Fire Force: Burns & Joker’s Costly Mistake Illuminates the Evangelist’s Lies

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 13 of Fire Force, "A Pair of One-Eyes," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Fire Force is making serious headway in its investigation into the Holy Sol Temple and its potential ties to the Evangelist. While the surprising reunion between Joker and Captain Burns looked as though it would be an unfriendly confrontation, they find that their objectives align. A trip down memory lane expands upon Burns and Joker's past as they share their findings and come to a startling conclusion about the Evangelist.

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With the help of Benimaru Shinmon -- Captain of Company 7 -- Joker successfully infiltrates the Holy Sol Temple and encounters a group of assassins known as the Holy Sol's Shadows. Having been raised by the group and their abusive leader, Joker kills his former commander as Benimaru handles the rest. Captain Burns, of Company 1, emerges and reveals he has a lead which could uncover a secret that not even the Temple is aware of. Enticed by this prospect, Joker wants to learn more, but Benimaru questions why Burns is there and how the two one-eyed pyrokinetics know each other.

Joker explains that during his time with the Holy Sol's Shadows, Burns acted as a liaison between the Temple's public and private faces, even looking after the would-be dark hero. An incident at Amaterasu involving a mass outbreak of Infernals required the stealthy expertise of the duo since the Temple wanted to keep a façade of safety for the public regarding Amaterasu. The mission brought Burns and Joker in contact with an Infernal who would cause them to experience a fated Adolla Link.

In the flashback, Burns senses something is off, but a rash Joker rushes in to attack, causing the Infernal to unleash an ear-piercing shriek. Three claw-like scratches appear on Joker's left eye and Burns's right as the Infernal's sonic shockwaves reverberate through the air. Burns and Joker's respective eyes burst into flames as they suddenly find themselves standing in a different dimension at the Evangelists' feet. The purple monochrome Adolla world swirls with dark flames, stars and strange planet-like orbs floating in the sky.

The jarring experience is short-lived with them appearing back in Amaterasu where Burns defeats the Infernal before it can attack Joker, but they are shaken by what's just happened. Though Burns initially wonders if they hallucinated the experience, Joker dispels that notion immediately by opening his hand, revealing a luminescent stone with fluttering purple flames. A memento from the Adolla world, and concrete evidence, the stone proves that they were pulled into a different space.

In the present-day Nether, Burns comes good on the lead he previously mentioned and hands Joker a notebook belonging to the wife of Raffles I, the founder of the Holy Sol Temple. Disappointed, Joker explains that he aims to locate the Temple's hidden scriptures to expose the Temple's deceit surrounding the Evangelist, but Company 1's Captain assures him nothing like that exists. Since their Adolla Link, Burns has exploited his position at Company 1 to investigate the Holy Sol Temple since their experience shattered all his perceptions and understanding of the world.

Burns tells them that the notebook substantiates what is stated in the Holy Sol Temple's scriptures about the founding origins of the religion, which causes Joker and Benimaru to become skeptical of how this is a positive lead. However, the veteran Fire Soldier indicates they are focusing on the wrong information, pointing out that they should instead be enticed by how Raffles I's wife describes her husband's behavior.

When Raffles returned to his wife, he was the only surviving member of the caravan sent to find the Adolla Burst. While Raffles's appearance was unchanged, she notes that his mannerisms and quirks were that of a completely different person than the man she had been married to for 30 years. Seeing the similarities, Benimaru recounts his experience in Asakusa, where a member of the White-Clad could transform into a perfect doppelganger of another person.

Joker and Burns wonder if this shapeshifting White-Clad member may be an inhuman being with and unnatural lifespan like the Evangelist. The implications of Raffles being replaced make it unlikely that the Holy Sol Temple would have any further information about the Evangelist since they'd been deceived from the beginning. Unbeknownst to them, Yona -- the White-Clad's shapeshifter -- reveals this truth to the Fifth Pillar, Inca. On the Evangelist's orders, Yona took Raffles's identity and founded the Holy Sol Temple.

The Evangelist is already an intimidating figure, but the level of manipulation at play to orchestrate the creation of a religion that would serve as the bedrock for the entire Tokyo Empire is insanely frightening. Though Joker, Burns and Benimaru know the investigation into the Holy Sol Temple is over, they'll still need to find the truth for themselves, turning the focus towards the other facilitator in Amaterasu's creation, Haijima Industries.

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