This is one episode that should have belonged in the first season, as it’s entirely devoted to Claes without any signs of the plot whatsoever. I’m not sure why it took her so long to get her own episode. Was this the actual sequence in the manga, or did Madhouse just omit her back-story when they made the first season? In any case, it’s definitely a good thing to finally see some attention to one of least-developed members of the cast, because first of all she really needed it and second of all: Claes is such a great character.
I assume that her partner is on some kind of mission, and left her behind? I couldn’t pick up that part precisely, but we never see him outside of a flashback, and it does explain why she never participates in any mission. What also surprised me in this episode was that there were more Gunslinger Girls than just Henrietta, Claes, Angelica, Triela and Rico.
I also must say that I really like the new OP animation and the new ED-tune. They fit the new feeling of second season perfectly, in my opinion.
Il Teatrino is just like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai. That too went into a completely new direction when compared to the first season, offering a totally new dimension to the story. You’ll either love this, or hate how the second season didn’t continue with the style you liked about the first one.