"Claire Stanfield Faithfully Carries Out the Mission" is the ninth episode of the 2007 Baccano! anime.
Funimation Blurb Edit
- First Version
He can appreciate the finer points of someone else’s massacre. He’s been here all along. A good newspaper always has someone on the inside. A guy who gives a speech before killing will usually not see his plans work out. The art of torture is alive and well. If there wasn’t a monster on the train before, there is now. Most freaks spend some time with the circus. A father must decide. He is identified by the fact that the corpse of his victim can’t be. The monster dreams of taking a bride. Some jerks think they’re bulletproof. A monster still has standards. He is unsettled to wake up in shackles. They are reunited under the threat of being torn apart forever. Some jerks are bulletproof. Kids say the darndest things.
Recap Scenes Edit
Ladd Russo brutally assaulting a Lemur and Czeslaw Meyer planning to use him (E04); Luck Gandor dismissing Dallas Genoard (E06); Natalie Beriam and the Lemures listening to a Lemur panic over the wireless (E06); the woman in coveralls escaping through a window (E04); Jacuzzi Splot discovering the conductors' corpses (E03).
In 1932, Nicholas Wayne's Chinese colleague informs him that the Flying Pussyfoot did not arrive in New York without incident: both its locomotive and all its passenger cars were replaced before its arrival. He adds that he has little official information to go on, since the Nebula Company is currently extremely tight-lipped about the events that occurred during the train's journey. However, he is sure that the incident was a serious one, since some of its passengers have allegedly died. Nicholas recalls that Rachel was on the train, and decides to wait for her report.
Rachel herself appears in the front doorway of the Daily Days, with her left shin bandaged and a crutch under her right arm. She is unmistakably the woman in coveralls from previous episodes.
Rachel heads upstairs to meet with The President of the Daily Days, who is glad to see her safe in spite of the worrying news their agency has received concerning the Flying Pussyfoot. Nicholas snidely asks if Rachel hitched 'another free ride' aboard the train, and Rachel coldly admits to having stowed away. The President rebukes Nicholas for his attitude in the face of Rachel's injury, before asking Rachel to report on the information she gathered aboard the train - including the identities of the White Suits, and the Black Suits. Rachel observes that the President seems to know more than she does. When the President mentions the Rail Tracer, she recalls that she overheard some of the passengers talking about it in the dining car. The President explains that the Rail Tracer is a legendary monster that traces the railways, and Rachel says that while she can't comment on the truth of the story, she is certain that there was a monster aboard the train.
In 1931, Ladd Russo, Lua Klein, Who and a fourth White Suit arrive at the conductors' compartment and find the two conductors' mutilated corpses. Delighted, Ladd wonders what could have caused such a spray of gore and kneels by the faceless corpse on the ground. He correctly assumes the corpse to be Dune, and assumes that Dune's death is a message from the perpetrator: the White Suit hunters are now the hunted. He demands Dune's corpse tell him the murderer's identity, lamenting that it will be difficult to enact revenge given that Dune cannot talk, much less find his own face.
The anime returns to the ending scene of Episode 02, in which the Lemur conductor aims his gun at the Young Conductor and says that there is no way to be spared [from death]. The scene reveals what really happened where episode two left off - instead of being shot, the Young Conductor kicks the gun out of the Lemur's hands, catches it, and aims it at the Lemur. He argues that there is a way for one to be spared: by killing before being killed.
The Lemur raises his hands into the air and attempts to protest, visibly afraid now that the tables have turned. The Young Conductor continues his own story of the Rail Tracer, explaining that the only way to survive it is to believe in his story and prevent the Rail Tracer's arrival in the first place. If it has already come, one's only hope is to flee until sunrise. He hastens to clarify that it is too late for the Lemur, and that the Rail Tracer is certain to awaken with the Lemur's death. With that, he shoots a bullet between the Lemur's eyes. The Lemur's corpse slumps to the ground.
Dune enters the compartment moments later, dressed in the same custom uniform that the Young Conductor is wearing. He spots the corpse and asks what happened, prompting the Young Conductor to aim the gun at him. The Young Conductor notes that only two conductors were scheduled for the Flying Pussyfoot, clearly making Dune an imposter. Dune asks him to put the gun down, but his unusually calm manner while at gunpoint only heightens the Young Conductor's suspicions.
