"Czeslaw Meyer is Forced to Rework His Tremble-Before-the-Specter-of-Immortals Strategy" is the tenth episode of the 2007 Baccano! anime.
Funimation Blurb Edit
- First Version
A man of power finds himself powerless. A prisoner at his daughter’s mercy. A child’s voice pleads for murder. How many times can she get abducted? His toys include high explosives. That’s not booze. Some punks will never learn. An unlabeled box is a dangerous thing. A child’s head explodes. They’re too stupid to be scared. He plans to eat them before they eat him. The first kiss is always special. A knife glistens in the moonlight. Their connection is instant. The top of the train is no safer. It is shocking to find a dead man playing cards. The man who was dead gets killed again. The clergy comes calling. Whatever is behind the door is quite surprising. Act casual. The circle is shrinking. He can’t keep a secret.
- Later Version
Here's what's what: A man of power finds himself powerless. A prisoner is at his daughter's mercy. A child's voice pleads for murder. It is shocking to find a dead man playing cards.
Recap Scenes Edit
The 'demon' explaining the rule about immortals and false names aboard the Advena Avis (E07) and Czeslaw Meyer sitting at the bar on the Flying Pussyfoot (E02); Dallas Genoard and his thugs killing Gandor men (E09); Isaac & Miria waving goodbye to Ennis (E08); Czes asking Ladd Russo for a favor (E09).
Newfoundland, 1931. Senator Manfred Beriam visits the terrorist Huey Laforet in prison, informing him that his followers, the Lemures, have hijacked the Flying Pussyfoot, and that they are demanding Huey's release in exchange for the lives of the passengers.
Huey laughs a little, presuming that Beriam wants him to intervene. Beriam tells him that his wife Natalie and daughter Mary are on board the train, and is angered when Huey calls into question Beriam's uncharacteristic concern for his family.
A flock of white birds flies by Huey's barred window as Beriam demands him to order the Lemures surrender. Huey calmly declares that the Lemures' plan will fail, explaining that his own daughter Chané Laforet is with them on the train. According to Huey, Chané is loyal only to him: once Chané understands that the Lemures' plan will be of no use to Huey, or that they are insincere, she will act accordingly. A black bird flies past Huey's window as he murmurs, "Now, Chané...you will not falter."
In Goose Perkins' first class compartment aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, Chané straightens as if she has heard Huey's command. Goose, sitting across from captives Natalie and Mary, does not stop her. She climbs onto the roof the car and stands atop it, despite the fierce wind, and grips her hunting knife.
Over in a freight hold (guarded by a White Suit outside), with Who as witness, Czeslaw Meyer asks Ladd Russo to kill all the passengers in the dining car. Ladd realizes that Czes is no ordinary child, and Czes drops his childish persona entirely in response. He offers Ladd twenty thousand dollars as payment, a sum which does not impress Ladd in the slightest. Ladd also wonders why Czes specifically wants the dining car passengers killed and not anyone else, and points out that he has no guarantee that Czes will actually compensate him.
Czes reveals that he has smuggled a large quantity of explosives aboard the train, which he intends to sell to the Runorata Family in New York. He offers to put in a good word for Ladd to the Runoratas should Ladd kill the passengers, and proposes the following: once Ladd kills all the dining car passengers, Czes will set off the extra explosives he has stowed away. Once the train stops, he and Ladd will gather the remaining explosives and escape to New York, where they will sell the explosives to the Runoratas. The police will blame the Black Suits for the death and destruction in their wake.
Ladd asks why Czes cannot set off the explosives himself, and Czes replies that he has a special interest in one of the corpses. He would rather not "pick up the pieces," so to speak. He asks if Ladd will accept the deal or not, and Ladd refuses on the grounds that Czes clearly believes that Ladd will not kill him. He blows off Czes' head with his shotgun.
In 1932, Gustavo Bagetta wakes up to find Rubik tied to a chair and Eve Genoard missing. He is outraged that Rubik does not know who knocked him out, neither noticing the ropes slip around Rubik's chest nor Rubik pulling them back up. Gustavo assumes that the Gandor Family attacked Rubik and took Eve.
