Lupin III: A Woman Named Fujiko Mine Episode 10 Review

 Episode 10, "Ghost Town"

Synopsis: Lupin awakes from a dream only to see an owl-headed man in his room, telling him to "steal" Fujiko Mine. Zenigata and Oscar arrive by plane to meet with Count Almeida of Glaucus Pharmaceuticals. Months earlier, the owl headed men hired Lupin to go to where the Frauline Eule cult is and "steal" Fujiko. In the present, Lupin sneaks around Almeida's house as Zenigata and Oscar arrive, demanding to see Almeida about Lupin. Zenigata reveals that he knows that the drug cult was a cover for Almeida's drug company, which was performing human experimentation. Lupin later confronts Almeida, but is knocked out with a drug.  When he awakens, he finds himself in the old Glaucus Pharmaceuticals facility the company of Dr. Fritz Kaiser, who explains that Frauline Eule drug has euphoria as it's short-term effect, but longtime use produces bodies that look like owls. Thirteen years earlier, Dr. Kaiser was working at the lab when there was a chemical spill. In present day, he shows a picture of his daughter to Lupin. The girl in the picture is a young Fujiko. When Lupin looks up, Kaiser has disappeared. Lupin encounters Zenigata, who thinks Lupin wants Fujiko as evidence of the company's wrongdoing. The two are ambushed by gun-wielding lab technicians and split up. Lupin encounters several bizarre visions, revealing that Fujiko was part of the company's experiments. At the end, Lupin isn't sure whether he experienced what he experienced, or it was a dream. 
Wow. This was one bizarre episode. Sort of straddling the line between "artsy representations" and "weirdness for weirdness sake". But while it wasn't one of the best episodes of the show, it was pretty enlightening. 
The pieces are finally beginning to fit together here. The first meeting between Lupin and Fujiko was actually arranged by Count Luis Yu Almeida, making the revelation of the fake prophet from episode 8 not a surprise at all to Lupin, who already knew. The whole first episode of the show, then, was Lupin scoping out Fujiko more than attempting to steal the drug statue (though he probably intended to do that as well). He already knew who Fujiko was and expected her to show up to steal it, too. It may even be that Fujiko showed up in that case because she knew of the connection between the drug cult and Glaucus Pharmaceuticals, who had experimented on her. 
It appears now that Fujiko is the daughter of Dr. Fritz Kaiser, though whether it's biological or he was simply put in charge of her by Glaucus, is still up in the air. Apparently he was working with the Frauline Eule drug, which causes euphoria, but can also cause aggression and body changes that make people look like owls. How, exactly, does that work? I guess it's just a funny coincidence that the company links itself with the Owl of Minerva (Glaucus), the goddess of medicine. Or perhaps we're not meant to take the owl transformations as literal events but figurative ones. It's hard to when the guy says outright that the drug causes people to start looking like owls. Nobody seems to treat the owl-men that work for LYA as being something that abnormal. Perhaps, though, people just assume those are costumes. 
Zenigata actually gets off his ass and does something in this episode, though to what degree is questionable if you take it that Lupin dreamed all of this, or at least some of it. Zenigata made the connection between the drug cult, Glaucus, and Almeida, which even surprises Oscar, who gets shamed by him later on when he's told to keep quiet. I said it's about time that Zenigata take some action. I think it's even possible he had his eye out for this well before he teamed up with Fujiko in episode 4. I hope we get to see him in action some more before the show ends. 
I want to point out that the town Glaucus' old laboratory was in was called "Eulenspiegel". A trickster figure called "Till Eluenspigel" comes from German folklore. In English he's come to be known as "Owlglass". In the tales told of him he plays practical jokes that expose the vices of his contemperories, such as greed and hypocrisy. Now who, in this story, sounds a bit like that, huh? 
A pretty clever show. 
Overall Score:

4 out of 5


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