Psycho-Pass Episode 21: Bloodstained Reward
“Why…?! Why…?! IT’S TOO LATE!”
The MWPSB quickly mobilise to counter Makishima’s attempt at bio-terrorism, and Shinya notes at their efficiency, with their helicopter arriving much sooner than he expected. When the MWPSB shut down the factory completely to disable Makishima, Shinya uses this opportunity to sneak past the security, heading straight for Makishima’s location. Meanwhile, Gino falls into a wire trap, which traps him under several metal crates, crushing his arm in the process. When Makishima and Masaoka face off, Masaoka must make the ultimate choice between his duty and his family.
“…You are my son after all.”
Despair. Nothing but an endless whirlpool of despair can describe that moment when Masaoka died – and in many ways it was even more tragic than Kagari’s death, which went by in a flash. Death flags were everywhere all throughout the episode, beginning with Akane’s decision to split the detectives into two teams. With Masaoka and Gino hunting down Makishima, it was obvious that they’d be in danger – they should be expecting traps of the highest standard all over the place, and it was Gino’s lack of attention to detail that got him in his bind. In any other show, with any other director, Gino would have died from the metal crates crushing him – but this is Urobuchi Gen, and Gino is therefore guaranteed to suffer a bit more first. I was impressed at Masaoka’s ability to counter Makishima and his electric whip, being able to overpower him physically and hold him down, which is something Shinya was unable to do in their last encounter. That moment when everything clicked into place and became horribly clear reminded me of just how much of an evil man Makishima is – to kill someone is one thing, but to attempt to kill a person while their father is watching and is completely helpless is tragic indeed. Their father-son relationship makes it even worse – they haven’t been on the best of terms for a long time now, and I’m sure they have a lot they wanted to say…but it’s too late now, and they’ll never get the chance to. Masaoka is a man to be respected – he was faced with the dilemma of having to choose between his duty and his family, and I was humbled by his decision to die for his son. Gino’s face easily betrayed the untold horrors he felt at that moment, and it looks like my earlier prediction about him is likely to come true. With an already unstable Psycho-Pass, Masaoka’s death at the hands of Makishima will push him clear over the edge into latent criminal territory. And that’s assuming he’s still alive by the end of show.
“You’re not the only one who can drive Makishima into a corner.”
Meanwhile, Akane and Kunizuka are off at the control room, which turned out to be completely deserted. Akane continually proves herself to be a calm and composed individual, and an infinitely better protagonist than she was at the start of the show, where much of her significance had her acting as a medium to answer our questions about their society and the Sibyl System. Her efficiency last week managed to quickly get the MWPSB back on track, and both Shinya and Makishima were impressed by the govt’s quick reaction time. Akane herself is taking a firm stance on Shinya – she spends hardly any time trying to coax him out of his revenge, and immediately points out that his attempt to use the MWPSB to lift factory security was only so he could get to Makishima first. She’s even fearless at negotiating with Sibyl, reminding it of its need to “collect” Makishima and the higher probability they have of not accidentally killing him when in full control of the Dominator’s Non-Lethal Paralyzer. Even so, with Makishima’s high physical prowess (to the point where he can dodge bullets) something like Paralyzer mode won’t be enough to take him down.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”
Makishima’s initial goal of using the Uka no Mitama virus to commit bio-terrorism seems to have been forgotten as the MWPSB have now shut down the factory entirely. I did consider the idea that he would set the virus up to be infectious towards humans instead of the hyper-oats, taking out citizens on a huge scale if the virus was spread airborne…but it doesn’t seem likely that this plot point will be revisited – rather, it almost felt like a medium for Makishima to encounter the MWPSB one last time. And that’s what the last part of the episode focused on – Makishima’s final battle with Shinya. If we assume that Kunizuka won’t be much help, and both Gino and Masaoka have been taken out completely, then all that’s left is our two protagonists – Shinya and Akane, who’s running full speed towards all this chaos. With both Makishima and Shinya finally facing off amidst their conflicting ideals, I wonder if there’s ample time for everything to be wrapped up. Psycho-Pass is rapidly hurtling towards its end, and to borrow a line from Fate/Zero – “who will emerge victorious is anyone’s guess. And what victorious truly means, is even more questionable.”