Dune smirks a little and nonchalantly affirms those suspicions to be correct. Deciding that the 'usual methods' will not affect someone like Dune, the Young Conductor drops his gun and says that he will have to resort to something more effective. Dune blasély points out that torture is awful for producing reliable information, something he knows from personal experience. The Young Conductor ignores him, and exits onto the balcony. Dune takes his own gun out of his jacket and follows, only to find the balcony empty.
Someone underneath the platform grab his ankles and drag him under the train. That 'someone' is the Young Conductor, and he uses his arms to hold Dune in a full nelson while his legs support the weight of both of them at a near horizontal position over the tracks. Again, he asks for Dune's identity; when Dune tries to shoot him, the Young Conductor holds the offending arm to the fast-moving ground and rips it off at the elbow. Dune finally gives his name, but refuses to reveal why he is on the train. The Young Conductor holds the rest of Dune's arm against the ground, and Dune screams.
In the 'present', Ladd dances in Dune's blood and rants about how much he wants to meet the murderer and kill him, hoping that the murderer is the sort of person who thinks that he will never be killed.
Through the brutal removal of the rest of Dune's right arm, the Young Conductor learns of Dune's affiliation with the Russo Family and Ladd's plans for the train. While Dune laughs, half-mad with pain, the Young Conductor asks his final question: where Dune obtained his conductor's uniform. Through his laughter, Dune confesses that he likes how killing feels, and that he killed 'some old man' that morning at Union Station and stole the man's uniform. Furious, the Young Conductor pushes Dune's head toward the tracks and tells Dune that the old man, Tony, was his mentor before shoving Dune's head onto the tracks.
In the 'present', Ladd calms down and warns Lua and his men to be careful since someone dangerous is on board - someone who he plans on killing along with the Black Suits. He orders Lua to go hide in the meantime, since he is the only one allowed to kill her. Lua nods.
The Young Conductor tosses Dune's faceless corpse back into the compartment and soon follows after. There, he draws two bloody lines under his eyes, and vows to be the monster that 'devours' both the Lemures and the White Suits. Pressing his hand to his face - leaving a bloody print in its wake - he announces that he has become the Rail Tracer.
In 1932, Rachel says to the President and Nicholas that the monster she saw was wearing a conductor's uniform, and that it asked for her ticket (the unintelligible scene from episode six). Nicholas laughs, but quickly censures himself at Rachel's cold glare. The President believes the conductor to be Vino, an elusive assassin who appeared in multiple cities across America in an inexplicably short period of time. The President reasons that one could achieve such speeds if one were a conductor of a transcontinental express.
Rachel recognizes the name 'Vino', and the President explains that Vino was born Claire Stanfield, and raised in the Gandor Family alongside the Gandor brothers after he was orphaned at a young age. Keith, Berga, and Luck Gandor consider him their fourth brother. Claire ran away to the circus, and through hard training and work obtained incredible skills and techniques that lend themselves well to his assassin profession.
Aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, two White Suits stand in a car, having recently killed three Lemures. One of them searches the Lemures' corpses for money, irritably asking his laughing companion to pipe down. When his companion abruptly stops laughing, he turns around to find the aisle empty. The lights flicker off, and the red shadow of Vino bears down upon him.
In the Daily Days, the President recalls that Claire's nickname Vino originates from his signature killing method: he leaves his victims' bodies destroyed and soaked in blood, as if they were drowned in red wine, as evidence of a job completed.
The director asks Nicholas if he was able to confirm that Vino was in contact with the Gandor brothers, and Nicholas confirms that he has. The scene cuts to the Flying Pussyfoot's arrival in New York. A courier walks past Czeslaw Meyer, Maiza Avaro, Firo Prochainezo, Isaac & Miria, and Ennis to deliver a telegram to the Gandor brothers standing nearby. Luck reads the telegram, and informs Keith that he "was right."
The Gandors exit the train station and meet Vino - aka Claire, the Young Conductor - outside. Berga addresses him by name, lightly asking why one of the conductors isn't in the station. Claire replies that he is no longer Claire, nor a conductor. Nonplussed, Luck asks him what they should call him, and Claire suggests either "Vino" or "Rail Tracer." Berga scoffs.
