With the Medusa in hand, Yo tries to use it on Moz, but Ibara makes use of its voice activation to petrify Yo instead. Hyoga continues his battle with Moz and eventually defeats him with help from Senku and the rest. Ibara then makes the Medusa set for 15 minutes and makes Oarashi (a strong guard I haven’t found reason to mention this entire time) swallow the device and run into the center of the island, which the Kingdom of Science are unable to prevent but take a back up plan. Once everyone is seemingly petrified, Ibara returns to the island and appreciates his work, as well as shattering Oarashi to get the Medusa back, but is confronted by a still alive Senku.
Okay, I guess that big green blast on the island from the OP wasn’t just for shits and giggles. Hell of a direction to go in after last episode seemed like things were actually going Team Senku’s way…but they still might if that ending is any indication. And let’s be clear, Ibara is not the most nuanced or interesting villain on paper. At best, he’s a competent knockoff of Jafaar or Scar from their respective Disney movies, right down to driving away the firstborn of the guy he works under and then controlling him in some form in order to gain power. So, basically the only thing they can really do to make him worth watching is make him insanely quick witted, ruthless, and clever, which they show quite effectively here by having him DIVE STRAIGHT IN FRONT OF THE MEDUSA JUST TO MAKE IT PETRIFY YO, and furthermore by making Oarashi swallow the dang thing and run to the center of the island just to break the guy open like a pinata soon after. This dude may not be the best chessmaster, the fact that he only happened on Kohaku’s earring communicator by dumb luck is clear enough indication of that, but boy does he know how to improvise.
And hey, he got what he wanted in the end: all of his enemies petrified in the middle of his island…all except for the one who could probably bring them all back. How Senku survived the blast is likely to get explained next episode, but for now it seems like he just shielded himself with the tank they came in on. That, however, raises some questions about the initial petrification that took out the entire world thousands of years ago. It didn’t seem like ANYONE survived that, at least no one the space team Senku’s dad was with could find, but I guess this means it doesn’t rule out people who were shielded well enough to get through and try to keep humanity going for a little while longer. Certainly puts to bed fears that every single one of the humans not petrified were descendants of just those six pilots. But now the two kings face each other at last, with just four more episodes to go. Also Hyoga officially became a good guy and got some neat backstory, so that was cool I guess. Kinda hoping we check back with Tsukasa soon.