Koko and her team continue to travel the world, making investments in tech companies and kidnapping the scientist Elena Baburin. Bookman meets her at Dulles through Hinoki, and he warns her not to “enter then enclave”, but from Miami she travels to Cuba, to extract the extralegally-held quantum physicist Leila Ibrahim Faisa, AKA Rabbitfoot. Bookman’s underlines believe all of Koko’s actions point towards the development of a quantum computer, which would make all present supercomputers – including those that guide missiles – obsolete. At Fort Meade, MD, Chief Plame of the Special Collections Service is deploying SEAL Team 9 to foil Koko’s plans to capture Rabbitfoot from Camp No in Guantanamo.
As we suspected, there’s far more to Koko and Dr. Miami’s plans than Hek-GG. Hek-GG is just the tip of the iceberg, and even Koko’s brother and father Floyd don’t know exactly what lies beneath the surface. The CIA can hazard an educated guess, though: Koko and Miami’s goal is nothing less than total domination of the digital world. If they succeed in building a quantum computer, stupidly faster than anything else in existence, they could rule a decent chunk of the world. This is supervillain stuff, but we’ve been invested in Koko and her team for so long, we’re firmly on her side even if they’re the bad guys.
Koko is also bored with the current order of things. She wants to shake things up, open the gates to a New World (the title of this arc). This episode was more getting ducks in a row and fortifying her team’s confidence and trust in her. And while they have supervillain plans well in the works, if they don’t have their bodyguards watching their backs and guarding them when they sleep, all of this could go out like a candle in the wind. Just one bullet – out of the millions upon millions of pieces of ordinance – could end Koko’s plans. She’s crossed Bookman and ignored his warnings. Now that she’s peeking out of the shadows, it’s open season.
Rating: 6 (Good)
After their embrace, Rikka consults with Dekomori while Yuuta talks with Isshiki on how to proceed. Both are supportive. While walking home, after a couple failed attempts, Rikka successfully confess to one another and enter into a “lovers’ contract”. On coming home Touka takes Yuuta to a cafe, where she tells him she’s moving to Italy to train to be a chef, and their mother will be moving in with Rikka. The next day at school, Rikka’s mom appears with a lunch for her. Yuuta tells her to take off her eyepatch, but a heated exchange ensues. Yuuta doesn’t perform with Rikka for the festival. Later that night at the talent show, Rikka sings a song her late father liked, then removed her contact and eyepatch.
That was one hell of a hug last week. Yuuta’s first time hugging a girl, and Rikka’s first time hugging a guy. Considering their inexperience, it’s inevitable they’d have trouble figuring out how to proceed. And yet, they do a pretty damn good job of it, not spending episodes not talking or avoiding each other or falling subject to rivals – just walking home, getting stuck in the rain, grabbing a bite at EcDonalds (yeah that’s spelled right) and ending up under a bridge with a beautiful, romantic scene of the town-lit river. And they make their feelings known to each other. Yuuta definitely gets style points for preparing a confession as Dark Flame Master, and of course Rikka eats it up. Weights are lifted and everything’s peachy…until Rikka’s mom enters the picture.
Rikka’s mom…the one whose responsibility was to deliver the truth about her father in a timely fashion, but didn’t, resulting in a complete fiasco when Dad died. Rikka hasn’t forgiven her, and we don’t blame her. But we also understand Yuuta’s position: he can’t continue to enable Rikka to live in a fantasy world; she needs to turn the page and grow up. The time for that comes right quick too, as their honeymoon is tragically brief. In a rapid flashback of Things Not Going Well (when Yuuta presents Rikka with a lunch her mom made), we see them grappling roughly, so far removed by the day before, when she seemed so fragile she might break if he held her closer. But after that tantrum, when Rikka removes her eyepatch – her trusty armor against…something – in front of the whole school, it’s like a long-overdue first step towards adulthood.
Rating: 9 (Superior)