Impatient, Claire heads off down the sidewalk and asks who the Gandors want him to kill, remarking that the previous night was "a walk in the park" and he wants a real challenge. That aside, he wants to deal with the Gandors' job quickly so that he can go search for someone. He adds that if he is lucky, the Gandors might be coming to his future wedding. The Gandor brothers share a cautious look between them.
At the Daily Days, Rachel wonders why Vino would kill so many people indiscriminately, and the President surmises that Vino killed his victims out of his own warped sense of justice. Rachel is not entirely convinced, since this does not explain why he would kill a child. The President prompts her to describe the child, and she says the child was a ten-year-old boy. Satisfied, the President replies that she can ask the boy himself, stunning her. Changing the subject, he asks Rachel how her leg came to be injured.
In 1930, Dallas Genoard and his cohorts wake up to find their hands bound with rope behind their backs, and their ankles handcuffed. Ennis stands over them, holding a syringe, and Scott worriedly says to Dallas that he thinks Ennis injected them with something. Szilard Quates introduces himself and says that he has questions for the four men, that they will answer them, and that he will kill them afterwards. Dallas' retort is cut off when Szilard places his hand on Scott's head and devours him.
Szilard rummages through Scott's memories and is unable to verify the safety of his Cure-All Elixir. He suggests to Dallas that they make a deal, but finds the three goons unresponsive due to shock. Ignoring them for the time being, Szilard asks Ennis what became of the two people whom Dallas' group was accosting. Ennis lies that they left the area and did not follow her. Apparently satisfied, Szilard informs her that the elixir is in the hands of the Gandor Family, and proposes that they have Dallas and his two remaining friends steal the elixir back. He believes that the goons will agree to help, since they have a grievance with the Gandors.
Szilard's elderly followers protest, upset that he has given common street criminals the elixir - even if it was only incomplete. He sharply chastises them, pointing out that by using the thugs the men will be able to avoid involving themselves with the Mafia. Furthermore, Szilard will devour Dallas' group once the job is finished. In the background, Ennis speaks with Dallas, James, and the third lowlife.
Szilard pointedly says that if any of the elderly men want to fight the Gandors themselves, they are free to take the thugs' places.
In 1931, Goose Perkins opens the door to his first class compartment and shoves Mary Beriam inside, where the girl has a tearful reunion with her mother Natalie Beriam. He and Chané Laforet follow the girl into the room, where he tells Natalie that they rescued Mary from the White Suits. He explains that the train will be crossing a bridge tomorrow morning, and that if a signal flare is ignited over the bridge, Natalie and her daughter will be spared. However, Goose emphasizes that they will only be spared for the moment, and clarifies that he has people currently negotiating with her husband Manfred Beriam. If they cannot reach an understanding with Manfred, or if the police try to barricade the railroad then they will be forced to leave Mary's corpse by the tracks. Goose says that he will shoot Mary himself in such an event. Chané averts her gaze from Natalie's despair.
In 1930, Ennis follows Dallas and his gang to Coraggioso, the Gandors' headquarters. Inside, Dallas and his cronies enter the Coraggioso's basement and come across several Gandor men playing poker around a table. Dallas points to Szilard's crate and claims that he forget it earlier that afternoon. One of the Gandor men points out that he can't know for certain whether or not the crate is really Dallas', and says that they will have to wait until Luck returns the next day.
Dallas and company pull out three Thompsons and open fire on the Gandors, seemingly felling them all. Dallas' celebration is cut short when he and his friends are shot dead by the sole surviving Gandor (the one who spoke with them). The Gandor crawls to the telephone to phone Luck, but is stabbed to death by a regenerated Dallas and crew. Dallas is exhilarated by the realization that he really is immortal.
In 1931, Ladd follows Czes into what appears to be an empty freight hold. Czes flatters Ladd by calling him a prizefighter, and Ladd, appeased for now, asks what Czes wants with him. Czes says that he has a favor to ask of him, only to recoil at Ladd's testy skepticism and whimper that Ladd is scaring him. Ladd snaps at him to be quiet, claiming that the only reason he came along was because Czes called him a 'young man', and that he thought Czes would be a nice little diversion from the White Suits. He warns Czes that his fate depends on how he makes Ladd react.
Czes nods, and with a childish smile asks if Ladd can kill all the passengers in the dining car for him. Surprised, Ladd asks Czes if he actually understands what he his asking, and Czes nods again. Unbeknownst to either of them, Claire is listening to their conversation behind a crate.
