The second half of Gosick's previous episode saw the body count starting to stack up, with a couple of murders amongst those visiting Horovitz - but to what end, and where is the killing going to stop?
Where? In pretty short order within episode eight in fact, with that second killing sending Victorique's little grey cells into over-drive and pointing her towards the solution to the two mysterious murders in no time at all. Essentially, there's no honour amongst thieves, and in-fighting between those after the town's treasures is revealed as the eventual culprit, despite some clever ruses to make it look as though it was all an internal conspiracy against those very same visitors.
With any immediate danger out of the way, Victorique is now free to concentrate on her real aim - clearing her mother Cordelia's name by discovering the true killer in the events for which she took the blame. Again, it seems as if our heroine already has a very good idea of the culprit, and all it takes is a simple piece of deception for the murderer to reveal herself by her own admittance. The fact that the finger of blame is pointed at crazy maid Harminia isn't a huge surprise, but after learning of just how she went about her sinful task and why, Harminia grabs an opportunity to escape and does so, setting fire to pretty much the entire town in the process (this girl moves fast, I have to say that about her). This leaves us with a final set piece atop the drawbridge which joins Horovitz to its surrounding lands, with a crazed Harminia setting about trying to kill Victorique while Kujo protects her before a frantic race to depart the collapsing bridge before it's too late - a scene which turns the table on who is protecting who, although you have to wonder why the other people who were supposedly present decided to vanish at that critical, life-saving moment!
So, this story arc comes to a close whilst proving it to be head and shoulders the best story arc to come from this series yet - it wasn't flawless and it still didn't get its pacing decisions right at times but overall it provided a compelling story from beginning to end to back up some of its top-notch character dynamics. If Gosick can continue in this vein then I have renewed hope for it; I've actually really rather enjoyed the last couple of episodes despite it having to fill those awkward post-Madoka Magica moments, so let's hope it doesn't fall back into old habits from this point forth.