Since Near proposes that they cooperate in the investigation of the kidnappings, Light tells him that Sayu was kidnapped and is being held ransom for the notebook. Promising to gather as many agents as possible, Near gives Light command of the operation, but he privately feels that he can take advantage of this. Souichirou then tells his son that he’s willing to give up his life, but Light won’t stand for it and makes his father promise to choose not to die. Returning to Misa, Light decides to bring her to Los Angeles because he might need her eyes. As Misa happily packs her clothes, Light cleans up in the bathroom and tells himself that if it comes to it, then he will have to kill Sayu. The next day, Souichirou is at the airport ready to depart, but he gets approached by a man who instructs him to board a different flight to L.A. Once this plane is in the air, its pilot intentionally takes it off course so that he can drop Souichirou off at a special location. With no choice, Light contacts Near and gets his help setting up satellite surveillance.
Through a tiny ear-piece that his subordinate provides to Souichirou, Mello makes it clear that all he wants is the notebook. The airplane soon lands in a desert area, and only Souichirou gets off before it takes off again. Mello then opens up a secret door to an underground area where the satellite surveillance can’t see. It is down this tunnel that Souichirou finds Sayu being held in an elaborate exchange chamber with a masked man on the other side. This masked man starts by shooting at Sayu to demonstrate that they are separated by bulletproof glass, and he then explains how they’re going to go through with the exchange without either side betraying the other. Light meanwhile is getting frustrated at not being able to do anything and yells at Misa. He contemplates killing Sayu on his own, but stops himself before he can write her name down. Back underground, the masked man wants to test the Death Note first, so Souichirou has no choice but to let him write a name in it. The victim turns out to be one of Mello’s subordinates, and as soon as he confirms that the person is dead, the masked man completes the exchange of the notebook for Sayu.
Light and Near are both able to see through the satellite surveillance that Souichirou and Sayu are safe, and they are also able to see the masked man making a getaway aboard a helicopter after emerging from the other end of the underground tunnel. They can track the masked man’s helicopter, but Near suddenly tells Light that he’s been beat. It seems that a missile has appeared between in the area between the two ends of the tunnel – one that isn’t radar-trackable. Their remaining lead in the masked man’s helicopter also vanishes when it explodes on Mello’s command, killing the masked man. This signifies to Light that the Death Note is indeed on that missile. A little while later, while Sayu and Souichirou are being taken to safety by another helicopter, Light stares lifelessly at the ceiling. Misa tries to bring him something to drink, but he just slaps it away and spills it on the carpet. At his own base, just as Near is wondering what the person who now has the Death Note will do with it, the men around him start dying one by one.
Once the carnage is over, Near contacts Light and tells him about what happened. Near feels that Light and the Japanese investigation team let the notebook get taken from right under their noses. Hearing this, Light questions if Near would have been able to keep the notebook if he had been in command. Near admits that no one would have been able to against those preparations and then goes on to reveal that he person he thinks is involved with this has the alias Mello. Not having a photo of Mello and not knowing his real name, Near can only say that Mello was at an orphanage called The Wammy’s House in Winchester, England until four years ago. Near feels that Mello is playing a game against him to see which of them can catch the Last Boss – Kira. While all this has been going on, back in the Shinigami world, a Shinigami named Shidoh approaches another named Armonia Jastin. Shidoh explains how he lost his Death Note and found out it was taken by Ryuk, so Jastin tells the Shinigami that he has to go get it back. This means that Shidoh has to go into the human world.
Well, Light’s really lost his edge in all these years without L challenging him. He was completely outwitted by Mello, and it’s sad to see Misa taking the brunt of his frustrations. With the way he treats her, you’d think she’d get a clue sometime soon, but I doubt it’s going to happen. Anyway, I thought they did a great job building the tension this episode, and there were several points where it really looked like they were going to kill off Sayu, particularly when the masked man started shooting at her. Light fought with the thought of writing her name down and he ended up not doing it, but I think eventually he’ll have to kill someone close to him. I also enjoyed that scene where the SPK members started dying one by one because of how it was paralleled with imagery of Near’s crumbling buildings of dice.
Although I know how Death Note ends (I was spoiled a long time ago), I actually haven’t read much of this second arc, so most of this is new to me. Thus, I’m looking forward to how this progresses and how the introduction of a new Shinigami into the human world will spice things up even further.