The following article contains spoilers for Tiger & Bunny 2 Episode 18, "One Eyewitness Is Better Than Ten Hearsays", now streaming on Netflix.
Tiger & Bunny 2's eighteenth episode picks up where the last left off, with He Is Thomas telling his partner, Mr. Black, that he plans on quitting being a superhero. This ends up being a casual misdirect -- Thomas actually means he's quit being a superhero in the First League and plans to move to Pleiades City and away from Stern Bild's current anti-NEXT regulations.
As a bonus, it's where his estranged sister Ruby lives, and the buddy system isn't a factor. He rationalizes that he and Mr. Black never made a great partnership anyway, so it's better for them not to work together. Despite ending their partnership, he's still grateful to Mr. Black for everything he did; Mr. Black puts up a brave face in support of his ex-buddy's decision, but when Thomas leaves, it's clear he's devastated.
Stern Bild's Mayor Sticks to His Evacuation Plan for All NEXTs
Meanwhile, a NEXT goes on a rampage in one of Stern Bild's evacuation centers, courtesy of Gregory Sunshine's infiltration. The incident leads to further turmoil in the mayor's office, with politicians on either side of the aisle pressuring him to either rescind the evacuation order or implement it even more strictly. He winds up going with the latter option, much to the delight of Sigourney Rosicky. As her mole within the mayor's office breaks the news, she revels in the fact that the schism between NEXT and non-NEXT will grow.
That fact is crystalized as anti-NEXT protests spread throughout the city, with protesters calling for the mayor to fully segregate the NEXTs. When Kotetsu and Barnaby plan to go out for dinner, they're crestfallen to find all restaurants are barring NEXTs from entry to due to rise in anti-NEXT sentiment.
When all hope looks lost, however, the Tiger & Bunny duo are accosted by a civilian with a hot tip -- he thinks he knows what's causing the Xs, and he'll give them the details for a fee. While Kotetsu and Barnaby are doubtful, they part with their money anyway; the civilian reports seeing a pompadoured man at Fortress Tower hugging a NEXT -- right before said NEXT went on a rampage.
Barnaby & Kotetsu Receive a Tip That Leads Them to Suspect Gregory Sunshine
When Kotetsu and Barnaby report this tidbit back to the other heroes, Golden Ryan notes that the man's description matches Gregory Sunshine, who he had a traumatic run-in with back at his previous posting. He doubts that Gregory's behind the incidents, however, as Gregory's power would run out after a few hours, whereas the Xs have still been afflicted days later.
It's here when Barnaby remembers Mattia's NEXT-amplifying drug, and when he gets in contact with his old friend, Mattia confirms that he saw a man matching Gregory's description at the lab. The heroes all agree that Gregory has to be the culprit -- even though Ryan points out he should still be in prison -- and they mount an investigation. Unfortunately the mayor shoots their hypothesis down, and with the clock ticking on the heroes' impending evacuation, there's a limited window to track Gregory down by themselves. When Ryan points out that Gregory is an alcoholic, Fire Emblem suggests they could try getting in contact with alcohol stores near previous X attacks.
Unfortunately for the heroes, Rosicky already knows what they're up to and tips Gregory off that he's being hunted. It's here that Barnaby gets a suspicious phone call from Mattia, asking him to meet with him. When he and Kotetsu meet with Mattia, he tells them that he got his wires crossed and that he saw a different pompadoured man instead.
Gregory Sunshine Barely Escapes Capture - And Mattia May Have Aided Him
Just as Kotetsu and Barnaby start to doubt themselves, Kotetsu gets a call from Magical Cat saying they've managed to track down Gregory courtesy of an alcohol vendor. They stake out Gregory's apartment, only to find it abandoned. The presence of half-eaten food suggests he only just left, so how could he have escaped? Mr. Black suggests a traitor is in their midst, and Barnaby makes a horrifying realization.
An out-of-breath Gregory is relieved to have escaped and calls the person who tipped him off to thank them -- and on the other end of the line is Mattia, riding in the back of a limousine, his eyes glowing a sinister yellow.
Tiger & Bunny 2's latest reveal lends credence to Rosicky's declaration in Episode 17 that Ouroboros has eyes and ears everywhere, but could Mattia really have betrayed the heroes, or could his yellow eyes signify something else at play? Either way, it's an intense cliffhanger to end Episode 18 on, and another problem to add to the mountain of them that Stern Bild's heroes have to deal with.