Having escaped the manor, Eve runs down the sidewalk only to be pulled into an parked automobile by an unseen man. She is frightened until she recognizes him as Elean Duga, the editor from the Daily Days who had previously told her that the agency knew nothing regarding Dallas Genoard's whereabouts. Elean apologizes for scaring her, and laments that her kidnapping was the fault of the Daily Days. He explains that he came to rescue Eve from the Runoratas, and, wanting to make amends, decides to divulge what he knows about Dallas despite it being top-secret information within the company.
Thus resolved, Elean reveals that the Gandors were involved in Dallas' disappearance, though he does not know how. Eve recognizes 'Gandor' as a mafia family name, and pleads for Elean to take her to them. Elean's eyes widen.
In 1930, Isaac and Miria wander the streets of New York in their fancy formal attire, discussing their previous encounter with Ennis and the four men who attacked them. They hope that Ennis safely escaped the police after delivering the four men to the police station, and wonder what she was trying to do in the first place. Miria concludes that she must have been running away from home. She and Isaac agree that Ennis was an incredibly strong person.
Miria asks Isaac where he thinks the two of them will go after they pull their final job. Isaac mulls the question over, and points out that they will risk far less heat if they steal from a small mafia family instead of a large one. Having kept his ear to the ground, Isaac knows that the local small families are the Gandors and the Martillos. His plan is as follows: he and Miria will first scout the Gandors, the closer of the two families, and then rob them.
Meanwhile, Dallas and his two friends exit the jazz hall Coraggioso – the Gandors' headquarters – with Szilard Quates' crate safely reclaimed. Dallas' friends wonder if they can really trust Szilard to pay them for their services and not kill them, remembering how Szilard had so easily killed their friend Scott. Dallas tells them to forget Scott, arguing that the three of them have the upper hand since they have the bottles Szilard so urgently seeks. Therefore, all they need to do is hold the Cure-All Elixir at gunpoint until they are paid.
His friends laugh, convinced, and the three of them walk away from the Coraggioso without noticing Isaac and Miria spying on them nearby. Isaac and Miria reason that Dallas' crew must be Gandors, and that they are transporting the Gandors' black money in the crate. As they tail Dallas, Isaac tells Miria that this is their only chance to steal the Gandors' money, which means that they have to act now.
Isaac throws on a cape, African mask, and Japanese helmet, leaps in front of Dallas' group, and shouts that he is Professor Moriarty – which he changes to Jack the Ripper when the three thugs are unconvinced. Miria appears behind them and pelts them with a lime-pepper concoction, temporarily disabling the men. From the driver's seat of her car, Ennis spies the costumed pair flee from the alley with the crate in their possession. She exits her car to examine the alley once they are gone, and recognizes the discarded mask and helmet as belonging to Isaac.
In 1931, Czes regenerates in the freight hold and stands, muttering that Ladd was, in the end, a useless thug. Now that he cannot count on Ladd's help, he is once again in want of a way to discover the identity of the immortal who must have been in the dining car earlier that night. He vows to devour them before they can devour him, and leaves the room. Claire Stanfield pops out of his hiding place when the door closes, certain that he had seen Czes die not minutes prior.
Elean and Eve arrive at the Coraggioso in 1932 and find Tick Jefferson polishing his scissors in an otherwise empty room. Tick recognizes Elean as "that guy from the newspaper," and, with a smile, shows off his newly shined, wickedly sharp scissors. Elean is visibly unnerved.
A door in the billiards room in the back opens, revealing Luck, Keith, and Berga. Like Tick, Luck recognizes Elean as from 'the newspaper.' The three brothers come to a stop next to Tick's table, and Luck asks why Eve and Elean have come; much to Elean's dismay, Eve steps forward and introduces herself as Dallas' younger sister. Berga reacts negatively to the name, but Eve presses onward and asks them to tell her where her brother is. The brothers share a somber look while Elean stresses in the background, and Luck reluctantly concedes in the face of Eve's determination. Before Luck can reveal all, Gustavo and his men open fire on the Coraggioso's front entrance.
In 1931, Jacuzzi Splot instructs Nice Holystone and Nick to crawl over the roof of the dining car towards first class. He warns Nice to be careful, kisses her, and darts back through the second class car with Donny following.
Nick teasingly calls Nice a 'roundheels', only to be stunned when Nice blurts out that the kiss was their first. She rushes onto the platform and clambers up onto the roof of the dining car in a highly emotional state, blushing and overcome. Nick is hot on her heels, unable to wrap his head around the fact that they had never kissed once in their ten years of dating. Full of disbelief, he hauls himself up onto the roof and calls Nice and Jacuzzi idiots.
