With the disappearance of an agent of the Public Safety branch who was investigating Pinocchio, Hilshire and Triela are sent to Montalcino to look for him. They decide to go check out the agent’s hotel room, but first they have lunch, and Triela wonders why they have been tasked with finding someone. Hilshire thinks that someone could be plotting something, and when Triela comments on how they’re always surrounded by enemies, he tells her not to worry because he’ll never betray her. At the hotel, Hilshire bribes the clerk to get the room key, but they discover that there’s no one in the agent’s room. Hilshire uses some detective skills to find a number that had been written on a notepad, and he heads back downstairs to ask about it while Triela tries to open a suitcase by picking its lock. She’s eventually successful, and the suitcase turns out to be filled with a bunch of clothes, but it also has a copy of The Adventures of Pinocchio. Triela is intrigued enough to sit down and read it, but once she’s done, she tosses the book aside and calls it silly.
The clues lead Hilshire and Triela to Pinocchio’s house, and they set up an observation post nearby. Triela runs into Aurora outside of the house, and she learns from the girl that Pinocchio does indeed live there. Before returning to Hilshire, Triela places a listening device inside of the basket of food that Aurora was bringing for Pinocchio. Aurora then enters Pinocchio’s house via the unlocked front door, and since there appears to be no one home, she wanders around the house looking for Pinocchio. In the living room, she finds a gun on a table and picks it up, but it is at this very moment that Franca finds her. Fearing that Aurora could be an assassin, Franca tries to make her put down the gun, though it is ultimately Franco who comes in and disarms Aurora from behind. Pinocchio identifies her as a girl from this neighborhood, but since she knows his secret, he decides to kill her. Franca, however, refuses to let him and cites how she chooses whom to kill, and with Franco also aiming a gun at him now, Pinocchio backs off.
Having heard the girl in trouble, Hilshire orders Triela to go save her, and Triela arrives right as Franca suggests that their group gets out of town. Unfortunately for Triela, all three of her opponents move in different directions, with Franco keeping her pinned with gunfire while Pinocchio throws knives and charges her. As much as Triela tries, she isn’t able to land a hit on Pinocchio and gets tripped up in return. He knocks her out with a strong uppercut and picks up her gun to finish her off, but Pinocchio then remembers how, in the past, he had killed the girl who saw the aftermath of an assassination he had done. This leads him to spare Triela’s life, though he does keep her gun. Meanwhile, Hilshire confronts Franca, but she distracts him by dropping her gun and uses the split-second opportunity to escape. Franco backs up Franca by throwing a cell phone bomb at Hilshire, and this gives them enough time to reach their car and drive away with Pinocchio.
In the aftermath, Hilshire finds an injured Triela and thinks that she might have a concussion. The local police have reunited Aurora with her mother, and they found the corpse of the missing agent in the wine cellar, but the three Padania members all got away. Seeing Triela depressed over how she wasn’t able to injure Pinocchio at all and let him escape, Hilshire points to the bright side of how they saved the girl and both ended up safe. Triela feels even worse after she notices that Hilshire’s hand is wrapped in a bloody cloth, and what is especially frustrating for her is that Pinocchio defeated her bare-handed even though she’s a cyborg. With something like this happening, she doesn’t see the point anymore of the risk. When Hilshire tries to comfort her, she tells him not to touch her and wants to be left alone for a while. Hilshire then notices a pendant sitting on the ground nearby, and he picks it up. This is something that Triela had knocked off of Pinocchio during the fight, and the loss of it stays on Pinocchio’s mind even after the successful escape. Franca, however, suggests that he forget about it because what’s really important is inside his heart.
Well, it seems that someone on the production team really likes using speed lines to animate action scenes. That type of effect doesn’t look too bad on paper (ie. in the manga), but I didn’t particularly care for it here because it gave the animation a cheap feel (even more than usual), plus it was rather distracting. They used a lot more muted version of it back in the first episode during the car chase, and I’d much prefer that to this. I just hope future action scenes won’t all be like this.
Story-wise, this episode more or less follows chapter 14 and 15 of the manga, but like last week, they added a lot of extra focus on that pendant that Pinocchio was wearing. I assume it’s more buildup to show how close Pinocchio is to Cristiano, and I bet this isn’t the last we’ve seen of it. As for Triela, I think her reaction to the defeat is a good reason why young girls shouldn’t be used as supersoldiers, at least from a practical standpoint. Still, she lived, and she’s not likely to let herself lose a second time. Next week, however, takes the focus off of her and Pinocchio and places it instead on Angelica who we haven’t seen much of this new season. I wonder though how they’re going to stretch a single chapter of the manga into an entire episode.