A murderer connected to Esperanza has seen his last day. But before his execution, he wants to confess his last kill: the leader of Esperanza itself?! Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. Despite wasting the last four episodes on an extended introduction to the characters and world of Double Decker, the show overall is surprisingly judicious with how it utilizes it’s time. Five episodes in and a trend has been established that things deemed overall unimportant to the show’s narrative are to be skipped over. Most series would’ve wasted last episode introducing Derick and explaining his last mission, his recovery, and why he’s running a bar–they condensed that to all of a few seconds. This week, Derick tries to talk about his first meeting with Kirill, the narrator calls it stupid and we’re shown just a few snapshots of what happened to confirm that yup, it was indeed stupid. This series is about hot-blooded detective action, and it doesn’t let you forget that for even an episode.
2. They said in the last preview we’d be getting into the plot-focused portion of Double Decker, and for once the narrator wasn’t lying. This episode opens with Zabel Franken, a man on death row for having murdered five people after he got into an argument with a drug dealer, including a three year old girl. On his last day, he finally snaps and demands to see Doug Billingham, the person who first caught him years ago. Zabel insists he didn’t just kill five people, he killed six–the last being “A”, the leader of the Anthem dealing Esperanza. He explains he did it in order to help B (each member of Esperanza is named after an alphabet) become the leader of the gang, but B was supposed to rescue him from prison and didn’t.
True to his role as “Z”, the least important member of the group, Zabel is a unlikable character. He’s whiny, and refuses to accept responsibility for his actions, begging for a plea bargain if he can prove he actually murdered A. He gives them two different locations for parts of A’s body, and they both check out. Only, Esperanza doesn’t take too kindly to his weasely snitching, and tries to have him killed when Z gets pulled out of prison to show them where he buried most of A’s body.
There’s some great moments in the latter half of the episode, where Kirill shows off a surprising level of genre savvy, as everyone around him starts setting off flags that indicate Z’s about to die. They talk about how “no one knows he’s there”, how “they’ve got plenty of cops”, and each time he just tells them to shut up because he can feel something off about the situation.
3. Well, to Kirill’s credit he isn’t wrong. Just as they find the body, the Bamboo Man arrives. Anthem had already stopped this from being a realistic show, but Bamboo Man pushes things firmly up into DBZ levels of ridiculousness. He faces off against a literal army of cops, but none of it matters. He moves faster than they can react, he possesses enough super strength to toss police cars around, and shrugs off bullet fire. I wanted to attribute it to some new strain of Anthem, but Doug scans him and finds no trace of Overdrive…unless this is some mythical “level 5” they weren’t told about.
All but a handful of cops get waylaid, leaving Doug and Kirill to hand Z off to the remaining few to escape while they hold Bamboo Man off. As expected, the two catch a serious beatdown, even though Doug reveals he’s got an impressive cannon embedded in his jacket. The two are very close to being killed when Bamboo Man abandons them just as the clock strikes seven, and he abandons them…for now, at least. If I had to guess, I’d assume Bamboo Man’s incredible powers have some form of a time limit to them, though how he got them and how long that limit is is still very much up in the air.
4. Nearly all of Zabel Franken’s scenes involve this blonde-haired twit who seems to draw pleasure from inflicting pain onto Zabel. Everyone from his partner to Doug and Kirill look down on his treatment of the prisoner, but they never go further than verbal admonishment at best. Kind of a shame, since there was an opportunity to delve into how prison guards often treat their prisoners as less than human, but that doesn’t seem to be what they were going for. Instead, it’s revealed Ricky was working for Esperanza all along. He pointed them toward the location of A’s body, and while Z managed to get away from the Bamboo Man the first time around he’s eventually caught and summarily executed off-screen. Unfortunately for Ricky, he managed to piss off the current Esperanza head–not by torturing a former member, but by wasting food when he smacked Zabel’s hands as he was offering some of his last meal to Doug. Viewed as a cardinal sin, Ricky is left to burn alive inside an abandoned building. As usual, there’s no honor amongst criminals.
5. After teasing us about Derick being dead last week, it turns out Doug really DID lose a partner to Esperanza. He doesn’t explain very much about it, but he lost his first partner against them. While Doug typically tries to play the cool, focused type, the opportunity to bring down Esperanza brings him completely out of character. As Bamboo Man is tearing his way through the cops, instead of trying to escape, he calls back to SEVEN-O and has Zabel give up as much as he can at gunpoint, clearly willing to give up his own life if it means taking down the organization. Fortunately, Kirill’s there to knock some sense into him…literally. He headbutts Doug,bringing him out of his funk and reminding him that detectives don’t get quite so wrapped up in the case.
Kirill’s actions wind up saving them both, and Doug apologizes at the end of the episode while talking to him at Derick’s bar. This is probably the first time Kirill’s looked more like an equal to Doug rather than the rookie following along in awe. Here’s hoping we get more of that as their relationship continues to evolve.
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill is available for streaming at Funimation.