Come the end of Shiki's previous episode, we were finally beginning to get to the root of the spate of mysterious deaths which have plagued its village, as we saw the seemingly returned from the dead Megumi putting in an appearance and getting her teeth (quite literally) into Tohru.
Or did we? Revisiting those events again, we see Natsuno waking up from what appears to be little more than another of his nightmares, in turn waking Tohru to find that everything appears to be just fine. Everything, that is, until Tohru stops turning up at school and instead spends his time lounging around in his room as though in a trance, before eventually dying like so many before him. Of course, Natsuno is still unable to properly connect his "dream" with the reality of the situation, and even the arrival of a postcard from Megumi doesn't seem to faze him.
Away from all of this, young priest Muroi is continuing to investigate these deaths himself, quickly noting an obvious connection between many of them, as it transpires that many of these individuals quite their jobs (or attempted to) just days before dying. How this ties into the deaths themselves remains unanswered, but it's suddenly another piece in the puzzle... as it seems will be Masao come the end of this episode, as his childish whining and attention-seeking look likely to be near their end, for which I am eternally thankful.
After that slow start to the series, things are certainly starting to move within this series, although still at a relatively pedestrian pace, much like a stingy friend dishing out sweets one at a time rather than giving you a handful to enjoy in a single hit. To be honest, for me personally it's still too early even now to decide whether those proverbial sweets are tasty enough to warrant savouring on an individual basis, but for now I'm willing to chew on them and wait to see if the after taste makes it all worthwhile. Anyway, enough of my confectionary-laden analogies; if nothing else I took great pleasure in seeing Masao get his come-uppance - an occurrence that can only make this series infinitely better, God he was annoying even in the realms of deliberately annoying anime characters. I really just hope that I have something rather more concrete to write about next episode, otherwise I'm going to have to find even more ways to compare Shiki to chocolate. Hmm... Maybe Megumi is like a chocolate bar that's past its sell by date - It comes back to haunt you days after you thought you'd gotten away with worrying about it?