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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Kamen Rider Drive E41: How Was The Golden Drive Born?

Kamen Rider Drive
Episode 41
How Was The Golden Drive Born?

So, here we are at our Medic focus episode. The show's treatment of Medic as a character has never exactly been great, with the writers quite frequently forgetting about her and/or dropping plot arcs that she's involved in (remember that whole Reaper arc that led absolutely nowhere?) and there was, I think, a genuine danger that this episode would be another case of the writers fumbling with how to actually use her character.

(Did we ever find out why she was damaged/in a coma at the beginning of the series? Rhetorical question, we didn't, and we probably never will.)

In this week's episode, a case of people mysteriously collapsing in a hospital leads the Special Crimes Unit to Medic's human host, a catatonic ballerina who Medic wants to reunite with someone that she loves unconditionally, named 'Shou'. Meanwhile, Banno continues his wacky antics, putting him in 006's line of fire, who believes that killing Banno will allow him to obtain his ultimate evolution.

Poor 006, incidentally. It was immediately obvious the moment he started ranting about how powerful his evolved form is that he was going to get killed before he had the chance to reveal it, which is a shame, because he was definitely the more interesting of the two overseas executives. I do wonder whether we're going to be seeing the actor back as a human form for Banno, but I think it's unlikely - more likely Banno's just going to keep being a belt, or else remain permanently transformed into Gold Drive.


Gold Drive's debut, which saw him beating up Gou (because of course) could probably have been more impressive, but we did get more evidence that Banno is just the most objectively terrible person in Neo-Heisei Kamen Rider. I mean, can you imagine Ryouma, Gamou, or Maki ranting about how their children are just more subordinates for them to order around? I can't. Ryubee Sonozaki is about the only person I can imagine saying that, and even then I'm not convinced that he would.

(I'm also glad that we got Chase saying what I think we're all thinking, which is that Banno is clearly the source of all of their woes, so the Special Crimes Unit and the Roimyude may as well team up to take him down. It was disappointing to see Heart reject that offer, but at the very least, I'm glad that it was made.)

Which leads us onto the A-plot of this episode: Medic's attempt to achieve her ultimate evolution by reuniting her host with someone she feels unconditional love for - which turns out to be her dog, in a twist that I'm totally fine with, because dogs are amazing and everyone should adore dogs. There's a dude, too, but I'm getting 'actually evil' vibes off of him, so I won't be remotely surprised if he turns out to be the cause of Medic's host becoming catatonic. I mean, let's look at the evidence: Said dude professes to love said host, but he doesn't know the name of her dog (they ask him who 'Shou' is, after all, and he says he doesn't know), and he may or may not have tried to get her away from the Special Crimes Unit (the two of them vanish when the SCU are looking away, and when we next see them, Medic is threatening him - but there's no suggestion that Medic is the one who took them elsewhere).

Oh, 006. Taken from us very slightly too soon.

It's all very suspicious.

I'm a bit torn on this plotline, in all honesty. While I do like that we're having one of the ultimate evolutions be tied to the Roimyude in question's host (because we knew that was a component of it, but we've never had a successful example of it - Tornado was the closest we got to one), I feel like the writers have, at this point, just entirely dropped most of Medic's character. Remember when she wanted to wipe out all Roimyude except herself, Heart, and a select few? Gone. Remember her whole Reaper thing? Pretty much forgotten about. There are references to her being evil and harming other Roimyudes, but they're brushed off with a 'she's changing', which is not a satisfactory explanation when that change also involves letting plot threads go.

(I hold that she, not Freeze, would have made a better villain for the third arc. I've said that before, and it's still true, I think, not least because Medic is interesting and Freeze was not.)

What a hideous suit design.

If we're lucky, the next episode will attempt to provide at least some resolution to Medic's character arc throughout the series so far, but I'm not getting my hopes up. What it does seem to have is more Gold Drive, Medic achieving her ultimate evolution, and possibly more Shinnosuke going 'OH NO GUYS DON'T HARM MEDIC EVEN THOUGH SHE KEEPS DOING EVIL THINGS' seriously, he needs to stop doing that. I mean really.

Apparently Drive's storyline will conclude in Episode 46, with 47 and 48 being a crossover akin to the godawful one that Wizard had, so we're very nearly done. Golly.

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