Dub: Isaac looks at the next episode's title and asks Miria what Czes could possibly be so afraid of. Miria points out that the word specter is also a synonym for ghost, and Isaac asks if she means that Czes is afraid of ghosts. Miria replies that it's either that or Czes' mother taught him not to associate with immortal people. Isaac assumes Miria means 'immoral people', but Miria exclaims that "it's not people anyway, it's ghosts!"
Sub: In response to Isaac's pondering of Czes' fear, Miria says that the 'sha' in fushisha (immortal person) means human, and Isaac asks her what 'fushi' means. Miria thinks it must be the 'fushi' from 'fushidara' (immoral), and Isaac concludes that Czes must be afraid of an immortal person. Miria is not surprised, since on top of everything else, it's Czes' shadow.
Differences Between the Anime & NovelsEdit
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the Nov 1930 timeline.
Dallas and his friends also kill Mike, the Gandors' upstairs lookout, when they arrive at the Coraggioso in the novels.
When Szilard devours Scott in the novels, Szilard shouts at him to leave 'James' alone. Before Szilard leaves, he notes that the man he devoured was not James. The man immediately adjacent to Dallas tells him that their deceased friend's name is Scott, and that he is James. James begins to cry.
The anime does not include the aftermath of Claire's reunion with the Gandor brothers in New York, which devolved into Claire and Berga brawlings. As Keith watches the two brothers brawl, he considers the fomenting Runorata-Gandor feud and thinks that this will be one of their last peaceful moments for a while.
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the Dec 1931 timeline.
When Dune does not see Claire outside the train, he turns around to re-enter the compartment. It is at that point where Claire grabs his ankles and pulls him under the train, whereas in the anime Claire grabs him while he is still facing forward.
Once Dune confesses to Tony's murder in the novels, he realizes his mistake and tries to pass his words off as a lie as Claire pushes his head toward the tracks. He desperately asks what Claire is (pointing out he killed the older conductor), and Claire introduces himself with both his real name and his moniker 'Vino.' Dune recognizes the name and remembers Vino's signature killing move (something that the President of the Daily Days describes in the anime instead) before he killed.
There is no fourth White Suit with Ladd, Lua, and Who at the conductors' compartment in the novels.
Mary's hands are free when Goose delivers her to Natalie in the anime, but they are bound behind her back in the novels.
The two White Suits whom Claire kills are in a third class passenger compartment in the novels. The rational White Suit hears Isaac and Miria's voices in the corridor outside and tries to listen through the door, but to no avail. This does not happen in the anime.
The anime leaves out how Czes met with Ladd in the first place: he discovers the legless Lemur corpse in one of the freight holds, and suspects that the White Suits were responsible for the man's death. He decides to seek out Ladd and heads for the conductors' compartment, bumping into Ladd in the second freight car. He tells Ladd that he has a favor he wants to ask him in the corridor, not the freight hold.
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the Jan 1932 timeline.
The opening scene with Nicholas and his colluding colleague is anime-original. Likewise, while Rachel does report on her experiences aboard the train to the President, all of the scenes with her and the President in this episode are original to the anime except for the line in which he suggests Rachel pay a visit to Czes himself.
Rachel was injured in her thigh rather than her lower leg in the novels.
- Dub Commentary: The Funimation DVD release of this episode featured commentary from Tyler Walker (ADR Director), Jerry Jewell (Claire Stanfield/Young Conductor), and Ian Sinclair (Dallas Genoard). (Transcription)
- In the episode's dub commentary, Tyler says that a group of businessmen touring Funimation entered the recording studio where Ed Blaylock (the voice actor for the Lemur conductor) was recording at the exact moment the conductor was shot in the head.
- The dub commentary also notes that it was around the time they were working on this episode that a false internet rumor was spreading that Jerry Jewell, Claire's voice actor, had died in a car accident.
- What will become of Czes' and Ladd's conversation? What will Claire do with this information?
- Why did Rachel stow away aboard the train?
- How did Rachel injure her leg?
- What will Jacuzzi's gang do?
- What became of Eve after she escaped? Why did Rubik apparently let her escape?
- Who is Claire searching for in New York, and what does he mean by wedding?
- Where is Dallas in 1932?
- Will Dallas and his friends take the elixir to Szilard like they agreed?
- What will Manfred Beriam do in the face of the Lemures' negotiations?