Solid episode!

It’s kind of the archetypal Double Mystery, you know? The first two-parter felt a little rushed and uneven, but this one? Exactly what I want in a Double adventure: colorful guest-stars, neat supporting cast, great trio storytelling, and a bit of long-form build. Can’t think of anything I’d change about it!

Normally, this is the paragraph where I’d undercut that by listing the things I’d change about it, but no! Genuinely thought this one worked all the way through. Yuuko’s whole disobedient daughter thing was a neat way into the theme of Family, and her money-warped personality change was a fun foil for our half-boiled team of Akiko (terrible at this in a really charming way) and Shotaro (just hopelessly outclassed by Akiko’s stubbornness at every turn; perfect). The beats of the mystery both play fair – the bus in the first disappearance scene – and feel clever in their deployment. It’s not a huge, twisty story or nothing, but the incremental search for the Million Colosseo makes for a solid first half of this mystery.

The rest of the episode is spent on world-building and the mystery of Philip’s memories, and I found the former more appealing than the latter. Both are good (mostly in how Philip’s missing memories directly impact Double’s superheroic effectiveness), but the continued development of the citizenry of Fuuto is always going to land better for me. Watcherman returns for a bit of banter with Akiko, but it’s the time spent with the Fuuto police detectives that was most entertaining.

Makura and Jinno, I just like their vibe with Shotaro. Makura hates him, but Jinno… Jinno doesn’t like him, exactly, but he sees the ways they can help each other. It’s a kind of lazy pragmatism, where Jinno’s fine letting Shotaro go off and solves crimes while he just shows up at the end to slap on some cuffs. Jinno comes off like a good cop that’s okay letting someone else do the hard work, and that’s such a fun change from the usual Kamen Rider options of Tough Cop Who Hates Heroes and Tough Cop Who Loves Heroes. Jinno’s just, like, cool with some freelance guy saving him some headaches. It’s so specific to this show, and I love it.

The Wakana/Sonozaki family stuff… it’s coming together? This is the story where Wakana starts to interact with Team Double, where Kirihiko sees Double in action for the first time, and where the Sonozaki family start to understand what’s happening in their city. The way the show portrays them less as a cabal of Dopant supremacists, and more as a basic Crime Family, it does a lot of heavy-lifting for making them compelling to watch. They’re a fun group of affluent criminals who also happen to be rubber-suited monsters.

Seriously, solid episode for me. Nothing to really gripe about, and everything worked fluidly. Nice reminder of peak W!



DIE-A MEMORIES



-Philip’s memories start to show up! Nice to see how much this show is already laying down tracks for the eventual reveal, by elevating this part of the plot in the same episode where Philip is inexplicably fascinated by Wakana.

-I don’t think we’ve gotten a full Form Change from Double yet? It’s all CycloneMetal or LunaJoker or whatever. Weird!

-Yuuko’s parents instantly defer to Akiko’s self-given authority, and that’s so fun for me now. Why was I ever not into her schtick?!

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