Noa and Ota confront a Pickle that fires a grappling rocket at Unit 2. Ota catches the wire, and the Pickle makes a break for it. Ota pulls out his revolver, and Kumagami tells him to watch out for cars. Ota tackles the Pickle and also hits several cars, which come close to hitting Kumagami’s command car. Back at the station house, Goto tells Kumagami that they have to re-enact the whole incident because of the cars that Ota trampled. Their insurance company wants to see it because they’re worried by how many claims Division 2 has been filing. Ota bitterly complains about having to do this, and Noa asks if insurance covers everyone they do on duty. Kumagami tells everyone that they’ll all be participating in the walkthrough. The next day, Ota complains about having to wait for access to the construction site for the re-enactment. Insurance inspector Naoyo Yamada pulls up on a scooter and introduces herself. She begins taking measurements with a tape measure and asks Ota questions. Yamada asks Noa to use Unit 1 as the stand in for the villain, which bothers Noa. Yamada marks the area on the road where the cars were parked with chalk. Noa starts running away, and Ota tackles her from behind. Yamada marks the area around Unit 1’s feet with chalk and asks Ota what happened next. He says he pulled back to make sure he had the target. He then lets Noa go and picks her up, which causes Unit 1’s foot to hit the area where one of the cars was parked. Yamada thanks Goto for his help and says she has no feel for machines. She tells Goto that the main office will send their decision soon. At the station house, Ota complains that it’s still up to the insurance company, and Noa wonders why their premiums won’t go down. Asuma thinks the insurance company wants to prove negligence so they don’t have to pay out. Goto comments that he’s become too complacent about destruction, and Shinobu agrees, noting that his division’s insurance filings are eight times higher than hers. Yamada visits the station house and addresses Division 2, saying it’s hard to prove things through recreations, so she’s going to accompany them until their next incident. Later, Hiromi tries to excuse himself from the office, and Yamada wonders where everyone is. Hiromi crams himself into the cramped bathroom where everyone is hiding from Yamada. Ota tries to avoid Yamada as she speaks with Kumagami and snags his shirt on a wire.
Yamada stitches up Ota’s shirt and thanks everyone for giving her a desk. She comments that her home office has been stubborn and that insurance companies should be helping people like Ota. The mechanics gossip about Yamada, and Ota tells them to watch what they say because the report is important. Noa teases Ota and asks if he’s starting to see things from Yamada’s perspective. Yamada unwraps several bento boxes that she brought for everyone to eat from. Noa finds Ota eating outside and tells him to come inside since Yamada brought lunch. He says he doesn’t want to get chummy with her since she’s not part of the force. Division 2 then gets an emergency call about a terrorist group seizing a labor. The team heads to the scene, with Yamada riding in Goto’s command car. She asks how they can do an ambush in the middle of Tokyo traffic, and Goto explains that they’re sending in unmarked cars to deal with the traffic. The police cars surround the truck, which smashes into them veers off the highway after spotting Division 2. Noa and Ota jump out from behind the overpass and force the truck to stop. Ota tries to maneuver around traffic and accidentally causes a huge accident when multiple cars crash into each other. Yamada comments that maybe insuring Patlabors is a bad idea. A young boy wants to cross the police line to get his bike, which Ota accidentally steps on, making the boy cry. Yamada tells Goto that their policy doesn’t cover the bike. Ota comes down from his cockpit, and the boy angrily punches him. Later, Ota asks for permission to leave and visits the boy’s apartment. He’s brought an Ingram toy and is surprised to hear from the boy’s mother that Yamada stopped by with a new bike. Ota returns to the station and hears from Shinshi that their coverage has been renewed and that all prior claims have been approved. Ota asks to speak with Yamada about the bike and offers to reimburse her for it, but she tells him she covered it with company expenses. She says she wants to help people like him and that he shouldn’t worry about it. He says there must be a way to help her, and she makes him pose for a poster advertising the company’s labor insurance.
This is the sort of episode I’m glad to see Patlabor do. Given the generally more “realistic” approach the series takes to a robot story, insurance and collateral damage are things you’d expect to hear about (and which are explored further in Dai Guard). It’s surprising that Division 2 even has any insurance at all, given the massive amount of collateral damage they cause with every deployment. Of course, they’re not happy about an insurance inspector watching over their every move. In this situation, you’d expect an annoying bean counter who needles them about every little thing, but instead they get the nicest old lady possible who goes out of their way to help them. This has an effect on the destruction prone Ota, but unfortunately it’s not enough to make him change his ways because massive destruction is his defining trait.