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終わりの始まり--Owari no Hajimari--The Beginning of the End Edit

As with other episodes in this arc, the scenes will shift from different parts of the past to the present. The episode opens with a contentious argument over the Hinamizawa Dam Project. The majority of citizens want nothing to do with the project, and Sonozaki Oryō flanked by her daughter and son-in-law proclaims opposition is the consensus of the village. At that point, Hōjō Satoko's step-father directly opposes Sonozaki Oryō who claims he is satisfied with the government's compensation, and accuses the Sonozaki and other major land-owning families of greedy self-interest. Sonozaki Oryō had turned her back to him, but when hearing he is satisfied with leaving, turns, and brands him a traitor. Other families back Hōjō Satoko's step-father. Finally he calls her an "old

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Oryō Finds His Response "Less Than Cordial"

hag" to which she stands and replies, "Now you've done it, Hōjō! I haven't been this pissed in a long time!" She threatens he will pay for his insult,

and "you better watch your back!" Hōjō Satoko's step-father vows to kill her and challenges her to stand up leading to a brawl between he, his supporters, and Sonozaki-anti-Dam supporters.

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Hanyū takes up the narration. She sits translucent in a corner lamenting that she "couldn't do anything to stop it back then. . . ." She repeats, "I'm sorry"--gomen nasai--ごめんなさい.

The scene shifts to Hōjō Satoshi carrying Satoko to the Irie Clinic. Takano Miyo meets with Irie Kyōsuke, and she asks why Satoko suffered a relapse, and Irie notes "it's Level 5 again," and the previous time she was at this level was when her mother and step-father died. Then, Irie believes, the trigger was the investigation into her parents' death. Now, he believes it is her aunt and uncle. Miyo dispassionately declares that if Satoko worsens she will become "a valuable sample for our development of a treatment." In horror, Irie asks if she

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would dissect a child, to which Miyo merely giggles. Irie vows this will not happen.

The scene then moves to Irie and Satoshi walking in baseball uniforms discussing Satoko's condition. Irie mentions various abuses Satoko confessed she suffered by "he." This is depicted in a flashback where she lists them to Irie. When he asks who this person is, Satoshi states she has suffered abuse from "our fathers up until now." He suspects she combined all of them into one person in her mind. Satoshi asks if Irie would keep her in the clinic since she does not get along with their aunt and uncle, and he confesses this will "take a huge load off of my shoulders."

Hanyū returns to giving narration on how "everyone is going through painful times." She states she was "power- less then."

Scene cuts to a dam opposition demonstration, then to the Irie Clinic where Miyo tells Irie that the testing results from Tokyo have arrived. They do not reveal the parasite, even with electron microscopes. Irie suspects that perhaps the parasites no longer exist and cannot be found on a dead specimen to which Miyo quickly concludes they must examine a live specimen. He objects, but she states it is the simple matter of putting a terminal patient "to sleep a little while earlier. On paper of course." She leaves to call Okonogi.

Scene shift to Tomitake Jirō apologizing to her in the bus stand in a rain storm. She flirts with him.

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Miyo Takes an Interest in Jirō's Photography

Excursus: Miyo's Reasons for Flirting: Edit

The anime does not depict a motivation. The viewer can only infer; how- ever, the viewer must remember that situations from arc to arc may not be the same. They represent different realities or "fragments" of time. In this depiction she may only hope to control the man who controls her budget. Or she may have some feelings for him or eventually develop them. That is possibly alluded to in a later episode of this arc. Nevertheless, the viewer should note that she never flirts with Irie with whom she often conflicts. The manga version more overtly implies that she does have an attraction to him.

The scene cuts to the Dam Project where a number of workers beat a man with tools, killing him. Over this scene and into the commercial break, we hear Hanyū repeat, "I'm sorry!" After the break, we see the beaten body with the workers regretting what they have done. The victim was manager of the dam construction project. A flashback reveals the workers drinking after work. The Manager appears, clearly disturbed, and wielding a pickax. Returning to the time of the workers, the leader states that the Manager was "no human" and was "a demon." To prevent anyone from turning anyone else in, he demands that each take a part of his body and dispose of it. At this point, he also appears "affected."

Scene shifts to Irie asking Miyo if it is true that a patient "in his terminal stages has turned up." The patient is the same worker. Laughing, Miyo claims she just happened to encounter him on the way home from the clinic. She reveals he was carrying a right arm. This answers the question Ōishi Kuraudo had regarding the part of his friend which was never found. Okonogi and Jirō arrive with a report that shows he was a criminal on probation. "You shouldn't have any qualms about dissecting the scum of society, right, Director Irie," she asks rhetorically. Interesting, Jirō agrees that he is Level 5 and has no hope of recovery. Irie agrees to the dissection.

Scene shifts to Ōishi Kuraudo viewing the remains of his friend with the Coroner. There is a quick flashback to this Manager punching Ōishi Kuraudo as a young man. "I think he beat me more than my real father," Ōishi confesses. He suspects the Sonozaki family and vows revenge, which includes finding his right arm.

Scene shifts to Hanyū narrating how people have been dragged into "a twisting fate" as we see a sleeping Satoko in the clinic. She appears at Satoko's bedside translucent and laments that she can only observe.

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She repeats her apology as Satoko wakens. Irie asks the waking Satoko what is wrong, and Satoko replies she heard someone saying "I'm sorry." Hanyū continues her narration wondering if all of these events are, "Takano's will?" and if she does not have the power to stop it.

After the end-titles, in a flashback Rika laments to Mion that whenever she shops she gets candies, but when Satoko accompanies her, Satoko never gets any. When Rika offers candy to Satoko, Satoko refuses it since it was meant for Rika. Rika feels she has done something terrible to her, and then asks Mion if they are all friends with Satoko and Satoshi. Mion agrees. Rika asks if they can do anything for them. Mion states that if anyone were to help them, it would have to be someone from outside Hinamizawa. After a pause, Rika states in her child voice that she is sure this will hap- pen, and they will all combine their strengths with him. Confused, Mion asks if this is from a book, and Rika replies that someday she will understand.

In her adult voice, Rika takes over the narration to state that this will be the "true beginning." She asks for Hanyū's agreement. A translucent Hanyū sitting behind them agrees she will fight, "This time. Carrying the power of belief."

The Chibi Rika and Hanyū preview is "Tell, me Dark Rika" taking a call from Satoko's uncle. Hanyū reads the

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question which notices that whenever Rika eats anything spicy or drinks alcohol, Hanyū's "mouth is on fire, or she gets drunk." In response to how this connection works, Rika replies "None of your damn business!" After the introduction of the title of the next episode, Rika adds, "On a side note, Hanyū ***** as well," with the word "bleeped" and in the word coming before "Hanyū" in the Japanese.

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