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Couch Baron: B+ | Grade It Now!
Future Imperfect

Hiro plays the DVD, and Kaito tells him that if he's viewing it, that means Kaito's dead. He goes on that not only has he left him his fortune, but he's passing on a sacred duty -- "you are now to be the sentinel of a dangerous secret." He says said secret was guarded by him and his father before him, and it's in his personal safe. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world, so it must never be opened. Hiro's face: "Okay, no." I kind of have to agree -- if he's not going to tell him in what circumstances the secret is necessary for a good purpose, why didn't he just destroy it? In other words, why keep something around that can only be used for evil? I mean, I don't necessarily support Hiro opening the safe for no better reason than he's bored even though he CAN TRAVEL ANYWHERE AND IN ANY TIME, but if I were him, I'd wonder what the logic here is and if I weren't meant to open it after all. Anyway, Hiro starts rushing around the office like he managed to decapitate himself with the Kensei sword, but finally finds an electronic control for the safe. Over Ando's strong objections, he opens it, and a heavy panel slides out of the way to reveal a thumb scanner. Ando wonders why his print would work, as Kaito didn't want him to open it, but Hiro gives it a try and is successful: "Or maybe he does." Inside, along with some papers, there's another DVD, with a note that says, "Press play." They get it going, and Kaito sternly notes, "I asked you not to open the safe!" It would be hilarious if that were the extent of the message. But no -- referring to the papers, Kaito says there are people who will stop at nothing to get "this half of the formula." Should that happen, there's only one hope: "A chosen one among you who carries the purity of blood, the 'light' to safeguard against the darkness." He asks if he understands, and Hiro is like, I didn't even understand that I wasn't supposed to open the safe, so what chance do I have with this cryptic gobbledygook? Kaito instructs Hiro to guard that half of the formula with his life. "The fate of the world depends on it." The message ends, and Hiro opens the envelope, which contains a complex chemical formula. Hiro bemoans the fact that he didn't pay attention in chemistry class, not that that's really relevant when the paper suddenly gets snatched from his hands. His reflexes are up to the task, though, as he immediately stops time. Once he does, he sees that the sound waves and distortion of the air that the thief left are now suspended like multicolored gossamer, and seriously, can I just geek out about how cool that is, both in concept and execution? Anyway, Hiro follows the trail out to a young woman with somewhat feathery blonde hair whom he apparently stopped mid-Flash-like run, and then is startled when she breaks out of her frozen position and asks how he's doing this. "Are you a speedster, too?" Don't think I don't love Hiro despite anything I might say, but "speedster" is not a description he brings to mind in any context. He tells her he stops time, but Flashette pertly points out that he obviously doesn't do so completely, or they wouldn't be chatting as they are. So presumably this is as fast as she can move while his time freeze is on, but still, it's not clear why she was completely frozen for those earlier few moments at all. It's possible she was faking, but it seems unlikely. He asks if she moves fast (see what I mean about the uptake?) and she corrects him that she moves really fast. And considering that when Peter stopped time earlier, the bullet didn't move a hair that we could see, I don't think she's guilty of hyperbole. Flashette shows him the paper she stole, and he starts to spaz out, but she grabs him by the throat and asks exactly how the time stop works. "If you chase me to Bangkok, will time stay frozen here in Tokyo?" He tells her he doesn't know, which has to be the wrong answer, and she replies that he can contemplate the question when he gets back on his feet. Hiro: "But I am on my feet." Do you think Claire's blood would heal the massive brain damage that Hiro undoubtedly suffered at some point in his life? Flashette of course clocks him one, and as he falls, time resets, which sends all the papers she passed at massively high speeds flying into the air, another touch I loved. With the snag taken care of, Flashette hightails it out of there.

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