God, I thought this was just exhausting.

It didn’t come together for me on just about any level. I don’t care about Fenix Wrong and whether or not he’s the Vistamp thief. I don’t care about a pranking YouTuber and his doting grandfather. I don’t care about the wisp of a subplot Sakura is given, that never develops into anything. I don’t care about the less-interesting two-thirds of the Giffamilia showing up for a pointless battle. This one… god, I just didn’t care at all.

Its structure does it no favors, that’s for sure. We’re immediately neck-deep in Fenix drama, despite a) Fenix being nothing more than a SHIELD knock-off that’s primary mandate is to hector and belittle Daiji, and b) our main Fenix character for the story being the guy who gets knocked out in Episode 1 and hasn’t appeared in a substantial scene since. There’s no way into this story for Ikki – the main character of the show, who we actually care about – and not even that much for Daiji, someone we’ve grown to enjoy seeing hectored and belittled. Fenix isn’t anything to value yet, so why should we care if it's under siege from spies and saboteurs? Daiji’s story ostensibly is that a workplace can become a pseudo-family, but there’s no warmth or support in Fenix to see it as anything other than a gigantic hassle for characters we actually want to see succeed.

And the story around all this… it’s not much? Ikki chafes under helping people with their problems, which is unique for a modern-day Rider, but sort of a bummer for an episode that desperately needs a bit of heroism to invest in. I generally like that Ikki’s stories and motivations are so hyper-focused on Protecting Families, but it’s all vaguely unappealing when there’s more story to tell than that. Masao could possibly be a nice way to talk about how heroic motivations take different shapes, and a focus on them to the exclusion of basic empathy is a danger, but Masao isn’t enough of a character to spark a debate around. He’s a prankster who’s allegedly trying to bring attention to corporate malfeasance and mistreatment of workers, but he’s also filming a YouTube prank show where he lets a Deadmans rampage through a lobby? And we have no idea why this means anything to Masao in the first place? He’s just doing murder-pranks, and then realizes that his grandad misses him, the end. It’s a story that never starts anywhere, and never goes anywhere.

Even the fight at the end is this weirdly perfunctory Revice Vs Giffamilia thing, where we know that the kaijin aren’t the culprits, but we have to get through the fight anyway. (Also, the plan to flush out the traitor is both incredibly stupid – everyone in Fenix knows this plan is to flush out the person in Fenix who’s a traitor – and somehow maybe actually effective in its goal. It’s stupid, but kind of commendable in its stupidity.) It’s a fight that’s not furthering the story even a little, since the culprit – Kamen Rider Live or Evil, I don’t know which one is which yet – is just going to show up at the end regardless. It’s boring, just waiting for the conclusion.

I thought this whole episode was so boring, you guys. Sakura’s scene with her mom was halfway okay, and Aguilera being like Wait Is This One Of Our Schemes was cute, but everything else was drawn from a version of this show I desperately want to quit. Nothing was character-based, except for the parts based on a character that’s either mysterious or a red herring or a cipher. I found this to be a grueling installment of Revice, and I hope it never gets worse than this.