"Goemon's Close Call" note Also released in English as "Danger! Goemon". Original air date of December 3, 1979.
A sinister man, known only as Wolf, sits by the roadside in the mountains, patiently playing his guitar. Goemon, on the path, comes across him and asks for directions to the nearby hot spring. The man abruptly stands and turns in a threatening manner, but after a momentary standoff, he merely points in the right direction. As Goemon continues on his way, a beautiful woman wearing a rose in her hair and appropriately called Rose, joins Wolf in watching the samurai depart. The two want Lupin dead to prove they are the best assassins in the world...and they plan to use Goemon to get him.
At the springs, Goemon is relaxing when he spots a woman on the other side of the springs, entering the water. Not wanting to accidentally see her naked and taint his honor, he flees to the far end, where Wolf promptly makes an attempt to strangle him. Goemon manages shatter a nearby rock with a punch, distracting Wolf long enough to escape and make for his clothes and sword. However, Rose has already removed Zantetsuken, and when she comes after him, he turns to flee, only to be hit in the neck by her rose dart. He is knocked out and taken captive.
Elsewhere, Lupin is at the hideout, a small castle on an island, and apparently enjoying a bath with Fujiko when Jigen enters to bring him news. The gunman's cigarette accidentally lands on top of "Fujiko", revealing her to be a blow-up doll. Lupin is annoyed that his bath has been disrupted, but Jigen informs him that Goemon never returned from his trip to the hot springs. When Jigen went up there to search for him, all he found was Zantetsuken and Goemon's Fundoshi. The two are interrupted when Inspector Zenigata and the police arrive at the gang's hideout, tipped off by Wolf and Rose, who plan to use the opportunity to take out Lupin from a distance. The police boats surround the island, and Zenigata warns Lupin to surrender. Smoke bombs are fired, finally driving the thief out via a hot-air balloon. Zenigata is prepared, however, and fires a grappling hook into the balloon's basket. Upon climbing to the top, he finds two dummies and a radio there instead. One of the dummies fires a dart, putting a hole in the balloon and sending Zenigata out of control into the distance.
At the back of the island, a secret door opens and a motorboat with Jigen and Lupin zooms out. Wolf takes advantage and fires his special guitar gun, striking Lupin in the head; however, the bullet bounces off, and the two men are revealed as mechanical toys. Wolf admits Lupin is cleverer than he thought and the two leave to form a new plan. Meanwhile, Lupin and Jigen are watching, submerged in the reeds nearby. They wonder who fired the gun at them, but can't stick around to investigate since the rest of the cops are still around.
Back in their own hideout, Goemon is revealed to be strung up by his thumbs and in a battered and bloody state. Rose has been relentlessly torturing him, trying to get information about Lupin out of him. After whipping him, and then breaking his thumbs by pulling on the chain underneath his feet, she has still gotten nowhere. Wolf and Rose want Lupin's weakness, so they can exploit it to kill him. Goemon claims Lupin has no weakness, and remains steadfast, even after Wolf deafens him with an electric guitar and headphones, and Rose drills out one of his teeth.
Meanwhile, Lupin and Jigen worry over their friend, wondering what has happened to him. Jigen has let word "slip out" of Lupin's location, in hopes that will lure their mystery foe out of hiding and lead them to Goemon. A few hours later, Fujiko pulls up outside to visit. Lupin quite happily takes advantage of her visit, preparing for a night of romance. Meanwhile, back at Wolf and Rose's hideout, Wolf taunts Goemon, now chained to a pillar, over the fact that Lupin has been distracted by a woman and is not interested in rescuing him. Goemon notes that Wolf seems to have his own weakness as far as Rose is concerned. Meanwhile, Fujiko's attempts to stab Lupin with a dart hidden in the rose in her hair and a hidden knife under her dress are all futile. Lupin pulls off the mask to reveal Fujiko is really Rose. As she flees, he cheerfully tosses her back her flowered dart.
