If you managed to keep your mind on the plot and not a bathing Shinobu for most of last week's episode, then you'll know that we've finally reached the crux of Nisemonogatari's first story arc, as Koyomi has to decide what to do about his sister Karen's current predicament.
First however, Koyomi is still keen to find out the full story about what actually happened here, and after digressing into discussions of embarrassing moments and the regrets (and an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction right in front of Hanekawa), we finally get to see the supposed conversation between Karen and the slimy "con-man" Kaiki as she confronts him on account of his dealing out curses to her school friends. It's fair to say that Kaiki is unrepetant in what he's done - put simply, he only cares for money, and the easier it is to fool or manipulate someone into giving it to him the better.
Unfortunately for Karen, her plans to threaten him into submission and giving up on his current business fall on deaf ears, and once Kaiki is tired of hearing about Karen's plans to beat him up a simply prod to the forehead is enough to leave Karen reeling with the immediate effects of the curse placed upon her. Having made it home, and with her brother now fully aware of the situation, the only question is how to cure her? Come the end of the episode Koyomi has figured out an alternate approach, that being transferring her "illness" onto himself, but this might prove rather more difficult than he'd hoped...
Even five episodes into Nisemonogatari, it still feels as if there's something missing into comparison to its predecessor. Yes, visually its flair and panache is ramped up to eleven, and the characters and dialogue work really well at times, but the lack or urgency and over-reliance on the sexual increasingly threatens to over-power that charm at times against a story that currently feels far weaker than anything delivered by Bakomonogatari. It's beautiful to look at, but lacking in heart, and it's something I really hope to goodness Nisemonogatari manages to address, and soon.