As the episode opens, we see Chapel confront Legato. It seems he’s none too pleased about the fact that Legato forced him to kill Wolfwood and he aims to dish out some payback. It turns out to be futile, as the instant Chapel draws his guns, Legato breaks Chapel’s arms. The pair are approached by Knives himself. The villain delivers a monologue about humanity before promptly destroying Chapel in an orb of dark energy. Legato says that he will go after Vash himself and promises to bring him eternal pain and suffering.
Vash, meanwhile, has moved on to the next town. We see in flashback that he left Meryl and Milly as he didn’t want them to suffer the same fate as Wolfwood. We see that Milly is still stricken with grief as she sits by the side of her bed in silence. Before he leaves them, Vash tells his story to Meryl after she demands to know why these things seem to happen around him.
It seems the travel has lifted his spirits, and we see him buy a bag of donuts from a local vendor. He sits down and begins to enjoy them, but soon breaks down into tears after taking a single bite.
As he weeps, Vash is approached by two young boys. They poke fun at the fact that a grown man is crying, but their dialogue soon turns oddly specific. It becomes clear that Legato has taken control of the boys and is using them to rub dirt in Vash’s emotional wounds.
Legato soon reveals himself and Vash holds the man at gunpoint. Legato tells Vash to meet him at the top of a nearby mountain in a few hours and walks away without incident. The sax playing Gung-ho gun then emerges and attacks Vash. Vash finds that the mercenary (named MIdvalley) can deflect Vash’s gunfire with the shockwaves emitted from his sax. After seeing that Vash is quite capable of dodging Midvalley’s attacks, Legato decides to intervene and brings out random citizens to stand in the path of Midvalley’s attacks. Vash rushes in front of them to take the hits, and continues to do so well past the point of exhaustion.
It soon becomes a case where Vash’s spirit is willing but his flesh is too weak. He collapses and Midvalley talks about how Vash is no different from Knives and Legato. Vash draws his arm mounted gun, but Midvalley pins his wrist down with his foot. Vash fires anyway and a richochet manages to damage Midvalley’s saxophone enough that it can no longer play. Not surprisingly, Midvalley is not pleased with this development. He decides to resort to a backup plan and we see that his saxophone is equipped with several guns.
Vash warns him not to shoot, but Midvalley doesn’t listen and the saxophone explodes as a result of the aforementioned damage. Vash breaks down into tears again as another life is lost.
Vash makes his way up the mountain to meet Legato and fires at him several times. Despite his rage, Vash still can’t bring himself to deliver the killing shot. Legato forces Vash’s hand, bringing in townsfolk and having them shoot Vash as a way to push him. This doesn’t prove as effective as Legato would’ve hoped, so he has the brainwashed townspeople bring Meryl and Milly, who had decided to follow Vash after Milly reveals that she has come to terms with Wolfwood’s death, and threatens their lives. The enslaved populace gathers around them menacingly and fires several warning shots to show Vash that he needs to act if he intends to save their lives.
Vash begs Legato to put an end to this, but it falls on deaf ears. Vash is forced to pull the trigger and puts a bullet in Legato’s head. We see Vash is consumed with guilt as Legato delivers on his promise to make Vash suffer. The episode ends as Knives laughs.
This episode is one heck of a downer. Vash is utterly broken when things begin and it only goes downhill from here. The loss takes its toll and the fact that he had to betray everything he stood for only makes it that much darker. The episode was heavy on drama as idealogical conflicts come to a head. Sadly, while Vash’s resolve gets showcased, his idealistic outlook gets dragged through the dirt. It makes for a compelling episode, but it is a drastic shift in tone.
Anime fans in the local Wichita area can purchase the series in its entirety on DVD at their local Best Buy or order it online through websites like Amazon.