IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED ENDRIDE UP TO THIS POINT, NOW IS THE TIME TO START WATCHING. Start at the halfway point, or even just like three episodes back, and watch up to this most recent one.
So Shun’s finally made it back to the surface! Shun returns home and brings Emilio with him. His mother is overjoyed to see him home safe, naturally, and Shun introduces Emilio to his mother.
Once inside their apartment Shun explains a little about the world of Endora, and Shun’s mother reveals she’s not too surprised to hear that Endora was where he’d been all along. She was one of the believers of the underground world theory, and she says Shun’s father is too.
I must say, it’s adorable to see Emilio struggle a little with how the surface works, and to be surprised by the simplest things (like the pattern on a sushi platter dish). After spending the entire season watching Shun attempt to adjust to things like Endorian food and the clothes Endorian people wore, it felt good to see the tables turned.
High-end sushi is ordered (Emilio, like me, can’t handle wasabi well), and after dinner Shun tells his mother a little more about Endora and how he and Emilio met. Shun also discusses Warp Relics a little, and the mention of weapons sends Shun’s mother into a panic, but Shun reassures her that he and Emilio have been helping each other.
Emilio notices a photo of Shun’s family on the bookcase, which prompts Shun’s mother to show Emilio a picture of Shun as a baby. Emilio immediately notices the Endorian bracelet Shun is wearing, and now that I think about it, the crest on the bracelet is similar to the crest which used to be on Emilio’s dagger. Hmm…
That night the guys talk about Shun’s family, and Shun reassures Emilio that they’ll find a way to get him back to Endora. The use of tragic irony in this scene is a nice touch (more on that in a bit).
In the morning Shun and Emilio leave the house to explore the city before making their way to see Shun’s father. Shun takes Emilio to an arcade and out to eat at a fast food restaurant, and Shun’s mother even shows up to take Emilio clothes shopping. Later the two guys take the monorail to Shun’s father’s work building, and the trip gives Emilio a chance to reflect on the fun and new opportunities he’s having. Back in Endora he’s young but he’s a member of royalty, so he’s grown up in a castle and could never be as carefree like Shun on the surface. Away from Endora and all its conflicts, Emilio is able to relax and unwind a little, and he’s enjoying it while he can.
When they arrive at the Asanaga tower, they head right up to see Shun’s father. (Ha, Emilio’s face at seeing how the elevator works!) Shun’s father is a class act, acting surprised about Endora and saying he did indeed think that’s where Shun was. Shun’s father takes them onto the rooftop to have some tea, but Emilio is unsettled for some reason he can’t quite put a finger on. Shun’s father assures Emilio that they’ll have him back to Endora soon. He goes on to act sympathetic when he hears that Emilio’s father was killed, but Emilio catches Shun’s father smirking and suddenly everything is in doubt–
The sun is setting by the time Shun and Emilio leave to head back to Shun’s home. However Emilio starts having flashbacks and remembering some childhood memories, including- toddler!Shun? Shun’s father?! Wait, so Shun and Emilio have met before?? Emilio remembers the crest on the bracelet Shun wore in the picture, and it triggers the recollection of a conversation Emilio overheard between his father and Delzaine. For the first time the name of the stranger from the surface is mentioned – Asanaga. Shun’s father.
Emilio races back into the building to confront Shun’s dad, with Shun hot on his heels. Emilio bursts into the office and accuses Asanaga of knowing exactly what Endora was, because he’d already been there many times. And then the bombshell – Emilio yells that Asanaga kidnapped Delzaine’s child, and brought it to the surface.
That’s too much for Asanaga. He pulls out a gun and shoots at Emilio, barely missing the teenager’s face. When Shun asks his father what the hell he’s doing, Asanaga coldly asks why he doesn’t understand the situation: Shun was never Asanaga’s son. Then a second gunshot rings out and the screen cuts to black.
My thoughts: Holy. Shit. Wow. Holy shit you guys what an episode!! This episode confirmed a few theories I’ve been suspecting up to this point, and it filled in a lot of the plot.
So what do we know? Emilio is Alzerm’s son, and Shun is really Delzaine’s child. This makes Emilio and Shun cousins. More importantly, Shun is actually from Endora, not the surface, which makes his “parents” (or at least his sociopathic father) kidnappers. We don’t know yet if Shun’s mother was in on the situation, but going by the preview for the next episode I’m going to guess she was. I mean if you have no children and suddenly one day your husband brings home a random child he “found” somewhere, wouldn’t that be at least a little suspicious??
We still don’t know anything about Emilio or Shun’s birth mothers. Presumably they were from Endora as well, and perhaps they died before the start of the story? Here’s that irony I mentioned earlier – the guys were talking about how loving and supportive Shun’s family was, but in reality Shun has no parents either. With both Alzerm and Delzaine dead, and no mention of either of the boys’ mothers, both Shun and Emilio are most likely orphans. Shun’s “loving, supportive family” was a lie. And his father’s potentially a murderer to boot.
What else do we know? Year’s ago, Asanaga discovered a way to travel to Endora using the crystal that his wife found during one of her archaeological digs. He met Alzerm and started to manipulate the king into doing what he wanted, including sending Warp Particles to the surface. Delzaine opposed Asanaga but Alzerm wouldn’t listen, and I’m going to guess there was a confrontation which resulted in Alzerm’s death – but at the hands of Asanaga, not Delzaine like Emilio had grown up believing. Pascal’s earlier words about Emilio perhaps not knowing all the facts behind his father’s death have proved to be somewhat prophetic, and are a nice use of foreshadowing. After Alzerm’s death, Asanaga somehow smuggled Shun out of the castle and brought him to the surface to raise as his own son.
This strongly indicates that Delzaine probably did want to go to the surface so he could confront Asanaga, the man who killed his brother and stole his own son. How cruel and tragic that Shun did come back to Delzaine at the moment of his death, but Shun didn’t recognize his birth father.
Going into next week, again going by the preview I don’t think Asanaga’s second bullet hit anyone; it was probably just another warning shot. It also looks like we’re going to get Shun and Emilio’s backstory in full, and most of the remaining blanks are going to be filled in. Just in time too, since I think we’re down to the final few episodes and I still have a couple of questions.
I still ask, where the hell was all this amazing story earlier in the season?? This didn’t need to be a two cour show; in fact I think it would’ve worked better if it wasn’t. I’m glad we’re finally getting all the story we need for Endride to make sense, but as happy as I am with this somewhat unexpected twist (at least in my book), I don’t know if it’s going to be enough to save the show. There’s a few weeks left so maybe I’ll continue to be pleasantly surprised.