UNMARKED SPOILERS FOR SHUTDOWN AHEAD!
Six months have passed since the underground Tempest tournament, when Tari gave herself up to Lucks and TASCorp in order to let MD-5 walk away, defeated, and Theo ended up in limbo with his life dependent of the former two keeping up their ends of the deal. This episode reveals what has become of them.
Episode 11 provides examples of:
- Bait-and-Switch: The first scene of the season initially makes it seem like Tari is trying to pull an escape attempt, but its soon revealed to be a game her and Belle are playing in a show match.
- Call-Back: Theo's only sentient companion in his holding cell is the Elder Tomato, who can still only recite the extremely long backstory for Simpleflip Island.
- Despair Event Horizon: Tari is shown to be largely unhappy during her time at TASCorp despite her six-month string of victories, between the traumatic events of "Shutdown", Lucks' constant stream of criticism and Belle's coldness towards her due to believing Tari is responsible for whatever happened to Lucinia. She answers Lucks with a depressed-sounding "Yes, sir" several times thoughout the episode, comes close to having a breakdown when she demands to see Theo again for the first time in weeks, and even when she does get to see him, she's well aware of the hopelessness of their situation even when she reassures Theo that they'll see MD-5 again one day
- Establishing Character Moment: Evelyn establishes her bratty, self-centered attitude when she comes into Belles room uninvited and goes on a brief tirade about how Lucks is giving more attention to Tari than her.
- The Fellowship Has Ended: Masa believed MD-5 to be done for after their defeat at the arena, leading him to abandon Lamar and Sofia afterwards. When the two find him six months later, he refuses to rejoin them until Sofia tell him about her phone.
- Heroic BSoD: Masa was hit hard by the failure of Operation Silent Demon, as he abandoned Lamar and Sofia soon after, and spent the next six months off the grid, now hanging around a low-tier part of Silica City and dueling gamers for money with a one-handed controller. When Lamar and Sofia finally find him, he initially refuses to join up with them again, declaring MD-5 to be finished, before Sofia tells him about her phone with the backup of the incriminating data on TASCorp which is currently in the possession of Belle.
- Product Placement: For the first time, the series features a real-life video game, War Tech Fighters, which is what Masa is playing during his reintroduction.
- Time Skip: The episode picks up six months after the events of Shutdown, showing where the cast has ended up since then.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: The low-tier part of Silica City where Lamar and Sofia finally reunite with Masa, which is essentially, a dark, grimy back alley.