The episode opens on just as somber a tone as the last episode’s end. Everyone is despondent about Kenshin’s departure. The kid’s are distraught and Kory has been sent into what the tropers call a “heroic bsod”.
Sadly, the somber mood is ruined by Sano’s response, which comes off as almost humorously over the top. He’s mad, of course, but it amounts to a temper tantrum. He wrecks the local restaurant and then reminds the staff that he has no money when the subject of the cost of damage comes up. It’s getting to the point where you wonder why they even allow him to continue to come.
Just as Sano decides to follow Kenshin and have his back, Saito arrives to warn him against doing so. You’d think that Kenshin having his team to back him up would be nothing but an asset in this epic endeavor, but Saito argues the opposite, saying that they would only get in his way.
Suffice it to say, Sano doesn’t take this well and it results in a fight. Where the last battle between Sano and Saito was short but brutal, this one is more drawn out, but comes off as much sillier. The dialogue exchanges and the way the fight is choreographed rob it of any sort of tension. The fact that Saito wraps it up with a shoryuken doesn’t help. At the very least, the point is made that Sano is way out of his league as he can’t even land a solid hit against the assassin. Not that it matters as Sano vows to go anyway and Saito loses interest. To his credit, though, Sano does vow to get stronger so that he can be a better help.
Back at the dojo, people try to rally around Kory to cheer her up to no avail. Even Megumi takes a crack at it using her own…unique approach. It’s starting to become clear that Megumi is kind of a horrible person. Her attempt at empathy consists of laughing at Kory for her depression and then calling her pathetic. You could argue she’s trying a Dr. Cox-esque “snap out of it” thing, but where John C. McGinley could pull it off while still keeping the character fun and likable, she fails miserably. She just comes off as needlessly cruel and it makes you really start to hate her. The fact that she acts all hurt when Kory starts to call her out doesn’t help matters either.
It leads to a wallbanger as Yoshi announces to Kory that they plan to leave for Edo and let Megumi run the dojo in their absence. Yes, leave your business in the hands of a callous and vindictive date rapist, this is a good plan.
After a string of fairly strong episodes, this was a huge step backwards. It succumbs to a lot of the shortcomings that plagued the first season episodes. While you continue to feel bad for Kory, everything else in the episode fell short. The big fight was too goofy and Megumi has become downright loathsome. It’s disappointing as the show was really starting to find itself. Hopefully, this is just an isolated misstep. It would be a shame to see it regress just as it was starting to show potential.