As he wakes up on the sofa in an unfamiliar room, Mao recalls that it’s said Contractors will think rationally to reach the best answer in all situations. However, it’s not because they are fearless – which Mao demonstrates with how he reacts to the sight of November 11 sitting naked at a nearby desk – but rather because they don’t become emotional. Mao tries to act like a cat and walk out as Amber, Wei, and Brita come into the room, but when Amber stops him, Mao decides that the best plan is for him to stay here with the enemy. Meanwhile, Misaki has been freed by Pandora and has returned to police headquarters where the others are unhappy with Pandora having been called in by the government’s Cabinet Office. She soon gets called into Hourai’s office and finds April and July there along with Decade, their MI6 superior. Decade wants to know where November 11 is, but Misaki was under the impression that his disappearing was part of his mission. After April reveals that November 11 hasn’t been in contact for a week, Decade says that they want to know if he’s still the best MI6 agent or if he’s become a pawn of the terrorists.
By now, November 11 has donned a dark suit and is chatting with Amber like old friends about how she looks younger each time he sees her and how her favorite food is apples. The main thing November 11 wants to know, however, is what the Organization is. Amber asks him to wait for a moment because she’s calling someone here who’ll explain, and Brita soon lets Schroeder into the room. Not recognizing November 11, Schroeder thinks that he’s one of Amber’s comrades, but Amber claims that that’ll depend on what Schroeder says. Schroeder claims to be just a scholar employed by Pandora and that he doesn’t know anything about the Organization, so Amber has him tell them what he was talking about earlier. Before that though, Schroeder asks how many people in the room aren’t Contractors, so she tells him that everyone there is a Contractor. Schroeder thinks that his only friend here is the cat, but Amber then reveals to him that Mao is a Contractor too. After hearing this, Schroeder asks her to confirm her promise not to kill him, and when she does, he proceeds to explain that his research was extremely simple. If it succeeds, then all Contractors would disappear from this planet.
From a nearby building, Hei, Yin, and Huang are scouting the high-rise where they think Mao is located. When Huang wonders what Amber’s goal is, Hei asks Yin what Amber talked to her about during the previous incident, and Yin reveals that they talked about Hei – his past and future. Huang tries to convince Hei that they should give up on Mao and that Hei isn’t guaranteed to come back alive this time, but Hei knows that Amber’s goal is him, and he doesn’t want to involve anyone else in this anymore. Across town, Misaki is accompanying April and July, and she admits that the reason she’s helping them look for November 11 is because she wants to know why he told her to trust her instincts. Over at Pandora, Sergei is telling Eric Nishijima that Schroeder had already gotten the solution to the structural formula for their plan. Eric recognizes that this means they don’t need Schroeder anymore since they’ve got something now that will take the place of the Meteor Fragment. Back at the EPR meeting, Mao is in disbelief as Schroeder reveals that they failed with their plan in South America. According to him, the Heaven’s Gate didn’t disappear. It seems that before they could execute their plan back then, there was a strange luminous phenomenon, and immediately afterwards, all physical approaches to the 1500 kilometer area around it were denied – it became an impenetrable territory.
Through a technical explanation, Schroeder guesses that the Heaven’s Gate still exists and that they can’t do anything about it. He isn’t sure why things happened like they did and thinks that his calculations couldn’t have been wrong, so there had to have been something he didn’t know. He looks right at Amber as he says that last part, and after she smiles back, November 11 asks if Amber intends to cause that “something” in Tokyo. When Amber responds by saying that otherwise they’ll all disappear for real next time, November 11 notes that she speaks as if she’s seen the future. Amber claims that she has, and since November 11 doesn’t believe her, she offers to prove it to him by telling him that he’ll die after he leaves here. Later that night, Schroeder asks Mao how he thinks November 11 will die, and Mao answers that they’re all sentenced to die. As for someone coming to save them, Mao feels that Contractors are rational living beings, so there’s no one stupid enough to come since they could die. Unbeknownst to Mao, Hei has already infiltrated the building and is making his way up an elevator shaft. Having detected him through Doll surveillance, Amber feels that there’s no need for anyone to die here, and because she knows that the Organization doesn’t have any more use for Schroeder, she sends Wei downstairs.
As the lights go out through the building, Mao sees a surveillance spectre appear in his water dish and realizes that it’s Yin’s. November 11 sees another one in the window, indicating that July has found him too. Hei is actually running towards them in the hallway outside, but he’s soon confronted by Wei who manages to get some of his blood on Hei’s mask. Hei saves himself from falling, but he gets a little hurt when Wei blows off that piece of that mask. He then sees Amber leaving with Brita, but Wei won’t let him go after her so easily. Brita then uses her power to appear on this lower level so that she can remind Wei that his job is to hold Hei here. When Hei lunges for her, Brita uses her power to teleport behind him, but Hei whirlwinds around, kicks her arm, and tries to hit her with his power. Brita teleports away in time not to get hit, and Hei uses the chance to swing up onto the higher floor, right in front of Amber. Grabbing her by her head, he demands to know what her purpose is and what more she’s planning to take from him, but Amber simply tells him to ask Mao for the details. Suddenly, everything in the building starts glowing blue, and the meteor fragment in Amber’s purse starts reacting.
