The last episode ended with more than a subtly change in Mikado's attitude and behaviour, as everything seemed to suddenly click into place for this previously mild-mannered teenager. So, just what is the secret that he's been hiding throughout the series so far?
Before this is revealed however, the new-look Mikado has some work to do - Namely, brazenly calling up Namie Yagiri to tell her that he knows where the girl she's looking for is and that he wants to make a deal. Thus, Namie heads out into the middle of Ikebukuro, where Mikado lays out his simple demands to her - In short, he wants the truth, about both Mika Harima and where her current head has come from.
Needless to say, Namie isn't going to play ball this request, particular for a scrawny kid, and it's at this point where the magic happens, as a simply e-mail from Mikado's phone turns the tables in a massive show of strength that is beyond merely impressive. From here, we have to flashback to before Mikado moved to Tokyo to find out exactly what's going on, as he is revealed as the near-inadvertent "mastermind" behind the Dollars, a viral online experiment of sorts that has grown beyond its wildest dreams, and a source of power which he now finally has to call upon to help him out in this particular time of need.
Even if you feel a little short-changed by the way Mikado's true nature has been revealed by Durarara!! (and personally, I can't say I feel that way at all), you can't help but admire the fantastic way in which the layers were pulled away over the course of this episode. Quite simply, the entire scenario which unfolded here was one of those classic moments which helps you to remember why you love anime - It's clever, it's effective, it's audacious, and it leaves you both gawping and grinning at the same time as the hero of the day plays his trump card. It's fantastic stuff, set against a story of the Dollars which genuinely resonates in these times of viral marketing and the power of online media, be it social networking or otherwise. In many ways this was perhaps the simplest and most tightly focused episode of Durarara!!, but it most certainly didn't suffer from it - Far from it, it was everything I could have hoped for it and plenty more besides.