"Lost Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day"... oops, sorry, just trying to get into the Christmas spirit. So, Lost Christmas' second coming, eh? Not what any of Japan's civilian population wanted that's for sure, but it's exactly what they get as we move towards the half-way point of Guilty Crown.
With some of GHQ's powers that be rebelling for reasons that aren't yet quite clear, the organisation's supreme commander gets to feel the wrath of his son Daryl who finally gets some payback for being the show's punching bag, while the cancerous virus at the heart of the show spreads like wildfire amongst all and sundry be they the public, GHQ staff or, in Funeral Parlour's case, Gai. With said "terrorist" organisation not only decimated but also used as the scapegoat for the coup underway, there seems to be little hope for them. Unless, of course, help comes from an outside source...
The source in question ultimately turns out to be not one but two members of the Ouma family - with Haruka holding an important scientific role in the building which has become the centre stage of the chaos, her escape from the rebelling forces leads her straight into the path of an escaping Inori and virus-ridden Gai - a serendipitous set of circumstances given Haruka's knowledge in treating said virus, and Inori's innate ability to act upon that knowledge. Meanwhile though, our real focus is Shu, whose mental imbalance of last week turns to anger as he sees his former Funeral Parlour friends framed for the current chaos. Thus, he forms a surprisingly confident and daring plan, inviting particular fellow friends and students on a dangerous rescue mission as he reveals his ability to them and explains how their Voids can help him to rescue those dear to him. Cue an impressive (and decidedly physics-defying) rescue mission that, coupled with Inori and Haruka's work, seems set to put paid to the virus' ravages if nothing else, before another twist comes along to bite not only Shu, but also Gai and Inori in the process.
As has been the case throughout Guilty Crown, there are plenty of things we could criticise here - the ease with which Shu convinces his friends to go on a death-defying mission to save some terrorists is a little tough to swallow, and the manner in which they progress in that rescue mission even more so, but despite that there's a certain enjoyment to be had from watching Shu turn things around, especially when coupled with such an impressive set piece. In conjunction with another week of mostly gorgeous animation, and helped along by some almighty and unpredictable twists and turns, this was a fun episode to watch right the way through to another major cliffhanger to ponder as we look towards the second half of the series. It still doesn't feel even vaguely like typical noitaminA material, but there's no denying that Guilty Crown has some pretty slick tricks up its sleeve to at least attempt to make up for that.