For all of his indecision about becoming an official member of the Five Leaves, Masa's actions when it comes to Matsu's kidnapping certainly speaks volumes when it comes to portraying which side of that decision he has come down on.
While the last episode saw Masa employed as a bodyguard by Matsu's kidnappers (although I'm not quite sure kidnapping is the correct word considering he broke into their property in the first place, regardless of the reason), so this ninth instalment sees him making good on this position when it comes to releasing Matsu from captivity and returning him to safety - A job well done, even if it costs Masa yet another job in the process. Indeed, come the end of the whole affair, even the wooden tags that started this mess end up back with their rightful owner, thanks to Masa's friend and police chief Yagi.
Of course, it probably goes without saying that the other Five Leaves members, and in particular Yaichi, aren't all that enamoured with one of their ilk hanging around with a high-profile policeman, and thus it appears that Yagi is to be the group's next target - A rather dangerous one I would imagine, even discounting his relationship with Masa. As if this information isn't problematic enough for our protagonist, he also has to deal with a visit from his younger sister, who has escaped the clutches of her family for a while alongside one of their servants to pay a visit to Edo.
Between all of these goings-on, we've actually seen more of Masa and the various sides of his personality than I can ever remember noticing previously - Of course, we're used to him thoughtlessly speaking out of turn and asking questions that he shouldn't, but this instalment also saw him delicately walk the line between deception and caring for his friend while dealing with Matsu in front of his "fellow" bodyguards, while he also shows a far more forceful and inflexible side when it comes to his sister. Apply what we've seen here to the Five Leaves' plans for Yagi, and we could be facing some interesting times ahead, even before we factor in some impending trouble for Yaichi. The fact that all of this has been done with nary a sword drawn or an action scene in sight tells us everything about the quiet, thoughtful treatment on which House of Five Leaves thrives - A treatment which hasn't always worked all that well, but one that seems to be going from strength to strength at present.