It still feels a little arbitrary that (what’s at least looking to be) the big showdown of this gritty future noir is taking place in a massive future-granary. Certainly, it fits the meta detective show theme to wrap things up in this world’s equivalent of a factory and warehouse (they being the most reliable settings for a proper cop show climax, of course) but it’s nevertheless a little funny that this villain’s grand scheme is to essentially attack society through its cereal.
Silly quibbles aside, this outing was seriously intense. It feels like it’s been a long while since I’ve seen characters really throw down and get this mean, and Makishima’s various bouts with the MWPSB members were quite pleasingly brutal. Of all the villain’s notable qualities, I’d say the most remarkable is his talent for putting the good guys into tense moral conundrums with seemingly just a flick of his wrist. I described him as having Lucifer-like qualities earlier, and the part where he threatens Ginoza with the dynamite stick just immediately turns his very physical clinch with Masaoka into a vise-tight chokehold on the old hardcase’s soul.
I do think the scene in question packed an even bigger emotional punch due to how awkwardly aligned Masaoka and Ginoza’s father/son bond is. And I’d say the same about the somewhat-romantic connection between Akane and Kogami. In another world, they might have gotten to see their tension through to something healthier, but this society’s built enough barriers between them that a ill-defined professional relationship is the closest thing they’ll get.
In a way, it actually reminds me a bit of how Spock and his romance with Uhura were portrayed in the STAR TREK reboot. You have this highly logical professional who’s able to keep her feelings in check enough that she can manipulate the rules of a big, cold organization to work for her own emotion-driven purposes. We all know that she wants to save Kogami more than anything else. Where they could take things after she saves him is another issue but, to get to that point, she’s shrewdly bargaining with Sibyl in a way that never hints at her emotional involvement. Just deft writing there.
I don’t know if we’ve got one episode left, or five, and I actually enjoy that, because there’s some rare and genuine tension in not knowing. If I knew how much time left, I might be able to make a better guess of whether Akane will be able to save Kogami, or if Makishima will escape again, or if Ginoza will get his own cyber-arm - - and I love not being able to guess!