Now they’re travelling underwater in the little shuttle.
“Where are the fish?” asks Ken, “And the beautiful coral reefs? Is this even the same Earth?”
But suddenly Ken stands up and barks “Hey, wait –stop here!”
“Is something the matter?” future-man asks calmly as Ken presses his hands up to the window.
What he sees is his father’s memorial.
(So, Galactor knows that Gatchaman is Kentaro Washio’s son, and they know what his memorial stone looks like too. How is it that they haven’t figured out that the guy in the #1 shirt who visits the memorial periodically is Gatchaman and that maybe they ought to try to grab him? I guess we’re not supposed to think too much about that…)
“You buried my Dad in a place like this?” says Ken, voice quivering in anger as he closes his eyes. (Well, technically, Ken, your Dad isn’t buried anywhere –he blew up in the rocket that stopped the V-2 plan.)
“I’m sorry,” says future-man, putting a hand on his shoulder.
“Let’s just go,” says Ken bitterly, and then he yells “Get me out of here now!”
We get a close-up of Dr. Maxim now, and he’s clearly thinking…
“There wasn’t the slightest trace of the peace that had been, long ago,” the narrator says as the shuttle moves off, towards a tunnel, “The surface of the Earth and the depths of the sea, as Ken now beheld them, had become a graveyard. And for Ken, who had tried to protect the Earth at the risk of his life, it was an overwhelmingly cruel tour.”
The shuttle comes out of the tunnel, and is now back in the futuristic, underground city.
“I don’t believe my eyes!” says Ken now, as he sees a giant Berg Katse –the “Statue of Anti-liberty”?
“Katse, immortalized in bronze?” thinks Ken, appalled, “I think I’m going to be sick.”
But now the shuttle arrives back at the place it had departed from and disgorges its occupants.
Future-man puts yet another kindly hand on Ken’s shoulder. “Gatchaman, there’s something I’d really like to show you,” he says, glancing at his flunky, who then activates a screen to reveal an elderly-looking man sitting in a chair.
“Who do you think that old man on the screen is?” asks future-man as Ken and Dr. Maxim stand up to get a better look.
The old man is singing to himself and pulling petals off a flower and generally looking like someone whose wits are completely addled.
“When you were defeated in the final battle with Galactor,” explains future-man, “the shock of it all sent him over the edge. It’s Dr. Nambu.”
Ken doesn’t like this revelation one bit! “No!” he cries.
Dr. Maxim merely stares…
“Fly high in the sky, my little flower petals,” chants crazed Dr. Nambu, on screen, still pulling them from the flower and throwing them.
“You’re lying, I don’t believe it! That can’t be Dr. Nambu!” says Ken, his eyes contorting.
So, future-man brings up another cheery image on the screen.
Ken walks away, as Dr. Maxim asks “Who’s buried in those graves?”
“The Science Ninja Team,” says future-man (as Ken stops in his tracks), “Galactor’s nemesis right until the very end.”
Ken glances back at him suddenly.
“We buried them with honor,” continues future-man, “They were our enemies but we admit that they met a splendid end.”
“Stop it,” yells Ken, turning away with fists clenched, “Please.”
“Only you and one other remain,” says future-man, not stopping.
But Ken turns around again, demanding “Who is it? Who survived all this?”
“What was his name again,” says future-man, “The smallest one.”
“That’s right,” says future-man, “Jinpei. He works for Galactor security police, I believe. Actually, he said that he wanted to see you.”
“You mean, he’s here?” gasps Ken, even as a door opens.
Whoever the newcomer is, he’s facing away from us viewers, though Ken is rushing towards him. The newcomer doffs his hat and…
“Big Bro!” cries an approximately 31 or 32 year old Jinpei happily (actually he looks more like he’s 18 or so), “Is that you, Bro?”
Ken looks more stricken than happy. “My God, it’s Jinpei,” he whispers to himself.
Jinpei hugs him, saying “Man, I missed you so much!”
Future-man and Dr. Maxim look on silently.
Jinpei is amazed at how unchanged Ken looks. “I just can’t believe it’s you, Jinpei. And you’re all grown up now,” says Ken.
“I don’t blame you, Bro,” says Jinpei, stepping away from him now, “It’s been twenty years since then; a lot has happened.”
Now Jinpei extends his right hand and a beam of light shoots from a ring he’s wearing to a button on the wall, causing a circular platform to rise from the floor and form a table and chairs –a futuristic table that automatically dispenses cups of coffee.
“Have a seat, Big Bro, okay?” says Jinpei picking up the tray of coffee, “How about some coffee?”
Since there are only four seats, future-man dismisses his flunky and they all sit down.
“Hey Bro, you saw what the surface looks like, right?” says Jinpei a bit apprehensively.
“Yeah,” says Ken flatly.
