Things are getting tough for our quintet of club members as Kokoro Connect's current story arc really gets into full swing - not only is Yui staying at home, but Taichi's row with Inaba after the latter gave Kiriyama both barrels has opened up another hole in the group's relationships.
This situation certainly doesn't improve as episode eight begins - with both Kiriyama and Inaba absent, a discussion amongst the three remaining members soon turns into a major argument between Taichi and Aoik... and all of this is before their inner desires start kicking in and doing some real damage. The next thing we know, the club has effectively been disbanded, with none of its members turning up after school while the in-class relationships between the group are also decidedly frosty.
As a school field trip looms over the horizon, this fracturing of the group's relationship becomes clear even to those outside of their little club, coming to a head when Inaba refuses to share a group with Nagase when the time comes to choose such things prior to the trip. Although Inaba's hand is ultimately forced by class representative Fujishima, it seems as if everybody knows that something is up - a situation which at least gives Taichi the opportunity to make a vague request for advice from Fujishima, while the simple fact that others are worried about himself and his friends does wonders for assuaging his current worries a little.
After bringing things to a head so early on in this episode, it felt a little as if this week's instalment floundered a little beyond that - its ultimate point was established well enough and the plot as a whole was progressed naturally, it just wasn't anything like as fascinating as previous episodes of the series, which ultimately is to its detriment. Still, Kokoro Connect seems determined to really dig deep under the skin of its characters and their circumstances, and that continues to be laudable and a worthy effort overall even if it didn't quite bring its "A" game to the table on this occasion.