1. Hey, guess who got the bad subs after all? Yeah, did not dodge that bullet! Got Takumi saying "Thanks to you I was put through a bad situation.” Got Mari saying Nekojita a few times. Got just a bunch of clunky-ass dialogue. This thing needs a great big fix, and I don't expect one will be available in the next few weeks, so, yeah, probably going to be grumpier and more skeptical about some of the storytelling in this show. Man, last episode was silky-smooth compared to this one. Really shocked here. I feel like y'all should've warned me! Seems like it would've been the responsible thing to do.

2. Responsibility is a fun word, one that comes up a couple times in this episode. I'm interested in a show exploring that, rather than heroism, since I just saw a yearlong exploration of heroism. Responsibility has a different connotation to me, where it's less about the personal choice of sacrifice or involvement, and more about the obligation of a person in society. Not to get all The Good Place, but I was definitely getting a What We Owe To Each Other vibe from this episode. It's refreshing to see a Kamen Rider who isn't a good person forced to be better, but a bad person forced to be good. I like the struggle of getting Takumi to just not be awful. That's fresh ground for a Kamen Rider show, I think.

3. All of the Takumi/Mari stuff was fantastic. The way her closed-off, guarded nature becomes hyper-verbal and intrusive with Takumi, where his lack of personality and disinterest forces her personality to fill that void in the dynamic, it's so good. They're both irritating in opposing ways, so they can be frustrating to one another but effective as a team. And, my god, they are so frustrating to one another. If this whole series is them having to track down a bag they just lost, every single episode, I'd be thrilled. It's such a dumb plot, but I loved it. So many fun little details, like Takumi endlessly blowing on his hot drink, Mari laughing at his bright underwear, the two of them having to rustle up enough business through Mari cutting kids' hair at a theme park to buy back the goddamn Driver for the hero (5000 yen, though, that's dirt cheap for a CSM Driver), just terrific chemistry from those two actors and something that, again, feels incredibly fresh.

4. Yuuji's still on his own this episode, dealing with his Horsepowered vengeance. It's shocking to me that, immediately after killing his cousin, he's like Oh I Should Not Have Come Back and jumps off of a building. That...? isn't this a kids show? Like, he jumps, and you see him hit the ground. Exclamation marks!!! That feels like an endpoint for any story of guilt and shame, and this is only his second episode. But, since it's only the second episode, he's not dead, and there's a little bit of business with Live Action Hatsune Miku, who basically is there to remind us that Smart Brain is going to be a huge part of this story, and drop some exposition on Orphnochs (which is what Yuuji is) and that Live Action Hatsune Miku is very excited for Yuuji to start doing the Orphnoch thing of killing people. Which he does at the end, heart-murdering Chie. I...? the Chie thing was weird. I guess we're supposed to read her emotional state as Severely Traumatised, since between Yuuji showing up after being declared dead and her partner (husband? boyfriend?) dropping dead right in front of her, plus the cops hanging around just enough for her to be screaming an awful lot about how she isn't responsible (!), it's been a rough 24 hours. But she's written as being psychotically manipulative, where she's throwing herself at Yuuji to get his protection, then throwing Yuuji at the cops to get away. It's a swing that either the actor can't figure out or the writing can't nail down, so it plays a little too overheated. Still, the Yuuji part of it lands, with him realizing that his past is truly gone, no matter how much he misses it. It's a sweet moment, and it makes his heart-murdering feel as partially justified as it was last episode. They're building a weirdly sympathetic portrait of this heart-murdering horse monster!

5. Hey, the Faiz suit's pretty cool, right? Those red lines building out of the Henshin. The big central lens of the face mask getting bisected by the antenna, how it forms the Phi, the concentric circles in the yellow. The segmented chest. I like the color scheme the most, black and silver with red highlights. The big yellow face. It's a real strong visual. Great suit. The fight he has at the end is great, too, with Mari an integral part of Faiz being able to defeat Elephant Orphnoch. (My favorite touch is the excited noise the Orphnoch makes as he causes damage. It's very human sounding, which is hilarious. Dude is having a pretty great afternoon at the docks!) I really like the idea of Mari being, like, a coach to Faiz. She's the one who knows how all this stuff works, he's just the instrument. Honestly, the Grumpy Poorly-Motivated Asshole who's overseen and managed by The More Level-Headed Girl Who's Got The Big Picture, that's what I thought the Yui/Ren stuff was going to be in Ryuki when it started, and, uh, it really wasn't. This dynamic, I get it a lot more. I get what they mean to each other as people, and I get how they're each valuable in fighting monsters. I like that she's got the motivation, and he's got the power. I like the burgeoning friendship, and the start of a discussion on responsibility. I just like this show, man!