With Kurumi finally unveiled as the "mastermind" behind the rumours which swirled around the school earlier in this series, it's time for Sawako to face up to Kurumi's true nature. But how on earth is this naive girl new to the whole tangled web of human relationships going to react?
Needless to say, her first reaction is one of disbelief, as she falls back on her tried and trusted assumption that such problems are simply misunderstandings that can be simply and quickly rectified. However, Kurumi is in no mood to deny her part in the rumours which she spread, nor is she in any frame of mind to go easy on Sawako, and so it dawns on her that Kurumi really was responsible, even if she still finds herself unable to fathom out the rather obvious reason why.
Despite that betrayal, Sawako still asks Yano and Yoshida not to tell Kazehaya about what Kurumi has done, and from here much of the remainder of the episode leaves Sawako continuing to ponder what the entirety of her "friendship" with Kurumi meant - Was it all just a lie from beginning to end, or was there something beneath that cold, calculating exterior that actually vaguely resembled friendship. If nothing else, Sawako decides that she has to at least tell Kurumi that she's fallen in love with Kazehaya, which leaves us with a rather odd (and decidedly tearful) blend of hatred, rivalry and friendship that you'd be hard-pressed to pick apart in all honesty.
Given Sawako's nature, this episode was already bound to be some kind of demonstration of denial, confusion and sympathy on her part, while equally Kurumi's behaviour fitted her as a character perfectly, making this episode a believable progression of the show's story if nothing else. In a way, I suppose that level of predictability almost works against Kimi ni Todoke on this occasion, leaving us almost wishing to see some anger or hatred from Sawako herself - Nobody is so perfect as to not feel such emotions, even if they're the kindest and calmest human on the planet, and this was a perfect opportunity to see something beyond simple naivety and good nature on her part. Then again, I suppose I'm just projecting my own values onto the series now, so I can't really criticise this episode for the direction it took, and at least we're set up for some proper, no-holds barred love rivalry as the second half of the series progresses. No prizes for guessing who everyone will be rooting for on this occasion though...