“In the end we were defeated by Galactor,” says Jinpei, head bowed, “Wasn’t too long after you disappeared.”
“Well, it was all for the best, don’t you think?” remarks future-man, “The war is over and it’s peaceful now.” Ken has his eyes closed.
“That’s right, Doc,” says Jinpei cheerfully, “We fought for peace after all –whether we won or lost, the result is still peace.”
“And that’s what we wanted, right Big Bro?”
Ken opens his eyes and says grimly, “And now you’re one of Galactor’s minions?”
“But what’s wrong with that?” says Jinpei anxiously.
“I don’t care if it was solar energy or a nuclear bomb!” yells Ken, standing up and clenching a fist, “All the people on the Earth’s surface were killed because of it! Don’t you even care?”
He slams his fist down, smashing his cup of coffee.
“The same thing would have happened if we’d kept resisting Galactor!” insists Jinpei defensively, now getting to his feet too, “A lot more people would have died!”
“Stop fighting, you two,” says Dr. Maxim resignedly, “It’s already over, it’s finished.” He takes a sip of his coffee.
“Exactly,” says future-man, “The problem is how to protect this peace and how to ensure it will grow even further.”
We get a full view of the table now and Ken’s smashed coffee cup is nowhere in sight –I guess futuristic tables also come with self-cleaning functions.
“The time has come,” says future-man, gesturing expansively, “For the solar technology Galactor developed to be used on a much larger scale.”
Dr. Maxim starts to laugh –probably not the reaction future-man was expecting.
“Does something amuse you?” asks future-man, after a hesitant chuckle of his own.
“Oh, I was just thinking,” says Dr. Maxim, putting a hand on his head, “What a bunch of fools we were. The concentrated mantle energy we developed is nothing compared to your solar energy, yet we were so protective of that data, and for what?”
Future-man is sipping his coffee but watching Dr. Maxim intently now.
“It’s useless,” finishes Dr. Maxim.
“By the way, Dr. Maxim,” says future-man now, raising one hand casually, “Might you have some idea where that data might be now?”
“Why? What’s the point?” asks Dr. Maxim.
Standing now, future-man remarks that concentrated mantle energy is still a powerful force. “If it were to fall into the wrong hands, the Earth would be in danger.”
“Oh, I see –you want to protect it against people like yourselves,” says Dr. Maxim, deadpan.
Future-man acts hurt, and stands up. “Now, that’s no way to talk to friends, is it?” He laughs awkwardly.
Dr. Maxim stands up too. “Is the transport plane we were found in still around?” he asks, “The equation data should still be there.”
And guess what? The plane is still around.
Now Ken is standing, inside the transport plane, beside Dr. Maxim and that “transparent capsule” that Ken had noticed near the beginning of this episode and he’s whispering “Think about it, Doc. Do you really think it’s a good idea to trust them?”
Nearby, future-man and Jinpei are watching them closely.
“Why don’t you go wait in the cockpit, okay?” is all that Dr. Maxim says.
“Doctor,” whispers Ken more insistently, “You can’t.”
“Okey-doke,” says Dr. Maxim, ignoring him, “Power up the chamber according to this meter.”
“Do exactly as I say,” he continues, “Be careful or else I’ll burn to a crisp.”
It’s Jinpei that he’s handed the meter to.
“So where’s the data?” asks Jinpei, sounding eager.
“When you turn on the power,” explains Dr. Maxim, “It will come out of my body.” He gets inside the transparent capsule and shuts its door.
It will come out of his body???
But everyone seems to accept this.
Ken walks away and, following Dr. Maxim’s suggestion, he heads for the transport plane’s cockpit. He stands there for a moment, noting that the windshield is all smashed up and everything looks a bit grimy.
But suddenly Ken’s eyes narrow as he thinks “Hang on,” and he pulls out the metal clip he’d used to repair the plane’s throttle… twenty years earlier.
“But this would’ve have to have rusted over twenty years.”
Meanwhile, inside the transparent capsule, Dr. Maxim cries out as what looks like electricity crackles around him.
As he continues to gasp and gurgle, future-man and Jinpei watch intently but seemingly unconcerned for his suffering.
On a panel of instruments, some buttons suddenly light up. Is this panel on the dashboard inside the cockpit?
Dr. Maxim is continues to be zapped for another moment and then the electricity stops.
“I think we’ve got it,” says future-man, and Dr. Maxim opens the capsule’s door and steps out, groaning and clutching a hand to his head.
“Where is the data, Doctor?” asks future-man, not bothering with a “Are you okay?” or anything like that.
Suddenly, we hear Ken laughing triumphantly, startling everyone, and then Ken is standing right there.
“All right, drop the act already, Berg Katse!” orders Ken.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Gatchaman,” says future-man, and he and Jinpei stare blankly.
