In the previous episode of Ando Lloyd (安堂ロイド〜A.I. knows LOVE?〜), Asahi (Shibasaki Kou) finally gave her android protector (Kimura Takuya) a name and, because the Japanese love puns, she names him Lloyd so that combined with her surname, he becomes Ando Lloyd.

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They play Shogi with the expected result and Asahi proved that she’s not a good loser.

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Suppli (Honda Tsubasa) sneaks in even though Lloyd doesn’t need her. It’s pretty clear that she’s jealous of Asahi.

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Just as Suppli leaves, Lloyd gets a shock to his system, but we don’t know from what.

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Back at Asahi’s offcie, Shinzo (Kiritani Kenta) is working on something that he hides once Asahi walks in.

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She reports to her on three issues – that Sakiko’s father Isaku (Endo Kenichi) has made a miraculous recovery (which just makes me wonder why the writers had to have him fall for such a stupid trick in the previous episode in the first place), that all of the bugs in the cloud system are solved (which seems like a ridiculous thing to claim – at any given time only the known bugs in any system can be resolved), and that Matsushima Reiji hasn’t seen a doctor since the accident.

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Seems like Shinzo has been prying into things, including the kill list, but why? Is he really just concerned for Asahi or is there something more going on?

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Asahi tells him to stay away from the case (which, knowing human psychology, is practically the equivalent of begging him to continue), but she hardly has a choice about what to say when Lloyd has a gun aimed at the back of Shinzo’s head.

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Suppli’s becoming quite a stalker, popping up even in this scene without anyone noticing.

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Isaku is aiming to get discharged from the hospital and, now that he’s somewhat mended his relationship with his daughter Sakiko (Yamaguchi Sayaka), he has access to someone close to Asahi.

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Suppli is running around town, apparently wishing she had a cat. Let’s just face it – she needs some love.

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At the urging of the Mysterious Beauty (Kiritani Mirei), Nanase (Oshima Yuko) is trying to continue her brother Reiji’s work and decode the messages he received from 100 years into the future. I’m sort of disappointed by her frustration – she starts hyperventilating when there’s a “value cannot be null” error. Just yesterday I had to write a condition to get around some null values – what’s the big deal?

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After the Mysterious Beauty leaves, Lloyd appears, warning Nanase that he’s watching her every move. In that case, why doesn’t he just have his ultimate battle with the Mysterious Beauty now – they’re bound to have some for of fight, right?

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Finally, Lloyd actually gets to conduct class! But it’s strange in an unexpected way, because he starts by saying that he wants to make a special comment before they begin, but halfway into that comment he gets interrupted by the bell but says that he’ll continue talking anyway (not unusual in college if no professor needs the room next). Now, either he meant that he wanted to make the comment before they moved on to the topic in the next lecture and this is actually after he’s already done the main lecture, or they suffered a weird time lapse. The point is, they really should have showed a little bit of him delivering the last part of the main lecture. It’s an editing issue – they just needed an extra five seconds of him writing an equation on the board and the class quickly copying stuff down. In fact, they should still be taking notes as he gives his special message. The way they’re uniformly sitting still makes it seem like the start of a lecture instead of the end.

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His message is out-of-character, but we find out why afterward. There are some dubious statements about physics, but you’re bound to get those when people are traveling back in time.

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Lloyd says that people’s desires can change their past, which is stupid just on the face of it – we all have immediate experience that this is not true, otherwise we would surely make some very drastic changes, thus creating a paradox. If people can wish the nasty stuff in their past away, it wouldn’t have happened, in which case how did they know about it to wish it away? The most you can do with your desires is to create/tap into a parallel reality in which it didn’t happen (at least, it wouldn’t create a universe-breaking paradox), but the original reality must still persist with the version of you who made the wish still living in it.

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Afterward, Lloyd reveals that this message to the class was an order from his client. He also says he doesn’t know who his client is, but that’s odd, because I’m pretty sure he’s specifically denied that it was certain people before, but how can he make such a denial when he doesn’t know who it is? Anyway, it sure looks like it much be Nanase. After all, why else would the Mysterious Beauty take such an interest in Nanase?

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By the way, in that scene the Mysterious Beauty claims to be a super-advanced android capable for reading human thoughts and predicting their actions. She claims omniscience (a tad overpowered, no?) and makes me wonder who the heck would have built her. Did other androids create her, or just some crazy human who thinks androids are more perfect than humans and should rule the world? I’m sure we’ll get the answers as exposition at some point, because the writers are hell-bent on just telling us everything rather than showing us.

Suppli’s jealousy is leading her to be cold toward Lloyd, who suffers a malfunction after his lecture.

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She says that his emotional development is interfering with his natural combat programming, and that the only solution is for her to reformat him. That would mean the loss of all his memory, which we already know he is strictly opposed to.

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Suppli really wants to needle Asahi, so she shows up as a reporter at Asahi’s workplace.

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Meanwhile, Shinzo decides to become an informant to Isaku. At this point, Asahi probably shouldn’t show up at work at all if she wants to keep any of these people alive (but, for some reason, we know that she can’t possibly take some time off even though her life and the lives of everyone around her are at risk).

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Very little of the conversation between Isaku and Shinzo makes sense, except that Isaku suddenly reveals that he knows absolutely everything about what’s going on with Asahi and Lloyd – that he’s her android protector and all that. This was extremely disappointing. First of all, because I thought we’d get to see him connect the dots clearly as a detective would. More importantly, why is he revealing how much he knows to Shinzo, who he has no reason to trust? Surely he knows his own life is at risk after being pushed off a bridge by an android – why does he not suspect that Shinzo is an android, or at least should be treated as such?

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As it turns out, the real android is someone even closer to Isaku. It took us more than half an episode to get to meet the enemy for the day.

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Which leaves us with a few questions – will Isaku die again? Will Lloyd be able to deal with the new threat despite his weakened/confused state?

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But critically, why didn’t Suppli just offer to install the emotion program earlier in the episode instead of claiming that the only solution was to reformat Lloyd? That was just weak – the writers had a specific ending in mind, and allowed the inconsistency in order to get it.

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But that wasn’t the only thing the writers had to put in there to get the ending that they wanted – they also had to have a completely contrived plot device of the ‘enemy’s true form’. You’ll have to watch to understand what I mean, of course, but it was blatantly only there to get to the predetermined ending.

And that’s a no-no – you have to introduce the key devices that might lead to the ending early on, not suddenly introduce them late as a matter of convenience. Also, it’s entirely better if the ending flows naturally from events already set in motion rather than being forced in this way. This was a ham-handed way to get a desired result.

Then there’s the result they were aiming for itself. I didn’t like it. Obviously, it was critical for Lloyd’s development, but . . . well, I can’t say too much more without it being an absolute spoiler. Let me put it this way – they’d better do something spectacular in the next episode to make up for this, or I really don’t know what I’m watching this series for anymore.

If I really wanted to watch a series with an android becoming more human, I’d probably go for Star Trek: The Next Generation because at least there, Data is likable and the viewer sympathized with him. Lloyd elicits no sense of sympathy. And neither does Asahi, because she never gives us the sense that she feels like she’s in any danger – she takes a totally inhuman approach to being hunted by assassin robots. You don’t suppose . . . she could actually be a robot and not know it? Seems like anyone can be an android in this series, considering the androids are allowed to act almost like humans (all except Lloyd).