ID INVADED Ep. 4: A hollow victory

Ah, my favorite not-so-favorite serial killer thriller is back.

— This week’s cold opening tries to explain why the organization leans so heavily on Narihisago. “Tries” is the keyword. Thanks to his latest stunt, he’s been placed in solitary confinement. But without him, there’s literally no one available to investigate these ID-Wells… unless we rely on another serial killer! That’s right, we still got the dude with the idiotic-looking hole in his head!

— Unfortunately, Hole Head, a.k.a. the Perferator, sucks at it. He can’t survive in previous killer’s ID-Well. Every time they stick him in, he dies immediately. Essentially, this investigative team’s success hinges entirely on an unstable individual.

— So back in the real world, the investigators are basically like, “Ugh, we wouldn’t be in this mess if Narihisago could stop killing serial killers!” Bro, he wouldn’t be able to kill serial killers if you idiots didn’t give him the opportunity! They’re sitting there acting as if this is just out of their powers. “Welp, can’t stop Narihisago from talking to the jail cell across from him! Dum dee dum!”

— As a side note, I feel like the show has planted the seed that perhaps Hondomachi can enter these ID-Wells. Matsuoka won’t like it, but meh… get with the times, old man. Maybe once the girl recovers from having a hole drilled in her head, she can do more than be a field agent. Or maybe we’ll just stick with Narihisago and quit giving him free reign to other serial killers.

— So who’s the serial killer of the week? And what’s their silly code name? It’s the Gravedigger, and he does exactly what his name suggests: he likes to bury people alive. What makes him particularly cruel, however, is that he likes to stream his victims’ slow and agonizing death to the entire world. The high viewer count doesn’t surprise me. Later in the episode, it’ll climb to over 100,000, but hell, maybe it should be higher. We like to rubberneck whenever there’s a car crash. I’ve no doubt people would tune into a stream of a girl slowly dying.

— Y’know, if your oxygen supply is limited, I probably wouldn’t waste it on these dramatic proclamations. Ah, I’m being a jerk. The poor girl must be panicking. I mean, I would.

— I guess if I had to pick a biggest fear, being buried alive would be near the top. There was that Ryan Reynolds movie a while back that was literally just him in a coffin. Impressive movie. Also very uncomfortable. That aside, I hope they save the poor girl. All deaths are bad, but at least an explosion kills you instantly. Slowly succumbing to delirium thanks to a lack of oxygen going to your brain sounds fucking miserable. Goodbye reason, goodbye dignity.

— I’m sure they’re going to say stuff like how the Graverobber is hiding his streaming location behind multiple proxies or whatever. I don’t know enough about that stuff to question it.

There it is!

— In any case, it’s time for Narihisago/Sakaido to jump back into action. Our dear friend Kaeru makes an appearance like always. Despite the Graverobber’s penchant for burying his victims alive, his victims are charred crispy black in his ID-Well. That’s curious.

— There’s still one person who’s still alive: a younger version of the real victim. Sakaido immediately decides to try and reach her. At best, however, this would only give him new information about the serial killer. Saving her here won’t save her in real life. She’s not real.

— Honestly, it feels like the investigators barely have much to do. Sometimes, they will ID faces. In the first episode, we also saw them determine Hondomachi’s location from a reflection. But for the most part, they look as though they’re kinda useless.

— I guess this week’s ID-Well is rather challenging, so even Sakaido is having a relatively difficult time of it. At first, Momoki thinks his former friend — current friend? — can push on, but everyone has their limits. They eventually give the guy a break. You gotta feel terrible, though. Who knows if a break or two spells the difference between being able to save a victim in the nick of time or watching them die.

— As they wait for Narihisago to get back to fighting shape, the investigators wonder why this is the first time they’ve managed to detect the Graverobber’s intent to kill. In hindsight, this scene ended foreshadowing quite a bit. At the moment, however, I continue to laugh at the idea of cognition particles. This concept still slays me. Just imagining that there’s a quantum of cognition…

— …alright, alright, back to work. Old man Narihisago drops by, however, to express his doubts. Maybe the old Narihisago might’ve wanted to save the poor girl, but this is serial killer Narihisago! Well, let’s think about that. At the moment, who does our hero kill? He kills serial killers. He doesn’t have a history of violence towards anyone else. And considering how he used to be a cop, you have to imagine that there’s still some good in him.

— Each time Sakaido avoids death, the investigation team cheers a bit. Even the icy Togo can’t help but crack a smile at one point. She’s getting tired, so she can’t maintain her frigid composure as firmly as when they started. Plus, no matter what misgivings they might have about Narihisago, he’s still technically a member of the team. Hell, he’s the goddamn MVP. He’s the Lebron James of this investigative unit. Without him, they’re literally stuck in place. Nevertheless, my point is that we can’t help but foster a sense of camaraderie when we’re in these situations, right? Hell, I would go so far as to speculate that some of them might not even hate what Narihisago is doing. Like yeah, I’m not going to out there and enact vigilante justice. But at the same time, I’m not going to lose any sleep over bad guys getting their comeuppance either, y’know?

— As we near the end of the episode, the twists come hard and fast. I won’t recap them in detail here. Rather, I’ll just mention a couple things. First, I’m obviously bummed that they couldn’t save the girl. They never even had the chance. Second, Sakaido’s eagerness to save the chibi victim in the ID-Well should give his colleagues some hope. Yes, it was ultimately a hollow victory. Like I said, saving her here won’t save her in real life. But we can at least acknowledge that Narihisago/Sakaido still has some semblance of a human heart.

— Momoki meets with Narihisago afterwards, and the latter confesses that he never wanted to kill his victims. Nevertheless, he felt an urge to take their lives. I suppose there’s a fine line between a desire and an urge. We are more in control of the former. When we act out our desires, our actions are more… shall we say premeditated.

— Narihisago even claims that his old buddy is his only lifeline to reason. Hm.

— Back in the field, everyone slumps away with their heads down. Well, we can’t blame them. They couldn’t save the girl, but to add insult to injury, they only caught the copycat. The real Graverobber is still out there, and I suppose the series will revisit them at some point (if not immediately).

— But what’s odd is Hondomachi bumping into a person I had completely forgotten about. Apparently, he’s one of the Perferator’s victims. With no one around them, he suddenly leans in and kisses Hondomachi. They both found themselves at the opposite end of the Perferator’s drill, so I wonder if he sees some sort of kinship with the girl. Perhaps in his broken mind they share a deep trauma, so they may as well be soul mates.

Please refrain from posting spoilers or using derogatory language. Basically, don't be an asshole.

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