This episode sees Kirito going into a final sword battle with Administrator. When it seems like Kirito may not be able to get the upper hand, Eugeo (who hadn’t actually died in the previous episode) gives Kirito, through the power of friendship, a new red sword. So Kirito is now fighting with two swords. Unfortunately, before the battle is over, Kirito loses an arm and Administrator loses both of hers. But Kirito is able to make a fatal blow to Administrator, because neither of his swords are metal.

But Administrator thinks she isn’t quite beaten yet. Using her hair, she pulls up a computer and inputs something. As she rises up in the air and says that she’s heading to Kirito’s world, Chudelkin (who isn’t actually dead, either) jumps up and merges with Administrator, much to her dismay. But his merging thwarts her plan. So Chudelkin did something useful? Shocking.

Then, a dying Eugeo reveals to Kirito that it wasn’t only the Integrity Knights who had memories lost or twisted… both he and Kirito had this happen as well. With the memory crystal in his hand, Kirito and the audience is given the opportunity to see what really happened in a scene Administrator had manipulated to try to get Eugeo on her side. After this and a few words, Eugeo dies.

Kirito then goes to the computer Administrator was using and discovers that Kikuoka is involved. He hears audio of what’s going on at Rath, and what he hears is a lot of gunfire and confusion. This final scene seems to be setting up what will happen when the series returns in a few months, and what a cliffhanger it is. But the frustrating part is that since we never saw what was going on in the real world this season, the audience had no clue that this was even coming. Who’s invading Rath? What is their motive? As a viewer, it just felt confusing when this happened, because we were obviously being dropped into the middle of something.

With this ending, it gives me the impression that the next set of episodes, when the series returns, will be focusing more on Rath and on what’s happening in the real world. Will we have some episodes that build up to what’s seen here and then continue? I hope so. And from something Kikuoka says, we’re not quite done with Kirito and Alice yet, that they will also have a part to play when the story continues.

While this ending made me interested in wanting to continue when the series picks back up, I know I will be going in with lowered expectations. I hope that the next set of episodes, at such a time as they are finally released, will end up exceeding these lowered expectations.

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