WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 182, "Ao," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
The Boruto anime continues to heat up now that Kara's Vessel has crashed on the outskirts of Konoha, bringing the terrorist cell closer to Naruto's Hidden Leaf shinobi. Konohamaru and Mugino are already investigating as they can tell something sinister's afoot, realizing it may well be that the massive threat Naruto and Sasuke have feared is finally at their doorsteps.
But in Episode 182, the Hokage's plan suffers a major blow when Kara's hitman, Koji Kashin, activates a rescue mission, revealing a traitor with close ties to the village.
Naruto thinks Konohamaru and Mugino are enough to dissect the airship that fell but little does he know there are evil robots that escaped and are hunting them. Otherwise, he wouldn't have sent Boruto on a C-rank mission with science head, Katasuke, and the rest of Team 7 to get the Ryutan science lab to improve his prosthetic arm. It's a fateful trip, however, as they meet Ao on the Thunder Train, a soldier from the last Great War against Kaguya.
Last time we saw Ao, the war vet was in Konoha to pay tribute to the sensory perception team, which included Ino and Shikamaru's dads. They died thanks to a Tailed Beast blast, leaving Ao the lone survivor. He visited and had a conversation with Ino and Shikamaru on how proud their fathers would be today, which is why it feels like a nice coincidence that Team 7 has to sit by him for the trip. Katasuke even tends to his cybernetics, as he lost limbs in the blast and actually came to Konoha for the science team to tighten his body up. Meanwhile, Ao dispenses some cold advice to Boruto on war, science and how the role of the ninja has evolved with these tools.
But when they get off at their destination, the episode takes a dark turn as the seat behind Ao reveals that Koji, Jigen's right-hand man and the assassin who killed Victor, has been there all along. He was monitoring Ao and admits he needs him for a mission. This confirmation that Ao is an Outer member is stunning, as it seemed like he'd always remain loyal to Konoha and his own region in the Hidden Mist.
Now, Koji wants him to recover the Vessel lost due to Victor's greedy actions. Ao has the stealth and proficiency from years of experience; plus, he can feign being an ally to Konoha -- which allowed him to steal intel from Naruto's science team already. Koji leaves weapons and intel for the undercover job, also sanctioning deaths as it has to be untraceable. Ao accepts but you can tell it's weighing on his mind. Hopefully, after this bombshell revelation in Episode 182 of Boruto, we discover why he decided to betray his allies and how long he's been under Kara's thumb.