The death of Tanya and subsequent parting of ways between Suou and Hei at the end of the last episode left the former of those two characters to wander alone (well, aside from July and Mao), aimlessly trudging along despite being cold and wet. This allows an old face or two from the original series of Darker Than BLACK to put in an appearance to save the day, in the form of detective's assistant Kiko Kayanuma in the first instance, complete with an introduction which serves as a knowing nod from the writers that yes, the serious nature of the series is being broken at least a little to facilitate her return.
So it goes that Kiko ends up helping out Suou as she recovers from her fever, before being led on a hunt for her mother even though it wasn't exactly on her agenda in the first place. Again, this leads to more questions about Suou's status as a Contractor, as she finds herself excited at the thought of seeing her mother even though it should be of no interest to her logically speaking, with the twists and turns of her mental state actually extending outwards to perhaps suggest that there's a sea change in the behaviour of contractors as a whole.
Perhaps some of these changes can be explained by Yin, aka Izanami - Regardless of this, it appears that Kirihara is slowly edging closer to the truth, finding information stored by Amber (another nod back to the original series of Darker Than BLACK) which spins some big stories around Izanami, Izanagi (aka Shion) and Hei which draws her in closer to whatever mysteries lie beneath what's going on. Speaking of mystery, we're certainly left with a huge cliffhanger come the end of this episode, as Suou gets her wish and meets her mother, but with a decidedly shocking result.
After worrying that this episode might become slightly too heavy on the comic relief with the appearance of Kiko, it looks like my concerns were entirely overblown, as this episode of Ryuusei no Gemini expertly sprinkled a few light-hearted moments over the serious business of the story as a whole in its usual measured fashion. With the episodes running out, there was a noticeable cranking up in the pace of revelations and deepening of the mysteries and stories running through the series this time around, with things moving at such speed I dare say a second viewing might be required to really start sifting through all of it to gather my thoughts properly. Either way, I hope that there's enough running time left to finish the series satisfactorily - I always get a little alarmed by such sudden changes in pace, even in an episode that otherwise worked all the better for it and pushed my brain into working overtime to try and piece together some of the parts of the puzzle for myself, impossible though that may be. It's that unique but gripping balance of frustration at not knowing things but fascination about what you could learn next episode which has all but become Darker Than BLACK's hallmark, and it looms large here yet again in all the right ways.