Going into detail of the similar elements the show has with the 1971 Kamen Rider series' first episode, unlike Takeshi where we saw Shocker abduct him, we never see Kotaro's abduction scene (if he has one), but we only saw a scene wherein one of the cult leaders (?) will try to remove his memories so that he can be the cult's Black Sun while his "brother" will become the cult's Shadow Moon. These titles are names of the Century Kings, the leaders of the Gorgom cult. That's the twist in the original Kamen Rider story, we have two guys who will soon undergo the brainwashing process and thankfully, a scientist named Professor Akizuki stopped it because "it is not part of their agreement."
One thing that I liked about the episode is the focus on the chase and how the Gorgom cult works. The chase part of the episode shows that even if Kotaro tries his best to hide away from them, the cult will still find him. By find him, you can see them walk on buildings and eve fly just to find you and finish the operation. The three Gorgom cult leaders (?) is one of the best creature designs the franchise has to offer. Their humanoid appearance and the fact that they are wearing robes add up the mystery of these beings that will cause you to feel fear every time you see them. It didn't help that every time we see them in this episode, most of their close up shots can give someone an impression that they are looking for you and turn you into one of their creatures.
But this monster-like form didn't last as the monster morphed into a more Rider-like appearance. When I first saw the Kamen Rider BLACK suit, it took me quite some time for me to get used to it due to how organic the suit like in the first place. Organic in a sense that we saw some brown muscles underneath the black armor and that the armor is more rounded. What's more, for the first time in the history of the franchise, they ditched the heroic scarf, which is the trademark of the franchise for years now. I find the idea of ditching the scarf to lean more on a darker and edgier take on a modified grasshopper man refreshing as it gave the Black Sun an impression that he is supposed to be a monster and not a hero of justice.
One thing I noticed about Battle Hopper is that once Kotaro reverts back to normal, he uses a different bike for his transportation and not use the Battle Hopper as his means of transportation as regular Kotaro. I find this change really refreshing as most bikes can transform or in Shigeru's case and most of the Heisei Riders used their Rider bikes as their main mode of transportation. Speaking of the bike, he returned home and saw a letter coming from his father, the same scientist that helped him escape Gorgom to go to Camp Diablo because he will tell him the plot, I mean, important matters.
Unlike Professor Midorikawa who bravely opposed Shocker's plan, Professor Akizuki showed fear on the cult and that he can't escape from them. What's more, based on how he speak, it seems like he sold his son and adopted son to the same cult that is making him suffer! I am not sure if what he did is the right thing but it feels like the reason why he gave his sons to the cult is for him to save himself and not the future of his sons. Even if he showed fear towards the cult, his execution has been planned from the very beginning.
BLACK's first fight with the spider monsters (!) is really fun to watch as he fights each creature one by one and during the time he is in big trouble, he just calls the Battle Hopper to aide him in battle! So aside from looking to organic, BLACK can call the Battle Hopper in battle as well! The best thing about Battle Hopper in battle is that BLACK uses this not just a means of transport, but to combat the spider monsters before facing them in a large, empty area where he finished them with a Rider Punch and a Rider Kick. One thing I noticed with the Rider Punch is that he used it more than once to destroy most of the spider monsters while he just used a single Rider Kick in finishing one monster.