As Keith Goodman better known as Sky High goes for a morning run with his dog John, he straightens up one of his posters and can’t help but overhear some people talking about his drop in the rankings, reminding him of what his boss had said about it.
Following this Kotetsu appears to be enthusiastic about his training thanks to the recent growth in his powers but Keith appears to be feeling down, and as he takes John for another walk he finds him barking at a strange girl with white hair. He apologises for the commotion and thinking that she’s a NEXT, he tells her about how he first got his power. At the same time Barnaby and Kotetsu are stuck doing photoshoots and interviews, for which Barnaby’s disposition has changed.
However during one of these interviews, Ben hears Kotetsu talking about his new powers and slams on the breaks, worried about about what this growth really means. After this Nathan, Karina, and Pao-Lin find out that Keith is in love and barrage with questions before giving him some advice, which for the mostpart he puts to good use but can’t bring himself to take her hand. And as he walks off a man passes by in a truck with a photo of himself and the whitehaired girl inside. And during another one of their interviews, we also learn that Barnaby’s parents were involved in robotics. Following another night of failure, Keith goes to the park again and meets the girl again, there he tells her how his defeat forced him to realise how powerless he is and how he simply wishes to live up to the expectations the people have for him, and after cheering him up the girl meets the same man from before, who calls her Cis.
After finishing up another day of interviews Barnaby and Kotetsu narrowly dodge a falling sign and find that Cis has gone berserk, now intent on destroying everything hero related in her sight, even managing to overpower Kotetsu and Barnaby with both of their powers activated. While the former keeps her busy something strange happens, a tear appears and her skin burns revealing a metallic surface, at this point the man steps forth and explains that she’s an android. His masterpiece created using the research that Barnaby’s parents did as a base, aside from this he explains that she’s malfunctioning and is surprised that Barnaby doesn’t recognise him, Rotwang. Afterall he did work for his parents. While Barnaby is disgusted at this Kotetsu continues to fight however his power deactivates earlier than usual.
Cis then takes to the sky with Barnaby right on her heels but he still can’t catch up to her, however none other than Sky High comes to the rescue and takes on the android in an aerial battle. With the thoughts of the girl in the park pushing him on but not knowing of the android’s identity he destroys Cis in a single strike. Following this he appears to be in better spirits while Kotetsu is the one feeling down and as the episode ends he buys some flowers and waits for the girl in the park. During the epilogue Kotetsu meets Ben again who regrettably tells him that his recent power boost is anything but good, that some NEXTs have been known to lose their powers with time and that it’s a common sign.
I was starting to wonder when Sky High was going to get his episode so I was kind of looking forward to seeing this one ever since the episode’s title was announced, and needless to say it took the chance to focus on him a bit more in what could be considered his greatest time of need. He no longer holds the top position anymore and he’s still bothered a bit by being defeated by Jake, but he still earnestly continues on.
Which to be honest is actually something that I like about his character, I’ve already noted before how his incredibly humble nature was good to see when he sat at the top of the rankings but combined with this simplistic earnesty to help and do what’s right and what’s expected of him, he comes off as a pretty bro worthy character. He’s almost what you would expect to see in a hero and could easily see how he had earned his former position at the top. However with the way that the episode carried out it almost seemed to take advantage of that, in an almost kicking him while he’s down sort of way, following his defeat he no longer has the confidence he earlier had, people are beginning to lose faith in him, and his boss has pretty much told him to do better or else. He was already at a low point when he met Cis and fell in love, and as nice as this plot was to see it was bound to end tragically. And while their relationship may have been brief I really feel sorry for the guy, how it ended with him unknowingly destroying her and waiting for her at the end was truly tragic to see. I can see how the director commented on it the way he did prior to airing.
However with this it also looks like a new story may have been opened up for Barnaby, once again related to his parents but this time being more about what they left behind. The people who worked with them and now seem to have been led astray or possess a distorted view now, it could almost be like the show is delving deeper into the matter of their death, as if to show just what they were up to aside from raising him and hopefully what they were killed for. Where in this episode we met Rotwang and the android he had created Cis, allowing us to learn that they had been robotics researchers instead of what the newspaper article had earlier suggested. In a way also fitting in with the toy robot that Barnaby has. So it was a welcome change and it would be interesting to see whether the show heads down this path.
On Kotetsu‘s side of things we also had an interesting development, that the power up he received in the last episode may not be one at all but instead could be the last flicker before he loses his ability for good. Presenting a struggle where it isn’t whether or not he wants to be a hero but one of whether or not he can be one, as even though we’ve seen him pull of a few feats that the average person couldn’t do without his powers when it comes down to it he’s still pretty dependent on them. Not to mention how Mr Legend had told him that it was because of his power that he had to save people, so aside from removing the means it would also be removing his central reason as well. On another note I’m also starting to wonder whether this sort of thing happened to some of the older heroes like Mr Legend as well, that in the end they were forced to retire.