Angel Heart - 17: Encounter in a Dream

Title:Angel Heart
Episode:17: Encounter in a Dream
Xiang Ying has been troubled by a recurring nightmare of herself as a child, wandering Shinjuku alone in search of Papa Ryou. He advises her not to worry too much, and to tell Doc about it during her checkup today. Ryou wonders if the case involving Tanya might have affected Xiang Ying somehow. When she arrives at the clinic, Doc mistakes her momentarily for Kaori, who once served as a nurse there. After the checkup Xiang Ying falls asleep and has another dream, this one involving a bleeding man in an alleyway. She is unable to get anyone to help--it seems that no one can see or hear her--until she finds a certain woman. Next, Xiang Ying (still invisible) finds herself in Kaori's apartment and meets the brother, Hideyuki, who she never knew Kaori had. Then Xiang Ying finds herself back at Doc's clinic, witnessing what seems to be the first meeting of a seriously wounded Ryou and Kaori and Hideyuki. She sees something disturbing, which makes her wonder if she and Papa Ryou might have more in common than she had thought...
In a way, you might say this episode serves as a prequel to the old City Hunter TV series. Ryou and Hideyuki were already good friends and partners when that show premiered, and Hideyuki is dead after three or four episodes, so this little "revival" significantly increases his airtime! I thought that depicting Ryou apparently about to do the last thing you'd ever expect was clever. The episode ends on a major cliffhanger--except if you think about it, you know what can't happen (unless this really is just a dream after all!). I'm operating under the assumption that Kaori's spirit is sharing some real-life incidents with Xiang Ying.

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