Huang comes home one day to a girl named Shihoko, and right as he notices something strange about the way she’s looking, she activates her Contractor powers on him. He clutches his chest as a result and blood soon pours out of his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, but it is at this point that Huang wakes up from the nightmare. Many years ago, he had been a detective named Kuno who had a partner named Isozaki, and the two had investigated an office in relation to a group committing terrorism in South America. Huang had found a photo of an old woman in the back of a desk drawer, and since the two weren’t sure if it had anything to do with what they were looking for, they brought it back for their higher-ups. Afterwards, Huang had wanted to go drinking, but since Isozaki had promised he’d come home to his wife, he invited Huang over instead. Having gotten to show off his beautiful wife, Isozaki had started talking about Huang’s own prospects, but Huang didn’t think that there would be a woman for him because of his face. Isozaki’s wife had felt that he was charming enough, and the topic had then turned to getting drunk and how it would be bad to leak police secrets while drunk. Back in the present, Huang is being served beer by Isozaki’s wife, except now at a bar. When the bottle runs out, Huang turns down another one because he claims that he’s drunk, but Isozaki’s wife doesn’t believe it and wants to see him really drunk for once. When Huang explains that it’s possible not to get drunk, she wonders if her husband had been one of those kinds of people, and Huang suggests that he was.
The next day, Hei arrives home after grocery shopping to find two ladies wearing matching necklaces waiting at his apartment door. After figuring out that he’s not Korean but rather Chinese and after trying to greet him in Chinese, these two women pull out a pamphlet with their religious leader on the cover. The two also refer to the Gate and reveal that they belong to the Gate Fundamentalist Friendly Society. Hei later learns from Mao that this group is one of the new religions that seem to be popular recently, and Hei’s new orders instruct him to infiltrate the group and eliminate their leader Alma. His chance will be next week when they are having a gathering with ordinary people being let in, and Mao reveals that they have an agent already on the inside whose photograph he shows Hei. Huang also has this same picture of the girl he recognizes as Shihoko, and he comments to himself on how they’re indeed in the same Organization after all. Years ago, Huang had caught Shihoko after thinking that she was pickpocketing him, but she had kicked him in the foot and tried to run away. Unfortunately, she had run right into the path of a car and had ended up in the hospital with a broken foot. Huang had visited her and brought her stuff from the store since he felt responsible, and because this was keeping her from participating in an audition for a play, she wanted him to pay a penalty to her when she left the hospital.
When that time came, she and Huang went drinking, but only she got drunk and was frustrated at why he didn’t. In trying to pull her down some stairs because she was headed the wrong way, Huang had suddenly gotten kissed by her. He thought it was because she was drunk, but she claimed that she did it because she liked him. Huang had questioned what she liked since they didn’t know each other well, but Shihoko felt that there are some things better left unknown. Back in the present, Huang burns Shihoko’s picture and comments to himself on how there is a limit to things you shouldn’t know. The following week, Hei is bussed to the Gate religion’s compound with a group of people and reports back to Huang that Alma only shows herself in front of her followers once a year, making it hard to determine her location. Hei also mentions that it will be difficult to maintain regular contact, so he specifically asks Huang to leave this to him like usual. In wondering why Huang wants to keep in contact, Hei asks if there is something he’s worried about, but Huang denies it. The next morning, Hei participates in a reading session being led by their insider Shihoko, and he finds a note from her asking to meet in the purification room late that night.
When Hei gets there, he finds her waiting for him in a bare room that she compares to a confessional. Telling him that there is a secret space under the inner sanctuary that only Alma and her followers know of, Shihoko passes Hei a memory card that contains the path information to lead him there. She also reveals that at 2AM on the day after tomorrow, Alma will be meeting an important person there, and that’s when Shihoko intends to kill her. Because she can’t use her Contractor power multiple times, she needs Hei to take care of the followers, and they can’t afford to fail since it has taken her three years to get to this point. It took that long to gain this religious organization’s trust and to identify the person in question. In explaining what Alma’s Contractor power is, Shihoko then recounts how a legislator named Hirose was killed six years ago by his female secretary. Hirose had been connected to their Organization, and their investigation afterwards revealed that the person who killed him wasn’t actually the secretary, but rather an imposter who looked identical to her. This is how they found out that Alma’s ability is to transform herself.