“I’ll give you credit for making it seems like twenty years, but it’s probably been two days,” continues Ken accusingly, “The devil’s in the details, you see. You obviously failed to remember that a pin like this would have rusted!”
And now master-detective Ken displays the fatal clue.
“How do you explain that?” he demands, flourishing the shiny pin.
“That’s… uh… stainless,” says future-man weakly, looking anxious now, “Isn’t it?”
Ken reaches for his boomerang and throws it at future-man, where it slashes him and then returns to Ken. “That’s check and mate,” says Ken.
Future-man laughs nastily for a moment…
But then he whips away his torn clothes in a flourish of red and purple, to reveal that he is in fact…
Berg Katse! (Is anyone surprised?)
“Well done, Gatchaman,” snarls Katse, “You saw through the ploy but you’ll never leave here alive!”
“Then I’ll take you with me!” Ken rushes at Katse and gives him a kick.
And he follows this up by punching Katse in the face several times, throwing him against a wall and then grabbing him by the lapels to yell “Stand up and die like a man!”
But the gasping Katse is then thrown to the floor instead, where Ken steps on his face and grinds his heel.
“Die, you cockroach!” yells Ken, grinding his heel some more as Katse continues to gasp and struggle.
“That’s far enough, Gatchaman!” yells Jinpei… Well, it’s plain now that it isn’t Jinpei.
Whoever he is, he’s got a gun to Dr. Maxim’s head.
“Now,” says fake-Jinpei, slicking his hair back with one hand, “You’re going to hand over that condensed mantle energy data.”
“Over my dead body,” growls Ken, but he’s stopped trying to crush Katse’s face. In fact, he’s stopped paying attention to Katse, who suddenly stands up and points a gun at Ken’s face.
“You figured it out a little too late,” says Katse, “Now hand over the data, bird brain.”
And we see that a whole bunch of gun-toting goons have also entered the room. A smirking Katse again demands the data from Ken.
But suddenly there’s an eerie “Dare da, dare da, dare da” whistle…
All the goons are listening nervously too. “See to that!” snaps Katse to one goon, who goes to investigate.
He doesn’t get very far –upon opening the door out, he gets a fist in his face!
The goon turns around, babbles incoherently and then topples over. (In the subs he's saying "The stars, the stars are so pretty!") But, then we see who the fist belongs to and who has appropriated Ken’s signature whistle.
Joe! And Jun, Jinpei (the real Jinpei,) and Ryu as well.
“How did all of you get here?” demands Katse crossly.
“A little bird must have told them, huh?” says Ken smugly, and we can see that his bracelet is transmitting a bird scramble signal.
Well, cue the big fight scene! A whole bunch of goons now open fire on the Ninjas. Jun leaps into the air, even as the cable from Joe’s gun slashes across the faces of those goons, and then she takes out a couple more herself by kicking them.
Ken and Joe are standing back to back. “The gang’s all here!” says Ken happily, “Let’s do some damage!” and he gives Joe an encouraging thump on the shoulder (though I doubt Joe needs any encouragement to do damage.)
Ken sure seems zealous to inflict some himself –that’ll teach Galactor not to make him think that all his friends are dead, insane or turncoats.
Joe, however, seems momentarily distracted by Ken and goes “huh?” and then a goon actually manages to punch him in the jaw. (This is the second episode in a row that a goon has managed to punch Joe –a further sign, perhaps, that all is still not well with him, even though this episode doesn’t make any mention of his recent problems?)
Joe doesn’t like that one bit! With a brief, murderous glare he grabs the goon, bashes him repeatedly on the head and then picks him up and flings him at the floor.
Very appropriately, Jinpei attacks his future-imposter, and he even snarls “Hey, you look familiar,” before he punches him out. (In the subs he says "This guy's got a weird face"!)
(You have to wonder, though, how Galactor knew enough about what Jinpei looks like to come up with a future-Jinpei plausible enough to fool Ken –their appearances and identities are supposed to be secret. Maybe Katse made a lucky guess.)
And now, the supposedly traumatized, zombie-like people that Ken and Dr. Maxim had encountered earlier get up from where they’d been sitting listlessly as a voice announces “Emergency! The Science Ninja Team has infiltrated!” and they run from the room. We briefly see the clothes of a couple of them go flying, and then they reemerge as goons and run off to join the fight at the transport plane. (Though one of the “zombies,” who runs off in another direction, is pretty clearly a woman in a mini-dress –it’s not clear if she’s a devil star, a lone female goon or a goon who’s nearly as good at female impersonation as Katse himself.)
Meanwhile, Katse is running as fast as he can down a corridor of the transport plane, with Ken in pursuit. Ken flips off the ceiling, launches himself at Katse and sends them both smashing through a window.
