With a gun pointed at her head, Yuuri is able to figure out that Nanami is working for the Girouard military. The rest of the ISDA is still unaware of what’s going on, and their attention is focused instead on Jin and Akira’s escape. With Sakaki keeping the Lindwurm Unit at base, Sieglinde doesn’t understand why they’re not doing something, and Laina suggests that they just obey orders. Kazuki spends his time thinking about how he apologized to Sakaki for lying about his alleged mission, and Sakaki was willing to overlook this incident. To Kazuki’s surprise, Sakaki had also mentioned that he didn’t hate such courage. Jin, Akira, and Machina meanwhile figure out that Laina and the others aren’t coming after them to try to capture them, and Akira leads them to an abandoned house that still has electricity and water. After taking a shower, Akira emerges nude and has to be reminded that Jin is a man before she puts on some clothes. As for what Jin intends to do, he simply wants to see Toa.
Out at sea, Yuuri wakes up on the submarine and remembers getting knocked out by Nanami. Toa is now gone, and Yuuri has no way of radioing base because the ship’s communication lines have been cut, so she decides to swim to the nearby island of Tartarus. By this time, Nanami and Garnet are already headed towards space with Toa as their prisoner. When Garnet wonders why Nanami didn’t dispose of Yuuri, Nanami points out that those weren’t their orders. Garnet concedes the point, but she feels that Nanami should try not to forget next time. Gio and Widow are able to see from a distance the Girouard ship take off into space, and they’re further surprised when Yuuri reaches the island, desperate to contact the ISDA base because of what happened to the Album. She succeeds in doing this, and the news quickly reaches Sakaki who had been reading up on Kazuki’s personnel file from his apartment. Because of this, Sakaki heads out, but his daughter blocks the way, so he has to explain that he’s going back to headquarters again and asks her to go to sleep first.
Elsewhere, on L-3 space station, Habaragi Itsuki is running a training scenario with her dragon Otohime that simulates them destroying Thanatos with a special missile. They then head to the briefing room where Itsuki goes over with the Vritra Unit about the Dragon Slayer missile to be used against Thanatos. Itsuki’s little brother Yuuya takes notes during the briefing and afterwards expresses his desire to sortie with his sister and the others in the unit. However, he still needs to engage in a Resonance and get a partner. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to everyone, Thanatos has lit up with a circle of symbols on its surface. Once it finishes counting down to the point where all the symbols have disappeared, its core lights up. Over on Mars, Asim is enjoying a bath when he hears that the Album is here. After getting dressed, he first commends Nanami on a job well done, though that doesn’t make Garnet too happy. Asim is quite impressed when he sees Toa – who is now being held inside a large glass container – and explains to her that this is his palace.
Upon finding out that she’s on Mars, Toa tries to contact Thanatos telepathically, but she isn’t able to. She then tries to beg for her release because something bad will happen if she doesn’t get back to Earth. Asim of course refuses to let her go and instead looks forward to seeing her true form. His glee gets interrupted by a subordinate reporting that they’ve detected a Dragon headed for Earth from Thanatos, and Asim then becomes interested in how this is the fourth original Dragon. Fearing the worst, Toa hopes that Jin can get away from Earth quickly. At that moment on Earth, Laina is in the middle of a video call with Itsuki up on the space station when she suddenly notices a bright light approaching. Whatever it is soon impacts the space station and cuts off the call, much to Laina’s horror. The entire unit gathers in the command room where they learn that an unknown Dragon has attacked the L-3 base and the Vritra Unit has been annihilated. In truth, Itsuki and Otohime somehow managed to survive the attack, and Otohime convinces her master that they have to leave immediately. Yuuya is also still alive, but he encounters the unknown Dragon as he wanders through the corridors.
Itsuki escapes onboard Otohime before the space station explodes, but she cries out for her brother who she now thinks is lost forever. The pair return back to Earth where everyone is relieved to find out that they’re still alive, but Otohime then gets knocked out of the sky by the unknown Dragon. Watching from a nearby rooftop, Machina recognizes the Dragon.
At first I thought the inclusion of Itsuki, Otohime, and Yuuya was a bit random because they didn’t transition into it very well, but it actually made for some interesting story. At the very least, it was different from the usual capture/escape cycle with Jin and Toa, though technically there was some of that. Yuuya in particular might become a major character because I assume that they wouldn’t kill him off mere minutes after introducing him, so something has to have happened between him and that fourth original Dragon. If so, then I really hope they do a much better job tying it all together with the main story with Jin/Toa/Gio than they did here.
The other things that stood out for me this episode were Asim’s voice and Sakaki’s daughter. Asim had some lines last week, but it didn’t really become apparent to me until this week that Miyano Mamoru was voicing him. I mention this mainly to comment on the fact that he does that evil voice really well. As for Laura, it’s really creepy how she appears and disappears – she’s on the sofa one moment but gone the next when they show a distance shot of Sakaki’s apartment. Her dead-looking eyes in that scene don’t help either. I originally thought that she might be a figment of Sakaki’s imagination haunting him, but as someone else suggested, I could see her being his Dragon too. This goes back to the question of if Communicators take on a particular form based on their Master’s preference or something – Itsuki and Otohime for example certainly look like twins.
All in all, I think this episode did a good job bringing forth plot elements that make the show a lot more interesting than it had been. Next week looks to be focused on the new Dragon. On a related note, there’s not going to be an episode on January 2nd.