Welcome back to another Baki recap! Today we launch into the final episode of Season 1, Part 1 and I’m sure it’ll be a doozy because, I mean, every episode thus far has definitely been something.
I’ve stopped trying to follow along with the idea that there’s some kind of fighting tournament going on right now because, well, the show seems to have abandoned that concept as well in favor of just having people get attacked and then needing to settle scores without anyone really getting killed off or eliminated.
I mean, there was Spec getting beat up and then his body breaking down into a frail 90 year-old man and yesterday it appeared as if Dorian had lost his mental capacity to continue to be a threat in this battle, but with the way people keep returning in this series, I’m not going to be able to count out anyone until the show has completed and I’ve been forcefully told otherwise.
So where does that bring us? Glad you asked! After becoming the focus of this show, Dorian has finally tasted defeat and his mind has reverted to that of a small child who wants candy. Baki and Kozue are keeping their flirtations going, but – following a date – Kozue was captured by Sikorsky in what I’m sure is an attempt to draw Baki into a fight.
There’s a lot going on and even though this is the Part 1 finale, I’m not expecting some kind of definitive conclusion on anything simply because it doesn’t feel as if the show has been built that way. Sure, anything can happen, but coming into today, it feels as if we’re more approaching halftime than full time. Only one way to find out. Let’s hit play.
Season 1, Part 1, Episode 13: Mr. Oliva
We open where we closed: with Sikorsky muffling Kozue and warning her that if she screams, he will hurt her and her mother. Kozue appears to comply, saying she believes that everything Sikorsky is saying is true, but that she also believes in someone else more. She screams for Baki who comes bursting through the window as if shot out of a cannon to deliver a thunderous kick to Sikorsky’s grill.
Sikorsky begins shit-talking Baki who doesn’t even let him finish before following up with a thorough ass-whipping. Baki gets a bit arrogant as he steps to pick Sikorsky off the ground, he sees that he’s disappeared, leaving only his trench coat. Baki immediately turns and sees that Kozue is also gone, taken by Sikorsky while Kozue’s mother is left sitting on the floor, obviously shaken.
Now this is good heel shit. I thought they were going to job out Sikorsky big time here, but he let Baki get his shine and then slipped out like a real piece of shit before kidnapping his girl and heading for the hills. That’s how you book this shit.
Over at the Japanese Metro Police Department, some of the world’s top cops have come together to figure out a way to deal with all these death row inmates. Spec and Dorian have already been apprehended, but that still leaves Yanagi, Sikorsky and Doyle on the loose. The Russian guy suggests fighting fire with fire and brings up an example of an American prisoner who he hears comes and goes as he pleases, basically helping their government with some of the more high risk threats before returning to his cell where he enjoys more than the normal prisoner. For his part, the American cop is all, “Yo, my man, don’t be putting us on blast like that.”
The Japanese top cop, Sonoda, travels to the United States to meet this prisoner or, as he’s being called, this “magic bullet”. He arrives at a maximum security prison and sees a luxurious set up, much like a palace to meet Mr. Oliver.
Just an aside: while the episode it titled “Mr. Oliva” and this new character is certainly who that is in reference to, it appears that for the English dub of this series, the character’s name was changed to “Oliver”. Soooooo…Oliver it is.
Sonoda cannot believe a prisoner is allowed to live in the lap of luxury like this: surrounded by fine art, stocked with cigars and alcohol and his room furnished like a hotel suite. Oliver explains that he gets these perks for being a mercenary for hire by the government and that most of the prisoners in this very same prison are there because Oliver put them there. Sonoda doesn’t even know where to begin with Oliver, but a phone call comes in and Oliver tells Sonoda that it’s time they go hunting.
It’s obvious that Sonoda is uncomfortable with this arrangement, having to trust an inmate in this fashion, but he’s in too deep to turn back now. They jump into a helicopter and arrive at the scene of an explosion. The attending cops are surprised to see Oliver, but know enough to back off when he arrives. The suspect behind this is named Jeff Markson, a former crooked NYPD cop who had his enterprising ways stopped and then pummeled by Oliver. He can’t wait to get payback.
Markson makes Oliver strip naked and then begins firing shotgun shells into him that have literally no effect. In fact, Oliver flexes and the bullets just pop out of him like my pants after the salad bar at Sizzler. Markson was prepared for that and pulls out a samurai sword, but that too doesn’t even phase Oliver who laughs it off and delivers one massive punch sending Markson hurtling backward, through a plate glass window and towards the ground as we cut to credits.
This was exactly the kind of finale I was expecting which is to say not much of a finale at all. Maybe it was never supposed to and I just put too much stock in that whole “Part 1, Part 2” thing from the beginning.
Once again, the episode delivers on action and I’m very intrigued by the character of Mr. Oliver. Sonoda brings it up and it’s a very valid point that, as a criminal himself, how does Oliver have no issues with rounding up other criminals. It’s like he’s breaking the criminal code. But, I also see how Oliver lives and I mean…I totally get it from his perspective as well. Yeah, he’s basically the worst kind of snitch, but he lives a very handsome life because of it.
I’m sure they’ll delve more into Oliver as we get into the upcoming episodes as we still don’t know too much about him outside of the obvious, but it’s going to be interesting to see the interaction between Sonoda and Oliver going forward as they attempt to clean up Tokyo so people like me aren’t terrified of visiting anymore.
Finally, we got some action with Baki and this sequence I absolutely loved. While Baki had faded into the background once fighting began, Sikorsky forced him out of the shadows by attacking where he knew Baki would have no choice but to respond. They didn’t do a lot, but they’ve laid the groundwork for their program in a really good way that makes me excited to see where it goes next.
We’re now halfway through the series and, rather than taking the rest of the week off before starting Part 2, we’ll just come back tomorrow with Episode 14 since it’s not like the show was written to have a break in it anyway.
Until next time.