As Ladd, Who, and their third companion walk away from the freight hold, Who asks Ladd why he killed Czes instead of accepting what Who had thought was a good deal. Ladd agrees that the deal was good, but explains that he had been overwhelmed with an urge to kill at the look in Czes' eyes, like he was looking down at Ladd with the certainty that Ladd would not kill him. Angered, Ladd whirls upon Who and rages that what infuriates him most of all is that Czes seemed certain of his own invincibility when he was seconds away from death.
The other White Suit calls Ladd over to where he is clinging to the side of the train. He urges Ladd to look at what's going on on top of the roof, and when Ladd does, he finds Chané standing on the rooftop of a car in the distance. Between two of the cars separating Chané and Ladd are Nice and Nick, who are in a quandary now that Chané blocking their way forward. Excited at the prospect of a new victim, Ladd climbs onto the roof of the car in front of him and cocks his shotgun.
In his Newfoundland cell, Huey covers his face with his hand and asks Chané what she is doing, the white birds from earlier once again in flight. Chané silently replies that the White Suits may try to travel by rooftop. Huey wonders if she means to protect Goose and the other 'fools', pointing out that they plan to kill her. Chané is already aware of their plans, and how they only care about Huey and Chané as a means of obtaining immortality. She reminds him that she sacrificed her voice in order to protect Huey's secret, and states that she is no longer afraid of those who are trying to take Huey away from her. Huey asks if she means she will protect him as a black bird intermingles with the flock.
Chané notes that since Huey is an immortal, she will grow older than him (or rather, his perceived age) over time and eventually die before him. Regardless, Huey is the only person in the world who loves her, and her only family - she cannot allow him to be taken from her, no matter what.
Ladd traverses multiple cars until he comes to a stop behind Nice and Nick, who are clinging to the end of the car he is standing on. He ignores them in favor of hollering a compliment Chané's way, hoisting his shotgun, and running across the cars until he reaches the one Chané is standing upon (all the while proclaiming that the Lemures dressed in black just for him). Stopping, he aims his shotgun at her and fires, only for Chané to slash one of her knives upward and deflect the bullet.
Chané uses Ladd's surprise as an opportunity to throw a knife his way, but he stomps it down with his boot and bends to pick it up, muttering to himself that he can't let her continue embarrassing him. Straightening, he licks the knife and promises to kill her, prompting her to pull out another knife and rush towards him. He fires his shotgun repeatedly, but her two knives block each and every shot. Ladd, simultaneously astonished and entertained, is forced on the defensive when Chané reaches him.
Their fight is cut short when a swinging signpost slams into Ladd's back, carrying him over several cars away from Chané. He drops down and out of sight behind a car, and Chané leaps over Nice and Nick in chase. Nick stares after them in confusion, but he and Nice find themselves with a new problem when the Lemur sniper Spike aims his sniper rifle at them and orders them down off the roof.
In 1932, Gustavo and his Runorata subordinates bust into the Coraggioso and find Luck, Berga, and Keith playing poker. Gustavo is gobsmacked to see Luck, whom the Runoratas had gunned down in a bookstore some days prior, and rationalizes that Luck must have survived by using a body double. Luck closes his eyes and smirks at that, and Keith uses the opportunity to pluck a card from Luck's hand and add it to his own. Berga tries to do the same to Keith's hand, but Keith notices and glares him down.
Luck says that he has no idea what Gustavo means by the Gandors' "endless filthy tricks," and flatly denies Gustavo's accusation that the Gandor Family kidnapped Eve Genoard. Gustavo then accuses him of colluding with Dallas, and Eve emerges from her hiding place in the billiards room to protest. Elean, hiding in the billiard room with Tick, hisses at her in alarm.
Taking Eve's presence as proof of collusion, Gustavo aims his handgun at Luck's head. Luck calmly asks if Eve's appearance does not seem a little random, but Gustavo grins and shoots him in the head, as he does Keith and then Berga. The three brothers collapse out of their chairs and onto the floor, dead. Gustavo turns to Eve and victoriously raises his pistol into the air, reminding her of what he told her in Episode 08 - those in the world with power are those who prevail.
