After the joys of his date with Lina last episode, as we reach the half-way mark of HEROMAN that joy quickly turns to despair as it becomes clear that Joey's involvement with the "Ghost" that is the centre of the NIA's attention has been revealed, leaving him with little choice but to make good his escape while he still can.
Thus, Joey meets up with Psy and Professor Denton in the dead of night (although not before informing Holly that he'll be gone for a while, but not explaining why), where's he learns that the NIA have painted Heroman as the bad guy in the recent staged incident with Doctor Minami's supposedly out of control robot. With Center City soon crawling with agents and law enforcement on the look-out for Joey, escape from the city is his only option, as difficult as that might prove.
Even with Psy and Denton on-hand to help Joey out, it soon becomes clear that every escape route is blocked, leaving the group little other option than to use Heroman's powers as part of their break-out - A plan aided by the fortuitous placement of a coal mine which allows Joey to avoid the clutches of a circling helicopter so that he can finally lose his pursuers and make a clean break for freedom and whatever that might bring.
Before we go any further, let me get this off my chest - Why on Earth would the NIA and the US government go to such lengths to alienate the very entity which saved them from an alien invasion?! While caution in dealing with such a strange power would be understandable, the basis of this latest story arc makes absolutely no sense at all even if you're amongst the most crackpot of conspiracy theorists. There are numerous off-shoots of this basically bizarre behaviour that infect this episode, but at the end of the day it all stems from that single oddity.
That said, Joey's new status as a fugitive on the run from secret agents certainly gives the series the shot in the arm that it needed, proving to be entertaining despite being the kind of story we've seen plenty of times before. A change of scenery and some new threats to deal with (coupled with new opening and ending themes) have left me feeling oddly refreshed and ready to take on more of HEROMAN where I was previously concerned at its twenty-six episode schedule - Amazing what a bit of a shift in perspective and story can do, even if it comes at the cost of some head-scratching plot concepts.