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The World Stage - Recap

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A geisha arrives at the hotel room of mobster Paulo Sabatini, who complains that she's running late. She doesn't say anything but is soon giving him a massage. Sabatini rolls over and tells her to perform, but she decapitates him with a sword.

Tannhauser is listening to a Chinese language tape while Martine is in the bathroom, calling Gunter.

Gunter is with the physician having his face checked. The physician points out that he hasn't been taking his medications and that there is a danger of transplant rejection. When Martine calls, Gunter takes it and she demands to know how he could be Gunter. He asks how she could be Gunter's girlfriend while involved with two crime lords and Martine admits that she likes excitement. He asks who the baby is but before Martine can answer, Tannhauser knocks at the door and she flushes the telephone down the toilet. Tannhauser comes in to urinate, leaving a puzzled Gunter.



A puzzled Gunter gets a flash of a man picking him up at a gay bar and asks the physician if he could have the memories of the man whose face he's wearing. The physician admits that sometimes people take on the personality of those they receive transplants from. They both have a laugh and then Gunter slaps the physician.

At the station, Gunter tells Braden that the dead detective's personality is overtaking his own. She doesn't see the problem and Gunter has a flash of Braden trying to seduce the detective in her office. He snaps out of it and tells Braden that he knows she's not as respectable as she pretends. Braden reminds him that he has to give her Tannhauser in return for his real face. Karl comes in and says that they've received word of a grisly murder and Gunter figures it will lighten his mood.



Gunter and Karl go to the hotel to check out Sabatini's decapitated body. He registered under a fake name and there's cocaine on the dresser. After thoroughly sampling it, Gunter asks if the hotel has masseuses and Karl confirms that Sabatini used an outside service. There's a photo of the masseuse on the security camera but Gunter doesn't recognize it. He checks the mattress for the wallet where Sabatini hid it and Karl remembers that his partner used to check crime scenes the same way. Gunter insists that he killed Karl's partner and that Karl should be messed up over it, and Karl assures him that he is. They get Sabatini's name from the wallet and Gunter tells Karl that he was one of Racken's inner circle. Karl figures that the murder will send Racken over the edge.

Racken and his men wait for Sabatini to arrive and one of his men complains that Racken is too old-fashioned. Martine, disguised as Lily, arrives with a box for her husband and leaves. Racken opens it and finds Sabatini's head inside. He has his bodyguard dispose of it When the same man points out that Racken is weak, Racken says that he knows Tannhauser is responsible and vows to give him a war.



Explosions soon rock the city and at his hideout, Martine gives Tannhauser the news that Racken is targeting his businesses.

Braden calls Karl and Gunter in, and Gunter figures that a third party set everything up. The commissioner remains a package from one of her own detectives and inside is the detective's decapitated head. As Karl vomits in the recycling bin, Gunter figures that the person responsible is trying to lure the police in and put the city up for grabs.

Gunter and Karl go to the post office and talk to the clerk about the decapitated head. The hitman asks for the security footage and Gunter realizes that the woman is almost but not the same as the woman who killed Sabatini. The clerk points out a similar looking woman and Gunter confirms that she's different than the first two. Karl approaches the woman while the police arrive in response to a phone call about Gunter's rudeness. Karl grabs the woman and Gunter takes a customer hostage. When Karl reminds him that he's a cop, Gunter kisses her and then takes the severed head out of the new woman's box and confirms that it's one of Tannhauser's men.



At the station, Braden confirms that the geisha's name is Yakido Akido, a licensed massage therapist with no criminal record. She has clients in both gangs. Gunter, impressed with her work, goes in to talk to her. Yakido stares at her and Gunter has a flash of memory about her face. She then gestures for a pencil and paper. However, she kills herself with the pen.

That night, Gunter sleeps and has dreams of geisha girls laughing at him. He wakes up when Martine calls to tell him that the war is out of control and she's scared. Gunter tells her that he knows who is pulling the strings and hangs up, staring at his face in a mirror.

The next morning, Gunter goes to an abandoned theater. The last musical performed there was The Mikado. Three geisha surround him with swords, take him to the stage, and then tie him up. Their leader explains that they are members of a theater troupe, not criminals. They came to the city to entertain but mobsters demanded protection money and they couldn't afford to pay both gangs. The gangs killed their men and forced them out onto the streets, playing humble masseuses while gathering the names of the villains. The geisha then played out the role of the High Executioner from The Mikado. Once the war is over, they will return to center stage. However, since the police haven't proven effective, they plan to kill Gunter as well.



An angry Gunter invites them to kill him, explaining that he's playing a part as well. As the geisha raises her sword, Karl arrives with a squad of men, shoots the leader, and arrests the others. He explains that he remembered going to the theater with his partner years ago to see The Mikado.

Back at the station, Braden tells Gunter that he has to keep his current identity because she needs her dead detective's skills to end the war. Gunter laughs at her and promises that he is still Gunter and will return to play the role of villain. The commissioner warns him that she is the director and she has final cut.

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