Lock of the Jail!
Episode 23 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part II begins by sharing Jotaro’s recollection of what he read in Dio’s Diary. Dio shares his plans for reaching “Heaven.” His plan involves his Stand “The World,” meeting a trustworthy comrade who has no earthly desires and requires the souls of 36 sinners. Dio engraves a specific passcode into his Stand, to prevent himself from forgetting.
He planned to destroy his Stand for a brief moment while absorbing the 36 sinners’ souls to give birth to something. This creature would recognize his trustworthy ally. This all had to take place at a specific location. The person would have to wait for the new moon, as it will bring Heaven alongside it.
In the present, Enrico Pucci departs the Green Dolphine Street Prison. This takes place after the whole population at the Ultra Security House Unit disappears due to some unknown reason. Two rescue team members and some prisoners also fell at this time. All these shenanigans led to the prison upping its security protocols. Due to these circumstances, Pucci signs a log and must leave the island via a truck.
Pucci’s appearance has changed, as he now has lines running on his skin, a new haircut, and a Joestar Birthmark on his neck. Pucci has no use of the prison anymore now that he has the Green Baby in his grasp. Pucci leaves the area and prepares to execute the next phase of his plans.
Meanwhile, at the prison, Emporio sneaks around the Green Dolphin Street Prison, and notes how high the danger levels have risen, unlike prior navigational attempts. Every guard has a gun and is monitoring their surroundings. Emporio manages to reach one of the cells and calls out to Jolyne. It appears Jolyne was captured by one of the guards, and they locked her up again.
Jolyne’s bored out of her mind and decided to pierce herself. She informs Emporio about her plan to escape the prison. Emporio says he wants to stall for time, promising to deliver his father’s Stand to the Speedwagon Foundation. He suggests Jolyne not do anything foolish, but Jolyne insists on breaking out of prison and stopping Pucci’s plans. Emporio informs Jolyne that no one can help her besides himself. Anastasia and Ermes are in the infirmary recovering and Weather Report refuses to leave his cell for some reason.
Jolyne tells Emporio that she inserted Jotaro’s memory disc in her head to learn about Dio’s plan. She tells him that she now knows what Pucci is after and is determined to foil his scheme. Emporio’s worried about the whole situation.
He explains that there may be no way of escape, as no one has ever been able to get past the visiting area besides Jotaro. He argues that the prison must have a Stand user that prevents other users from escaping. He suggests it is best to wait for now because it’s the safest option.
Jolyne understands his worries but insists on breaking out. She asks Emporio when the new moon will reveal itself and if he knows where Pucci wants to go. Before Emporio could respond, he hears footsteps. He vanishes into the darkness and hides.
A mysterious woman is walking down the hallway alongside her Stand. She relays a message from Whitesnake to Jolyne, warning her not to escape. If she complies, Whitesnake will allow Jolyne to send Jotaro’s disc to the Speedwagon Foundation without interfering.
Jolyne doesn’t buy it and asks the woman for her name. The woman reveals her name of herself and her Stand to Jolyne. The woman’s name is Mew Mew while her Stand identifies as Jail House Lock. Jolyne tries throwing a sneak attack at her but narrowly misses. Jail House Lock managed to shift into the bars themselves. Jolyne decides to continue her attack but finds herself mysteriously transported back into her usual cell.
Jolyne falls out of her bed, surprised that’s back in the women’s ward with Gwess. Jolyne feels pain in her hand and looks at it. There are specific instructions written on the back of her hand. The instructions say to grab the pen on her bed and that she can only remember three things at a time. It also tells her to defeat a Stand user named Mew Mew. She comes to find out that there are labeled messages written all over her body.
One of the messages tells her to meet Emporio. Jolyne tries recalling what happened before. She remembers being in solitary confinement and chatting with Emporio. She recalls meeting Mew Mew but in her vision, she appears blurry. Jolyne questions if she was the one to write the instructions on her body. She knows it’s in her handwriting, but is hesitant if that was the case.
Jolyne turns to Gwess and bombards her with questions. She asks Gwess how she ended up in the women’s ward but she doesn’t respond. This routine continues for a while. Jolyne stops bombarding her with questions and asks Gwess for a pen. Gwess points out that Jolyne already has a pen in her hand. Jolyne is shocked to find out Gwess wasn’t joking. Jolyne asks her if Gwess believes Jolyne wrote on herself, but she doesn’t respond.
Jolyne decides to read the second numbered message on her body. This message tells her that she can only learn three new things. Jolyne asks Gwess if she’s been asking the same question over and over again. Gwess has enough and takes out a paper from her pocket.
The paper features a message from Gwess informing Jolyne that the doctors have concluded that she has some type of amnesia. They state she has lost her ability to learn more than three things. The doctors conclude she’s fit to live in the women’s ward again. The guards had put her back in her cell two days ago.
Gwess wishes Jolyne the best. Jolyne ponders, believing that a Stand user has placed her under a spell of some kind. Jolyne asks Gwess for the pen again and takes it from her. Jolyne glances at the third labeled instruction. This one tells her to defeat Mew Mew, leading Jolyne to ask Gwess if she knows anyone named that. Gwess reveals some descriptive information about Mew Mew and tells Jolyne she just walked by.
