Right back where we started from!
— I didn’t even like that show, but I just couldn’t resist.
— I don’t normally picture white picket fences when I think of California. Oh, I’m sure they exist, but they’re not exactly common in my experience.
— Apparently, Max has family out here. In fact, he has a son that is like a miniature him. Boy, I hope the kid doesn’t get caught up in this Banana Fish nonsense.
— I bet the mother won’t be as pleased as the kid.
— Hahaha, she just whips out a rifle in the middle of a Californian suburb. That’s cute.
— I just don’t know exactly what world I’m staring at. Behind the white picket fence, there’s a blonde woman in a pencil skirt aiming a loaded rifle at her estranged husband just because he wants to embrace his child. C’mon, now…
— What a couple… this entire exchange is happening in front of their kid, too.
— I’m sure Banana Fish is a very, very big deal, and as a journalist, you should want to get to the bottom of it. At the same time, however, it would absolutely kill me to leave my family behind. Career or family, career or family? This is why I don’t want to have a family, because I know that if I do, I would have to sacrifice everything for it.
— 100% natural mustard? Is there mustard that has been cut with imitation stuff that I don’t know about?! Honesty, I’m having more fun with this strange version of Americana that the show is presenting to us than the actual story itself.
— For example, what is that poster hanging on the wall? Who on earth would put that up in their home?
— And oh yeah, Ash is pretty edgy, but at the same time, he has his reasons. Plus, Max and his wife can’t even be civil in front of their kids. If she has such a huge problem with him, why did she even invite him in?
— Dude, it’s your kid’s birthday, and you’re just going to leave his present next to him while he’s sleeping? The dads on this show, man…
— After a brief detour to see Max’s kid, the gang finally reaches their destination. I like how they don’t scope the place out or anything. All five of them immediately get out of the car to stand in front of the front gates. Luckily for them, a woman yelling for help pretty much gives them permission to walk right on in.
— So the gang manages to save Yau-Si, a “kid” who claims to be Alexis Dawson’s adopted son. Also, his dad is missing. The conspiracy runs deep. This is kinda like… a less interesting version of True Detective. Honestly, this is really making me wanna rewatch the second season of that show. I know a lot of people criticized it, but I still really liked it over most shows on TV nowadays.
— I’m wondering when the old lady is going to ask the guys why they were even nearby. Probably never.
— We cut to Golzine telling Abraham that they need to locate his brother in order to complete “it.” Why are we even being coy at this point? Isn’t he talking about the drug? Isn’t he talking about Banana Fish?
— Yau-Si finally asks Ash and the gang what they’re doing here, but he’s not pressing them on the issue. He just leaves to eat dinner. The old woman doesn’t seem to mind their presence too much either. That’s just odd, isn’t it? I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t exactly let five strangers rummage around my missing father’s office even if they just saved me. Something’s up with the kid. Something is up with both him and the old lady.
— Ironically enough, it’s Ash who is suspicious of the young master, and I can’t help but agree.
— Ash mentions how the kid doesn’t make a sound when he walks. Uh, so? I don’t make a sound walking around my own home either.
— Also, Ash manages to get into Alexis’s computer thanks to magical cracking software. Where did he even get this? I guess he just had it prepared ahead of time.
— At least he’s right about this.
— Yau-Si seems kinda jealous of the friendship between Ash and Eiji.
— Wow, Vista. For shame, professor, for shame.
— Elsewhere, we see Shorter attempt to look into Yau-Si’s background. Unfortunately, he just ran into the Chinese mafia. If you’ll recall, Lee is now working with Golzine, so our gang isn’t safe in California. In fact, Shorter might get the short end of the stick! Ahhhhhhhhhhh, sorry.
— Max and Ash are still butting heads. For some odd reason, the former thinks he can convince the latter to “stay out of this mess.” Yeah, sure, Ash is going to drive all the way to California to give up now. Look, if Max wanted Ash to back out when things got too serious, he never should’ve taken the kid with him in the first place. This just seems like poor planning on his part.
— Ash is also being somewhat naive. Getting his revenge against Golzine won’t slay his demons. He’ll still have years and years of therapy ahead of him… assuming he survives.
— For now, however, Shorter has returned to the house, and he has to pretend as though everything is okay on his end. Ash is so overpowered in this story, though. As a result, I wonder if he’ll be able to tell that Shorter is lying. I won’t like it, but there’s a keen possibility that he might be able to see through his friend’s lies.
— Wait, what? Yau-Si had this super conspicuous tattoo on his neck this entire time? I guess nobody ever noticed because his hair was always in the way, but c’mon…
— We soon find out that Yau-Si is actually Yut-Lung, the youngest in the Lee family. I mean, is anybody really surprised? Did people really think some crusty, old professor with no family to speak of would suddenly adopt an Asian teenager?
— Ugh, these guys are so full of drama. Shunichi needs to get Eiji away from the situation, but he isn’t sure how to break the bad news to the kid. As a result, Ash volunteers to do it instead. After all, Eiji is as green as can be. Ash calls him a burden, and he’s right. Nevertheless, this pisses Max off. You guys are like an old married couple, fighting over every possible thing.
— Ash claims that Eiji is the first person to help him without asking for something in return. That seems hard to believe. Maybe he’s speaking loosely, because his childhood has been so painful.
— Meanwhile, Yut-Lung continues to watch these two boys interact with great interest.
— Eiji is taking this rejection really hard. I just don’t know what he’s thinking. I don’t know how he honestly thinks he can help. He can’t shoot a gun, he can’t fight, he doesn’t have any other useful skills, so on and so forth. He’s just a civilian. He’s the definition of a burden. What did he hope to get out of this? What did he hope to accomplish?
— Elsewhere, Max tells Ash that he’s going to accompany the kid back to New York. Yes, he still feels guilty about Griffin, and I wouldn’t have any problem with this had we not just met his family. He yelled at Ash earlier in the episode for wanting to oppose Golzine, but he’s going to abandon his own kid? Ugh, I don’t even know what to say to that.
— In this day and age, there are so many ways for Max to get the data into the right hands. He doesn’t literally need to hand it to them in person.
— Yut-Lang then tells Shorter to kidnap Eiji in order for them to get the upper hand on Ash. If the latter doesn’t comply, then his sister will be in trouble. But this is where I’m flummoxed, because they have connections with the police. Ask Charlie to protect Nadia!
— So what did Yut-Lung do? Did he stage his own kidnapping earlier just to gain the gang’s trust? Did he risk getting shot at for this? What if Ash had missed and a bullet had hit him?
— Over at Max’s household, a few mysterious men have shown up. Boy, it’s a good thing his wife owns a gun in California! Unfortunately, the episode ends on this cliffhanger. All I can hope is that nothing bad happens to the innocent people. The foolhardy men can recklessly throw their lives away for all I care. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Eiji.