The risk of PCP's "crimes" being carried over into real life has been a burden which Ashirogi Muto has had to carry almost from the outset with their current work, but even then surely they never expected someone to commit a bank robbery in the name of their manga?
While both the magazine's editorial department and Mashiro are both willing to shrug off the negative publicity and carry on in the same vein as though nothing has happened, Takagi struggles to come to terms with the situation to the point where it quickly effects his work, seeing him submitting watered down or repeated ideas rather than the fresh and smart content for which he is known.
Once Hattori and Mashiro face Takagi with this fact, things actually get worse as the duo's writer tries even harder to sort himself out to no avail, exhausting himself in the process. With news breaking of another crime being committed in PCP's name, it seems that Takagi is at breaking point as the manga slides down the rankings while word reaches the duo that Eiji is about to take top spot in the rankings for the first time - could he be about to exercise his ability to have a manga cancelled against PCP? Thankfully, the cause of Ashirogi Muto's current crisis is also its salvation, forming the basis for a story idea that sees their work shoot back up the ranking.
Once again, all of this combines to create a compelling one-off episode of Bakuman that fits wonderfully into the wider narrative - if anything, you could argue that Takagi's crisis was resolved a little too quickly and easily where it could have stretched across a couple of episodes, but it still made for another great story as the series goes from strength to strength. With Eiji back in the picture and a possible showdown between himself and Ashirogi Muto on the cards, things show no sign of slowing down as Bakuman heads for the finishing line.