We open with Mari Tennouji in New York. For some reason, even though
it's been two years since the original series, she seems to have changed
the least, at least in one important aspect: she still seems down, as
if she is still reeling from her experience in the Cake Grand Prix when
Henri Lucas toyed with her emotions in order to test her mental
toughness. She may be older now, but she still seems to carry an
emotional fragility that can barely be hidden by her frozen public mask.
But that just provides an excuse to have Ichigo and the gang come to New York to bug her, or is it to help her? Henri Lucas actually sent them to the Big Apple in order to check up on Tennouji's shop. Pâtisserie La Liberté? How ironic a name, considering that Tennouji does not seem to have been freed from her love for Henri Lucas. And one thing we the audience have not been freed from is the annoying characters. We get a double dose this episode, which Johnny back in his full-fledged "I am annoying" mode, and to double our displeasure, Rick, the irksome playboy who was once Lemon's teammate back during the Grand Prix also reappears. Thus, we have two idiotic playboys, who understandably take an immediate dislike to the other's interest in Ichigo.