Despite the actions forced upon him last week, this tenth episode of Guilty Crown sees Shu right back in the thick of things with another mission. Or does it? Perhaps not...
Given what he's been through, it's probably fair to cut Shu's less than stellar mental state some slack, as he hides away from both school and his home while distancing himself at the same time from the Funeral Parlour, relying only on Hare's kindness to keep him ticking over. Put simply, the boy is shot to pieces psychologically after having to put an end to the life of Yahiro's brother to the point of being occasionally delusional, and this time around no attempts at persuasion will turn him around, forceful or otherwise.
This leaves Gai and company a little short-handed as they take on their next actual mission, which sees them having another crack at stealing the rock responsible for Lost Christmas that they failed to nab a couple of episodes ago. Just as was the case on that occasion however, Gai isn't as ahead of the game as he thinks, leaving him to lead his comrades into the midst of a meticulously planned trap - one that will have a massive impact not just on Gai himself, but upon the whole of Japan, nefarious as this particular scheme appears to be.
If nothing else, you have to hand it to this episode for closing things out in spectacular fashion - we knew that something was afoot, but I doubt many were expecting a cliff-hanger with quite such a broad and shocking scope. That climax adds a little sheen to an episode that was otherwise okay but not spectacular - it perhaps spent a little too much time on Shu's understandable but occasionally overblown moping depression, while the links between himself and some big political players within GHQ feels a little forced and implausible. Guilty Crown is certainly managing to remain watchable even if it isn't a sensation, and for that I can only be grateful - thanks to its closing set piece it certainly finds itself in a situation where it can carry plenty of potential into the second half of the series if it plays its cards right next week.