It’s Phantom episode 18, and the aftermath of the past couple of episodes continues, and we finally have a confrontation between Reiji and Ein.
Reiji sees three men run out of his fiery apartment building and shoots them, along with a car that tries to get away from the scene. Back at Inferno HQ, McGuire quizzes Scythe Master on why they should still team up with the Godoh group, and Scythe Master tells him that the profits they are making would far outweigh the loss from the cocaine heist, and that the Godoh group has since turned against Claudia. McGuire consents, but also notes that what Reiji will do is the real problem, so Scythe Master asks for permission to send Ein out to find him.
We then see a flashback of Lizzie’s, where Lizzie reluctantly agrees to help Claudia as long as she lives by the belief that there is a “righteousness that is above simple loss and profit,” even though Claudia is teaming up with the very people who killed Romero (who we finally learn was her little brother). Back at the apartment, Reiji is still grieving over the apparent loss of Cal when Claudia calls. Claudia admits to him that she’s deceived him, but still needs his help. She plans on joining the east coast operation, but needs Reiji to protect her.
Elsewhere, Ein is looking at her scar from Reiji’s shot in the mirror and Scythe Master asks her what it symbolizes to her, and she tells him “Insult and downfall.” Scythe Master then tells her to kill Reiji, and only then will she recover from her past mistakes and once again be worth of Scythe Master’s praise. After Ein leaves, Scythe Master once again talks to the man from the last episode, where we learn that Scythe Master is trying to create two new and improved mindless assassins to replace Ein with.
Inferno dispatches Lizzie to take out her old friend Claudia, but Lizzie ends up escaping with Claudia. However, soon they stop at a beach where Claudia frolics around, and Lizzie takes out her gun to shoot her. Meanwhile, Reiji visits the old warehouse where he trained, where Ein shows up soon after. The two soon get into a knife fight. The two seem about equal, but Reiji calls out “Ellen” to her. This causes her to hesitate, which allows Reiji to grab her mask off, which in turn allows her to pin him to the floor, something which Ein/Ellen soon realizes was on purpose.
She asks him why, and Reiji just tells her that he can’t and doesn’t want to win in a fight against her. Reiji tells her to kill him, since he has nothing left to live for, while she still can live for Scythe Master. However, she then tells Reiji that she’s alive because of him. She then puts the knife back in Reiji’s hands and tells him that if he’s given up living, that he should kill her first, but Reiji tells her that he’s going to free her from Scythe Master. Afterward, Shiga heads back to Japan, grieving for his brother, while we also see that Lizzie did indeed succeed in killing Claudia. Reiji then buys two fake passports to Mexico for he and Ellen.
Well, this episode was fascinating and surprising in several ways. First, while I’m guess it’s not wholly unexpected that Lizzie might turn on Claudia, I guess I’m still overall surprised that she did. We could see from her flashback that Lizzie just felt that she had finally gone too far (and I’m sure self preservation was a factor as well).
However, I was shocked that Claudia was the one who ended up dying. I thought she would last until the very end, and I was expecting that if anyone was going to get it in the Lizzie/Claudia confrontation, that it would be Lizzie. Now, I suppose it’s possible that Lizzie just helped Claudia stage her death, but there isn’t any direct evidence of that other than the fact that I could see the writers doing that. Makes me wonder what will become of Lizzie next, or will Inferno go ahead and off her just to be safe?
I’m also not sure what is going on with Ein/Ellen. She seems to have had a somewhat split personality, with her being “good” such as at the end of this episode and when she warned Reiji to run away, and sometimes she’s “bad” like when she’s attacking Reiji. My suspicion is that Scythe Master still has some control over her via the hypnosis but that it’s very weak at this point, with her getting rattled out of it by being called “Ellen” (though she told him she was “Ein” before) and perhaps due to her just fighting it as well. Her loyalty to Scythe Master seems to have also waned since we last saw her.
It also looks like Scythe Master is back where he wants to be at Inferno. Of course, he’s hardly a faithful servant of McGuire either. McGuire is either going to be very suspicious and will go down in a fight, or he’s going down with a look of shock on his face.
We’re also building up to a battle between Reiji and Ellen and Scythe’s new assassin puppets. And of course, Cal, who I’m sure is still out there is, well, still out there, and what she’ll do once she finds Reiji again is unknown. However, the fact that he “ran away with another girl” perhaps in her eyes may not help things very much in regards to her.