Summertime Rendering - 16: Original

Title:Summertime Rendering
Episode:16: Original
Captured Shadow Mio is being questioned by Shin and his comrades. She says she was born just yesterday after 'Mother' scanned the original Mio at Ushio's wake; and that she was born in the big cavern under the island. She admits that she cut the brake cables on Mio's bicycle; the plan was to finish an injured Mio off at the hospital with the help of Dr. Sei Hishigata, a 'Shadow supporter'. This was Shadow Mio's idea, not something Haine ordered her to do. Having (presumably) been subjected to whatever de-indoctrinization treatment Ushio is capable of, Shadow Mio now says she cannot remember why she wanted to kill the original Mio. She was created to search for Ushio (a friendly Shadow), who is considered a 'traitor'. She says there are two forms of copying people: 'Transformation' is replicating something using your own body. 'Childbirth' is splitting off part of your own body to create a new Shadow. Shadow Mio describes herself as one of the 'Children' (which suggests she was created via Childbirth). Children can only give birth to one human Shadow each; Haine can give birth to numerous Shadows, but her physical weakness puts a limit on doing so. She says Haine's 'grandchildren' cannot give birth at all, but all Shadows can transform repeatedly. If a human has been copied the original person must be killed within a week, or the copy will 'turn to mud and vanish'. Since the original Mio is still alive, Shadow Mio herself has only six days to live, but doesn't care all that much. She apologizes to Shin for not knowing anything more useful. Hizuru says Haine needs to consume a large number of people in order to recover from the injuries she suffered at the schoolhouse fight, and is probably creating a new army of Children for that purpose. Tokiko says she and her father, Dr. Hishigata, were helping Haine recover from her already frail condition for her mother's sake. But now she knows she was lied to and seems firmly opposed to the Shadows. Sou is scheduled to meet his father at 10PM at the clinic, and Shin and the others accompany him. On the way, Shadow Mio asks Shin if he is afraid of her, and he admits that to a certain extent, he is. She also asks if he had a girlfriend in Tokyo; he says no. She says that only he can really protect the real Mio. At the clinic they find that all furniture and equipment has been erased, apparently in a haphazard manner. Hizuru theorizes that this was done to conceal evidence of some sort. Ushio senses a Shadow. Hizuru notices a bullet hole in a wall. The Shadow seems to be in the basement morgue, which is where the body of the original Ushio should be. The group finds the wheelchair of Chitose, Sou and Tokiko's mother. They briefly see some sort of Shadow dash into the morgue. The room seems empty, but Tokiko shows them a secret door to another, hidden, room. Ushio's original body is missing. Tokiko says that if Shadow Ushio had managed to scan it, she would have been able to 'recover'. There's also a tunnel to the cavern. They find Chitose Hishigawa (a Shadow) holding her husband by his neck dangling above the ground. Ushio lays a hand on Chitose and 'cuts her link with Haine'. Sou manages to revive his father, who had stopped breathing. The Doctor figures Haine wanted him dead so that he wouldn't be able to tell them what he knows. But he hasn't exactly changed sides, and snatches a gun and shoots Tokiko. But it was actually Shadow Mio mimicking Tokiko (a 'Transformation', no doubt). The Doctor is disarmed. The real Tokiko is talking to the real Mio in a safe place. She says she didn't mind being scanned and duplicated for this trick, because she is tired of keeping secrets. Back in the cavern, Shin says he trusts Shadow Mio more now. He offers to let her scan him to prove it, but she would rather not. Shadow Mio attempts to scan the Doctor, but finds she can't--he has 'immunity', which means he has already been copied but the copy has died (perhaps it was more than a week ago). The Doctor is distraught when he learns he can't create Shadows anymore (but he is still human, isn't he? How was he ever able to do so?). Nurse Negoro appears, holding the body of the original Ushio. She relays a message from Shige (or is it Shide?). He thanks the Hishigatas for their service but says they are no longer needed, basically throwing them under the bus. Shige knows Shin is still alive but is confident that he won't be able to stop them and 'everything will be over in two days'. Negoro leaves. The Doctor offers to talk if his real daughter is present. Ushio shares her memories with both the Doctor and Chitose. Chitose had no idea until now that she was a Shadow. The Doctor argues that killing Haine is a bad idea, because it would also kill all lesser Shadows--including Ushio. But Ushio offers to sacrifice herself. Shin asks Dr. Hishigata what Haine is trying to do by 'reviving'. The Doctor says she only wants to return to her 'hometown across the vast, deep ocean'. Only Shadows can reach this 'eternal country where time doesn't exist'. Haine is creating a hand-picked 'family' to accompany herself. The Doctor had been promised that he and his wife and children would all become Shadows and would be allowed to go there as well. Chitose is appalled and wants nothing to do with the scheme. The Doctor repents and gives Shin his patient records. Among other things, they reveal that Shin's original parents were actually killed by Shige. He also says Shige is 'Haine's guardian and the first child she ever gave birth to'. His original identity was Hishigata Shidehiko, the founder and first director of the Hishigata clinic.
I didn't completely grasp the difference between 'Transformation' and 'Childbirth'. I guess in Transformation a Shadow gives up its previous form and becomes a new one, while in Childbirth it sacrifices a bit of itself (like Ushio's strands of hair at the school battle) which becomes something new. Ordinary Shadows can transform as often as they please but employ Childbirth just once (which would make Ushio something more than an ordinary Shadow). Who can keep track of all the supernatural abilities Haine and Ushio have? I cannot, but I think I have regrained a basic grasp of what's going on and what is possible and what isn't. I think composing these episode summaries helps me remember details that I would forget if I simply watched the episode once. And this is a show for which all the extra effort is definitely worthwhile.

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