In search of Alice, Oreld is in a bar looking for leads related to the carriage she was kidnapped with. They don’t have much success at it and try to turn away Dalton when he comes the next day because they’re still looking for her. Dalton asks them instead if they’ve heard about Colt’s death and mentions that he saw Colt on that day, though he had an unpleasant feeling. Since Dalton knows about the Door Knocker, Hunks decides to let him in. The reporter feels that the public has a right to know about what the country is doing, including something like an infantryman destroying a tank. Hunks warns, however, that the unpleasant feeling might then fall on Dalton himself, and he remembers his conversation with Muse Kauplan where she didn’t think anyone would believe an infantryman could take out a tank. As the two men are talking, Alice suddenly walks in unharmed. After Dalton realizes he’s not welcome to hear her story and excuses himself, Alice explains that her kidnappers intend to expose the military with the Invisible Nine manuscript.
Having gleaned some information from Oreld, who at the time didn’t know that Alice was back, Dalton makes contact with Alice’s kidnappers. He’s willing to pay them a lot for the manuscript about the Invisible Nine, but the woman Cecile is reluctant to do it because she feels the newspaper is connected to the army. Unfortunately, one of her accomplices knocks her out and sells the manuscript. Dalton brings it to his editor, but the man feels that they should be cautious with it. When Dalton claims that there is living proof of the Invisible Nine, the editor decides to include that once Dalton gets the information. After Dalton leaves, the editor has his assistant contact someone at maximum priority. That night, Cecile goes to inquire at a bar about her two former accomplices and happens to run into Alice and Oland. They notice that she’s bleeding profusely from the back of the head, but Cecile is too preoccupied with her notion that the military used Dalton and money to get the manuscript.
With their new riches, Cecile’s two accomplices attempt to leave town on a foggy night, but both get shot in the head by a shadowy man with a pistol. Without even cleaning up the bodies, this assassin goes on his way. Outside the bar, Oland gives Mercury-go a message for Hunks, and inside, Alice is bandaging up Cecile’s head. Cecile reveals that the two who betrayed her were her brother’s best friends, yet their hearts were swayed so easily by money. Alice points out that Cecile was the one who talked about meeting the poor people’s basic needs, which are what those two acted on. She then gives another speech about understanding the pain of the people, causing Cecile to feel that she can count on them. By chance, Dalton shows up at the bar, and they demand the manuscript back. Alice tries to make him understand that now is not the time to reveal the manuscript because it will cause more harm than good. She claims that they’re not prepared yet, but Dalton feels that they are because of Oland can prove the Invisible Nine exists. However, before he can finish his sentence, Dalton gets shot in the back.
Oland tries to run away with Cecile, but when they get cut off by the assassin with his gun, Oland charges the assassin and grabs the pistol, getting hit in the process. The assassin then pulls out a pair of blades, so Alice responds with her sword. He manages to get the better of her and almost succeeds at striking her, but Oland stops the blade with his hands. Oland then gets stabbed in his arm and his gut as he tries to protect Alice, though he still manages to tell Alice to take Cecile away. Turning on his blue lantern and pulling out the Door Knocker gun, Oland’s chance comes when Alice throws her sword into the assassin’s leg. He pins the assassin against the wall and is about to shoot, but Alice stops him. She tries to find out who the assassin is, but the man commits suicide through a poison pill instead of answering her. Oland is badly injured, but what’s more important right now is getting the manuscript back from the newspaper. When they arrive at the newspaper office, however, the editor tells them that it disappeared. Even with Cecile accusing him of working with the murderers, the editor casts a shadow of doubt on the credibility of the manuscript. As Cecile starts crying, Alice explains that the best evidence is that the killings show there are people who want to protect the secret.
At an undisclosed location, Leonir is toasting with another man over the safety of a princess. Leonir seems to think that the country is near a rebirth, but the other man stays silent. Back at the office, Cecile learns that her two accomplices’ bodies were found, meaning that she lost everything. Alice recalls how she fearless felt when she came up with the Pumpkin Scissors name and vows not to forget the feelings she had today. Believing that war relief is impossible, Cecile leaves with a simple goodbye. A frustrated Alice admits that she wasn’t able to protect anything, and Hunks wonders how many times they’ll have these feelings.
Well, the overall episode was very good, though I do have to say that the ending was rather unsatisfying. Still, that’s pretty intentional since this is essentially getting the overarching plot started and having the bad guys “win” at the beginning. In that sense, I’m able to breathe a sigh of relief that they finally showed some direction in the series. The assassin was pretty cool, and I hope we see more of that type of fighting in the future (as opposed to more Oland vs. tank).
I wish they would continue on with this story, especially now that Leonir has shown up again with a mystery man, but next week seems to be about Machs and a princess. Who knows, maybe it’ll won’t be a complete one-shot episode and will have something to do with what they’ve now developed. It’s not too late to introduce a new permanent cast member…
Episode 13 of this show will air next week at its normal time, but the show will be taking a week off after that. Pumpkin Scissors will then return January 8th with episode 14.