「偉大なる死(ザ・グレイトフル・デッド) その①」 (Idai Naru Shi (The Grateful Dead): Sono 1)
“The Grateful Dead Part 1”
This episode’s fight with Prosciutto marks off the beginning of the trend where Mista survives gunshots that should have killed him. Bullets have hit Mista before, but Prosciutto shooting him point-blank in the head three times is a new record. In fact, the battles have been continuing to raise the stakes on the risks they all face as Mista not only has to take several bullets in one fight, but Bruno is also tearing himself apart to get through his round with Prosciutto.
The synergy between Grateful Dead and Beach Boy is a deadly combination, but Pesci’s emotions can interfere with the overarching goal that Prosciutto is trying to achieve by activating his stand on the train. Because of this, it keeps feeding into Prosciutto’s “big brother” complex he has with Pesci as he lectures him on carrying himself about while forcing his face uncomfortably close to his. For all of the “mammoni” insults that fly from Prosciutto’s mouth and all of the times he kicks him in the face, he dotes on him quite a bit and tries to coddle him as a way to get him comfortable with the idea of being confident in his abilities. With the level of comfort and fear that Pesci gets from Prosciutto, it creates a double-bind where he relies on Prosciutto yet also fears his presence if he makes a mistake. They’re a lethal duo, but their dynamic does create an Achilles heel that can get easily exploited if they were to be separated or if fear ends up throwing strategy right out the window.
Mista’s ability to still recover slightly after getting shot in the head comes from the quick thinking that Sex Pistols has with the six stands having minds of their own. They do their best to pull their weight in this episode as they are shot into Mista’s limbs twice to try to stop Beach Boy’s hook from hitting any risky body parts, hone in on the ice that Pesci was stockpiling to instill fear in him, and even hold onto enough ice to help keep the bullets away from Mista’s brain. As the fight continues, another part of Sex Pistols has the intuition to approach Bruno to deliver him ice and give him the chance to one-up Prosciutto and Pesci before they attacked Coco Jumbo. Sex Pistols’ instinctual impulse to turn the tides is impressive as is Mista’s willingness to do bodily injury to himself to escape a dicey situation.
However, Bruno also deserves kudos as well for how quickly he decided to use his zippers to put himself in harm’s way as well. Part of his conversation about Trish’s selflessness was to try to convince her to let them risk their lives for her instead of risk having her rapidly age, but his decision to put himself in deadly situations for everyone else’s sake mirrored Mista’s approach. Namely, when Bruno used Sticky Fingers to open up a huge chunk of the train that he and Prosciutto were standing in, baiting Prosciutto into falling off of the train along with Bruno. While the episode ends on a cliffhanger as Bruno drags Prosciutto off of the train with him, it will be neat to see how the anime captures the conclusive note of this fight.