It’s a testament to how unnecessary and disconnected this Hiromi story felt, that its most memorable scene is Revi and Vice cycling through every suit from the first 19 episodes in a bravura action sequence that also ends with Jeanne looking awesome. When your Hiromi spotlight story just ends up making every other Rider look cool… I can’t tell if that’s a total miss, or absolutely in keeping with Hiromi’s place on the show.

There’s a bit I liked about it, though, somewhat despite myself. I’m never a fan of Kamen Rider stories where someone keeps using a fatal device because they’re too damn heroic to do anything less. It’s dumb, and sort of the opposite of what I think is heroic. There’s a huge difference between battling insane odds to protect justice/smiles/video games, and consigning yourself to death because you’re using cursed technology. It is not inherently unheroic to have self-preservation be a part of your decision-making during a fight, especially when you living longer could save more lives. It’s like a naked firefighter rushing into a burning building: I get the impulse, but you are not really doing anyone any good with that level of commitment.

But Hiromi’s take on it… I like how much he’s acknowledging that he’s making the wrong decision, and how much Ikki is protecting his right to make the wrong decision. It’s an awareness of Hiromi’s eternal desire to die in pointless yet glorious battle, but it’s also saying That’s Our Hiromi. It’s a classic Revice story of embracing the weakness within Hiromi, forgiving it, and then finding some serenity in the aftermath. Asking Hiromi to not put on the demonic vitality-destroying henshin device and not blunder into a battle his 80-year old frame cannot possibly withstand would be asking him to deny his own nature, and that would be a fate worse than death. That’s incredibly stupid, but incredibly sweet. That’s Our Hiromi!

Not much else to talk about beyond that? The astonishing action sequence in the back-half ate up a lot of screentime, and Hiromi’s steady accrual of folks laughing at him took up most of the other half. (George is very okay with telling Hiromi to his face that Fenix was totally unconcerned with when exactly the Demons Driver was going to kill him!) There’s a fun team-up between Team Igarashi and the remnants of the Giffamilia, but it’s mostly just crossing i’s (depowering Olteca) and crossing t’s (recovering the Giff Stamp). We don’t really get any big dramatic scenes that shed new light; Aguilera wants Giff to burst from his cocoon and transform the world into one big family, the usual. The actual Getting Aguilera To Team-Up part is left to the viewer’s imagination, though, and that’s about all that really happens this episode? Hiromi’s tragic Hirominess didn’t leave room for anything else!

Overall, it’s a strong action episode (that very long fight scene!!!) that manages to put Hiromi’s whole Sacrifice First, Ask Questions Later approach into a slightly less regrettable light. He doesn’t exactly come off as a functioning human being who should be leading the troops of a mysterious organization of nebulous authority, but he does come off as a dude you sort of respect, even if you're shaking your head at his suicidal heroism.