3. The Sacrificial Lamb of the Venomous Great Escape of Hell

Whilst a helicopter makes a few overhead passes to establish this episode’s identity as an action flick, back at the Across base, Ilpallazzo is busy trying to bring new agent Hyatt up to speed. Unfortunately, Hyatt’s tendency to drop dead every few minutes does complicate this task, but nonetheless, Ilpallazzo manages to give Hyatt her first mission- locating the missing agent Excel.

Having landed in the middle of a war zone, Excel has been taken captive by armed guerrillas. Poor Excel has been subjected to all kinds of hideous tortures, but whilst her fellow captives haven’t lasted the course, Excel’s status as a main character has kept her alive through whatever the guerrillas throw at her.

Whilst Excel takes every opportunity to carve a tunnel out of her prison pit before she dies of hunger, Menchi is having a far better time with the guerrillas. Despite the fact that Menchi is a girl, the soldiers name her Mickey, after a fallen comrade who was planning to become a woman. Even the commander softens to Menchi’s charms, and orders his men to build her a suitable dog house.

When her attempt to tunnel to freedom lands her right in the middle of the soldiers’ camp, Excel is swiftly recaptured and thrown into their deepest pit- to await execution the following morning. As our heroine bemoans her fate, she realises that she is not alone in the pit- the obligatory long-time prisoner in an iron mask is there with her. Introducing himself as Tetchan, the prisoner tells Excel that there is no escape from this pit- the only recourse left to prisoners sent here is to amuse themselves by drawing on the walls.

Back in F City, Excel’s neighbour Watanabe decides he has enough of his gate-crashing friends, although perhaps friend is too kind a term for the people who just got food stains all over his porn magazine. Storming out of the apartment, Watanabe heads down the street, only to run into Hyatt, who is crawling along the ground in search of Excel. As he removes a pile of old papers that is blocking her way, Hyatt crawls on, and, stricken by her beauty, Watanabe follows. After a brief introduction, Watanabe helps Hyatt to her feet, and is delighted to learn that this vision will be living in the apartment next door. Could this be his lucky day?

Whilst the soldiers proudly show Menchi the finished dog house, down in the pit, Excel and Tetchan are playing Shitori using the names of different foods. Hearing the names of all the delicious dishes she wishes she could eat finally drives Excel to tears; her only consolation is that her absence may make Ilpallazzo appreciate her more- that is, if she ever manages to get back to F City.

Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of Nabeshin, who has come to rescue his beloved Tetchan. After jumping down into the pit sharing a round of heartfelt words and meaningful glances, Nabeshin uses a grappling hook to free himself and Tetchan. The pair are all ready to leave Excel behind, but when she starts making a fuss about being abandoned, Nabeshin resignedly opens the pit’s ‘emergency exit’ so that she too can get out.

As the trio escape into the woods, the soldiers set about pursuing them with all the men and machinery in their possession, leaving Nabeshin to conclude that one of them must distract the enemy whilst the others make their escape. Naturally, Excel is nominated for that task, and, after handing her a shotgun, Nabeshin makes his escape with Tetchan.

Nabeshin and Tetchan continue to run through the forest, but before too long, the inevitable tragedy strikes when Tetchan is half-swallowed by an oversized anaconda. Nabeshin manages to pull his companion free, but unfortunately, in the process, poor Tetchan’s body is ripped in half. Realising that his time is up, Tetchan asks Nabeshin to remove his iron mask. As Nabeshin does so, Tetchan’s true face is revealed- she is a beautiful blonde woman named Tetsuko.

Another meaningful moment is in the offing, but as Nabeshin and Tetsuko go to share a kiss, their pursuers catch up with them and begin firing on the reunited couple. As Tetsuko is hit, Nabeshin goes wild with fury, pulling out a pair of guns from his hair and destroying all of the enemy troops despite being horribly outnumbered.

As Nabeshin takes on the commander’s helicopter single-handedly, a lost and hungry Excel is delighted to spot her emergency food supply Menchi heading towards her, even if the dog is accompanied by a pair of soldiers. Fortunately for Excel, the blast from Nabeshin’s attack on the helicopter sends the doghouse flying, ironically crushing the soldiers who built it. Excel is free to retrieve Menchi (who laments the end of her days as ‘Mickey’) and wander amongst the wreckage, her eyes opened to the horrors of war.

Meanwhile, poor Pedro is still having a bad time of it. He has made it home to his son and sexy wife, only to discover that neither of them can see him. And worse yet, his sexy wife has found a new man- his former co-worker Gomez.

The next day, a refreshed Hyatt decides to resume her search for Excel, despite the fact that she is rather hampered by not having a clue as to where to start. However, even as Hyatt wanders down the road, she manages to bump into Excel, who has just hiked back from the war zone with Menchi securely tied to her chest. Her mission inadvertently completed, Hyatt once again collapses, leaving Excel to wonder who this strange new woman is. Could this be the start of a great partnership?

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