The whole town is celebrating after Vash saved them from the overheating plant. A few girls go to meet him in his room, but he’s pretending to be out cold. As soon as everyone leaves, he sneaks out and boards the sand steamer. Meryl and Milly rush to get on before it leaves, but realize they’re short on money. Meanwhile, Vash is feeling very ill from the previous night of drinking and is hunched over the side railing. A crew member asks him to guard the steamer since they will be passing Rotenbal Valley soon, home to the worst kind of thieves. Vash declines and goes to wash his hands. A hatch from the ceiling comes crashing down on his face as a stow away releases it. Vash angrily grabs the kid, but the kid gives him a quickly made up sob story. Vash buys it and invites the kid back to his room. Vash goes to order a midnight snack from the agents, who are working the food counter to alleviate their financial situation. Milly remarks that Vash eats like a growing boy, and Vash thinks she’s on to his secret. The growing boy nearly knocks him down to get at the food after Vash enters. He poisoned Vash’s drink, and Vash goes out like a light. We learn the kid is actually working for the bandits about to board the steamer, and was making sure the guards were all out by planting gas bombs in the vents. When he gives the signal, the Badorado Gang, lead by BDN (Brilliant Dynamite Neon), storms the steamer and quickly takes it over.
As Vash is sleeping, he has a dream in which a beautiful girl named Rem is singing. He screams out to her, but is woken up by the sound of the bandits. The passengers are all gathered into one room and their jewels are taken by BDN. He knows they must have more wealth, so he asks where the truly valuable jewels are. He learns they’re in a safe, but the key to it is located in another city. BDN orders full speed to the town. The pilot tries to hit the brake, but BDN crushes his hand with his foot. When the pilot declares the safety of the train and its passengers are more important than his own life, BDN takes him up on that statement and guns him down. The kid is brought in, looking terribly nervous at the sight of all the blood. When asked if he knows how to drive the steamer, the kid replies that he’s not familiar with the controls. When BDN announces his plans to destroy the ship, the kid lashes out, saying that he was lied to. BDN knocks him and a couple of his teeth to the floor. After the kid gets up, he kicks him across the room. The kid says he can’t go through with the plan because the ship is his fathers. After BDN shoves a pistol in his mouth, Vash bursts in and rescues him. A couple of bandits are rummaging through Meryl and Milly’s room in the dark, but the agents were right behind them and give them a severe beating. BDN grabs a hostage and forces the captain to set the ship to full throttle.
This is the first true cliffhanger of the series. The tone is very serious, as most of the sparse jokes in this episode were in the first half. It was also a bit light on plot and heavy on action, which made it a bit disappointing. Hopefully this will be balanced out in the next episode. The villain was not the usual mad goofball, despite his appearance, but a truly demented fiend. The vision Vash had gives us a little more insight into his mysterious past, but we still know very little about him or who Rem is. I’m hoping we are getting close to seeing the true villain of the series as this “villain of the day” trend is becoming a bit stale.