Minoru is working on his big story about the Borners and their village, but his editor tells him to make it simpler. He gets interrupted when Maria brings him an invitation to the anti-terrorism conference, but he decides to leave it up to her while he continues working on his own story. Maria thus heads to the conference hall by herself, unaware that Liang Qi and Cummings are in charge of security there. The event begins with a speech by the American president, and while taking pictures, Maria sees Alphard coming towards her. Maria doesn’t recognize Alphard though, and their meeting – as well as the speech – is interrupted by an explosion in the conference hall courtesy of Liang Qi. Alphard catches Maria from falling and mysteriously mentions that Maria still has a role to play, but she then disappears into the crowd. Maria isn’t able to follow her because more explosions rip through the building, and Liang Qi uses a combination of explosions and fear to keep people inside.
Unaware of what’s going on at the conference, Minoru spends his time tracking down Hakko. When he finds her, he tries to question her about the village and why she’s here, and to his surprise, she actually speaks. She starts to say something about if he wants to know, but Minoru is then overcome with a strange headache, and Hakko walks away. Once Minoru recovers, he follows Hakko back to Santana’s and tries to question her again, but he’s restrained by Santana. Before the two can get into a fight, however, they hear a TV news bulletin about what’s going on at the conference, and Minoru runs out because he’s concerned about Maria. Back at the conference building, Alphard calmly heads towards the control room and learns from Cummings that all of the leaders are in the shelter room with the infected Japanese vice-minister.
In the meantime, Liang Qi has Maria brought to the control room, and when Maria asks where Canaan is, Liang Qi kicks her onto the floor. Liang Qi then calls Canaan to taunt her, and she lets Maria talk, so Maria apologizes to Canaan for getting caught again. However, Maria doesn’t want Canaan to come save her, and that gets Liang Qi angry, so she kicks Maria some more. Liang Qi’s fury causes Alphard to then question what she’s seeking, and Liang Qi’s answer is love. She ends up getting so pissed off at Maria that she tries to shoot her, but Alphard shoots the gun out of Liang Qi’s hand fries. Liang Qi has no choice but to calm down and back off, and afterward, Alphard makes it clear to Maria that the reason she saved her was because Maria’s role is to live. Everyone’s attention is then turned to monitor showing the shelter room where the vice-minister has suddenly started to react violently to the Ua Virus. He spews blood everywhere before dying, and Alphard is happy that everything is going according to plan.
For an episode where Canaan didn’t do much other than a lot of running, this was pretty exciting to watch. We’re finally seeing the culmination of Alphard’s plan which has been hinted at and building for several episodes now, and it looks to involve infecting the world’s leaders with the Ua Virus or something like that. I found the scenes with Liang Qi beating up on Maria a little frustrating to watch though. I’m starting to despise Liang Qi because of her insane jealousy and hatred towards anything related to Canaan, but at the same time, I also don’t like watching Maria always be so helpless and unable to fix her own problems. I thought she had grown as a character after episode four, but she comes off as whiny as ever.
As a bonus, this episode also had Noto Mamiko‘s Hakko finally saying something, though I’m not quite sure I understood what was going on in that scene. Her power appears to be related to sound or brain waves or something, and I still wonder how she’s going to fit into the overarching story. In any case, I had thought that all this stuff with Alphard’s plan was going to be saved for a big climax towards the end of the series, but the fact that it’s happening at this point makes me think that Alphard will be successful and will be able to escape even if Canaan manages to save Maria again. Liang Qi might not be so lucky though.