This episode sees most of the superheroes working out and seeing a news report about the NEXTs that have been causing rampages across Stern Bild. It’s being theorized that these violent NEXTs are being caused by an infectious disease, and the violent NEXTs are now being referred to as “X”s. As we see later, even Agnes and the staff of Hero TV are using the term “X” for these NEXTs, because it’s become an accepted shorthand for them. And while the heroes are at the gym, we see Barnaby working out and that his knee is still bothering him.

We see Subaru with the girl he met up with at the end of the previous episode. It turns out she’s quite knowledgeable about Mr. Legend and the history of the heroes in Stern Bild. As Subaru explains, he’s not that familiar with this information since he’s not from Stern Bild, so it makes sense that he got this brief history lesson. It was also a nice reminder for the audience about Mr. Legend and what he did with establishing the heroes and gaining protection for NEXTs. We also see a scene of He Is Thomas at a photo shoot/interview, espousing his philosophy as a hero. As part of this, we get to see flashbacks again of when he was trying to protect his younger sister when they were kids. As we know from the first half of the season, what happened to his sister is important for shaping Thomas into the hero that he is now.

While Subaru and the girl are having a meal together, the place they’re at comes under attack by an “X,” and it’s one of a couple of locations where an “X” is on a rampage. He Is Thomas, Tiger, and Barnaby are sent to Subaru’s location to help evacuate the citizens and take down the perp. When Subaru joins them as Mr. Black, he makes a surprising revelation to He Is Thomas about the girl that he’s been with, and begs Thomas to help rescue her and the others who are currently trapped inside the building. As Thomas goes to rescue the people, Mr. Black, Tiger, and Barnaby go take on the perp. During this confrontation, though, Barnaby’s knee gives out on him at a crucial moment, and this almost causes their plan to capture the perp to fall apart. And this incident finally makes Tiger aware that something’s wrong with Barnaby, so he’s no longer able to hide this from his partner.

After the chaos dies down, Thomas has an important scene with the girl he helped rescue, and this scene seems like it’s going to be the catalyst for Thomas to have some character progression. Even though I’m trying not to say who the girl is, you can likely piece together who she would have to be after the previous sentence (if you hadn’t already figured it out). Subaru gets to be part of this scene as well, and he comes across so differently from the cocky newbie that he’s been portrayed as for so long.

Unfortunately, after these recent incidents with “X”s, an anti-NEXT sentiment is growing among the citizens of Stern Bild. We see people protesting in front of the heroes, and chanting that NEXTs need to leave town. This is going to cause quite a dilemma for the heroes, since they are NEXT who have dedicated themselves to saving people. What’s going to happen going forward for the heroes? Will they encounter people who don’t want to be saved by the heroes because they’re NEXT? And what will happen to Stern Bild if these people get their wish and all the heroes leave town? I feel safe in saying that this anti-NEXT sentiment will be a driving force for the remainder of the season, and it’s going to be interesting to see what direction the writer(s) take this angle.

Barnaby finally goes to see a doctor about his leg, and what the doctor tells him could also have major repercussions not just for him, but the other heroes as well.

We also get a couple of scenes of Yuri at home, and he’s starting to see visions of Mr. Legend, his deceased father, appearing in front of him more often. Is this a foreshadowing that Yuri is starting to lose his mind, and that it will lead to the return of Lunatic?

Right near the end of the episode, we see a very drunk Gregory meeting up with the female member of Ouroboros who was at the lab at the time Gregory escaped with the drug. It appears that she’s actually the mastermind for what’s going on, and that Gregory is simply her puppet to pull off her objectives. I should have figured that Gregory couldn’t have been the one to come up with his scheme all on his own.

There were several important developments in this episode, and I thought this helped to make up for how slowly the previous two episodes had been at establishing and progressing this story arc. I hope this is a sign that the remaining episodes in this cour will continue to move this arc forward, especially with developments like the anti-NEXT sentiment and Barnaby’s issue coming to play right near the end of this episode.

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