Elvy exits Tokyo Jupiter and reports to TERRA. Haruka asks where the RahXephon is and Megumi is surprised to see her sister there. Kim says it headed north, but they lost it. Megumi asks what happened and why Ayato isn’t returning to them. Ayato hides the RahXephon in a reservoir and Hiroko asks where they are. Ayato explains everything and Hiroko wonders what that makes the person she was. They overlook a city and Hiroko thinks about how scared she is. Ayato pawns their watches and they get new clothes. Ayato asks her if she’s disappointed with how things are, but she says it’s fine. They take a train and Hiroko thinks of how Ayato’s running from someone and that no one’s looking for her. She thinks of how no one needs her and she doesn’t even know what she wants. They fall asleep in a movie theatre and Hiroko dreams about a dolem pilot. The pilot says since she left, she can see the truth. Hiroko asks who she is, and the pilot takes off her helmet, revealing Hiroko’s face. She wakes up and sees an anti Mulian ad on the screen. Johji gets the watches from the pawnshop and takes them as evidence. Johji asks around about Ayato and reports it to Makoto. Johji says they’ll forget about TERRA for now and his associate says he’s enjoying it. Johji says an old bloodhound can appreciate a smarter fox. Ayato and Hiroko get a hotel room and he lets her use the shower first. Hiroko brushes her teeth but is shocked when her gums bleed blue. She sees her dolem pilot self in the mirror and Ayato asks what’s wrong, but she says it’s nothing. She says she’s hungry and they go get something to eat. Ayato wonders what to get and Hiroko says she wants to tell him something. A truck drowns her out but then she says she wants spaghetti.
Johji gets another lead on Ayato and finds out some one was with him. Ayato says he found a part time job and that he just needs more time to think. Ayato says one day he’ll use the RahXephon to bring Mamoru and her parents out of Tokyo and Hiroko realizes she doesn’t have memories of a family. She’s afraid of not being human and wonders what Ayato would do if she told him. All she knows is that she doesn’t want Ayato to hate her. Hiroko falls asleep writing in her diary and wakes up later to see the wind chime she was looking at in a shop next to her. They watch a ship leave and Hiroko wonders where it’s going. She says she thought there was only Tokyo and Ayato asks if there’s any place she’d like to visit. She says she wants to go somewhere far away and starts crying. Back at the hotel room, they sit in an awkward silence until Ayato brings up his mother. He says he tried to like her, but it turned out she wasn’t really his mother. He wonders why he was born and she hugs him. She says all she has is him. The RahXephon activates and flies towards the city. Hiroko lies on top of ayato and goes to kiss him, but he senses the RahXephon. The dolem Vibrato appears and causes a black out. The RahXephon lands in front of the hotel and Ayato said that he thought he had nothing left to loose. He says he still has her and that he’ll protect her. Hiroko wants to tell him something but he says he’ll be back. She says she’ll always be waiting for him and he boards the RahXephon. Hiroko’s diary flips open and Vibrato uses the city lights to send messages. Hiroko is embraced by her dolem pilot self and grabs her pen, saying she needs to tell Ayato something. RahXephon charges at Vibrato, but is knocked back. Hiroko writes that she doesn’t want to fight, and it’s displayed across the city. Vibrato is about to finish him, but he knocks it away, sending Hiroko flying backwards as well. He destroys Vibrato’s arm, and Hiroko’s breaks as well. Hiroko writes that she loves him and the RahXephon punches through Vibrato. Ayato sees the message and realizes what he did as Vibrato explodes. Hiroko’s corpse lies in front of her blood stained diary. The next day Johji finds Ayato reading the diary in the room and tells him to get a grip. Johji gives Ayato Hiroko’s watch and he starts crying. Johji helps Ayato out of the hotel and is greeted by Helena. He says old hounds aren’t used to being hunted themselves.
I both hate and love this episode at the same time. It’s tragic, but beautifully done. You can’t help but feel sorry for Hiroko, as she lost everything, but found she still had Ayato. Unfortunately her dolem found her and Ayato unwittingly destroyed it, killing her as well. Ironic how he fought to protect her but what he was fighting actually was her. Ayato and Hiroko had good couple potential, but alas. Johji also reveals his true colors as a Federation agent after being gone for a while. Now that Ayato’s back in TERRA’s hands, we’ll have to wait to see his fate.