While Hei is off at the compound, Huang is visiting Isozaki’s wife again on the anniversary of her husband’s death. Once it’s just the two of them, she confides in him that she couldn’t engage with conversation very well with the relatives who came to visit during the day. She remembers Huang having talked about people losing their memories because of the shock of a loved one being killed, and it causes her to wonder if she had little affection for Isozaki. She also admits that her memories of Huang – who she knows by his name Kuno – are vague, and she continues to lament the loss of memory of her husband who she had lived with for two years. Huang tells her that it can’t be helped, though he privately thinks to himself that she might be happier having forgotten. He remembers how he had been visiting Isozaki’s home again one night back then and was walking out when Shihoko suddenly appeared down the street and activated her Contractor power. She had targeted Isozaki, and his wife ran out in time to see him bleed from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and die in her arms. It was soon after that Huang submitted a resignation notice to Hourai of the police department and learned that they were closing the investigation. Hourai had shown Huang the autopsy report which stated that Isozaki died when his internal organs were crushed from within, and he called it a special case related to Contractors that they’re not prepared to handle. He had also felt that there was no reason for Huang to quit.
Afterwards, Huang had been thinking about Shihoko when an unfamiliar man approached him and asked him if he knew that people who have seen Contractors have to get their memories erased. This man had claimed that Huang would be subject to that soon and revealed that part of Isozaki’s wife’s memories have already been erased. However, he also offered Huang the chance to join the Organization and keep his memories. Back in the present, Amagiri arrives at the religious compound and is shown a special room filled with Dolls, but he feels that they’re still short. He then goes to meet with Alma who is being accompanied by Shihoko. Watching from a secret spot above the room, Hei recognizes Amagiri from the previous time at the shrine, and he listens as Amagiri asks Alma about the preparations for the acceptance. Alma doesn’t want to use the Dolls as tools and questions if these are Amber’s wishes, but Amagiri says that it’s for the sake of EPR. Alma then notices that Shihoko is staring at Amagiri’s wet coat and realizes that there is a surveillance spectre watching them through the water. This causes Alma to realize that Shihoko is a Contractor because she was able to see the surveillance spectre, and in response, Shihoko attempts to activate her power. Before she can kill Alma with it though, Amagiri grabs her face with her hand and stops her.
With things not going well, Hei cuts the lighting to the room and knocks out several of the people in the room with his electricity ability. By the time one of the others pulls out a flashlight, Hei has got Alma in his grasp and is about to kill her, but she seems willing to die. However, Amagiri then activates his own Contractor power and fires off a wave of energy that ends up throwing Hei against a wall. After Hei escapes without having killed Alma, he contacts Huang and questions if it was Huang who got Yin to send out her surveillance spectre. Huang confirms that he had because he was worried about the situation, but when Hei asks him why he did it and says that it’s not like him, Huang ignores the question and instead asks Hei back about what happened to their insider. Answering that she was captured, Hei blames Huang’s unnecessary meddling for it.
That was a rather creepy and bloody way to start the episode, but I was overall very pleased with how this story is developing, particularly the last scene when Huang finds out he’s responsible for getting Shihoko captured. In fact, with Huang usually being so gruff and serious, it was fun to see him with a wider range of emotions like that expression on his face when Shihoko kissed him. As for Shihoko, the main question I have is why she had to kill Isozaki. Was she was ordered by the Organization to do it so that they could recruit Huang or did the Organization want Isozaki dead for some reason? Huang of course has shown that he still cares for her, but it seems unlikely to me that she’ll have a happy ending.
And then there’s Alma, who I suspect is related to the old lady in the photograph somehow or even is the old lady and uses her powers to look young again. At the very least, she didn’t seem to care about dying to Hei and instead sounded tired to me. More importantly though, she’s connected to Amagiri and EPR (evening primrose) and appears to be collecting Dolls for them. We learned in the last arc that there was a black market for them, but it’s not entirely clear whether the religious organization is buying or creating them somehow. Hopefully some of these questions will get answered next week.