After four episodes of fun and games, it’s time to get serious. I just wish one of the primary antagonists didn’t look so much like a Discount Bin Joker.
— Zabel, an inmate on death row, wishes to confess to yet another murder, but he’ll speak only to Doug. Too bad our vet is trying to worm his way out of it. Something about needing to do laundry. Since he likes to be deadpan all the time, it’s sometimes hard to tell when he’s joking and when he’s not.
— Uh… huh…
— So we get to the prison, Zabel admits to killing A, the former boss of Esperanza. He then reveals that the body can be found near this giant mermaid statue (Christ, it’s huge). Why do we care about A’s body? Well, it would verify Zabel’s claims. And if the guy can prove himself to be trustworthy, then he might have other valuable information to share about Esperanza. That’s a big if, though.
— Sure enough, our heroes find someone’s remains at the park. Only a foot, though. When Doug and Kirill return to Zabel, the fidgety man then claims that he’ll reveal everything he knows if he can plea down to his death sentence to just life in prison. I was like, “Don’t we need the DA in here for this?” But apparently, Seven-O has the authorization to do whatever they want as long as it’s Anthem-related. That’s kinda silly, but whatever. We wouldn’t want to bog the story down by getting too technical. This isn’t Law & Order.
— As a side note, I used to think that a Japanese version of Law & Order would be pretty cool. But considering how Japanese courts have a 99% conviction rate, it would probably be a frustrating show to watch.
— For once, Kirill is astute. He can tell that Doug is getting too worked up about this case.
— Anyways, the rest of A’s body is supposedly buried at an abandoned school near the giant mermaid statue, but Zabel insists on helping the detectives find the exact spot. Again, Kirill doesn’t think that this is a good idea, and I agree with him. This is obviously a ploy to break the guy out of prison.
— Doug thinks he has everything under control, but let’s be honest: our heroes have a pretty major handicap. Even with all these officers on their side, the villains have the advantage of Anthem. The drug literally allows the human body to evolve and thus gain super strength and speed. Sure, Seven-O hasn’t had any problems dealing with drugged out losers in previous episodes, but those were just random thugs. Now that we’re up against an organized crime syndicate, I expect the results to be a little different.
— As soon as they find A’s body, Bamboo Man strikes. Yeah, he’s the silly clown. And sure enough, he has super strength and speed. In fact, he’s like a shounen character. He’s dashing so quickly that he might as well be teleporting. You literally cannot hit this guy with a bullet at near point-blank range.
— Doug starts getting desperate, so he threatens to hand Zabel over to Bamboo Man if he doesn’t get his information on Esperanza. Y’see, up until now, our heroes have been led to believe that Bamboo Man is here to kill Zabel. This will soon prove to be untrue.
— Not only that, Kirill headbutts his partner in attempt to bring him back from the brink. I guess detectives shouldn’t be this dirty, but I think Deana would’ve approved of Doug’s tactics.
— After handing Zabel off to a couple of officers, our duo tries to confront Bamboo Man. Unfortunately, they’re really no match for the guy. Doug has a few tricks up his sleeve, but the clown still shrugs them off. Worst of all, Doug can’t detect an Overdrive. So is Bamboo Man this fast without Anthem or what? Or is there a new version of Anthem that gives people superpowers without needing to go into Overdrive?
— And to nobody’s surprise, Zabel quickly reveals that he’s not as helpless as he seems.
— Unfortunately, here comes the one part in the whole episode that I really don’t like: Bamboo Man could’ve just finished Doug and Kirill off right here and now, but as soon as the clock strikes six, he spares them and leaves. Dude, it would’ve taken him less than a minute to kill them. He already had them lying on the ground helpless. Ah, whatever.
— I’m not saying that I want the heroes to die. Of course not. I’m just saying that the writers should’ve come up with a better excuse for Bamboo Man to spare Doug and Kirill. Y’know, maybe the rest of Seven-O scared him off or something. On the other hand, simply running out of time is such a cop-out. Unless, of course, he’s under the effect of a drug that only gives him super strength and speed for a brief moment. But we don’t know that, and we have no way of knowing that.
— In the aftermath, Seven-O and the cops are thoroughly humiliated. Zabel is also on the loose. Sure, the information that they got from Zabel allowed them to arrest a few people, but what if bad guys were willing to make that sacrifice?
— All Doug and Kirill can do is lick their wounds at Derick’s bar. The former admits that his first partner had died in an Esperanza-related case, which is why he almost lost his head there with Zabel. So of course, Kirill assures Doug that they will definitely crack this case. They just gotta work even harder and take even more notes!
— Well, they have their work cut out for them, because in the after credits scene, Zabel reveals that he is the true boss of Esperanza. Yep, his pathetic persona in earlier in the episode was nothing more than an act.
— I pretty much enjoyed this episode. I just have a few quibbles with it. I already mentioned Bamboo Man conveniently allowing our heroes to survive, so I won’t belabor the point. In addition to that, I really wish he wasn’t so unbelievably powerful. Last but not least, it would’ve been nice if the other members of Seven-O had had a bigger role to play. Outside of a couple of scenes, they were largely absent from the story.