Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media
Episode directed by Harume Kosaka
We’re back with a very special episode of Game of Lunar Thrones as Jadeite (the Geoffrey of our tale) is about to finally get his comeuppance as this is the last episode for the iconic villain! Since episode one, he’s been the haughty counterbalance to Usagi’s less than composed demeanor and the show has done a darn good job building up his desperation in the last couple of episodes as the Scouts began to increase their power and thwart his plans more thoroughly. Does he go out with a dramatic bang, or will his story end on a disappointing whimper? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Jadeite literally under the spotlight as he’s being berated by Queen Beryl for his long list of failures in what has to be the worst exit interview of all time.
Queen Beryl gives Jadeite an ultimatum to either murder the three teenage guardians of justice in cold blood or she’ll put his butt to sleep like a stray animal. No seriously. Queen Beryl (absolutely livid at the guy by this point) tells him that failure to defeat the Scouts will result in the Sentence of Eternal Sleep where they get plunged into darkness to never awaken again. Apparently a bullet to the head or hanging from a noose would be too simple for the great minds at Hell Corp, though I imagine that putting them to sleep and NOT literally terminating them keeps their insurance rates low or something. Logistics of capital punishment aside, it’s clear that Jadeite is out of options and has to come up with a plan to REALLY teach those Scouts a lesson… IN PAIN!! Before we can find out what it is though, we cut to Usagi who’s once again daydreaming about her two current crushes (Motoki and Tuxedo Mask) and she starts seeing their images in the sky.
The stargazing is tragically cut short however because Jadeite’s plan makes itself apparent and is about as blunt as a sledgehammer to the face. The dude has clearly decided to cut the bullspit and is appearing in the sky to call out the Sailor Scouts like Macho Man Randy Savage challenging Hulk Hogan to the main event at Wrestlemania! In plain view of the ENTIRE city of Tokyo, he tells the three Scouts (whoever they may be) to meet him at the airport tomorrow night, or else he’ll torch the entire city!
This right here is already putting this in the running for the best episode yet! What must the people of this city think as they look up to see God staring back at them who’s taken the form of 90’s Justin Timberlake to threaten grave harm upon their heads if some random girls don’t ovary up and face him in a street fight? And this isn’t some sort of psychic projection that only the Scouts can see! There are news reports the next day about the mysterious man in the sky issuing challenges to random people named after planets under threat of total immolation of Japan’s capital!! Still, the city hasn’t been put in a state of emergency (they police think it’s a prank or something) so everyone’s at school the next day and are discussing what it could have possibly been. The Scouts are still not sure what to do other than accept his challenge, but Usagi is definitely the least hesitant to go there herself or to even let anyone else try to meet Jadeite. In fact, she’s so desperate to keep her classmates from going out that night that she admonishes them for planning on going out instead of studying for class the next day. Miss Haruna overhears this and is understandably bewildered.
The rest of their day as school is uneventful, but Usagi manages to stay pissed off the entire time about how little her teacher thinks of her and runs straight to the arcade to vent at Motoki about everyone being a Meanie Pants. His ear is not quite as sympathetic as Usagi was hoping, but he manages to spout some nice words about her being special which has her bounding away with a spring in her step. No mention of the evil man in the sky by the way. Hell, why is the arcade or ANY business open when a dude just threatened to nuke the town in less than twenty-four hours!? It’s not entirely clear how much the people saw or heard so I guess only the Scouts (with their Moon Power) were able to hear him while everyone else only saw him… I guess. Anyway, Usagi’s merry skipping is cut short by the reappearance of Tokyo’s number one douchebag (Mamoru) who gets hit in the head with Usagi’s shoe when it flies off during her happy walk. Mamoru by is ESPECIALLY nasty in this episode which feels like a step back from how he’s been noticeably getting nicer each episode. That said, this scene IS pretty satisfying as Usagi goes into total meltdown mode and manages to scare him off; leaving him without that smug sense of superiority he usually has after verbally crushing Usagi’s ego.
We cut from Usagi’s victory over douchebaggery to the night of the confrontation where Jadeite has easily taken over the airport. Apparently no one’s working that night and the police force could only spare a baker’s dozen of cops. The Scouts, still in plain clothes for some reason, eventually make it to the airport and are immediately chased by said cops who are under Jadeite’s mind control or whatever. Since they hadn’t transformed yet, their only course of action is to run their asses off until… something. I’m not sure what their plan is considering the cops are pretty darn persistent, and I’m guessing they didn’t know either because at some point they just transform into the Scouts anyway. This is of course after being run out of the airport and well onto one of the runways which means they had to of run like half a mile without any clear goal in mind. After transforming, Ami uses her SCIENCE VISOR to examine the cops and it turns out that they are actually clay monsters in disguise which begs the question of what Jadeite did to the cops after knocking them out and why did he NOT use real cops as his pawns. Still, Jadeite’s plan did work to a certain extent. After taking out the golems, Jadeite reveals himself and proclaims that he now knows their secret identities because he saw them transform. I’m not sure how he knows their NAMES just by seeing them in regular outfits, but I guess it works to raise the stakes of this battle (and ensures Jadeite’s demise). He doesn’t just immediately run off to out them to the world though. Instead, HE THROWS PLANES AT THEM!!