The impossible happens. All the blood coating the table, walls, and floor flows back into the Gandor brothers' bodies, in full view of everyone present. Eve recoils as a newly-alive Keith sits up in front of her, and Gustavo watches Keith use the table to pull himself up in numb disbelief. Luck is quick to stand up, inches away from Gustavo, and says that there are powers in the world that Gustavo does not comprehend. Berga gets to his feet and promptly punches Gustavo in the face.
In 1930, Isaac and Miria are disappointed to learn that the stolen crate contains two bottles of liquor instead of money. Not ones to be deterred, they quickly perk up and march off to the Martillos' Alveare speakeasy, their backup target. Ennis looks up from the newspaper she had been pretending to read, and follows.
Isaac and Miria change into a priest and nun outfit respectively before arriving at the Alveare honey shop, and are begrudgingly let into the speakeasy by the shop's proprietress, Seina. They admire the speakeasy's glamor while they follow waitress Lia Lin-Shan to a table in the back, upon which Isaac places the stolen crate. He quietly tells Miria that they need to find an office with a safe in it. and reminds her to act naturally so as not draw attention. They proceed to act completely unnaturally.
Ennis enters the speakeasy and, along with the other patrons, stares at Isaac and Miria running circles around their table - Isaac with the crate in one arm. She takes a seat at the bar while Isaac and Miria duck into a back room and move an object covering a trapdoor ridden with bullet holes. Isaac gets on his hands and knees to press his ear to the trapdoor, and, hearing voices, affirms that there must be an office down below.
Lia spots them and cries out that Isaac should not be back there, that it is dangerous, and runs toward them. She trips and falls onto Isaac, pinning him to the door.
In the meeting room below them, Molsa Martillo concurrently raises his ceremonial pistol into the air and fires off a shot in celebration of Firo Prochainezo's promotion to executive. The Martillos cheer, only to quickly fall silent when Miria screams that Isaac has been killed. Moments later, Lia rushes down the stairs into the meeting room to alert them to the problem.
Firo, Maiza Avaro, and Lia ascend the stairs and find and Miria crying over Isaac's outstretched body on the floor. Smoke rises from a bullet hole in Isaac's hat, discarded nearby. Isaac's attempts to console Miria fail, and ultimately result with him accompanying Miria in weeping.
Firo tentatively recognizes Isaac and Miria as the strange couple he and Maiza met at the hatter's earlier that afternoon, and Isaac and Miria's tears cease when they recognize Firo and Maiza and turn. Wide-eyed, Firo apologizes for not having realized that Isaac and Miria were a priest and sister. He crouches down to talk with them, unaware that in doing so he has exposed Maiza to a hidden, watching Ennis.
Isaac looks at the next episode's title and remarks to Miria that he believes that they are the "two mysterious people" in the title. Both of them immediately and unhappily assume that they must have done something "inexcusable" that rendered Chané silent, despite having never met her before.
Differences Between the Anime & NovelsEdit
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the 1930 timeline.
In the novels, the events of November 1930 take place over two days and one night, which the anime condenses down to one day and one night, forcing huge changes to the 1930 chronological sequence and facts. First, one must remember that the elixir's chain of custody differs between anime and novel: In the novel, Firo actually switches out Barnes' elixir for regular liquor while everyone else is unconscious. The elixir remains in his custody until he serves it at his promotion party that night, meaning that the crate contains nothing but ordinary alcohol throughout its changing of possessors. Firo never switches them in the anime, so the elixir moves thusly: Barnes-->Dallas and crew->Gandors-->Dallas and crew-->Isaac & Miria-->Martillos.
In the novels, Isaac and Miria decide to scout the Martillos' joint first due to its closer proximity - the complete opposite of the anime. They visit the Alveare in their formal attire, not religious attire, and move barrels, not crates, off the trapdoor. The bullet that nearly hits Isaac goes through the tip of his shoe instead of his hat. They party with the immortals and drink the elixir there, and leave the party early to scout the Coraggioso. It's then that they steal the crate from Dallas' group - the crate, of course, containing ordinary alcohol.
Ennis is not present when Isaac is nearly killed. She doesn't actually spot Maiza until the next day in the novels, after following Isaac and Miria to the Alveare (they want to give the Martillos their stolen liquor as a gift).
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the 1931 timeline.
Beriam's visit to Huey in Newfoundland is anime-original.
