With the others saved Takashi and Saeko head off on their own to meet up with them later, even though Saya’s house can be seen in the distance it’s still quite some distance away so they decide to get a bike from the store they saw before.
Inside the store they find an ARGO so after picking up some supplies they decide to use it, in order to take out some of the dead Takashi drives it down a steep slope along the riverbank. However a simple fall like this still isn’t enough to finish them off so he drives it into the river, splashing Saeko in doing so.
The dead still along the riverbank eventually give up with Saeko blowing into Takashi’s ear as she tells him it would be unsightly for him to sigh. They park the ARGO on a sandbank so they can rest for a bit and so that Saeko can change out of her wet clothes and into a black dress that Takashi handed her. Takashi asks her if there’s someone she likes and she admits that there is a man she likes.
Having rested enough they take to the streets which are still covered in the dead so Takashi has a plan, he drives the Argo into a fountain, splashing Saeko again and tapes the accelerator so that it will keep going if they were to get off. With this the dead will be attracted to it, giving them a better chance against them. Saeko leaps into the fray and effortlessly strikes the dead down, one after another. But she suddenly pauses as some children stand before her as some of the dead, Takashi runs up, shoots them and takes her hand to run away.
They make it to a temple where they decide to rest for the night, inside they find a proper sword which Takashi gives to Saeko and he heads to the other side of the curtain so that she can change back into her now dry uniform. Once she’s done she decides to tell him the reason for why she froze before she brings up the question he asked her before but the real matter is whether that man could accept her.
Four years before the events of the series she was attacked by a man on her way home from practice, so of course she defended herself however when she did this she found herself enjoying it and had lured the man in to do this. Takashi tries to tell her that he’s become like that as well but to her it’s not the same, he takes her hand and leans forward to kiss her as the scene fades out.
The next morning they step out of the temple together but for some reason the dead are already just outside. Saeko won’t move, still struggling with the fact that she would enjoy it if she were to fight back, so Takashi grabs her to give her a reason to fight. She thanks him, unsheathes the sword and with it cuts down the dead with ease, find herself becoming wet in doing so.
As they run off she asks if he’ll take responsibility while Saya’s house can be seen just ahead. At Saya’s mansion the others watch the gate expecting them to arrive at any time, they see them step through and run to them.
Ending, “Hōseki no Supai” by Maon Kurosaki.
With what this episode covered being based on a later chapter in the manga than where the story was currently at, the chances of an original ending seemed to go up. As in doing this it was if the staff had wanted to cover this but realised that there wouldn’t be enough time for them to do so in this season, and even then with the way things have progressed in previous episodes there needed to be enough content so that it could be ended properly in the thirteenth episode.
So even if there was a second season to cover the later stuff the way things happened around the point when this was covered would need to be changed. From this it also looks like how Saeko eventually would have obtained her sword was also changed due to this as she would have got it soon after they arrived at Saya’s mansion.
But putting those things aside it was great to see Saeko’s character be given some development in this episode where we learned things like the true meaning behind the smile she had in the second episode. Let alone how she realised that she was enjoying having to do these things as she did before the events of the series, in contrast to how Takashi had found himself enjoying it in a similar way but probably couldn’t have seen himself doing these things before.
This all lead to him promising to take on this aspect of her and allowing her to keep fighting while enjoying it, which usually would have made for a nice scene but there was something weird about how it was actually carried out. This also hinted that he would have to be the one to stop her if she were to lose herself in this. And while there’s the idea that this episode hinted a “Saeko End” of sorts there’s also the idea that he did this out of survival, even though I would kind of hope for one.