As the school festival moves towards its climax, so does this series, with Red Data Girl hitting its penultimate episode with expectations high that Takayanagi is going to use the event to pull some kind of trick or other.
Lo and behold, things soon begin to seem sinister, with the launch of a last minute weather balloon right above the academy (yes, the episode's big threat is a weather balloon), and before we know it Takayanagi appears to try and persuade Izumiko to join his faction.
Of course, Izumiko isn't exactly on board with either Takayanagi's plans or his way of doing things, but this seems to be rendered irrelevant as the next thing we know she's utterly compliant with everything that he and his merry band are doing. With Sagara unable to make his way to Izumiko either, it seems as if Takayanagi might just have won the day, but that is to reckon without Izumiko's spirited streak when it comes to her buried memories of Miyuki. Oh, and there are plans afoot for Miyuki and Mayura to set up some kind of sham marriage so that they can both pursue their true loves - probably not the best time to bring that up, in all honesty.
Taken as a whole, this episode of Red Data Girl exhibits both the best and worst that the series has to offer - on the positive side, watching Izumiko's character grow and then stumble in the face of uncertainties as to whether she can ever become normal is both fascinating and well-realised, but on the flipside of this the way Takayanagi's manipulation of Izumiko was depicted was simply terrible from a viewer's point of view, and that aforementioned marriage plot point also felt like it had been crow-barred into the episode by Gordon Freeman's less finessed brother. That even one of the show's better episodes can have such major flaws says a lot about the quality of the series as a whole, and why it's been such a frustrating proposition ee=very week to watch.