After the huge (yet not exactly surprising) revelation at the end of the last episode, you'd be forgiven for expecting Toradora!to hammer on down the home straight in that general direction this time around. However, while Taiga's impromptu confession is of course a central theme of episode twenty-two, it doesn't enter the scenario in quite the way you might expect.
Indeed, this is in part due to the fact that Ryuuji has other things on his plate, while Taiga is away and not contactable, staying with her mother to recuperate from her injury - Namely, what to do about his future. In a sense, this particular issue defines Ryuuji, and serves as a mirror of his concerns surrounding his relationship with Taiga - He knows what he wants to do, and he knows what he wants from his future, but he's too scared about hurting or making life more difficult for others, or changing the way things are now, to grab the future he wants with both hands.
In many ways Minori is suffering from a similar dilemma, wanting to be with Ryuuji yet not wanting to either hurt Taiga or lose the friendship she has with either of those two as a result. As per usual, Ami can see through it all, from Ryuuji's relaxed attitude with Minori while Taiga is absent through to Minori's ever outgoing personality to hide her true desires. This brings about some thinly veiled and extremely biting insults from Ami towards Minori, while Minori in her own special way tries to explain her current situation to Ami, using the ghost analogy to describe her love just as she did with Ryuuji earlier in the series. At the close of this particular conversation Minori swears that she's going to fight for what she wants no matter what, but is that really true? She doesn't even seem to have convinced herself of this.
So, in short this is an episode where nothing changes, yet surprisingly (particularly for an episode so late in the series) it actually doesn't matter one iota, for this is yet another masterful instalment of emotions and characterisations over direct plot development. If you've been struggling to get a handle on it all, this is really the episode where both Ryuuji and Minori lay all their cards on the table, if only to themselves, while there's also a sense that both Ryuuji and Taiga know what happened after the latter's rescue in the snow, but that neither party is sure if they should do anything about it. The only thing I can't quite get a handle on are Ami's feelings in this episode, which I'd love to hear some theories on.
As always then, Toradora! proves to be a wonderfully enjoyable mix of depth of character with a sprinkling of humour (largely provided by Minori) to create a recipe that simply can't be beaten right now.