Jolyne leaves her cell and spots Mew Mew. She heads back inside and asks Gwess to repeat her main features. Unfortunately, Gwess responds with too much intel, causing Jolyne to forget everything and question why she’s in the women’s ward.
Meanwhile, Emporio visits Ermes in the infirmary and relays his knowledge about Whitesnake and FF’s death to her. Ermes doesn’t respond. In the morning, She pours a glass of water and spills it over the prison bars. She mutters to herself that she will avenge FF’s death.
We transitioned back to Jolyne. Jolyne is seen taking a lunch box in the cafeteria. The caterer tells Jolyne to give her her meal ticket. She swipes the lunch box from Jolyne’s hands and shoes her away. Jolyne believes she left her ticket in her cell and makes a note of it on her arm. As she’s heading to her cell, she stops and wonders why she went to her cell in the first place.
Jolyne spots a random lunch box in her ward and chows down. Gwess returns to the room and tells Jolyne that the lunch she was eating was hers. Jolyne apologizes, saying she’ll use her meal ticket to get her another lunch box. Gwess prefers Jolyne to give her her ticket so that she can get it herself. She tells Jolyne to write a note of their exchange on herself. Jolyne complies.
As she’s writing the note, she glances over several instructions and remembers that she needs to see Emporio. Jolyne hesitates, noting that it would be difficult to sneak through the security in her condition. Weirdly, Jolyne ends up back in the cafeteria and is now sitting at a table with her lunch box. Mew Mew appears and sits at her table. Jolyne has no recollection of who this woman is, thanks to Mew Mew’s Stand.
When Mew Mew is in front of her, she somewhat recognizes her appearance. However, Mew Mew slams her shoe into Jolyne’s lunch, causing her to lose focus and yell at Mew Mew. Mew Mew shares multiple pieces of information on her way to throw Jolyne off track.
She splashes Jolyne with coffee and apologizes. She proceeds to wipe Jolyne down but is secretly removing Jolyne’s messages she had written down earlier. Mew Mew manages to remove multiple messages, including Jolyne’s instructions about forgetting three things.
Satisfied, Mew Mew leaves and reiterates how her Stand works to the audience. She expects her Stand’s amnesia effect will wear Jolyne down and crush her spirit. Now alone, Jolyne only has one written message remaining.
This message says she can only learn three things at a time. She tries to remember the critical information she had acquired earlier. Jolyne manages to remember something and uses Stone Ocean’s thread to mark herself with her newfound knowledge. She remembers that she needs to meet Emporio.
Although Jolyne recalls another piece of information, she decides not to write it down. She infers that it’s best to focus on her current objective than to bombard herself with others.
We transition to Emporio, who has somehow been affected by Jail House Lock. He’s stuck trying to pull a plug that’s electrocuting a puddle of water that’s blocking the exit. He’s also having trouble remembering what he needed to do before getting in that predicament. He recalls needing to tell Jolyne about something but ends up forgetting due to being electrocuted.
Meanwhile, Mew Mew is patrolling the area. She recalls one of the memos on Jolyne’s arm, telling her to meet Emporio. However, Mew Mew doesn’t know who this Emporio figure could be. She decides to toss the information aside since she’s confidant that Jolyne and everyone else will not be able to escape.
For her part, Miu Miu has remembered a memo on Jolyne’s arm telling her to meet a certain Emporio, but she doesn’t know of anyone going by this name. She prefers to forget about it, for now, sure that nobody will escape her.
The Episode Review
This was a strange follow-up episode. While the animation, artwork, and soundtrack remain excellent, some content presented here was confusing and repetitive. Mew Mew’s Stand “Jail House Lock” sounds intriguing in theory and looks marvelous in action. I appreciate the anime taking the time to explain her powers to us, too. However, there are decisions and directions in this episode that left me scratching my head.
Although this franchise is known for being “weird,” this episode leans toward that idea a bit too far. I feel there was an overload of scenes depicting Jolyne forgetting and remembering things. For example, they could’ve cut out most of her exchanges with Gwess. Some of those scenes weren’t necessary to advance the story forward.
On that note, the director and animators would’ve benefitted from cutting out some of the episode’s slice-of-life moments too. This would make it easier to assess Jolyne’s situation and empathize with her twisted behavior. Considering we just lost a memorable and lovable ally, it’d be best for the anime to steer JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean toward a serious and dramatic tone.
I’m a bit disappointed with the direction of this series too, if I’m honest. After the previous episode’s stellar conclusion, I expected the action to pick up between Jolyne and Enrico Pucci. While we didn’t see much of their relationship explored in the anime, you could tell from Jolyne’s voice that FF meant a lot to her.
It’s a buzzkill that Jolyne opted to be captured by the Green State Dolphin Prison’s guards again. It feels like a cop-out, as she could’ve easily stumbled upon the transceiver to form a plan with Weather Report. Emporio’s character also rubbed me the wrong way in this episode. I understand he’s a child, but he could’ve been more encouraging toward Jolyne’s wishes. I found his semi-optimism a bit annoying, too.
I’m thankful the anime decided to give him an important task regarding safeguarding Jotaro’s memory disc. His character feels more important to the overarching narrative. He could well serve a higher purpose besides being Jolyne’s delivery boy.
Some instances looked unnatural here too, and the episode’s handling of timely intervals could’ve been better. Other than that, this episode serves as a decent transition. Hopefully, this second part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean can conclude on a powerful note.