Now we're talking! After five frustratingly mediocre episodes, Ghost is back on track with a solid two-parter on the powers of teamwork, and a one-off that reminds you not to throw away your old toys just because you got a cool new one. (I mean, unless you're upgrading to a Shinkocchou Seihou Figuarts. Then you can go ahead and toss the old one.)

First, it's a look at teamwork in a story that should feel overstuffed (there's, what, four plots running?), but manages to corral its threads relatively well. Alain and Akari end up the best, naturally, with some obvious-but-enjoyable beats about working hard to achieve your goals. (I don't know that anything tracks with the stated theme of "faith", since it's mostly just "hard work", but close enough, I guess.) It's goofy in all the right ways, and continues not only Alain's hot streak, but solidifies the show's rehabilitation of Akari. I officially don't hate her anymore!

Takeru and Makoto have solid scenes, but thematically I'm not sure it 100% fits. Makoto, mostly because it's (with the next episode) just three episodes of him getting into fights with dopplegangers, and it doesn't really change his character in any way. Takeru, who despite having the most time with this story's (legacy underwritten female sidekick) Very Special Guest Star, also doesn't really learn anything he didn't already know about teamwork? He's a good mentor to Honami and he's the most involved in getting her team back together, which helps keep the theme of teamwork alive, but it's another zero-growth episode for our lead.

(The motivations for Honami's idol group, I mean, what is even going on there? They just completely ice her out for reasons that are mystifying, then they're just like, "We love you, please come back"? Kamen Rider does not know how to write stories for Makoto Okunaka, no matter the show.)

Overall, though, it was a really good two-parter. Dare I say it brought me the hope I needed? *WINK*

A weird episode followed, but not a bad episode. It's incredibly strange that a series that lives and dies by New Suits and New Powers and New Merchandise would spend an episode touting the value of old suits and powers and merchandise. It's definitely true to Takeru's character that he'd need to show the Heroic Eyecons how much they mean to him, but I'm not sure it's logical? At all? I don't know if the next episode is going to show a Mugen-less Ghost blowing up Ganmeisers left and right, but currently Mugen is the only thing that'll do it. It's cool that Takeru wanted to protect his heroes' feelings, but, Mugen is a more powerful tool. Why would you not use it? But, y'know, I can accept that Takeru would act illogically to protect people's/spirits' feelings, so I still enjoyed this episode.

Also, man, I cannot say enough positive things about pairing up Javert and Onari. It is basically the only time where I feel like Onari visibly contributes to the team, and I wish to God that this version was around all the time. Mugging, wacky, flailing Onari makes me angry. Considerate, insightful, generous Onari makes me so, so happy. If the show leaned into this version of the character every episode, he'd probably be one of my favorites.

Sucks to have sidelined Alain for a whole episode just to have more scenes of Makoto fighting Makoto, but the last two-parter had some excellent Alain stuff. He can rest up for an episode.