The Season One finale to Meta Runner. Unmarked spoilers ahead!
Tari isn't exactly in a desirable position right now. The rest of her MD-5 teammates have been eliminated, and she's currently incapacitated by Belle, who's going against Lucks' orders to force Tari to tell her what she did to Lucinia... despite the fact Tari basically has no idea who Lucinia is. Can Tari escape Belle and execute the Deep Mountain Clip? And even if she does, will MD-5 be able to escape the arena so easily?
Episode 10 provides examples of:
- All for Nothing: Subverted. After all the training MD-5 put into preparing for the tournament and shutting down TASCorp's servers, they still get caught and seemingly lose all the sensitive information Sofia gathered, with Lucks ordering a computer worm to erase any backups she made. In The Stinger, however, Belle discovers Sofia's phone left in a trash can with the worm removed, revealing there's a slim chance MD-5's efforts weren't in vain.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Lucks ultimately succeeds in getting Tari to surrender and join TASCorp in exchange for MD-5's freedom, undoes MD-5's plan to publicly expose him, and backs both parties into a corner by capturing Theo and threatening to erase him if either of them try resisting him again.
- Batman Gambit: After getting a morale boost from Theo, Tari decides to tell Belle what she knows about Lucinia, making Belle stop torturing her so she can listen to her... before using a quick succession of spells to knock Belle back and escape from under the tower.Tari: The truth is... you called game too early.
- Break the Cutie: Done to devastating effect to both Sofia (as a result of learning about Lucinia's demise) and Tari (as a result of Theo disappearing when Lucks destroyed his cartridge and sacrificing herself to keep the rest of MD-5 safe).
- Cassandra Truth: Belle doesn't believe Tari when she says she doesn't know anything about Lucinia. Tari even points this out:Tari: What's the point? You're not gonna believe me no matter what I say.
- Cliffhanger: Tari and Theo have been captured by TASCorp and MD-5 are backed into a corner by Lucks, and the last shot of the season is of a person in cryostastis.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Belle burns a fireball against Tari's face to try and get her to talk about Lucinia, which causes so much pain for Tari, her body in the real world noticeably twitches, and the circuitboard-like patterns from episode 2 start spreading from her eye.
- Evolving Credits: Tari is now missing from the end credits in this episode.
- Exact Eavesdropping: Lucks reveals how he was able to find out about Operation Silent Demon: by experimenting with the Project Blue-corrupted Ultra Jump Mania cartridge, he was able to look through Theo's vision.Lucks: Oh, yes. It did take me a while to figure out exactly how it worked. But as it turns out, video games can be extremely educational.
Lamar: That's how you knew our plan? You turned Theo into a spy? That is messed up!
- Fake Arm Disarm: Lucks shoots off the lower half of Masa's Meta Runner arm when the latter tries to attack him.
- Free-Fall Fight: Tari and Belle break into a battle falling from the sky as Tari attempts to perform the Deep Mountain Clip, with Belle pursuing and trying to stop her.
- Internal Reveal: Belle reveals Tari's connection to the Project Blue incident to the others, something that's been established to the viewers already.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Downplayed with Theo, who is simply kept in an unconscious state on his game's motherboard after the cartridge is destroyed:Theo: Don't worry, Tari... I'll just respaw— *flickers out and vanishes*
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Belle holding Tari captive instead of immediately eliminating her as per Lucks' orders allows Theo to give Tari a Rousing Speech in the real world, which gives Tari the courage to escape Belle. Lucks does not let this go unnoticed when Belle tries to speak against Tari negotiating for MD-5's release:Lucks: You have made enough mistakes tonight, Belle! Do you really want to make another?
- "Ray of Hope" Ending: The episode and season really doesn't go well for our heroes for the most part, what with all the data Sofia obtained on TASCorp being erased, Tari surrendering herself to Lucks to let the rest of MD-5 free, Theo's cartridge destroyed with Theo himself being held as collateral by Lucks. The only thing keeping this from being a full Downer Ending is the reveal in The Stinger where Belle finds a device with a backup of the data that Sofia obtained and keeps it for herself instead of handing it to Lucks.
- The Reveal: We learn that Lucinia is Sofia's sister, and that Lucks is working on a project that involves someone in cryostasis.
- Rousing Speech: A short one from Theo, which convinces Tari to fight back against Belle:Theo: Tari... I wish I could help you right now. But... I can't. I know it's not fair that we're all counting on you when you're alone and it seems impossible. But I've seen you do the impossible before, so I know you could do this. I believe in you, Tari!
- Say My Name: Tari lets out a tearful one in response to Theo vanishing after Lucks crushes his cartridge.
- Season Finale: Of Season One.
- The Stinger: After the credits, we see Belle obtaining a device that happened to download a local backup of the incriminating evidence that Sofia obtained, and Lucks reporting the status of an experiment involving someone in cryostasis.
- Triumphant Reprise: A more hopeful instrumental remix of Always Running begins to play as Tari initiates the Deep Mountain Clip and battles against Belle on the way down.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Theo was secretly being used to spy on MD-5 and reveal Operation Silent Demon to Lucks.
- Villain No Longer Idle: After Belle fails to stop Tari from executing the Deep Mountain Clip, Lucks decides to take matters into his own hands, initiating a backup plan and drawing his gun. Things quickly go downhill for our heroes after that.Lucks: Prepare a security team. I'm done playing games.
- Wham Line: Another Wham Conversation playing off the reveal from the previous episode:Lucks: (to Sofia) Such a waste of talent. If only you had come to TASCorp instead of joining up with this one.(glances at Masa)Sofia: I just... I just wanted to know what you did to my sister.Tari: Sister...?Lamar: Lucinia.
- Wham Shot: Tari's view of Lucinia burned and missing her Meta Runner arm after the former completes the Deep Mountain Clip.
- Would Hurt a Child: Lucks crushes Theo's cartridge, forcing him out of the real world and rendering him a lifeless virtual husk within his microchip, and holds him hostage as collateral, threatening to permanently erase him if Tari or MD-5 try fighting back against him again.
- You're Insane!: Lamar calls out Lucks for this after the latter shoots off Masa's Meta Runner arm.Lamar: Lucks, you freaking psychopath!