Hachiken has finally had enough of being left out of other's conversations and problems for his own good, and with Mikage clearly suffering in the wake of the news about Komaba's farm being declared bankrupt it's time for him to put his foot down.
Try as she might to dissuade him from getting involved and further hurt by her family's predicament, Hachiken simply won't budge on the matter, insisting that even if he has little agricultural knowledge to call his own he's still more than willing to listen and talk things over even if he can't help, and that what's more as a fellow only child he has at least some understanding of the difficulties and expectations of that scenario. In the face of his earnest offer of help, Mikage can't really refuse - besides, it's what she lo... really likes about Hachiken anyhow.
With that out of the way, Aki opens up to Hachiken about her worries and the latest on the current situation, and when the news breaks that Komaba's farm are about to sell all of their cattle Hachiken is not only the first to know, but also offers to go and see the cows off with Mikage. Saying goodbye to these old friends is hard enough, but seeing Komaba abandon all of his dreams and ambitions is a terrifying sight for Aki, who realises that she too might have to do just the same to take on the family farm and steer it out of debt even though losing those dreams is the last thing she wants to do. Cue Hachiken to persuade her that she can't simply give up on these ambitions, while also offering her the moral support than she needs to final explain this to her parents.
As anticipated, all of this made for another highly powerful episode of Silver Spoon, made all the more so by the way it was expertly interspersed with occasional moments of strong comedy to avoid the whole thing becoming too downbeat. Beyond its agricultural setting, this was also a story that anyone can relate to - the fear of disappointing your parents, offset against the fear of losing a dream that you hold dearly - and when coupled with a narrative being told through the lens of characters we care for dearly, it has a real impact. Add to that the beautiful subtlety of how Mikage and Hachiken's relationship is developing in such an organic way, and my love affair with Silver Spoon continues unabated.