R.O.D the TV episode
"In a Grove"
Dozing sisters.png
Episode no. TV 07
Airdate October 16, 2003 (Japan)
October 8, 2004 (US)
Year 2006
Episode chronology
Previous episode "The Right Stuff"
Next episode "Seduced by the Night"

Episode Synopsis[edit | edit source]

While on a Dokusensha mission the three sisters find themselves trapped and separated in a strange town, which only gets more bizarre as time passes.

Extended Summary[edit | edit source]

The episode opens with the sound of someone typing. There are stacks of books and pages surrounding a man working on a typewriter. There are also flashbacks to a group of socialites at a theatre.

The scene abruptly cuts to Anita King and Maggie Mui, who are in a cafe. Maggie is reviewing the mission infomation on John Smith. He was an actor in England and was entrusted with one of the Gentleman Books. Anita thinks that this is a dumb idea, giving a book to an actor with no real affiliation to the Special Operations Division, but Maggie comments that it's a smart idea. John Smith was a good actor but never stood out, so he could easily blend in with the masses. Maggie quotes that the best place to hide a leaf is in a grove; Anita corrects her, saying 'in a forest'.

Anita goes to check on Michelle, who's been in the restroom for the past twenty minutes. However, the restroom is empty. The sisters ask everyone else in the restaurant if they've seen her, but everyone swears that it's only been Anita and Maggie. Anita starts to raise a fuss, but Maggie interrupts, quietly paying the bill and taking Anita back to their hotel.

Maggie explains that Michelle may have been kidnapped by John Smith's people. However, Michelle can take care of herself, so there's no need to worry about rescuing her. Mr. Kim checks in the the sisters, expecting them to be okay, but Maggie informs him of their situation. He says he'll send back-up Anita starts packing their things and realizes that Michelle's bags are gone.

The girls try to leave, but Maggie is arrested for Michelle's murder. Anita flees the hotel alone.

Maggie is shown evidence for Michelle's murder, a bloody body on the ground. He also says the restaurant patrons witnessed the murder, condemning Maggie. Maggie is shocked but suspicious, since she knows she didn't kill Michelle.

Anita goes back to the police station, demanding Maggie's release. The policewoman she's speaking to says Maggie isn't there, and Anita is thrown out for causing a disturbance. She meets an elderly couple that she saw in the restaurant earlier and demands to know why they lied. The couple instead offers to adopt Anita, promising her many things if she comes.

Scared, Anita runs away and ducks into an alleyway, where Michelle staggers in. She says that when she left the restroom, Anita and Maggie had disappeared. The two book a hotel for the night, where Michelle promises that it will "only be the two of us".

That night, it's raining; Maggie manages to escape prison with some paper.

Anita is unable to sleep during the storm. She wakes up and sees one of the Gentleman Books on the dresser. Behind her, Michelle sneaks up, unnoticed.

Meanwhile, Michelle breaks out of the coffin she was trapped in. She finds herself in a room filled with scripts and books. She goes over to a desk and reads some documents, as Joseph Carpenter voices over his thoughts. He and Wendy are offering The Book of Rising Intellect to Dokusensha as an offer for allegiance. Meanwhile, Michelle realizes what's going on. Later she goes outside and sits down next to a man on a bench. The man recognizes her and tries to run, but Michelle catches him at knifepoint, or rather, "paperpoint", and calls him John Smith.

Maggie is running across a street and a car tries to run her over, but Michelle runs out with John Smith, yelling at him to stop. The car abruptly stops and reverses back the way it came. Michelle lets John Smith run when she and Maggie reunite. Michelle explains what's going on in the town as they run to find Anita.

For John Smith, "acting is life itself". He created this town so that he and other actors could live out their lives and passions every day. It's even possible the guy Michelle captured wasn't the real John Smith. The town, essentially, is one giant stage for all the actors. John Smith probably sold the book so he could build his dream, as he has no real interest or allegiance to anyone.

The girls find Anita on a rooftop, with a wig resembling Michelle's hair next to her. Anita is traumatized by "Michelle's" betrayal and doesn't trust that Maggie and Michelle are her real sisters. Michelle tells Anita that she can't make Anita trust them. Instead, it's up to Anita to believe for herself. Anita does get over her suspicion and runs to her sisters.

Mr. Kim drives the tired sisters home. He comments to himself about the bad intelligence and "we must punish them somehow". On cue, bombs explode in the town; the car drives away, leaving a collapsing town in the background.

Meanwhile, one of the Gentleman Books is brought to Dokusensha's storage library.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The title of the episode is a play on a line of dialogue from G.K. Chesterton short story "The Sign of the Broken Sword," collected in his “The Innocence of Father Brown.” Collection. The exact text varies with the different editions of the book and the metaphor is used multiple times in the story but the general text is "Where does a wise man hide a leaf?" "In the forest." Maggie misquotes this line at the beginning of the episode, which Anita corrects.
  • The title also refers to the story "In a Grove" (or "In a Bamboo Grove") by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which formed the basis for the movie "Rashomon"; there, as here, one theme is that "truth" is a matter of perspective.
  • Except for the elderly couple, none of the townspeople's faces are clearly shown.
  • In the original Japanese, the elderly couple offers to watch porn with Anita. In the English dub, this is changed to movies.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.