Plot build-up! And it’s the good kind of build-up that has enough interesting things to do while the chess pieces are all set right. This episode was necessary to confirm a few things: the secrets indeed have been different from what was assumed. This episode confirmed this by revealing that these things are sentient, and that the Japanese government has managed to collect a living example of this.
The characters instead were the ones who made this episode interesting, using Ao’s complete change after meeting with his mother as a catalyst to show different sides of a lot of different cast-members. Ao in particular has really changed in how he views his responsibilities, as shown by how he tried t get these sleeping pills. In this episode it went to the point of taking this too far, where he desperately wanted to live up to what he thinks are his mother’s expectations.
Also I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Fleur’s father has to be inspired by Ikari Gendou from Evangelion. He’s not as extreme, and there have been points in which he has been fleshed out quite nicely as a father figure, but in this episode he revealed where exactly he has been taking the Quartz that he has harvested. What I find interesting is how, even after the revelation that the Secret aren’t exactly evil as long as you don’t get in their way, he still is more intent on destroying them, rather than the actual scab coral.