Furious at failing, Rose returns to the hideout, threatening revenge next time she meets Lupin. Wolf notes it will be soon; Lupin planted a tracking device in her rose. She storms off in fury at being tricked, leaving Wolf to deal with Goemon. Giving Goemon one last chance to reveal Lupin's weakness, Wolf decides he is no longer useful. The assassin prepares to run the samurai through with a sword, but Goemon suddenly whips the chain around his wrist from behind the pillar to trap the blade and pull it away before freeing himself from his chains. Wolf, staggered, wonders how Goemon got loose; he is quickly answered when Lupin, fury barely contained and holding Zantetsuken, steps out from behind the pillar. Lupin then hugs the injured samurai, upset that his friend has been so badly injured because of him. Wolf sneers at the two, telling them friendship is worthless. He and Lupin decide to end the whole thing then and there.
Wolf and Lupin prepare to fight, but Goemon interrupts; he wants a chance to take out Wolf himself. Lupin understands and agrees, helps the samurai to his feet, and helps him tuck Zantetsuken under his arm, his hands too injured to hold the sword. Wolf attempts to take him on with the guitar gun, but Lupin destroys it with a blast from his own Walther and tells Wolf the fight will be a fair one, tossing him the sword that the assassin attempted to use on Goemon earlier. Samurai and assassin face off and charge; Goemon dodges Wolf's attack, draws Zantetsuken with his teeth, and stabs Wolf squarely in the back, ending the fight in a single blow. Just then, Jigen and a captured Rose enter the room. Seeing Wolf dead, she cries out and staggers over to his side in tears. Without hesitation, she takes her rose dart and stabs it into her own heart, collapsing and dying on top of her dead comrade.
Dawn finds Lupin, carrying Goemon on his back, and Jigen, carrying Zantetsuken, walking away from Wolf and Rose's castle. As they depart, Jigen asks Lupin what his weakness actually is. Lupin, rather un-modestly, decides he's too cool to have any weaknesses. Upon finishing, Goemon comments that "Lupin's weakness is he has a screw loose." The three thieves enjoy a laugh as they head off into the forest.
This episode features examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: The episode is taken from a chapter of the second manga series; in the original, Lupin, um...interrogates a young woman tied to the Nezumi Clan, the ones who have captured Goemon in this version; this was replaced with more PG-rated hijinks. The ending was also simplified from the original; in the original, Goemon is only able to win the final duel because the Nezumi leader could not draw his sword...Jigen put a bullet in the blade, jamming it in its sheath.
- Badass Boast: "When the chain breaks, you'll die."
- Badass in Distress: Goemon.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Goemon sings "YMCA" while relaxing at the hot springs. Yes, in the original Japanese version.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Inflicted on Goemon by Wolf and Rose.
- Cold Sniper: Wolf. With a guitar, no less!
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to many other episodes in Shin Lupin III.
- Deceptively Human Robots: Used by Lupin in the motorboat to trick Wolf.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: After wondering what Lupin's weakness might be, Goemon says it must be that Lupin has a screw loose. After a second, Jigen laughs, and even Lupin joins in.
- Friendship Moment: Lupin holding Goemon after coming to his rescue. Also, Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon's conversation as they leave.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Wolf has one of the evil variety.
- Instrument of Murder: Wolf's guitar gun.
- Latex Perfection: Used by Rose to imitate Fujiko.
- Manly Tears: Shed by Lupin when Goemon tells him that he'd rather die than sell his friend out.
- Medium Awareness: Jigen asks Lupin to not be disrespectful to the viewing audience by showing certain parts of himself on screen.
- Modesty Towel: Used by Rose to distract Goemon, though subverted in that he's afraid she will take the towel off.
- Neon Sign Hideout: Used by Lupin and Jigen to "notify" Wolf and Rose about their location.
- Poisoned Weapons: The dart in Rose's hair decoration. Sometimes replaced with a sedative.
- Reed Snorkel: Employed by Lupin and Jigen to escape from Zenigata.
- A Taste of the Lash: One of Rose's torture methods
- Tranquillizer Dart: How Wolf and Rose subdue Goemon.