The clock is ticking for Febri, and with time running out Misaka is left with little choice than to plunge headlong into the "darkness" of Academy City by facing an old (and now thankfully incarcerated) adversary.
Naturally, Therestina Kihara Lifeline is more than happy to remind Misaka of just how dark Academy City can get, run as it is with its students serving more or less as guinea pigs for the powers that be. Nonetheless, there's no dissuading Misaka from getting to the bottom of this particular situation and no amount of teasing, provocation and the like from Therestina is going to change that, which eventually gives her some more slithers of information to go by. From here, the gang manages to identify a list of potential suspects, and thanks to Kengou go even further in tracking down the likely mastermind of the project from which Febri was formed.
With a laboratory belonging to the man in question identified, Misaka heads there in the hope of at least finding the "recipe" to the chemical which keeps Febri alive, but upon arrive she finds something rather unexpected - ITEM in the midst of some wanton destruction as part of their latest job. Once they've left Misaka is free to explore the establishment, bringing her into contact with another old "friend" as she finally learns of Nunotaba's role in Febri's circumstances. There's little time for small talk however, as both of them appear to have been bested by Haruki Aritomi, as his plans move even closer to fruition...
At last, and inevitably given that we only have a couple of episodes left to run, things are starting to move on at a decent pace - we still don't know entirely what Aritomi is up to but I guess we'll find out next week as the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. My biggest gripe that offsets this is that this story arc is starting to feel a little too much like it was engineered around shoe-horning cameos into its narrative - I hope ITEM are going to become part of the plot for a better reason than it being cool to have them around, and even Nunotaba and Therestina's roles felt a little like they were there more for the sake of it than anything else when they could just have easily have introduced new original characters into these roles. Hopefully these final two episodes can rise above such concerns to at least deliver a rip-roaring finale to the series.