I enjoyed 19 and 20 as a whole a lot more than the two previous episodes. There’s quite a forward momentum to the story, and the story touches at one point or another on most of the key players (and someone who has not been a key player gets a great little moment too).
At the start of the episode we learn that Gotou is now working at Cous Coussier, having collapsed in exhaustion there in the last episode after… jogging really hard. In the pouring rain. Oh Kamen Rider… never change. Satonaka comes in to summon Eiji to see kougami, is surprised to see Gotou, and then tells him that he should give notice if he’s decided to take a leave of absence. Gotou’s whole demeanor indicates that he’s given no notice, isn’t particularly likely to, and that he’s probably left Kougami Foundation in shame over what he considers to be his own failure.
Now we go to Dr Maki and Cazali, having a conversation in Dr Maki’s car. They talk about how Cazali has “evolved” into a vessel for different types of medals, having taken in some of Mezul’s; it’s not really clear how’s managing to keep control where Mezul and Gamel could not, other than the fact that he’s a lot smarter than either of them were, so presumably he has more of a hold on himself. After this, Cazali goes off to make a Yummy from a convict that he helps escape from prison, and who is now going to go after the guy who ratted him out and the cop responsible for putting him in jail, Izumi Shingo (the convict that wants revenge on those he holds responsible for being incarcerated obviously reminds me of Asakura going after Kitaoka in Ryuki, even though OOO’s random convict is a lot less interesting than Asakura). Cazali meets Dr Maki to tell him what he’s doing, and Dr Maki tells him to stay away from the lab, since Date is crashing there, revealing that not only was Date Akira hand-picked by Kougami to operate Birth (this was revelead in the previous two episodes), but that Dr Maki would not have picked either the man or the name for Kamen Rider Birth.
Meanwhile, Kougami has a “present” for Eiji: one of Ankh’s Core Medals. However, Eiji asks him to hold on to it for him, because he’s afraid of the consequences if Ankh realizes he has it and takes it. Eiji believes that if Ankh gets it, he will be able to regenerate his body enough so that he can abandon Izumi Shingo’s body, and the detective will die without Ankh.
Eventually the guy that ratted out the convict finds Ankh, because he wants Izumi Shingo’s protection. The convict/Yummy finds them both and attacks. After this, Ankh and Eiji take informer back to Cous Coussier and come up with a plane to sort of use him (and Izumi Shingo, technically) to lure out the Yummy. During the resulting fight, the Yummy turns out to be a lot harder to handle and Eiji loses several Cores, including two of Cazali’s, who picks them up and now has only one left to complete his set and be fully regenerated. He’d talked the informer into betraying Eiji and Ankh by taking the case with Ankh’s Cores, but Ankh outsmarted him by replacing the Cores with Cell Medals. Ankh suggests a trade, Cazali’s remaining Core, for his Core that is in Cazali’s possesion. There’s a lot of trying to outsmart each other, but Ankh does end up tricking Cazali by claiming Eiji hid the Core for him, pushing Eiji over a bridge, and taking his care when Cazali goes after him. But then Hina takes the core from Ankh and refuses to give it back, to which Ankh responds by chaining her and dangling her over a river, but she’s not budging and he’s not willing to risk dropping her and losing the Core, so they’re at an impasse.
Eiji is rescued by the informer, who takes him to his place, where they have a conversation comparing the informer’s previous relationship with the convict with Eiji’s relationship with Ankh. The entire point, of course, is to remind us that Ankh is not a good guy, and that theirs is a partnership of convenience, but that Ankh doesn’t care in the slightest about Eiji’s well-being.
Meanwhile, Date ends up at Cous Coussier, where he’s surprised to find Gotou. The two leave together, and Gotou confesses that he wanted to be Birth. Date understands and tells Gotou to try out Birth’s gun. At first Gotou declines, saying he threw away his chance, it’s his own failure, etc. Date thinks this is all BS and insists. Gotou does indeed try to gun and is thrown back by the force of the backlash. He’s angry at himself, but Date laughs good-naturedly and asks if he understands now that even if he wanted to be Birth, he couldn’t be, as he is now.
The next day, the Yummy goes on a rampage, and Ankh releases Hina before going to find it, saying if he’s alive, Eiji will be there. Hina aks what makes him think Eiji will work with him after what happened. Ankh tells her he’ll come, because there’s a Yummy to be defeated. For his part, Eiji hears the Yummy and takes leave of the informer, saying that the one thing he can count on Ankh for is defeating Yummies. So nothing at all his changed, they’re not friends, in fact, they don’t even like each other, but they’re partners in this fight, at least as long as working together still helps both of them.
Date also goes to join to the fight, but before he does, he gives Gotou Birth’s gun and tells him he has until he can collect his hundred million yen to train to use it. That way, Date can quit when it’s convenient for him to do so. And I’ll just say here that from the episodes I’ve watched beyond this point, I really like how this particular relationship is developing.
Originally I’d thought the great bromance of OOO was going to be Gotou and Eiji, but Gotou never really came to terms with the Eiji is. Instead, Date takes him under his wing, and it’s just really enjoyable to watch this play out.
So, off they all go to fight, and again the Yummy is very strong, and Eiji is injured, so he’s not really holding his own to the point where Date says Eiji is more a liability than anything just now, the Yummy seems to be getting the better of them again.
Luckily Kougami has been keeping tabs on them, and sends Satonaka to deliver what they’ve been holding for Eiji. And so, Satonaka arrives on a motorcycle, dressed all in black leather and carrying a Big Fucking Gun, just in time to save our heroes’ asses. She makes quick work of several of the giant jellyfish-like monsters the Yummy has spawned and which have been giving Birth and OOO a lot of trouble, and then fits Ankh’s Core in the gun so she can shoot it right into Eiji’s belt. Yes, it’s gratuitous. It’s also totally badass. I love Satonaka.
Anyway, Hina tells Ankh that if he helps Eiji she’ll let him have the the third of his Cores. Ankh is pissed off, but grabs it, and throws it at Eiji, who transforms into a new red, flying form of OOO (TaJaDor, which is hawk/peacock/condor). And I will say this: I haven’t really been a fan of OOO’s various forms, starting with TaToBa, but this one is really quite gorgeous. Anyway, that’s it for Cazali’s Yummy.
Afterwards, Ankh graves the 3 Cores and absorbs them. For a few seconds a long, single wing appears from his shoulderblade, but then it disappears and he stumbles away. Eiji is left wondering why his body didn’t regenerate once he had more than one Core Medal, when the other Greeds’ bodies did.