Most of this episode focuses on Kirito and Alice, with Kirito trying to figure out where Eugeo is. Using a command to search for Eugeo’s sword, Kirito discovers that it’s right below them. This leads them to the bath, where Bercouli was turned to stone by Prime Senator Chudelkin. Of course, seeing Bercouli in this state is devastating to Alice, since he served as her mentor. But even though Bercouli has been turned to stone, he’s still able to talk to both her and to Kirito, and they learn that Eugeo was taken away by Chudelkin.
As they go to find Chudelkin, Alice gives Kirito some exposition on the senate and their function. Fortunately, it was kept to a short amount of exposition before they reached their destination. But the truth behind the senate is revealed, and we get to see a confrontation scene between Alice, Kirito, and Chudeklin.
Chudelkin is such an ass. He already came across as annoying for the brief time we saw him a few episodes back, but now that he’s gotten more screen time, he’s a truly despicable creature. Unfortunately, it seems that traditional methods, such as running a sword through him, won’t get rid of him.
The episode ends with Alice and Kirito encountering Eugeo… who has now been turned into an Integrity Knight. But for some reason, he has somehow acquired rare abilities and is fully synthesized in such a short amount of time. Alice brings this point home a few times with her dialogue. As of right now, though, there’s no explanation as to why Eugeo was able to be synthesized so quickly and be so powerful. If they try to claim it’s because the depth of his wanting love is so deep (especially the part about only wanting the love of his mother for himself), I swear I will probably scream. That whole concept came out of nowhere in the previous episode to begin with. If this was going to be such a major plot point, it should have been reinforced early on, especially while he and Kirito were still in Rulid.
But I will give this episode credit for one thing. This episode has the done the best job of progressing the plot since who knows when. Exposition was only given when needed, and it was generally kept on the brief side (especially in comparison to some of the more recent episodes that were made up almost entirely of exposition). All I can say is, it’s about damn time that the story truly started progressing.
I find it interesting that this plot development of Eugeo being turned into an Integrity Knight is happening at this point, especially since it’s starting to look as if Sword Art Online: Alicization will be taking a break for the Spring 2019 anime season. If this is the case, what exactly is going to serve as the cliffhanger before the series comes back? I would have thought first encountering Eugeo as an Integrity Knight would have been the most appropriate place for a cliffhanger. But we still have, what, about three or four weeks left for the Winter 2019 season? Please don’t tell me that the fight between Kirito and Eugeo is going to last for the remaining episodes of this simulcast season.