I didn’t mind the recap per se, it only took up about 1/3 of the episode… but we are only in episode 4. Now we’re on pace to have a full episode of recap… in which case they should’ve just went with a 12 episode season (assuming this is 13 episodes).
On the plus side, when there’s no secondary plot to worry about and a 1/3 of the minute is recaps, it makes for easy blogging.
Recap aside, I actually liked this episode quite a bit, except for a couple nitpicks here and there. The episode puts the spotlight almost completely on Takashi and Rei’s escape. There was a scene in which Saeko laments the traffic into the city and creepy teacher, Shidou makes a characteristically creepy move on two of the girls, but it lasted all of 15 seconds and was simply thrown in with the recap. Takashi and Rei have a more interesting trip, however, as they stumble across a couple dead policemen and get to upgrade their weapons stash to include a pistol. There’s something a bit unsettling about how little it bothered Rei to ransack one of the dead cops for his bullets. Sure, it’s a crazy world and survival of the fittest, yada yada. But taken to an extreme and you go down the road of a sociopath. As we get to see later in the episode.
With the motorcycle running out of gas, the two pull into a gas station (not just any gas station, but a Shaun of the Dead as brought to you by Shell gas station!). Only for Takashi to realize that he spent the last of his money on some juice (never mind you wouldn’t get much gas for 150 yen anyway). This sets off a lame and forced argument in which Rei tells Takashi that he sucks for no good reason, and Takashi brings up Rei’s dead boyfriend for no good reason… and yeah. Most contrived argument ever. Thankfully it doesn’t last long, and Takashi decides to solve the problem by mousewheeling his weapon back to the baseball bat and going medieval on the store’s cash register.
But while smashing and stashing, Takashi hears Rei scream and comes out to find a crazed lunatic threatening to make Rei his girl and kill her at the same time. Gee, with that logic, he might as well have turned into the zombie and gone for the zombie booty.
Takashi tries to talk his way out of the situation, but when negotiations come to a standstill, he introduces the gun to the knife fight – and without much hesitation – blasts a cap into the psycho’s chest. Rei considers getting her revenge, but Takashi calls off the dogs as he aptly notes that the gunshot was extremely loud. Basically a zombie magnet. And the two leave the psycho to meet his zombified demise. It’s a cruel, cruel fate they leave him to. In some sense, he’s sort of a sympathetic character. Watched as his whole family turned into zombies and had to bash each of their heads in. Like he says, how could he not have gone crazy. In another world, he represents what Rei and Takashi could be at their most extreme. Seeing Takashi shoot him and then the two leave him behind was cold, and counter to all the scenes you’d typically see in which the "hero" would try agonize over what to do and try until the last possible minute to take the high road. There was none of that here. Takashi acted quickly, he acted resolutely. Logically, it was probably the best choice, but it sort of subverts the whole hero vs. villain trope you might expect to see in a show like this.
So, obviously, no one died again. Shidou, the creepy teacher ran away with the vote last week. I assume he’ll run away with the vote again this week since nothing really happened. I do hope he dies first, I’m a little skeptical, but I’m going to go with my desire and change my vote to Shidou. Even though I think he has a couple more episodes of asshattery before he bites the bullet. But hopefully we’ll see next week. (Same disclaimer as always. If you know because you read the manga, don’t spill the beans.)