12x4Elite! The Four Shinigami Episode Summary Aired: Tuesday April 21, 2009
Ichigo arrives in the 5th Tower to save Orihime and confronts Ulquiorra, who tells him that because Aizen has not ordered Orihime killed, he shall not do it unless ordered to. But because Ichigo is a threat to Hueco Mundo that must be destroyed, he will kill him. As a result, Ulquiorra finally unsheathes his sword and they begin their battle. Meanwhile, back at the fake Karakura, Barragan takes command since his boss is locked inside Yamamoto's fire prison, ordering both Halibel and Stark to not underestimate him. His first plan of action is to destroy the four pillars protecting Karakura, and he sends out four giant hollows to do the job, failing to realize that the Gotei 13 would not just leave those pillars completely unprotected on purpose. Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kira and Hisagi each take one pillar, and after defeating the hollows with ease, are matched up against four of Barragan's six Fraccion. Each is introduced to the other and the battle for Karakura begins.