Now to be fair, the planes really aren’t that threatening considering the only point of contact between them and the Scouts would be the wheels which would be pretty easy to dodge considering the sheer magnitude of inertia on a plane that makes it hard to change direction. That aside, we now have a scene where Sailor Moon and her friends are trying to outrun a series of freaking planes! Now I know what you must be thinking. Why isn’t Sailor Mars using her fire blast to blow up the planes? Well apparently Luna doesn’t want them to be responsible for the collateral damage and the better option is to dodge death until they can think of a better plan. Okay… I can see Luna’s point, but it’s not like anyone ELSE knows who the Scouts are. Hell, there aren’t even any witnesses right now who can point the finger at them instead of say… the Evil Sky Man who threatened everyone already! So I guess there’s nothing left for them to do but wait for their inevitable demise as they’ve run out of runway to run on. THE IRONY!! They don’t get splatted by the planes however because Tuxedo Mask has entered the picture and managed to sneak up on Jadeite without him realizing it which broke the psychic link or whatever between him and the planes; ceasing their Maximum Overdrive style rampage. With a new foe in sight, Jadeite begins his attack which involves… the two of them circling around each for some reason. Okay…
I’m not sure exactly what happens but I DO know that it makes absolutely no sense. After playing ring around the rosie, the two of them eventually clash. We don’t get to see what kind of damage is caused as we cut back to the Scouts reacting to whatever just happened. Then we cut to the ocean where we see a splash and a single rose floats to the surface. Now just to be clear, Jadeite and Tuxedo Mask were on a rooftop which seemed to be quite a distance from the coast (at least far enough that falling off the roof wouldn’t land them in the ocean). Jadeite ends up resurfacing from the water which implies that the clash was him tackling Tuxedo Mask, but if he tackled the guy SO hard that it shot then seventy yards outward into open water, I’m pretty sure other stuff would have surfaced such as his internal organs. There’s not much time for that realization to hit the Scouts though because Jadeite’s ready to begin his next attack which apparently seems to be hurling sexist remarks at them, hoping to break their spirit I guess. Honestly, this is the closest thing we get to some genuine characterization for the guy who starts a diatribe about how much he hates women and how they’re useless without men to protect them. At least that’s SOMETHING other than smug superiority. It also means if this whole Super Villain thing doesn’t work out, he at least has depressingly high prospects as a shock jock.
The lousy eighties standup routine does little to deter the Scouts and actually ends up reinvigorating their efforts as this battle is now about beating the crap out of the patriarchy. They come up with a plan where Usagi runs from planes, Ami uses her bubble mist to blind everyone, and then Rei puts a paper charm on Jadeite’s back. I’m not sure what the sign says, but I’m guessing it’s Japanese for “run over me” because the planes start chasing him instead. Usagi, no longer being chased by aircraft, throws her tiara at the bastard which distracts him long enough to get smooshed by his own trap.
And thus, we have seen the last of Jadeite as he will presumably be scrapped of the tire come tomorrow morning. Except that’s NOT what happened! MOON SHOCK!! Apparently the plane just winged him (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk) and he ends up going back to Dark Kingdom to lick his wounds. However, the reception there is not quite as inviting as he’d hope it would be considering that he ended up at least finding out the identities of the Scouts.
Now would be a good time to talk about how Jadeite was handled in other versions of the series. In the manga, he died in the mystery bus episode by Rei’s hands, and in Crystal he was killed by Queen Metalia along with the other Kings of Dark Kingdom. Both I think are better than how his demise is handled here. After returning to Dark Kingdom, he gets turned to ice by Queen Beryl and banished to another dimension; essentially killing him without all that “death” business brining everyone down. What this does is undercuts Queen Beryl as a strong villain by having her take completely irrational actions so that we can move forward with the story. She doesn’t even bother to let Jadeite tell her who the Scouts are which seems completely counterproductive and against her own self-interest if she wishes to defeat them at some point and her lack of empathy towards one of her own comrades calls into turns this menacing organization of fairly menacing players into a group of losers who are EVIL BECAUSE EVIL!! Just once I’d like to see the leader of an evil organization kill off one of their people in front of the other grunts and then everyone else runs out screaming. An uncompromisingly evil character is boring which this lousy compromise turns Beryl into. I guess they didn’t want to associate the Scouts with outright murder, even though they’ve already killed plenty of his minions and there’s zero distinction made between them and Jadeite himself, but in doing so have made the villains far less compelling. The manga took him out too early and Crystal’s handling of the Kings of Dark Kingdom was darn near a travesty, but at least those didn’t put Queen Beryl on the same mental level as Megatron, the patron saint of lousy ‘evil for evil’s sake’ villains. After sending Jadeite to the Phantom Zone, Queen Beryl calls forth Nephrite who presumably is evil enough to not care that Jadeite was more or less murdered by his boss, yet naive enough to think that his story is going to end any differently.
Back in the real world, The Scouts are mourning the loss of the best-dressed hunk to ever throw a rose (excluding Kurama of course). Oh wait, he isn’t dead. Well THAT sure didn’t hold any weight, and they don’t even bother to explain what the hell happened or how he survived. Hell, the dude still has his hat and he isn’t even wet! The Scouts are happy to see him alive and try to finagle his identity out of him, but he still feels like he can work the mystery angle to his advantage so instead, he just tells them to about the power of friendship and flies off into the night sky, thus ending the episode on a note of triumph as the Scouts are determined to work together against whatever new threats are on the horizon!
This episode started out fairly strong but sadly it petered out towards the end which was disappointing. I like Jadeite as a villain and the way they decided to end his arc here was very anti-climactic what with his master plan being to hit them with airplanes (brilliant in theory but impracticable in practice) and then getting himself frozen by the queen. Will Nephrite be all that different? We’ll have to see, but I’m guessing that the four kings are going to play out pretty similarly throughout the rest of the season. Still, it had a great set up what with Jadeite calling the Scouts out as a Sky God, and it’s nice to see the three guardians working together even if they still have some differences that need to be worked out. The next episode has a lot to live up to considering they have to sell us on Nephrite being interesting as something other than a redesigned Jadeite, but even if he doesn’t bring anything new to the table at least we have more character-building exercises with the current Scouts until Sailor Jupiter shows up.