Japanese Title: 「機械たちの午後」 - 「Kikaitachi no Gogo」
This episode marks the first appearance of the Tachikoma mechanic Proto. He will appear for the rest of the series.
SPring-8: Harima Science Garden City
SPring-8 is once again visited here. The facility that houses SPring-8, called Harima Science Garden City, is located near the city of Kōbe. Harima, which is also not far from New Port City, was last shown in the Season One episode "TESTATION
Dr. Asuma: "PROLOGUE"
Dr. Asuma's attempt to leave the country and subsequent capture before leaving by Section 9 is a reference to the 1991 Shirō Masamune manga Ghost in the Shell. The first chapter, entitled "PROLOGUE", is seen in the 1995 Mamoru Oshii movie Ghost in the Shell.
Freedom: Ghost in the Shell
The Major's talk about the concept of freedom, being a luxury that members of Section 9 can not afford, is a reference to Mamoru Oshii's 1995 classic Ghost in the Shell. On the boat with Batou, Motoko remarks that if they ever left Section 9, they'd have to give back their cybernetic bodies. Considering the organic material remaining, "there wouldn't be much left," of Motoko and Batou. Of course, the members of Section 9 wouldn't be free to discuss their lives within the unit to anyone. Otherwise, they'd be brought up on the same charges that Dr. Asuma will be.