To say this episode has a dramatic shift in tone is an understatement. This episode begins with Mob’s family in a park (when he was a child), enjoying a picnic. Mob falls, hurting himself and begins to cry releasing his powers. It’s both a contrast to the heart wrenching ending and a foreshadowing of what happens during the marathon. The episode begins with Mezato narrating the rise of the “Psycho Helmet Religion.” Mob now has a building named after him, the PHR has over 700 members and they are actively recruiting new ones. There seems to be no real religion dogma.
The annual Salt Middle School All-Student Marathon Contest is upon Mob and his classmates. Mob has decided that if he places in the top ten, he will ask Tsubomi out. Of course Mob is incredibly slow, having placed 291 out of 300 students last year. Mob is determined to improve in ten days anyway. Together with Reigen, Ritsu, Dimple and others he begins to train. As the day of the marathon arrives Mob is in good spirits. He quickly is knocked down, however. He falls in the exact fashion he fell in the opening and cut’s his knee in the same place. Bleeding, Mob continues his run.
The animation here is perfect. Mob’s odd running form, heavy breathing, his anguish and exhaustion are clearly rendered. Mob passes out. However, he doesn’t seem to be too sad about it. Meanwhile, Mob’s mother is making a special dinner for them, when the doorbell rings. It’s Shou Suzuki from the final episode from last season. The tone and since of urgency quickly shift. What’s he doing there? Is he a threat? Ritsu isn’t strong enough of a psychic to defeat him, what can he do? Walking home, Mob notices smoke from his home. He’s shocked to see his house on fire and walks in.
As Mob’s emotions increase toward’s the high 90’s, he remembers his family. While, we the audience are desperately hoping that they escaped somehow. We are given one last grasp at hope when Mob asks if “someone could’ve taken them, too?” I instantly though of course they were taken and not killed that would be TOO dark for this series. Until. Mob opens the door and witness a horrific sight, his families charred remains. Mob’s emotions quickly surpass 100%, as he becomes enraged. This season aimed to focused on Mob as a person, not as a psychic powerhouse. On that front their wasn’t much that we didn’t already know, Mob is a powerful esper.
Until this point in the season, Claw wasn’t a factor and it seemed like Mob and Reigen had forgotten about the organization altogether. However, Shou didn’t want to be part of Claw. Why would he risk the wrath of Mob? Considering the overall tone of the series and the fact that a series that has psychics could have “staged,” the “deaths” of his family. Or maybe I’m just hoping they did.