In Las Noches, an Arrancar named Patras arrives in the room where the Hougyoku is being held, but he gets caught by Ulquiorra who reminds him that this is a place he can’t enter without Aizen’s permission. Patras, however, doesn’t understand all this reverence to Aizen and questions why they have to do what a Shinigami tells them to and why their freedom has been taken away. Feeling that this place changed after Aizen showed up, Patras doesn’t intend to obey a Shinigami and wants to use the Hougyoku himself to control this world. When Ulquiorra doesn’t think that someone who’s not even an Espada can do anything, Patras reveals that he has two allies who promptly attack. Ulquiorra is caught off guard and ends up getting slashed and stabbed until he falls. Patras then takes the Hougyoku with the intent of becoming king and heads off to the real world with his allies to find the person who knows how to use it. Hitsugaya, Rangiku, Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Renji all responds to the Arrancar arrival, though since Renji is furthest away, he doesn’t join the others in facing off against Patras’ friends, both of whom release and transform.
While one Arrancar fights Hitsugaya and Rangiku and the other gets to battle Ikkaku, Patras is in the meantime passing through the city when he encounters Kon. Shortly thereafter, Renji finds a scratched up Kon who reveals that Patras is headed for Urahara’s store. Already there, Patras tells Jinta and Ururu that he wants to meet the person who knows how to use the Hougyoku, but Renji arrives in time to tell him that Urahara isn’t here. In fact, Urahara, Tessai, and Sado had earlier headed off to make some purchases to restock the store, leaving Renji and the others to tend to the shop. Since Patras wants to wait for Urahara’s return, Renji draws his zanpaktou and starts the battle. Ririn and the other mod-souls meanwhile return to their human-sized bodies so that they can help out, and they save Renji from getting hit again by Patras’ super-fast sword draw technique after he had already gotten knocked into the ground by it once. They then use their powers to catch Patras off guard and manage to land several hits, but the Arrancar soon turns the tables by knocking all three out. With Renji still rearing to fight, Patras proceeds to use the second level of his twenty level sword technique which hits with so much force that it knocks up a cloud of dust that covers the entire store. Unbeknownst to them, a recovered Ulquiorra has also arrived in Karakura.
Is it really okay for them to make Ulquiorra so weak that he can be beat up by three random Arrancar who aren’t even strong enough to completely dominate Renji and the other Shinigami? Or is catching him off guard really that huge of an advantage? I’m inclined to believe that Ulquiorra was made significantly weaker to show that these Arrancar are important and relatively strong, but since they’re not on his side anymore, this technically gives Ulquiorra a chance in the next episode or episodes to strike back with his full power. Perhaps he’ll be the one who ultimately finishes off Patras and will prove that he’s as strong as he should be.
Overall, I think this is an improvement over the past few episodes since it actually involves Ulquiorra and Aizen and has the potential to get more interesting. That being said, there’s no Bleach again next week, so episode 137 won’t air until August 22nd.