Ah, the drama of pressing the send button on a cel phone...
What They Say
Anri's missing friend, the Dullahan, the girl with the scar on her neck, Yagiri Pharmacuticals, the kidnappings, and the Dollars. The pieces are all falling into place. On a busy street in Ikebukuro, Mikado faces off with Namie. He's afraid, but his eyes are staring straight through her soul. He's there to reveal the truth behind the mysteries. Atop a building above them, Celty remembers Shinra's words and asks herself: what has her reason for living been while she's searched for her head? And then people begin to appear, one after another after another...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Durarara is the kind of show that as it goes along it really keeps upping the ante in surprising ways. The show has worked in a really intriguing layered form since the start as it's explored Ikebukuro and all that entails it as we've gotten to know a fascinating cast of characters. A headless dullahain, high school students, numerous gangs designated by colors and one that's colorless, underground doctors, Russian sushi guys and a couple of very crafty and strong people who manage to make living in the city a challenge for everyone else should they come across each other. Watching how various aspects of it get tied together through the layering approach keeps you on your ties and offers endless surprises.
This episode is no exception as it follows on the revelation in the last episode where Mikado suddenly looks like he's the master of the universe. He ends up following up that moment in this episode by calling out Namie of Yanagiri Pharmaceuticals and confronting her by using the head of Celty (and body) in order to get the information he wants. Information about what's happened to Mika Harima, which has Namie unsure of how to actually deal with him but she does her best to actually bluff him out on it. What she doesn't expect is that Mikado is completely ready for this and has a plan to put into effect that will apply a huge amount of pressure on her. It's a beautiful moment as he stands there and heroically presses send on his cel phone as it looks so comical, but it's followed up by one of the best moments of the series.
As amazing as all of it is, it's the detailed back story that starts to come to light afterwards as Durarara takes us back to before Mikado came to Ikebukuro. His life in the countryside felt like it was lacking the adventure that it had when he was a younger child and it's left him somewhat empty. His first PC changes that though as he gets online and discovers the huge world out there and keeps in touch with Kida. What starts off as a lark turns into something much bigger as what Mikado comes up with takes on a life of its own. Like almost anything on the internet, what you start with will not be what you end with. But in starting something it may become what you need without realizing it, and watching what is a relatively short term growth of a new idea into something tangible in the real world like this is a fascinating thing to see develop.
One of the things that always gets me, whether it's in novels, movies or TV shows, is when things come together in a way you don't expect and it has that sudden epic moment. The end of the last episode gave hint to that with Mikado's changed expression and he carries through with it here giving the viewer a great bit of payoff. The exploration of the Dollars, Mikado's own past and how so many things suddenly click allows this episode to stand out in a series that has had several standout moments already. With Celty being proactive now and Mikado being forceful about wanting the truth, the game feels like it's changed. And it's all capped off with a beautiful moment where Millia and Isaac show up from Baccano. It can't get greater than that.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.