As this twentieth episode of Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo begins, things aren't looking all that great for the "good guys" of this series, with Akiha captured and "box-ified", leaving Leopard largely weaponless, whilst meanwhile Honoka is clearly suffering in the health department.
However, Kazane Shishidou is a woman who has made a career out of getting the job done no matter what, and with a little nous, manipulation and swift-thinking, she soon gets things in place to try and put them back on the front foot. That means letting Itsuki make her way to Kirkwood to look for Akiha with some help from Level Free, while Benkei and Tsutsuji are set to work retrieving some important hardware to "upgrade" Leopard (while also, unbeknownst to them, acting as bait). Despite her failing health, even Honoka offers to do her bit, as Professor Fon's help becomes vitally important once again.
Luckily, things aren't going entirely smoothly for Nerval either - While Nami may still be working hard to box up as much of Kirkwood's populace as possible, an error of judgement puts them into a dangerous situation which ends in a rather shocking fashion...
When this series manages to find and keep its focus, it has to be said that it really becomes a rather compelling watch, and this particular episode is probably one of the better examples of this - While there's a lot going on in disparate locations and with various characters, it's all handled seamlessly and with pacing that keeps things flowing without descending into confusion. After considering dropping the series once or twice early on as "nothing special", I'm finding myself glad that I persevered with this show - Sure, it's still no classic of its time, but it's turned out to be really pretty entertaining now it's found its feet, and I'm looking forward to seeing how these final half dozen episodes pan out.