This My Hero Academia contains spoilers.
My Hero Academia Season 4 Episode 10
“We’re the bad guys.”
Sometimes the final stretch can be the hardest. You can see the finish line in sight, but those last few feet are what kills you. Midoriya, Togata, and all of Nighteye’s team have never been closer to reaching Eri and stopping Chisaki and yet by the end of “Temp Squad” they look to be in a bigger mess than ever. “Temp Squad” has a lot going on. It features essentially four battles, which should be amazing, but it kind of loses sight of itself as it juggles so much at once.
Surprisingly, nearly half of “Temp Squad” is still devoted to the fallout of Kirishima and Fat Gum’s battle with Rappa and Tengai. They find themselves in a weird standstill of sorts that begins to naturally turn into an unusual alliance. Spending so much time on this leftover material from the previous episode is “Temp Squad’s” biggest drawback, but there are still some compelling moments that come out of it. Rappa’s history with Chisaki and the fact that he’s trapped in this purgatory of sorts until he’s able to finally beat the villain makes for a very rich backstory. It’s also consistent with what’s been said about how all of the Hassaikai’s Eight Bullet assassins were individuals who had lost their purpose in life until Chisaki was able to make them feel whole again.
It’s unclear if these four will ever get the rematch that Rappa is so desperate for, but the evolution of their relationship could develop into something interesting. If Chisaki could give their lives meaning, it’s fair to say that heroics could have the same positive effect. The unlikely bond that they all form even holds greater significance considering their quirks are all complimentary, too. Perhaps in a few seasons’ time Rappa and Tengai could even be fighting for the heroes…or maybe they’ll immediately be eviscerated by Chisaki when he learns what’s happened.
This season of My Hero Academia has been more unpredictable and atypical that its preceding years, but this current run of episodes has fallen into a comfortable pattern. Just like how the previous installment had two underlings within the Shie Hassaikai face off against some heroes, “Temp Squad” also embraces this battle aesthetic. This time, Himiko Toga and Twice, two of the Hassaikai’s “temps,” are tasked to face off against Midoriya and slow down the heroes.
Before Toga and Twice enter the fray, Irinaka makes a last ditch effort to have his Mimicry quirk make some kind of lasting impact on the heroes. This mostly means that the walls and hallway become even more like a Salvador Dali painting and it’s just another radical element to add to what’s already a very frenzied fight. It’s been some time since Midoriya has really been able to let loose, but his fancy footwork against Irinaka is some beautiful stuff. Midoriya takes to the air and demolishes some living bricks. Irinaka’s tricks aren’t the major threat here, but it makes for a fun way to empower Midoriya before he finds himself trapped with Aizawa.
This current run of My Hero Academia episodes has found a lot of success by playing around with some creative character pairings. “Temp Squad” pushes Midoriya and Aizawa together in a team, which is very enjoyable to watch, but it doesn’t get much of a chance to go anywhere. Toga even succeeds in stabbing Aizawa, but “Temp Squad” doesn’t play around with the idea of Midoriya squaring off against an Aizawa doppleganger, as entertaining as that would be.
It’s the material with Toga and Twice that really stands out the most in this episode. Last week’s fight against Rappa and Tengai had clear stakes present, but it was more a story about Kirishima overcoming his personal demons than it was an episode that celebrates the danger of a fight. Toga and Twice are straight up scary. They fight with a rabid level of ruthlessness that’s been absent in My Hero Academia since Chisaki exploded that villain to pieces. These villains contain a special level of insanity that generates anxiety whenever they’re not present on screen.
Toga and Twice succeed in causing a real level of carnage on the battlefield that exceeds that of the Eight Bullets. Considering that these “temps” are both on loan from the League of Villains, their bloodlust also highlights another interesting contrast regarding the mental state of villains across these groups. It’s a pleasant surprise to see the return of these characters, especially since Midoriya’s encounter with Toga triggers some PTSD from their previous altercation, although Toga couldn’t be more thrilled for the reunion. It’s a nice energy for their time together, even if it’s brief.
Nighteye also tries to assist his team through the fisticuffs, which leads to the introduction of his “battle support items” that allow him a physical edge in combat in some crazy ways. These kind of aids push My Hero Academia into risky territory. Quirks fail to have significance if there can be workarounds like this to simulate abilities in other ways. At the same time, this whole season is very much about the deconstruction and reexamination of quirks, so they’re at least on point. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as My Hero Academia doesn’t introduce a number of super scientists who create all sorts of powerful tech.
It currently appears that the Shie Hassaikai is in freefall mode as its headquarters rapidly get invaded and dismantled by the many heroes on duty. In spite of this destruction, those at the head of the organization seem to have very little concern for what’s going on. Chisaki acknowledges that this iteration of the Hassaikai may be finished, but its defeat may even make for an inspiring story for the future generation of villains. He also reiterates that what’s more important than anything is that they’ve perfected a version of their quirk-altering serum. That alone is enough to bring them success, regardless of how many people they have by their side.
It’s a clever structure to have this pivotal merger meeting between Shigaraki and Chisaki play out in piecemeal through flashbacks, but I would have loved an episode that’s simply the two of them playing Shogi while talking shop. With the way in which this season has played out, it wouldn’t have even been that unusual of an episode. The approach that My Hero Academia has taken allows the full scope of Shigaraki’s strategy to play out with the maximum amount of suspense.
In the end, it’s this larger union between the Shie Hassaikai and the League of Villains that becomes the most important factor here. Just when Nighteye gets firm confirmation that the League of Villains and the Shie Hassaikai are working together, more flashbacks reveal that Shigaraki has also been playing the long game. He’s intended for Toga and Twice to act as sleeper agents within the Hassaikai who will eventually take it down from within. This damage begins to take place in the episode’s final moments when their dismissal of the Hassaikai throws Irinaka into a rage that spatially destroys the environment that everybody’s caught in.
“Temp Squad” features a lot of great material, but it does feel disjointed at times. It continues to separate the heroes in a way where there are essentially four series of events to follow that are all happening in the same building. On top of that, this episode also throws flashbacks from several characters into the mix. “Temp Squad” can feel like it sometimes arbitrarily jumps between these sequences and it can be disorienting.
The episode is half over by the time that it really figures out what its focus is. Furthermore, it’s really Toga and Twice that cause the most change and push the episode forward, with there being very little sense of accomplishment from the heroes. To say that this messy structure is meant to symbolize the chaos that everyone is caught up in would perhaps be giving My Hero Academia too much credit, but it is at least a parallel that helps.
“Temp Squad” may be messy, but the action does connect and the many faces that we meet within the Shie Hassaikai continue to be satisfying. The revelations about Shigaraki’s true intentions definitely reframe the season in a big way that teases a conclusion that could just as easily feature Shigaraki and his crew against Chisaki instead of Nighteye and company. “Temp Squad” suffers from trying to cram in a little too much, but the results are satisfying. It looks like the heroes have at least a few more episodes of wading through battles within Hassaikai headquarters, but at least it feels like they’re getting closer to their goal.
I also sincerely hope that Fat Gum retains his skinny appearance, yet continues to be called Fat Gum. Dragon Ball Super didn’t have the guts to keep Buu skinny, so now’s your chance to assert your dominance My Hero Academia!
Daniel Kurland is a published writer, comedian, and critic whose work can be read on Den of Geek, Vulture, and Bloody Disgusting. Daniel knows that the owls are not what they seem, that Psycho II is better than the original, and that Hannibal is the greatest love story ever told. His perma-neurotic thought process can be followed at @DanielKurlansky.