I think this is the first episode with zero Legend appearances?

It’s not a deal-breaker or anything, since it lets the show devote more time to the (incredibly unhealthy!) Geiz/Sougo “friendship”, but it’s still weird. This is the most Decade-ish story this show has done, with the specificity of previous episodes tossed aside in favor of a more generic Magic Monster story.

There’s definitely some Wizard themes at play, but they’re a lot more subtle than I’d like. Hopelessness is the main emotion of the Another Wizard host, Hayase. He’s desperate to cling to some sense of stability, rather than try and reinvent himself. His world is moving on without him, and his need to keep everything the same has him spinning out of control.

It’s the same thing for Geiz this episode, and his relationship with Sougo. Everything’s more difficult for Geiz, because things aren’t how they first appeared. Sougo isn’t a despicable despot, he’s Kamen Rider Puppy Dog. Geiz’z plan was to be a grim executioner to Oma Zi-O, not his teammate and bestie. Geiz needs things to be black and white, and the pressure to fit things into neat boxes is causing him to be even more headstrong and violent than usual.

That tension between Geiz and Sougo is the main thing this episode has to offer. There’s nothing in the way of Legend appearances, and the Time Mission is sort of bland. (The show’s really having a tough time sketching out its one-story characters in a compelling way? They don’t really pop, you know? Adequate at moving the story along, but pretty two-dimensional.) While it’s fun to see how differently Sougo and Geiz approach an investigation – Sougo and Tsukuyomi talk to people and put together clues, Geiz runs around Tokyo until he just runs into a monster, which is actually SUPER Wizard – we’re not really in a tricky storyline or anything. It’s a bit wide-open, probably so we can start to resolve/progress the relationship of Geiz and Sougo.

Which… it’s an incredibly weird relationship! Sougo and Tsukuyomi make a lot of sense as teammates and friends. She’s empathetic and hopeful, which complements his worldview perfectly. With Geiz and Sougo, it’s way more dysfunctional. Geiz is specifically there to guard all of time against Sougo’s potential ambitions. The second Sougo starts to turn evil (by whatever personal scale Geiz uses), Geiz is going to murder him, because Sougo will eventually rob Geiz of everything he cares about. This is the backbone of their relationship. This is the foundation of their “friendship”: Geiz being both jailer and victim.

It makes Sougo’s cheerful optimism and ingratiating camaraderie into something a lot sadder, and worrisome. This isn’t Sougo taking a grumpy teammate and trying to get him to turn that frown upside-down. This is Sougo asking his executioner why they never just talk. It’s totally normal for Geiz to be weirded out by it! I’m only watching the show, and I’m mostly weirded out by it.

I think it works for Sougo’s character to not understand why he and Geiz can’t be friends, though. There’s an obliviousness to Sougo’s character that vacillates between Troubling and Adorable, and it’s way more on the Adorable end of the spectrum this episode. Like, Sougo and Geiz are teammates, and they can be friends. Geiz’z insistence on making things easy for himself by being intractable and stubborn is a defense mechanism, and Sougo’s right to keep pushing back against it. Much like Hayase's frustrating need to cling onto a theater no one else wants anymore, Geiz would rather vilify Sougo forever than open himself up to the possibility that Sougo is redeemable. It’s hard to risk that certainty, even if it makes you sadder and angrier to keep it.

It’s tough to have hope.


While I feel for these kids (a whole day for Geiz to film a three second reaction shot that got cut!!!), I didn’t see a single bit of unused footage that would’ve made the episodes better. (The Uncle gag was fine, but it worked against the scene a little.) They can get mad at the directors all they want for wasting time, but they should thank the editors for dropping so many unnecessary shots. Like, yeah, you 100% cut the twenty seconds of Sougo navigating his bike down a flight of stairs. That’s a boring, pointless shot! Get rid of it!

All that said, I love how much real passion Tsukuyomi and Sougo bring to their aggrieved depression. That is some lived experience right there! Method acting!