Hades hath no fury like Hōtarō provoked.
Mm, it appears our reluctant Sherlock isn’t quite as invincible as he might seem. Reeling from a triple combo attack delivered by the doubting Mayaka, Satoshi, and Eru, Hōtarō accepts that his version of events – whilst decent enough from a movie-maker’s perspective – isn’t what the original scriptwriter intended. Forced to reconsider the evidence, he confronts the stoic Empress and comes to the realisation that she has been playing him for a fool.
It’s an interesting (if rather pitiable) change to see Hōtarō put on the defensive in such a manner, where even his supposedly less-capable colleagues are able to spot chinks in his armour. To see this chap, normally of such a calm and collected demeanour, backed into a corner and grasping at straws as Mayaka and Satoshi reveal their doubts is a bit of an eye-opener. Hōtarō’s outburst at the teahouse in front of Irisu was another high point of the episode (though probably a low point for him, personally), if only because he reacted just as others might have when they see that they’ve been manipulated to serve another’s ends. In a way, he seems – now how shall I put it – more normal now, and less difficult to relate to.
In the end, I’m glad to see Hōtarō and Eru team up to piece together what Hongō (probably) intended as the film’s conclusion. I was rather fearful that this would be left hanging, but with that loose end now tied up, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next arc.