Psycho-Pass Episode 11: Pure White
“Regret your helplessness…and feel despair.”
Reinforcements from the MWPSB come in, and Shinya locates a Dominator and uses it to hunt down Senguji, who manages to injure him with his shotgun but still gets killed anyway after a decoy plan laid out with Yuki’s help. A weakened Shinya merely manages to watch as Makishima takes away Yuki, chased by Akane who eventually corners him and attempts to confront him while saving her friend’s life.
Most episodes of Psycho-Pass are excellent – they’re a real thrill to watch every week, and raise some intellectual and moral questions as well. Then once every few weeks, you get an amazing episode that raises the bar even higher; the ones that blow your mind and leave you stunned at the developments that just took place. This is one of those episodes – giving us a credible amount of everything, be it character development, plot advancement or an insight into the intellectual workings of the system.
Firstly, we had the conclusion of the fox hunt that mostly took place last episode – it was foolish of Senguji to decide to continue the hunt after Shinya ended up managing to call in reinforcements from the MWPSB, resulting in both personnel and equipment turning up to help him. Makishima said it himself – now that Shinya has managed to contact the outside world with the radio and the jamming equipment has been destroyed, it’s no longer a “game” that’s dominated by Senguji and himself, as Shinya now has the capability to fight back, and is very willing to do so with a Dominator in hand. It was cool when he killed the hunting dog, though if it has its own Crime Coefficient that implies that it’s sentient itself, which would make it an AI, a very plausible existence in this kind of technology-reliant society. I have a suspicion that Akane’s personal floating jellyfish has a sliver of sentience as well. That has nothing to do with the fox hunt though, in which Senguji very predictably ended up dying after Makishima’s own prediction foreshadowing his death. Apparently, a past incident in which he experienced death close up through a friend ended up making him feel alive instead of anything else, and my theory is that by continuing this fox hunt despite the MWPSB threat, he gets a chance to feel the thrill of putting his life on the line, up against a person that he recognizes as a potential fellow “hunter”, through a confrontation both as duellists. The creepy Mozart music ended up heralding his death, and surprisingly enough it was actually Yuki who helped in tricking Senguji to follow the trail of Shinya’s blood. She would probably have been shot at that point if Senguji’s gun wasn’t a double-barrelled shotgun, requiring a reload after two shots that would have been better spent on Shinya. Anyway, Senguji died, after a Crime Coefficient check marked him as a too far gone latent criminal. In the grand scheme of things, he didn’t turn out to be that important as he might have initially seemed.
The second half of the episode is where shit really went down – as Makishima took Yuki away from an injured Shinya, and ended up retreating further within the sewage plant, followed by Akane, which really did surprise me. I’ve always felt that the ongoing conflict was primarily between Shinya and Makishima, with the latter going out of his way to specifically test Shinya, so it caught my interest when Akane boldly went up to Makishima and confronted him and ended up getting “tested” by him, as in this case, she had no power at all over him, as the Dominator didn’t work. My first reaction to his Crime Coefficient: “What the…79…how the fuck can it be 79?” I was expecting a number well over the 300+ range – as the mastermind behind all the past cases the MWPSB has investigated so far throughout the show, his CC should technically be sky high. But it actually kept dropping until it hit 0, and it seems that Makishima’s Psycho-Pass has always had a pure white hue, which means that he’s outside the boundary of judgement cast down by the Sibyl System, allowing him to do whatever the hell he pleases. It’s nearly an angelic, saintly image of invulnerability I’m getting, which was horribly juxtaposed with him torturing Yuki and scaring her to death, before actually killing her while testing Akane. It was horrible…Akane’s supposed to be this show’s resident moe mascot, the one ray of innocent goodness that remains within such a dark setting, yet Urobuchi has kindly made her witness (and indirectly, cause) the death of one of her friends. To be honest, I would have expected no less. Yuki herself didn’t deserve it either – the only reason she was even there was because she had a connection to Akane, which will make Akane herself drown further in a sea of guilt.
Here is where we’re starting to see further problems with the system, some of which have already been explored before by the show. The Sibyl System is the unquestionable ruler of their society, and everything it decides is law – it decides the definition and boundaries of what crime entails. Because Sibyl has that much power, people end up basing their lives around Sibyl and what it dictates to be true, not acting with their own secret wills instead, which is what Makishima is trying to uncover. As people’s wills are not part of the cymatic scan assessment they use, this leads to people like Masatake or Rikako, who have hidden agendas that they would like to carry out. As such, how do you define good or evil? If you honestly believe what you’re doing is good, does it bypass the Sibyl System? That’s what Akane was being tested on – her intent to kill, and thus her own personal will to kill Makishima, which is not the will of Sibyl. By doing so without the Dominator (and therefore Sibyl’s consent), it’s murder, and thus this intent makes one’s Psycho-Pass cloudy. It’s what happened with Shinya – because his own will took over and he planned heavy revenge for what happened to Sasayama, he was eventually degraded to an Enforcer’s level. I don’t know how Akane will react to that kind of trauma, but one of the criticisms of her character being arbitrary will hopefully die down now, as I have a feeling she’ll start to play a bigger role within the series.