Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The long-awaited showdown between Sho and Shinra commences in episode 22 of Fire Force. The two brothers share the spotlight as they display their pyrokinetic powers at full force. “A Brother’s Determination” explores the family bonds between Shinra and Sho while addressing the link Sho has with the Evangelist. Shinra’s overwhelming love for his brother makes it seem like he can’t fail, but it’s going to come down to Sho choosing which side means more to him.
The episode begins with Yona making a report about the battles taking place. As he describes how things are going according to the Evangelist plan, Haumea appears, for the first time, and startles Yona. Although their conversation is brief, Haumea mentions that she is one of the few people with an Adolla Burst like Sho and Shinra; interesting nugget of information.
We finally catch Sho and Shinra in the underworld, or as referred to by others ‘Hell’, but the whole experience is happening because Sho is sharing an Adolla Link with Shinra. The whole environment change is happening in their minds, or rather in another dimension. As Shinra is trying to grasp all of the information thrown at him, Sho reveals that he is powerful because he has the grace of the Evangelist; it acts as a blessing. That is when a large figure appears behind Sho, and just smiles at Shinra without giving any response. Could that be some kind of angel, or demon?
As the Adolla Link ends, the two brothers return to the Nether with Licht hiding in fear as he watches them prepare for their intense battle. Licht figures out how Sho is able to freeze time, and those powers also get amplified since he is blessed by the Evangelist. It’s really interesting to see how pyrokinetic powers can be used in such an advanced way to alter time and space. The battle continues, and Shinra is getting tossed around, and sliced without any effort form Sho. Shinra displays his older brother quirkiness as he keeps referring to the battle as a game of tag; Licht calling him big brother is just too funny, it had to be acknowledged.
Shinra keeps increasing his speed but is unsuccessful in landing a hit on Sho. That is when he creates his own Adolla Link with Sho, showing him a memory from when they were young kids, and lightly grazes his little bother with his flame kick. Sho is stunned at first when he is hit but brushed it off after readdressing the fact that he has the grace of the Evangelist and cannot lose. The battle starts to catch wind as Shinra gives Sho a run for his money with his increased speed, while the whole time Shinra is trying to figure out who is ‘it’ in their game of tag. Sho, for the first time, is annoyed and does not understand why Shinra is so persistent in his attempt to bring him back home. This is where Shinra displays his big bro moment and tells Sho that it’s his duty, as his older brother, to show him the same kindness that was given to him throughout the years. With all the emotion building up, Shinra ascends to a new level of speed and disappears, and all that is left is Sho standing in confusion and uneasiness.
We get our first break from the battle as the scene cuts to Company 1’s headquarters. Both Lieutenants Li and Karim are shown praying in the temple as there are earthquakes causing a ruckus. They are accompanied by a new character, Lieutenant Onyango, and are given a brief visit from Captain Burns. An important spark of information that is given is when Burns mentions, “I failed that Shinra kid. I wanted him to stay out of all this.” Not only is this the first time Burns shows some concern for Shinra, he is definitely well aware of everything that is going on with the Evangelist. The look Karim gives Burns is the same face we are all giving him, especially after what he just said.
The episode concludes with the momentary climax of the battle between the two brothers. Shinra is still missing, and Sho is trying to figure out where his older brother disappeared to. As Sho releases his time freezing pyrokinetic powers, Shinra is shown crashing into a pillar. Both brothers are confused about what is going on, but luckily Licht is there to decipher what is truly happening. He figures out that Shinra is traveling faster that the speed of light, which is causing his body to disintegrate, and then he travels back in time, which is when his body regenerates. Licht is losing his mind over the scientific complexities that are going on, and even concludes that a miniature black hole can be created via Shinra’s speed. Licht tells Shinra that every time he goes light speed, he is actually dying, but that doesn’t seem to faze him one bit. Sho is still confused as to how Shinra acquired new powers, but his older brother confidently admits to creating an Adolla Link with him to have access to the blessing from the Evangelist to further enhance his own powers. There’s a great deal of mind explosions in this episode with all the power ups and characteristics that are being experimented with! Yona and Haumea make a brief entrance, and Haumea points out that since Shinra now has the grace of the Evangelist, he can ascend to a fourth generation pyrokinetic. As Shinra reaches his limits, and Licht warns him about overheating, he cannot ignore the promise he made to his mother as he confidently says, “I can do this all day.” Nice little call back to Captain America. Shinra is going to do whatever it takes to save his brother, no matter the cost.
I can do this all day.”
“A Brother’s Determination” is the perfect title for the episode as the limits of a family bond between brothers deepens. Sho is reluctant to acknowledge Shinra, but that doesn’t seem to bother the Fire Force soldier since he knows he has one job that must be done. The first-hand look as to how the grace of the Evangelist can manipulate and power up a pyrokinetic user is interesting, but does the blessing only work on those with an Adolla Link, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. The battle is reaching its inevitable climax as the story builds up on it complexity, while connecting all the bridges we took to get to this point.
The determination to overcome all obstacles to save a loved one will always burn brighter than any flame produced.