes fire at him, turning him into stone. Houtarou quickly henshins and shoots at the snake. “Are you a Kamen Rider?” the snake asks before it disappears.
Rinne, Renge and Sabimaru arrive to help Houtarou figure out what’s going on. Renge suggests the Malgam could be Tsupparihebi. But Sabimaru says it’s been collected already.
Minato-sensei calls to report that people all over the city are being turned into stone. And it’s only a matter of time before the entire city is petrified. Houtarou feels guilty about driving the snake away. But it appears once again.
They try to run, but Renge trips and Sabimaru comes to help her up only for them to get petrified.
Supana heads downtown. And encouraged by Professor Ayaka’s words to him earlier, he henshins and tries taking on the snake himself. Houtarou arrives to help and tries to pull the snake out of the sky with the help of Raidenji and Junglejan. They send an explosion at the snake and Houtarou tries to capture the Chemy. But nothing happens.
Rinne comes running to report that everyone is still petrified across Tokyo, including the little boy Houtarou gave a Christmas sticker to at the restaurant earlier.
Thinking of Christmas, Houtarou remembers he broke the snake’s bell necklace when it first appeared. The one they just fought still had theirs. Supana joins them and they believe this Malgam must have more than one head. Houtarou realizes this Chemy is Jyamatanoorochi. Rinne clears the clouds in the sky to reveal the body all the heads are connected to.
The Malgam says it is a pleasure to meet Houtarou the Kamen Rider and asks he help with his experiments. Rinne says she will go help evacuate the unpetrified people. Houtarou tells Supana to go with her, but Supana says Houtarou couldn’t possibly handle this Malgam on his own.
Houtarou says he is the Malgam’s target. Supana leaves him to it as Houtarou vows to save the Chemy inside.
Houtarou henshins and uses all he can to fight off the four headed Malgam. But nothing works. The voice inside the Malgam is excited about this experiment. Houtarou is even more upset that this Malgam would do all this for such selfish purposes.
The Malgam shoots at Rinne and Supana. Houtarou tries to shield them from the petrification, but gets swatted away and forced to dehenshin. The present he had wrapped for his mother falls out of his pocket as he watches more and more people getting turned to stone.
Houtarou fights through the pain, vowing to save everyone. He gets himself up. But the Malgam shoots right at him. Houtarou braces for the attack, but his Driver suddenly glows and a mysterious figure appears to blow up the Malgam’s head.
Houtarou is shocked to see another Gotchard on the rooftop.
The orange Gotchard stealthily handles the Malgam, chopping off the heads and then delivering a finisher at the huge body.
That finisher forces the Malgam down to its normal size. The orange Gotchard calls over to Houtarou to make a choice. Will Houtarou leave everything to him or will Houtarou take charge of his own future.
Houtarou says he will take charge of the future, especially since he hasn’t even giving his mother her Christmas present yet.
Houtarou henshins to Cross X-Rex and the orange Gotchard leaves the Malgam to Houtarou to finish off. Uphenshining to UFO-X, Houtarou is able to shield Rinne and Supana from the Malgam’s attack and deliver a finisher to take care of the Malgam for good. That releases everyone in the city from petrification. And Houtarou is able to catch Jyamatanoorochi in a Card.
Supana catches a weak Houtarou before he falls over. He commends him on the win, but Houtarou says the orange Gotchard helped him out. He looks around and sees the mysterious Gotchard is gone.
Rinne, Renge and Sabimaru come running over to confirm everyone is back to normal.
That evening, Houtarou, Mama Ichinose and Rinne are cleaning up after a long day at the restaurant. Houtarou gives his mom her present. She opens the beautiful pin and thanks Houtarou for it as he puts it on her apron. Mama Ichinose says she made some wonderful memories this Christmas.
Rinne and Hopper1 smile at the nice moment between mother and son.
Clotho has whisked a struggling and weakened Lachesis back to their lair. Atropos asks Gurion-sama who that mysterious Kamen Rider was. Gurion walks out of the shadows and says he’ll save that one for the new year because it’s time to move on to the next experiment.
At the academy, Minato-sensei wonders if this is finally the time for the mysterious figure who is currently on a rooftop with a mysterious item.
Pardon my recap as it’s all based on my miniscule knowledge of Japanese and Google translate lololol
But I get the basic gist of the episode. I think it was a good start to this next arc of the season. New antagonist. New characters. New threat. New dangers. But still very much in line with what Gotchard has successfully set-up so far.
It’s great to see this new threat is someone that also sends chills down the spines of the Sisters. Especially after we’ve seen what the Sisters themselves are capable of. (Killing innocent people!)
So happy I wasn’t spoiled about orangeGotchard. A nice little surprise and a true mystery. It was a nice way to help introduce this next chapter and offer up new questions without feeling forced or overwhelming.
Wonderful little insight into Supana’s own mysterious background with the introduction of Professor Kyoka. Both for his character and for that plot thread as well. Definitely some tidbits with Rinne’s father today.
But I must admit, the thought that Papa Kudoh is also Papa Ichinose has crossed my mind a few times. But so many things go against that idea, not the least of which being I am a hopeless romantic and would love to see Houtarou and Rinne end up as a romantic couple in the future lolololoolol Anyway, I doubt they’d go down that route. But it is certainly one of the many possibilities. And it’s fun to entertain several possibilities.
Loved the moments between Houtarou and Mama Ichinose of course. I think it was a nice way to highlight Houtarou’s resolve, especially when family and friends are involved. Houtarou’s concern for his friends and his simple, yet meaningful hope to personally give his mother her Christmas present are the kinds of little moments that help build a character. Especially a title character like Houtarou.
I also liked Houtarou having Rinne over for Christmas Day. The show hasn’t specifically talked about her homelife, but I guess we can assume she is alone. So she quite enjoys joining Mama and Son Ichinose at the restaurant like this, even if she pretends not to. We also know she is not some cold, standoffish person either and is quite open to forming these new bonds. So those moments like her with Mama Ichinose and then at the end are nice for her character as well.
Overall, this was definitely an episode meant to ease us into this next chapter of the Gotchard story. And it certainly has introduced some interesting new ideas and mysteries that still fit in well with what we’ve seen on the show so far.