I'm sure we've all had one summer that we wished could last forever, but what if that period of time really did last forever more?
After having my wrists slapped by commenters on my last entry regarding this series for calling it "filler", despite being dimly aware that something was afoot beyond simply filling up an episode slot, so the true story behind that episode comes to light here, as we go through the entire thing again, with Kyon noticing an odd sense of deja vu during the various fun activities being undertaken by the SOS brigade.
The reason for this is that is that Kyon and company have been doing the same things over and over again... Thousands of times in fact, living out that endless summer dream until the moment of realisation where the whole thing becomes a nightmare. Of course, Kyon's experience is probably nothing compared to Nagato's - Not only has she been through those activities tens of thousands of times, she remembers every single occurrence too. Still, more fool her for not thinking to mention it to anybody, despite her orders only being to observe any goings on.
So, with the scene set, this leaves us with a delicious question for the coming episodes - Will the other SOS brigade members find a way to break out of this endless summer, and if so how? Who knows (well, if you've read the relevant light novel then I suppose you do know), but as always Kyon is no doubt the key.
I suppose some kudos has to go to KyoAni for what must have been a difficult episode to script - You have to make everything basically the same for a large chunk of the episode to give the viewer a realisation of what is going on, but without reaching the point of boring them. This was actually achieved pretty well, thanks to slowly blending in that realisation via the vehicle of deja vu (and of course those signs of Nagato's boredom which did rouse my suspicions somewhat last episode), while also using some excellent changes of colour palette to accentuate the change in mood as the truth behind this loop in time comes to light. Beyond that, there's little more to say about this episode, as really it serves simply as a foil for the real story to come. I for one can't wait for more of it.