Having finally urged Mikage to be honest with her family about her own dreams and future career plans, we're somewhat cruelly left hanging until the end of the episode to see exactly how that conversation panned out.
However, in the immediate aftermath as this week's instalment begins, it's clear that Mikage's parents have accepted that she doesn't want to take over the ranch. So, what next? Mikage's plan to offer Komaba the ranch doesn't work out, but her primary concern is that she's agreed that instead of taking on the ranch she's going to need to work towards a place in higher education instead with a view towards a career working with horses.
There is one major snag to this plan, however - as her parents so succinctly put it, Aki is an idiot. While this is a little harsh her grades certainly aren't great, so it's Hachiken to the rescue as he offers to help her study, which largely involves him figuring out how to tie subjects she doesn't like into her love of horses to make them easier for her to remember. For all of Hachiken's nous when it comes to studying, he does have one hefty gap in his own arsenal - knowing what it takes to apply to a university. Reluctantly, the only person he can turn to is his brother, and what's worse is that said brother's notes from that period of time are back at his parent's place. It is perhaps telling of Hachiken's feelings for Mikage that he's even willing to brave a visit to his parents to help her out.
After the serious fare of the past couple of episodes, this week's Silver Spoon was really about renewed hope and enthusiasm, as Mikage finally gets to pursue her dream while Hachiken indirectly gets to pursue his dream, that seemingly being Mikage. I'm continuing to really enjoy the relationship between this leading pair a lot - its uncertainty isn't founded on misunderstandings or outright stupidity so much as the fact that there are more important issues at hand for both of them, and watching them grow closer almost without realising it has been decidedly satisfying. I can only hope that never week's finale isn't the last we see of Silver Spoon in animated form, because I simply can't get enough of it.