Sousuke arrives late for his exams, but is allowed to take them anyway. At MITHRIL’s base in Australia, Tessa watches as Blueno is being interrogated. Though he reveals that he works for an organization named Amalgam, he doesn’t know much else. Tessa and Kalinin leave for a meeting with Admiral Borda, with whom they discuss Blueno, Amalgam, Chidori, Sousuke, and Wraith (Chidori’s other bodyguard). Back in Japan, Kyouko notices that Sousuke’s hair is getting long. She and Chidori take Sousuke to a salon, but Sousuke can’t control himself when feeling threatened with a sharp object in the hands of a stanger (in this case, scissors). Chidori is furious at Sousuke afterwords, but he reminds her that his duty is to protect her. Feeling defeated by those words, Chidori invites Sousuke to her apartment and offers to give him a haircut. While she works on his hair, the two talk about Sousuke’s backup for protecting Chidori, someone who Sousuke doesn’t know. After an awkward pause in the conversation, Chidori leans down and proclaims that she trusts Sousuke. As she finishes cutting his hair, Chidori notices that Sousuke has fallen asleep. The closeness of their faces makes her tempted to kiss him, but she turns back and instead dunks his head in the sink.
In a hanger somewhere in the mountains, Xia Yu Lan and Xia Yu Fang steal an AS, and run away with it much to the dismay of Gates. Having finished the haircut, Chidori and Sousuke eat dinner. He then gives her a stack of portable protection hardware, ranging from pepper spray to a taser gun. Returning to his own apartment, Sousuke checks his laptop and finds that he has new orders. They call for him to pack up and return to base, forbidding him from contacting Chidori again. According to the message, Wraith will now be Chidori’s sole protector. An enraged Sousuke punches his laptop, unable to believe what he has read.
The haircut scene, and Chidori and Sousuke’s growing chemistry make this episode quite good in my opinion. Chidori’s gentle touch, coupled with the sounds of the scissors snipping, made it a very quiet, very peaceful scene. You can almost understand why Sousuke falls asleep by the end of it. The only real complaint that I have is that the camera kept shaking during the beginning parts. Not quite sure if that was used for effect, but it ended up feeling odd.
As the story begins to heat up, Wraith, who has yet to really show his face, has become the topic of conversation several times. Us, as the audience, have only gotten a few glances of him (or her), so at this point, Wraith seems like almost a hostile figure. Fortunately, he/she will be given a voice (kind of) next episode and will become a key figure in the episodes to come (I hope).
We end on somewhat of a cliffhanger with Sousuke being recalled. I wish they had concluded the scene before ending the episode (if they are indeed following the order of events from the novels). Next week should have that conclusion, and include Chidori discovering that Sousuke is gone. Those alone may not be enough to fill an episode, but we’ll see what else they put in.
Ending Thought: Survey says that Gates is still whacko. I think I could have done without the furry animals and a naked Gates (tissues and all).