They fall out of the transport plane just in time to greet the newly arrived ex-zombie goons.
Very considerately, Katse lands on the floor on his back and cushions the fall for Ken. Ken springs away quickly and lands in a crouch, but then immediately tosses a handful of explosive charges at a bunch of goons who have opened fire on him.
Then he kicks some other goons. He just passed up an opportunity to pummel Katse some more, but I guess he had to deal with the goons firing on him first.
And he pauses to step on one unfortunate goon’s face, leaving a heel imprint in his wake.
Meanwhile, the other Ninjas are soaring down from the transport plane, and in shadows on the wall, we see them hitting and kicking more goons as they land.
Jinpei lands behind one startled goon who wheels around to see who’s there.
And then Jinpei spits in his face –very copiously. Jinpei, that’s gross!
Ryu gives a goon a thumping and then hurls him at a cluster of other goons, which knocks them all down.
Joe kicks an open barrel of fuel across the floor towards some more goons and it rolls their way, spilling fuel on the floor.
Ken seizes another goon from behind and uses his rifle to fire at the barrel.
A wall of flames arises immediately, sweeping towards the terrified goons as we hear their anguished screams.
Needless to say, Katse doesn’t like the way the fight is going.
He’s running away again, but now Ken and Jun are both after him.
Katse continues to run and now Joe, Jinpei and Ryu have joined the chase too. But they all screech to a halt when they see that Katse has made it into an escape ship.
“Auf wiedersehen,” says Katse, prudently not wasting any time with villainous ranting or gloating. Then he takes off (and we get a brief glimpse of a timer-like device on the launch pad).
Katse’s ship smashes through the ceiling and then he’s gone.
“You coward, all you do is run away!” yells Jinpei, fists waving. But Dr. Maxim now flips a switch, and reveals that all the scenes that he and Ken had seen before were merely projections onto the walls of the large dome they’re inside –the destroyed ISO headquarters, Red Impulse’s memorial stone, and the ravaged city.
“It’s fake,” says Ken. “A trick,” adds Dr. Maxim, “Using 3-D movies they projected onto screens from all sides, making it seem three-dimensional to fool our eyes.”
“The ultra-modern city we saw outside,” continues Dr. Maxim, “Is probably just a hologram.”
But the timer on the escape ship’s launch pad is counting down…
“Of course,” growls Ken, “There’s a time bomb!” They all run (though there’s no sign of poor Dr. Maxim running back up the corridor with them –surely he wasn’t left behind! And whatever happened to the two pilots who were flying the transport plane? No one seems to have wasted any time looking for them.)
Next we see the God Phoenix flying through the “ultra-modern city” and it tears right through a “building” and the “Statue of Anti-liberty,” revealing them to merely be hasty constructions of canvas over frames.
“Those buildings are just paper mache,” remarks Ryu, who’d perhaps been hoping to smash up a real statue of Berg Katse.
The God Phoenix flies towards a hole in the ceiling and into a tunnel, and the timer continues to count down…
But just as the God Phoenix is outside (flying out of a hole in the top of a mountain) and back in the real, arctic terrain, the underground base explodes into flames.
Flames come shooting out of the hole in the mountain top, as the Ninjas (and Dr. Maxim –guess they didn’t leave him behind) stand outside the God Phoenix and watch.
But Dr. Maxim is holding up something that looks like some hairs. Did he pull them from his own head?
“Here we go,” he says, and he runs the hairs through a little device.
“Hey, what are those red filaments?” asks Ken as everyone looks on curiously.
“It’s a microfilm,” says Dr. Maxim, placing the device on the ice and snow at their feet. The device, which has pointy protrusions on its bottom, begins to spin rapidly.
As everyone stares, it burrows its way into the ice.
“Tell you what,” Ken tells Dr. Maxim, “It’s a good thing you saw through Galactor’s trick a lot sooner than I did.”
“Well, there’s no way science advances that far in just twenty years,” explains Dr. Maxim.
“When you got into the chamber,” realizes Ken, “You were prepared to sacrifice yourself.” Ken is impressed at his willingness to sacrifice himself in the line of duty, naturally.
“I was saved, thanks to you all,” replies Dr. Maxim, with a hand on Ken’s shoulder, “Thanks, kiddo!”
Meanwhile, the device continues to burrow itself deep into the ice, presumably where it will remain hidden and be erased naturally by the polar magnetism according to Dr. Nambu’s original plan.
“Even if it was only for a brief moment,” says the narrator as the God Phoenix flies though the sky and we see everyone on the bridge, “Ken and the others saw a world overtaken by Galactor.”
“But it was a false world, for there is no way Galactor would create a peace on Earth. That’s your mission, with the Science Ninja Team –go Gatchaman!”
And the God Phoenix flies off into the sunset.