Cells at Work! CODE BLACK’s Emotional Finale Is Surprisingly Hopeful

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 13 of Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, "Cardiac Arrest, Revival, and a Change," now streaming on Funimation.

At the end of last week's episode of Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, things got dark really fast -- figuratively and literally. Because of compounding factors like smoking, alcohol, and stress, it was only a matter of time before things took a turn for the worse. The host body suffered a heart attack, stopping his heart as well as all the systems in his body, leaving the cells terrified as to what will become of them. If he survives this heart attack, will he change his bad habits?

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A Fierce Desire to Live

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Despite all of the Red Blood Cells' best efforts to deliver oxygen to the heart, it's impossible to clear the blood clot. Tremors rock the body and they notice that the ribs are beginning to crack -- cardiac massages. The cells don't know that, however. All they see is the ceiling threatening to crash down on them.

But AA2153 notices that each jolt is timed with the flicker of the heart's light and realizes that the body is trying to live. He rallies the other Red Blood Cells, telling them that they have to be ready to deliver oxygen to the heart when it revives. Some of the Red Blood Cells think there's no point in working anymore because their situation isn't going to change -- all they'll return to is a code black environment. Wouldn't it be easier on them if they just waited for the body to die, thus releasing them from their jobs?

For AA2153, this isn't about the body anymore. He's working not because he has to but because he wants to. Invigorated, the rest of the cells cheer passionately for the heart to fight and to live. Finally, there's a shock and they're back online. The Red Blood Cells have no time to celebrate -- they have to deliver oxygen to every cell in the body, otherwise they'll all die. The coronary blood clot gets unblocked and oxygen is distributed throughout the body, saving everyone in the nick of time.

A Change of Heart and Scenery

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A heart attack would scare anyone and that's the case with this host body. Ever since then, it seems like he's finally taking his health seriously and is taking better care of his body. He's no longer smoking, drinking, or eating greasy food. Gradually, the working conditions and the cells' moods improve until it looks like it was never a code black environment.

There were times that AA2153 didn't feel like he could make any sort of impact with his job. All he does is deliver oxygen and even then, no matter how hard he works, it never feels like it's enough. But after everything he went through, he can now be proud of himself and his role as a Red Blood Cell. His remarks remind us that the cells in the human body can only do so much and it's up to us to take care of ourselves, thereby giving the cells the tools and environment to function optimally.

AA2153 meets U-1196 and the two of them have a cute moment where U-1196 acknowledges how much the Red Blood Cell has grown and he happily tells her that he has always looked up to her. The usually stoic-faced U-1196 blushes at AA2153's words, making him flustered in turn. However, their happiness is short-lived.

In the post-credits scene, a blood transfusion pulls AA2153, the junior Red Blood Cell, and U-1196 out and drops them straight into another body and another code black environment -- and this one seems much worse, indicating a possible second season is in the works. If this does happen, it looks like it'll be much more devastating than the first.

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