"The Dream of Italy, Part 2"
Synopsis: In the pages of the mysterious book, Lupin gets caught in a dreamscape, finding himself in the memories of Wataru Uraga, Rebecca's first love. It's a world created as a record of the man's memories to leave behind a piece of himself after his death, a temporary implant of his personality that can be injected into whoever deciphered his notes. Lupin, witnessing Wataru's death and Rebecca's dispair, awakens with a goal: destroy the leftover notes Wataru left behind. However, MI6 wants what the thinker invented for their own applications, and Agent Nix is close on Lupin's heels. Can Lupin escape his persistent foe's keen senses and deadly skills or is this the end of the road for our favorite thief? The puzzle is assembled in this dangerously enlightening episode!
Wow. This series took a sharp turn into Crazy Premiseville. Normally this would completely derail everything. But here, I think it works. It's still monumentally bizarre, but in a way that works with Lupin III.
Lupin finds himself in a strange world made of the memories of Japanese genius Wataru Uraga, who found a way through cryptography and symbols to "record" his memory and thoughts on pages and transfer them, albeit temporarily, into the minds of whomever deciphered the code and wrote the password to it. In this world, the person whose mind his memories are injected to can interact with him, and in this case, Lupin commiserates with him about Rebecca, who was younger when she met Wataru and began to act on her whims in pursuit of "Libertas". That is, in pursuit of personal liberty.
Basically, she was a young girl in love with a foreign artist, a barely legal young woman looking to strike out from her family and have a torrid romance with a avant garde bohemian. The kind of guy who chainsmokes and scribbles his art in a room covered in sketches and alcohol bottles and doesn't shower regularly. And he excited her desire for thrills while she lent him an ear for his idealistic beliefs. Whether she was truly in love with him is up for debate, I'd hate to be reductive on the matter, but clearly she meant something to him because he wrote the book specifically for her, in case something happened to her. Unfortunately, Rebecca isn't quite the mind that Wataru is, nevermind Lupin III.
I'm wondering how Wataru's mind has a vision of his own death if he was too dead to be there to witness Rebecca's reaction. Maybe it was just a simplification of the concept. Wataru didn't necessarily die with pills planted on him to make it look like suicide, it could have just been one of many possibilities how the authorities bumped him off. But the message is clear: Rebecca would have been deeply affected by his demise, and she wouldn't find the kind of answer she was looking for about "libertas" until Lupin came into her life, looking to steal that crown.
The second half of the episode sees Lupin and Rebecca on a quest to find Wataru's secret notes stash and destroy it, all the while tailed by our favorite mad agent, Nix. Apparently MI6 is obsessed with obtaining Wataru's knowledge because, let's face it, it's pretty neat. Kind of strangely analogue, though. You'd normally see something like a genius leaving their mind in a computer program or something, not in a bunch of symbols and writing in a paper book. But it is an interesting, quasi-supernatural element. It's sort of a conceptual super power not exactly "magic" or "ghosts", but not quite tech-science fiction either. It's got a strange quality to it as a concept that is difficult to classify, a sort of "living idea", a thought construct. I could see this becoming too over-the-top if misused, or even used more than a few times, but obviously for now they're done with it.
MI6 is really brutal in this show, I tell you. I don't know if Nix ever resolved that issue with the suitcase Rebecca's butler left outside his home (or even if it turned out to be a real explosive or he was just bluffng), or even if he's acting on his superior's orders (doesn't seem like it, with those other agents so determined to subdue him), but he's fired up in this episode. He's on a "kill Lupin III" jag and Lupin barely makes it out of this alive. Fortunately he's worth more to MI6 alive as a way of diverting Zenigata's attention. All I know is that MI6 really wanted that mind-screw art and now that Lupin and Rebecca have burned his notes, they're out of luck.
On the Lupin front, with him in ICPO custody, he'll have to come up with a plan of escape. It shouldn't be too difficult, it's Zenigata, after all. Then again...
Remarkable episode. Some real poignancy without lapsing into sappy drivel. It's good to see that Rebecca has a genuine emotional core, but that they didn't make it center stage all the time like in some of those TV specials where the girl of the feature is flat but yet still gets the focus. Lupin is every bit in charge here, as he should be, but Rebecca gets her own development, too. It's a perfect balance.
I hope she gets that red wine she's looking to drink.
4.5 out of 5