Welcome back to another episode recap as we wind down all the available episodes of Netflix’s Baki. Season 1, Part 2 has been a major disappointment thus far and, if I’m being honest, I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.
The story has just been wildly all over and it’s been very difficult to become invested in any kind of arc or character. Maybe that’s too critical for what’s just supposed to be a beat ’em up action show, but why would I care about the fight when I don’t care about the people fighting?
In addition, the show seemed to blow it’s wad on all the good action in Part 1 so while, yes, this is still nuts in most situations, it doesn’t compare to the stuff they’ve already shown us. Maybe things will get better. Who knows? Maybe all these characters that the show has forgotten have huge resurgences. I’ve lost my confidence in this. Let’s see if it can get it back.
Season 1, Part 2, Episode 18: Thanks
Once again, we pick up where we left off with Kaioh Retsu and Hector Doyle in a bar having some adult beverages. Of course, there’s some funny business and the two begin some chicanery that escalates absurdly quickly to Retsu setting Doyle on fire, putting out said fire and then using Doyle as a human pin cushion by throwing about a hundred knives into him. I’ve been in a few bar fights in my day and not a single one has ever gotten to this point.
Doyle spits in Retsu’s eye and that pushes Retsu even further over the edge as he draws his sword and cuts a big X into Doyle’s torso. Doyle tries running and drops a Batman smoke bomb to temporarily disappear from Retsu’s view, but only so he can try a sneak attack and drive one of the knives into the back of Retsu’s neck. Retsu completely no-sells that and fires back up as Doyle drops to his knees ready to accept death and defeat. Retsu is prepared to let Doyle live and Doyle takes that as weakness and triggers an explosion from one of the implants in his body. Retsu, always on guard, is ready for it, however, and launches into another full-scale attack where it appears he won’t be so generous with Doyle’s life now.
As Retsu reaches back to deliver the killing blow, he has a syringe stabbed into him from a shadowy figure behind causing him to gasp and collapse. It’s Jack Hanma, the steroid freak and he’s saving Doyle’s life. But only for now as he states he wants to be the one to kill Doyle, but only when he’s had time to recover.
Hanma leaves Doyle and Retsu in the alley and Doyle shows a proper amount of respect to the man who made him taste defeat by leaving him to recover rather than ending him without a fight. As he begins to walk away, a couple of street rats come upon Retsu looking to take his wallet, but Doyle turns around, gives them a stern talking to, stabs one and hits the other with his own cattle prod so they’ll leave Retsu alone. Respect the legend.
As Retsu begins coming to still in the alley the next morning, he awakens to find Doyle standing watch, protecting him while the effects of whatever Jack Hanma injected him with wore off. Doyle, though, is comatose from all the blood he’s lost and Retsu takes it upon himself to try to save Doyle for looking over him. He throws Doyle on his back and begins running through the streets of Toyko faster than Sonic the Hedgehog going through the Green Hill Zone to get Doyle to Shinshinkai since they have a medical facility and a full-time doctor.
Retsu not invokes the speed of the puma to get across town, the strength of a bear to stop a motorcycle from hitting him, the eyes of the hawk to keep focus and the ears of the wolf to alert him of oncoming obstacles. Wait…where have I seen all those before?
When Doyle wakes up, he’s been bandaged and given a blood transfusion. Retsu prepares him some nutritious food known to have restorative powers. Doyle has been humbled and thanks Retsu for saving his life. Doyle, though, is not long for the hospital bed at Shinshinkai and quickly depart through the window when he’s feeling well enough. Retsu knew this was coming, but wonders where he would have gone.
And we immediately find out as Doyle steps into one of Katsumi Orochi’s training sessions at Shinshinkai. Doyle thanks the class for donating the blood that saved him, but then follows that he’s still going to kill everybody in the room. Not gonna lie, that last part does make him come off as an ingrate. I hate donating blood. It would take a lot for me to give it to someone I like let alone Hector Doyle who’s going to come back with my blood just to kill me. That’s cold as ice.
Katsumi laughs off Doyle’s statement and steps up to challenge him, but Doyle must first change into a karate gi to fight properly. He goes into his bag that he didn’t have with him when Retsu was running him through town to save his life, but instead of a gi, he puts on a flame retardant suit. Katsumi calls for the class to jump Doyle, but he spreads out a dusting across the dojo (also from his gimmick bag) making it impossible to see.
As the room fills with combustible dust particles, Doyle flicks a lighter sending an instantaneous dust explosion rippling through the building. Doyle walks away unscathed and obviously pleased with himself as emergency units begin responding to the scene. Doyle casually walks away, but is met by Doppo Orochi who lets Doyle know that he really fucked up now.
While this episode may have been OK on its own, I just don’t see what good it does for the overall story since we know nobody ever dies in this thing and apparently they’re not even fighting for anything other than spite at this point.
Somehow we went from a martial arts tournament where a couple of guys were cheaters and had weapons to a situation where guys have explosives implanted in their bodies that only affect their enemies and not the ones the explosives are actually exploding from. I’m no Bill Nye the Science Guy, but I don’t get that at all. I mean, this shit is literally erupting from your insides and somehow he stands there in one piece with absolutely zero damage to him at all let alone a mess of blood and guts decorating the walls.
Hell, when I was 4, He-Man and Skeletor even got hurt and showed it!
I just don’t know where any of this is going and I kind of can’t wait to be done with it to move on to something new. Thankfully, there’s not a ton of episodes left.
Until next time.