The anime implies that Huey and Chané have some sort of psychic connection, though it never addresses or tries to explain this connection. They have no such mental link in the novels. The birds are likely a reference to Hilton/Leeza Laforet, since Hilton (along with Sham) is how Huey is able to communicate with his followers while in prison. The whole 'conversation' they have regarding Chané's lifespan is adapted from her own internal monologue.
Chané is not with Goose when she decides to go barricade the roof - she heads up after picking off a White Suit (probably the White Suit who attacked Mary), when she is away from Goose's apartment.
Czes offers Ladd two hundred thousand dollars in the novels, ten times more than the twenty thousand he offers Ladd in the anime. Who is present during their exchange in the novels like he is in the anime (though the anime cuts his few speaking lines), but the third White Suit in the anime is not nearby in the novels - and Lua is. The anime also doesn't have Ladd point out to Czes that he has a man currently demanding a million dollars from the railroad company as a reason for why Czes' monetary offer holds no sway.
In the novels, Isaac and Miria actually enter the freight hold after Czes regenerates but before he leaves, so he quickly hides behind some crates while they search the room in search of Jacuzzi. Isaac and Miria are puzzled when they fail to find Jacuzzi, since he and Miria had heard a group [Ladd's group] talking about how they had turned down a deal with someone and shot that someone dead. Czes wonders how they know all this, but escapes while their backs are turned. This is entirely missing from the anime.
Notably, Claire hears Isaac and Miria and leaves the freight hold without realizing that Czes regenerated, thus believing him to be dead (until he later comes across him). This is in total opposition to the anime, which has him witness Czes' regeneration.
In the anime, the third White Suit sees Chané and draws Ladd's attention to her, making Chané (and the White Suit) the reason for why Ladd climbs onto the roof. Chané is not the reason Ladd climbs onto the roof in the novels because there is no Third White Suit to alert him to her: in the novels, Ladd climbs onto the roof of his own volition (with Lua and Who struggling behind him) on a recommendation he'd received earlier from Doctor Fred (a character who does not make it into the anime). He then happens to notice some people (Nice and Nick, whom Chané spots as well) crawling across the roof of the dining car several cars away - not Chané - and decides to run over and see who they are. Lua and Who climb back down and head for a compartment on his instructions.
Chané instinctively pins Ladd as the man responsible for killing two Lemures in the dining car. The first time she deflects one of Ladd's bullets is an accident, according to the novels. It is also the only time she deflects a bullet, since it is the only time Ladd manages to actually shoot at her - she is inches away from him before he can, and he is forced to retreat at full speed the way he came while she pursues. There is no signpost that forcibly removes him from the fight.
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the 1932 timeline.
Everything that takes place in 1932 in this episode is anime-original since it deviates completely at this point from the plot of 1932 Drug & The Dominos. Eve is never kidnapped by the Runoratas, and Elean never rescues her (he never lied to her in the first place; his role as a character is actually expanded in the anime), Rubik is not involved, and Gustavo never invades the Coraggioso so Elean and Tick never witness the Gandors regenerate.
Still, certain loose connections can, at least, be drawn between the anime and the novel. Gustavo and his Runoratas do invade a building, but they raid the headquarters of the Daily Days, not the Coraggioso. He also does have run-ins with both Eve and Luck, but the circumstances are quite different. Eve is there because Claire (disguised at the time) brought both her and Roy to the building per orders, while Luck and his brothers are there as part of a scheme Keith cooked up with Bartolo Runorata after he had a talk with The President of the Daily Days. Eve nearly shoots Gustavo after learning that he killed Raymond and Jeffrey, only for Luck to take the hit. He and Gustavo have a brutally vicious fight.
- Will Beriam concede to the Lemures' negotiations now that Huey refuses to involve himself?
- How are Huey and Chané communicating?
- Why did Rubik tie himself up and lie to Gustavo in order to protect Eve? Who is he, and whom is he working for?
- How will Czes discover the immortal's identity now that working with Ladd is no longer an option?
- What will Claire do now that he has witnessed Czes come back to life?
- Considering that Ladd survives the fall as seen in Episode 01, what will he do next?
- What will Spike do with Nice and Nick?
- What became of Dallas and his friends after they were pepper-bombed?
- How did the Gandors become immortal? What about Firo, Isaac, and Miria?
- What will Ennis do at the Alveare? Will she go after the crate, or report Maiza's whereabouts to Szilard?
- Where is Dallas in 1932, and how are the Gandors involved?