The penultimate episode turns up the heat quite literally, sidelining Arisu in favor of several showdowns and swerves.
This recap of Alice in Borderland season 1, episode 7 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
With the Witch Hunt underway, things are already getting chaotic here in the penultimate episode. It takes the residents of the Beach roughly five minutes to determine that Momoka’s best friend Asahi is the witch, but Usagi intervenes, and An reveals to everyone that Hatter was murdered. Of course, this begins to immediately turn the populace against the militants, especially once they learn that the bullet used to kill Hatter is the same caliber as the ammo found on the island. Once Anugi arrives and starts threatening to burn everyone, it’s absolute carnage.
As the militants begin butchering everyone and tossing them on the fire, Usagi attempts to find Arisu (he’s still tied to a chair somewhere, and the hotel is alight), and An tries to take a more scientific approach by dusting the murder weapon for fingerprints — turns out she worked in forensics prior to this. She and Kuina are confronted on their way out by the psychotic, face-tattooed sword-wielding nutcase militant Last Boss, and Kuina stands her ground while An escapes. Elsewhere, Chishiya confronts Niragi on the roof as he takes potshots at fleeing citizens with a rifle. I must say I was surprised by a flashback designed to engender some sympathy for Niragi. Surely too little too late?
Last Boss has a hard time with Kuina, who a flashback reveals is transgender, and had a difficult relationship with her stern martial artist father, who ejected her from the house after discovering her putting on makeup. Last Boss even gets his own backstory flashback, as a kind of counter. By the time the fight resumes, we know a little more about both of them. But it’s not much of a surprise that Kuina wins.
Meanwhile, Chishiya explains to Niragi that whoever’s running the game must be doing so using the underground power grid, knowledge of and access to which was only available to the executives. He’s determined to kill all of them until he gets the key to that power grid, and he begins with Niragi, offing him with a homemade flamethrower.
Usagi manages to rescues Arisu with only three minutes left to spare. He reasons that the witch is being forced to participate against their will, like the taggers earlier in the season. As Arisu ponders what he would do if he were the witch, we get a very brief flashback of Aguni and Hatter as the former stares psychotically into the pyre of burning bodies. Just as Arisu is speculating, An figures out the culprit, but before she can tell anyone she’s knocked unconscious. The penultimate episode ends with Arisu declaring that he thinks he knows who the witch is.
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