In the midst of this, Hei hears his sister call out to him, and it causes him to let go of Amber and fall to his knees. With everything no longer glowing and with the power to the lights coming back on, November 11 remarks that he and Mao aren’t able to take leading roles in this story, and he says that he leaves things up to Mao now. Mao watches as November 11 starts to walk away, but his attention is then turned to Hei who is still on his knees. Amber is long gone, and it’s Misaki who then arrives on the scene with April and July. Armed with a gun, Misaki tries to get Hei to surrender, and when he turns toward her, she sees something that makes her want to take a closer look. Unfortunately for Misaki, Huang fires a flashbang in front of her, and Hei is gone by the time the bright light fades. She then realizes that Schroeder is lying against the wall and rushes to his aid since he appears to be in a state of complete shock. The rest of the police soon arrive, and they bring along equipment that indicates that Schroeder’s memory wasn’t erased and that his vitals are normal. It’s not until Hourai and Eric Nishijima arrive that Schroeder speaks out.
Schroeder claims that he now understands why things happened like they did in South America – it was because of the masked Contractor’s power. He wants to restart the experiment immediately, but Eric informs him that the experiment has already been restarted, and he stabs the professor in the neck with an injection that knocks him out. When Misaki comes over concerned about what just happened, Eric instructs her to transport Schroeder to Pandora, and when Misaki objects because they have things they still want to ask him, Eric claims that Pandora does too and leaves. A short time later, Decade is on the phone in his office discussing with someone about how Schroeder told Amber’s group everything and how it’s dangerous for them to postpone their plan until the next Great Dark Spot cycle. After hanging up the phone, he realizes that his glass of whisky has frozen over, and November 11 is now standing in front of him. Saying that he had been carrying out his mission all this time, November 11 puts a book on Decade’s desk that is apparently includes all the stuff he found out about the Organization. He accuses Decade of being afraid of him finding out the secret, but Decade reveals that he was actually afraid of losing his best subordinate. November 11 was the one person Decade didn’t want to know about this. He now surrounds November 11 with armed guards, but November 11 clutches the whiskey bottle.
In the aftermath of that, November 11 leaves a message on someone’s machine warning them of a dangerous situation that he created. He gets cut off by it right as he’s saying that this isn’t a joke, and soon after, he coughs up a handful of blood. He had managed to kill everyone in Decade’s room – including Decade – but he was also heavily injured in the firefight and now collapses on the sidewalk. Taking the cigarette out of his mouth, he comments on how there’s no need for him to dutifully pay his price to the end. Soon after he tosses the cigarette away, the flow of his own blood on the sidewalk extinguishes it. Misaki, April, and July arrive on the scene the next day after his body has been taken away, and Misaki is frustrated at why he had to do this. Seeing Misaki cry, April suggests that she shouldn’t intervene in things any more and thinks that November 11 felt the same way – that’s why he died without saying anything to her. Noting that November 11 was a Contractor with rational judgment, April thanks Misaki for her feelings and walks off with July who gives one last wave goodbye. Elsewhere in the city, Amagiri reports to Amber that they’ve finally collected all the Dolls they need for their plan. Taking a single bite of an apple before putting it down, Amber appears to bid the city farewell.
Hei and Mao meanwhile learn of November 11’s death from Huang, and he thinks it’s only a matter of time before the Organization finds out that Mao was there with Amber and the others. That’s why he wants to know what really happened, and Mao surprises him by revealing that November 11 knew he was going to die. He then passes along what he learned from Amber: the Organization intends to wipe out all Contractors from this world. Amber and EPR oppose this, and it was for this reason that the South American Gate was erased five years ago. Hei, however, angrily refuses to believe that Amber is justified in what she’s doing, and he tries to say something bad about her, but Yin cuts him off and claims that Amber’s not that kind of person. Frustrated, Hei walks off alone.
It was sad to see November 11 die – I thought the blood extinguishing the cigarette was a nice touch – but it was made all that much more important because it highlighted both how Amber appears to have seen the future (probably related to her Contractor power), and how Decade didn’t want him to find out what the Organization was doing. Actually, what the Organization is trying to do and what Pandora already is doing (in regard to what Eric Nishijima said about the experiment already having been restarted) makes me think that the two are connected at some level, and they could very well share the same leadership – mainly Eric Nishijima. In any case, this all confirms my suspicion that Pandora and the Organization are the sinister antagonists and that Amber is actually trying to do good, at least in terms of preserving Contractor lives.
With Amber being good though, it seems that Hei’s turning more to the dark side. His anger and hatred for her makes it seem like he’ll try to ruin her plan (which requires all those Dolls) or try to kill her or something before she ultimately redeems him in some way. Or maybe it’ll be his sister who redeems him. I had actually forgotten about Bai until she called out to her brother suddenly during this episode, and it’ll be interesting to see how she fits into all this when she appears again. If Hei’s power is special in how it causes the Meteor Fragment to react, maybe Bai had something special about her too that factored into Amber’s plan five years ago. I assume that Hei already was a part of her plan whether he knew about it or not, though not knowing could very well be what led him to feel betrayed.
Those events five years ago look to be what next episode is about, and it’ll be the first one that’s not one half of a two-parter. We’re at the final three episodes now, and I’ll be pretty happy if they can maintain the level of storytelling and action that this episode had. The one thing I’m really hoping for is that Misaki will be able to play an important role instead of standing on the sidelines or arriving on the scene too late like she did for a lot of this episode.