Rachel’s on the verge of giving up after inhaling so much gas, but Zack encourages her to keep trying to escape. If she dies she can’t achieve her goal, right? And if she dies he’ll be denied his goal as well. Therefore she’d better keep trying to live, dammit.

Rachel notices that a tile covering a ceiling duct has opened up, so Zack throws her up into the hole to see what’s up above. She retrieves a keycard which she gives to Zack, but he gets so impatient trying to fit it into a card reader that he bends it in half. Derp!

The final grains of sand fall through the hourglass and Cathy allows the room to fill with an even stronger type of poisonous gas. Rachel and Zack have some back and forth, and Rachel gets the idea of using a mini explosive she has tucked in her purse. [rolls eyes]  (I mean I thought I had a ton of stuff in my purse, but Rachel takes the cake.)  Zack manages to stuff them both in a storage locker in the room before the explosive detonates, and they survive the blast.

However after they leave the room and continue exploring the floor, Rachel is still feeling the effects of the toxic gas. They find a quiet corner on the floor where the cameras can’t see them, and Zack encourages Rachel to have a rest. Realizing that he is exhausted too, Zack has a nap as well.

Zack dreams of an event from his past from when he was a child. The adults he was staying with (his foster parents?) forced him to dig a grave for another child in the house who had died. Zack had initially resisted the request but after being demanded that he comply, Zack obeyed.

This dream from his childhood, along with the concept of Zack being a “tool”, are two things which keep popping up throughout the episode. Cathy, real name Catherine Ward, makes it clear as she repeatedly taunts Zack that she knows about the event that he dreamed about. She calls him a tool, saying that he’s only good for being told what to do. This infuriates Zack, and as the episode progresses he continues to get angrier and increasingly unstable.

But I digress. When Zack and Rachel wake up they continue on to a room divided into two. On one side of an open fence is a dollhouse, and on the other side is a desk with many small drawers. Either Zack or Rachel is supposed to move the dolls in the dollhouse based on the commands from the other person, the “navigator.”  Rachel becomes the latter and she gives Zack commands based on complicated math equations she has to solve.

As the desk drawers pop open one at a time and Rachel issues Zack her directions, the scythe-weilding nutjob realizes that Cathy is setting up the very scene he dreamed about: him having to bury a fellow child outside in the yard, with his female guardian watching him.

Zack manages to keep from destroying the dollhouse until he finishes renacting the scene from his past, but the dollhouse does eventually end up as wooden fragments thanks to Cathy’s jeering at Zack.

Zack and Rachel remain separated in their own corridor as they both progress into the next room. On each side of the fence separating them is a stool with a syringe on it. One supposedly contains poison and the other contains vitamins. The idea is that Rachel injects herself with one syringe and Zack with the other, and then Cathy will open the doors.

Rachel’s demeanor throughout this episode really frustrated me, and Zack’s reaction to her apathy finally boiled over in this scene. Yay something I could relate to! He gives Rachel shit for acting like a “lifeless doll”, saying that he doesn’t want to be used as a tool for her if she’s going to act like she’s already dead. Zack then injects both syringes into his arm, picks up his scythe and strolls through the opened door. That’s right, Cathy never specifies who has to inject the syringes, just that both have to be injected. If Zack wants to take both, well, then that’s his prerogative. [shrugs]

By the time Rachel catches up to Zack, he’s definitely not well. Whatever was in the syringes is really affecting him and memories from his past keep flashing before his eyes. The bloodlust running through Zack’s veins temporarily overtakes him and he yells about how badly he wants to kill Rachel. However she uses some psychological manipulation to calm him down and keep him from killing her. Well, until they get out of the labyrinth anyways. As they continue on their way, Zack tells Rachel to not let him kill her just yet.

I came out of this episode wanting to know more about Zack’s backstory. Who did he kill, his guardians? The couple he saw kissing? Why is he covered in bandages; does he have a skin condition?  How does Cathy know about Zack’s past and why is she so cruelly taunting him with it?  Could she be his female guardian post-plastic surgery?

In reply to Midnight’s last review, I think the third item Rachel is carrying is a cross. And it’s my theory that religion somehow factors into why Rachel is stuck in labyrinth with all these psycho killers, I just don’t know how yet.

Also I personally feel that everyone in the series is alive, not dead. But with that being said, maybe the entire series will prove to be a simulation? Ie Zack and Rachel can’t really die, and if they “die” they’ll wake up a la Matrix style, with some creepy doctor standing over them?

I look forward to my next review in two week’s time, and hope that Zack and Rachel will both undergo some character development by then because they both felt rather static this episode. Then again I should cut them some slack I guess because we’re still not even halfway through the series.  ^^;;


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Shia

    Rachel didn’t have a mini bomb in her bag. She built one with the wire Zack found last episode and from batteries from a TV controller, which was in the gas chamber. In the game you had to built it yourself by choosing the right items from all the things you found in the room.

    “Psychological manipulation” ouch. She was actually respecting him and showing that she doesn’t see him as a tool. Zack until then thought that all that Rachel cares about is to die and that she just sees him as a convenient tool to fullfill that desire. If that was the case she would’ve just let Zack kill her in that moment. She didn’t. By asking him if he is really alright with killing her now, she was caring about his fate, his opinion and outright respecting his autonomy as a person. It proved to him, that he isn’t just a tool for her, but a person she made a promise with.
    Like Cathy said their relationship was basically just two people using each other as tools. Rachel destroyed that relationship with one question. Their relationship can take on a different form now. I kinda take offense to just calling it “psychological manipulation” when it’s much more meaningful than that.

  2. I really love this series so far, cause unlike most horror / psycho series, it doesn’t try to shove too much “gore fanservice” or go psycho like Evangelion or anything similar. It actually had pretty good pacing, although I though the puzzles should’ve been a bit more complex in this episode.
    I especially like the interactions between Isaac and Rachel, because even though they’re not open about it, they actually care a lot for each other’s well-being, which is more important considering that Isaac did make that promise.
    Also, I feel bad for Zack after seeing that flashback…no wonder why he turned into a serial killer.

  3. Kazanova

    Nikolita and Midnight, the two of you really really need to read the manga after the anime is over because the manga reveals more of both Zack and Ray’s feelings towards each other, their own thoughts, and also Zack’s past during this B4 Floor Arc (And the manga is definitely canon since the one who’s writing the story is the creator of the game himself). As for the couple kissing, it’s part of a scene in the horror slasher movie that Zack watched by a chance while the man watched it. The game and manga has more dangerous obstacles before the syringe one, but this episode hit Zack harder emotionally because Cathy is clearly playing with his mind by forcing him to reenact his past.

    I know that Ray and Zack has 7 years difference, but I can’t help shipping them! After reading the manga, the moment when Zack pleaded to her not to let him kill her is one of the things that I’ve been expecting to watch! While I still like the manga more because the way it’s delivered is more beautiful, this one is also good and I can’t help but squealing! This moment would have been great if only the anime also include Zack’s thoughts instead of skipping it.

  4. zztop

    The dollhouse segment is anime-original.

    The game and manga versions used a maze filled with trapdoors that opened up to sharp spikes below.

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