I feel like we’re getting into the meat of the season with this story. This is what I was expecting from Ryuki.

Cutting to the chase (NOT SORRY), it’s the debut and demise of Kamen Rider Scissors! He’s an interesting antagonist, part savvy operator and part lucky recipient of some terribly misguided optimism from Shinji. Him being a Kamen Rider, it definitely creates a more morally ambiguous landscape, and puts Shinji’s (naive?) belief in Kamen Riders’ intrinsic heroism in a tougher spot.

I liked the whole thing Scissors had going on. The twist of him being a cop, of leveraging people’s trust to get away with literal murder, that was a nice choice in a show that already displays a healthy skepticism regarding authority figures. (Goddamn Reiko, with that bullshit “Oh, I always trust the police” when Scissors tells her to stay out of it. She’s the best! Maybe the only smart person in this episode besides Ren!) Scissors has a demeanor that, like Ren’s, makes the whole Rider Battle thing feel more terrifying for how unemotional they are about a duel to the death. I’ve seen people get more worked up over Pokemon battles. These two are just like Oh I Guess It’s Time To See Which Of Us Will Die. Knight attacking Ryuki in the second episode had that same thing, and I really like it. It plays into Shinji’s confusion and anger, that they’d kill one another and not seem to care.

I like what Scissors’ arrival (and departure!) means for the show. I like how the simplistic Blow Up Monsters gets complicated by bad Riders and contracts and Shiro’s commands and whatever is waiting at the end of the battle. Shinji’s tried to take a stand for Rider Shall Not Harm Rider, and he’s seen just how untenable that stance is. Other Riders may put his friends in danger to get what they want, and the only way to keep them safe may be by destroying them. It’s not going to be an easy road.

We got to see a bit of how each of the two main Riders are going to approach it, to some clever results. Shinji wanted to stop Scissors’ villainy, but didn’t want to kill him. Ren mostly didn’t care about Scissors’ villainy, but did want to kill him. (Neither of them were cool with Scissors’ kidnapping Yui, but A, that was really on Shinji, what was he even thinking volunteering that info to a total stranger I mean there’s trying to make connections and then there’s shit that we teach children are you a child Shinji I thought you were a grown-ass man why would you tell a guy you just fought personal information about people who can’t defend themselves what were you thiiiiinnnkkkkkiiiinnngggg, and B, Scissors’ just walked it off with a mea culpa that was pretty goddamn funny.) The idea of the more experienced Ren being all Kill Riders No Matter What and the powerful but naive Shinji being all Maybe We Don’t Have To Kill Them, there’s a show that that dynamic reminds me of, especially how much I enjoy the mentor character’s dynamic with the series star, but it’s name and who wrote it is totally escaping me right now.

So, yeah, strong couple episodes! A little darker, not much jokes in this one, and no one seems to know how to lock a door for some reason (Yui just leaves the tea shop unlocked when she goes off with Scissors?), but it’s a real strong introduction to the part of the show I was maybe most looking forward to. I want to see a bunch of Riders fight and I want to see the star of the show feel super conflicted about that. Pretty into it!

Oh, and I know that I was clear on the No Spoilers thing, but I’ve got to know: Is Reiko’s eyepatch a plot point that’ll come back, or some behind-the-scenes thing with the actor? When she’s wearing it at the beginning of this story, I honest-to-god thought I’d missed her get monster-attacked in the last episode.