I… did not see this episode going this way. At all. I read the episode title and thought Rinne would meet the first Setsuna again, or Rinne and the second Setsuna would be separated somehow. I did not think that we’d lose a member of the main cast. ;~;
So Setsuna saves Rinne at sea and they wash up on Boryujima after a huge wave hits Setsuna’s boat. Rinne rushes off to the place where she and the first Setsuna had set up camp, but there’s nothing there except for an old fire pit. Rinne’s exhausted so Setsuna says he will look for the first Setsuna on her behalf.
Setsuna finds a cave with an entrance covered by yellow caution tape. Inside he finds some strange looking machinery and a huge computer that reminds of the supercomputer inside Batman’s batcave. In the centre of the room is a pedestal that looks like it once held something. But what?
Setsuna explores the room further and finds the first Setsuna’s skeleton. Beside him is an old journal. Setsuna returns to Rinne with the ratty journal in hand; nothing further needs to be said. Setsuna takes Rinne to see the first Setsuna’s body where he encourages her to pay her respects to his sacrifice. The first Setsuna put Rinne in the boat so she’d get off the island and be safe, and Rinne should honor that with a smile at the very least.
Rinne asks to stay on the island a little longer, and Setsuna obliges. Together they catch and cook some fish, go swimming, and Rinne takes the time to examine her feelings for both Setsunas. Is it really ok to care for this second Setsuna now that the first one is dead?
Rinne and Setsuna agree that they will leave Boryujima the next day once they can fix their boat. Rinne is shown being more affectionate with Setsuna. Then Setsuna wakes up in bed back at the Ohara mansion.
Rinne is dead.
It turns out the entire scene at Boryujima was Setsuna’s dream. What had actually happened was that Setsuna caught up to Rinne in the middle of the storm just as her boat slipped under the water. He tried to hold onto her hand but Rinne told him not to worry about her just as she slipped from his grasp. Then a rogue wave washed over them both, causing Rinne to drown and Setsuna to fall overboard and later wash up back on Urashima. That “dream” he’d been having of Rinne sinking beneath the water turns out to be a premonition, with the exception of her clothes being different.
So when Setsuna wakes up, Rinne’s wake is taking place. Kuon shows up to give Setsuna a piece of her mind and ask him just what the hell happened to lead to her daughter dying. She’s angry and upset with Setsuna for letting her daughter die instead of protecting her like he promised, but keep in mind she’s also acting out of grief too. Grief makes people do unusual or out of character things sometimes.
Some time passes, and Setsuna gives up his name to become a homeless drifter on Urashima. Presumably he no longer lives at the Ohara household. Momoka, Natsumi Kurutsu’s former student, finds him and brings both him and Kuon to Karen’s mother’s research lab.
There she shows them what had originally been on the pedestal in the weird cave room back on Boryujima: what looks like a time capsule. We learn that Natsumi and Momoka had noticed that wherever strange “artifacts” appear around the world, there would be legends and myths similar to Urashima’s nearby. Many of them involved a witch, and two lovers being separated. When the artifacts were lined up on a map, all the legends pointed back to Urashima. The only questions now are how, and why.
The flashback continues to show us that Kuon, together with Momoka, were the ones who found Rinne in the capsule on Boryujima. An official story was given to explain Rinne’s sudden reappearance (that she’d washed up on the beach), but now we know she had been placed inside this strange capsule by the first Setsuna. And that was how Kuon and Momoka learned that the capsule essentially puts its occupant into suspended animation. Time can pass with very little to no effect on the body – that’s how Rinne still looked the same after 5 years on Boryujima. Check, one mystery solved!
Kuon feels that the capsule is a device for traveling through time. During the flashback when the capsule activates on its own we see a futuristic person appear inside the capsule, looking something like a hologram from an episode of Star Trek. I’m guessing that’s where the time travel theory has come from.
Natsumi and Momoka came up with two theories for the existence of the capsule. Either a civilization more advanced than humans once existed and created the capsule… or someone from the future came to the past and left the capsule on Boryujima. Kuon wants to use this second theory to go back in time to save Rinne.
Setsuna’s immediately on board with the idea. He volunteers to place himself inside the capsule and give up an unknown number of years to save Rinne. Doing so will supposedly let him go back in time to save Rinne. Kuon accepts Setsuna’s sincere offer to save her daughter.
During the credits we see that no one was told about Setsuna’s sudden disappearance, not even Karen and Sara. No one appears to know about Rinne’s death either, or if either girl knows they don’t let on. Life for everyone has appeared to continue on as normal.
How far back in time will Setsuna travel, if he can even travel to the past at all? Is he the person who’s been traveling to the past and leaving strange artifacts around the world? Are he and the first Setsuna one and the same person?
So about this episode… Kuon still has soot blight syndrome right? For someone who’s not supposed to be exposed to daylight, she sure was out in the sun a lot this episode.
Also I feel like it’s important to note that because the first half of the episode was just Setsuna’s dream, what happened to the first Setsuna still has to be explained. Maybe he’s still on Boryujima, since the second Setsuna and Rinne never actually made it that far. Maybe he returned to the future. I look forward to finding out, that’s for sure!
One of my favourite things about Island so far has been the pacing. Enough breadcrumbs have been dropped each episode to keep the viewer interested and engaged with the story. One or two mysteries have been answered along the way, but there’s always still more to learn and more backstory to discover. I find that every week I’m super excited to watch the next episode of Island and learn more about the story.
Author’s Note: I apologize for yet another week of delays in getting my Island review posted. I finally got moved but have spent the last 3 days cleaning my old rental, resulting in me barely eating and sleeping in between my overnight work shifts. But that’s all done with now! So next week I should be better about getting Island out sooner. Thank you for your patience with me!