Today’s episode is all about Usui, who’s story is only slightly more engaging than the last one because it introduces more conflict and sheds a little more light on the other characters.
Usui’s facing an oncoming train as she begins narrating. “A teacher once said, ‘Life is about climbing over mountains and battle one’s way through by yourself.’ However, that’s not necessary in my case. My path is being perfectly flattened by someone for me. That’s something to be happy about. I wanted to convince myself that is. However, I realized what this really meant. If this goes on, I will…”
The principal instructs Igarashi to keep his mouth shut; he’ll deal with the situation and talk with the Board of Education first.
Morishige has finally cooled down, but she’s not through with Usui yet, yanking the crime detector around her neck to pull her up, mocking the message on it from her mother. But she pulls too hard and Usui falls on top of her, causing Morishige to cut her arm on the sickle. Morishige is about to punish her again, but luckily the other girls arrive so Usui’s safe for now.
Mizuki tries to cheer up the frightened Usui by complimenting her dolphin bracelet, but Usui’s still shaken. Kamiya calls away Mizuki and Haru and Usui thinks of her mom. She was really babied by her mom, who insisted on packing all of Usui’s things for her trip. Usui wasn’t spoiled though; she felt pressured because her mom warned her not to burden others just because she couldn’t do anything herself.
Kamiya asks Morishige to help them look for the survivor, but the empress is too good for that and warns Kamiya not to give her orders. Instead, Kamiya shows Haru and Mizuki how to build a water filter and the materials they’ll need. Mizuki asks how she knows all of this and Kamiya says she learned from her grandfather; he had lived abroad and taken her and her siblings camping often.
Usui watches Mizuki and Haru leave together and wonders how they can be so chummy even though they were fighting before.
Igarashi doesn’t listen to the principal and tells one of the other teachers what happened. She calls the police, who immediately come to the principal’s office. The principal pretends to cooperate, but he’s shooting death glares at Igarashi the whole time.
Guess Usui misread the air between Haru and Mizuki; Haru ignores Mizuki as she tries to make small talk while they collect pebbles.
Usui dreams about a past school festival where she was performing poorly in a basketball match. She only felt worse when she overheard Sakura, Mizuki, and Haru complain about how it was her fault their class was losing. A basketball comes flying her way and she wakes up with a start.
She sees everyone has come back and are looking at some far off smoke, assuming it’s from the other survivor. However, she can’t hear them and she thinks they’re talking about getting rid of her. She calls out to them desperately as they start to head towards the smoke, but Mizuki just tells her to stay there.
Her imagination gets the better of her and she starts panicking because she thinks they abandoned her. She desperately goes after them, but trips because of her ankle. She looks up and her eyes land on the sickle. Uh oh.
Morishige belatedly remembers the sickle and heads back without a word. Kamiya thinks they should also head back because the fog’s getting thicker. Mizuki wants to continue, but the smoke has started to disappear so there’s no point.
Morishige makes it back just as Usui gets her hands on the sickle. Morishige begs for mercy as Usui raises the sickle. The loud scream makes the other girls rush back to camp where they find Morishige at the camp, crouched over and shaking, but Usui’s no where in sight. Mizuki wants to go after Usui, but Kamiya points out that she’s injured and couldn’t have gone far. It will be easier to find her after the fog’s lifted, but Mizuki doesn’t listen and goes after her anyway.
The school calls all the parents together and break the news about the missing bus. Naturally, all hell breaks loose, but they’re unable to assuage their fears.
Mizuki catches up to Usui, but Usui just points the sickle at her, telling her not to take another step. She asks Usui where she plans to go and she says she’ll look for help on her own. Mizuki tries to tell her that it’s dangerous, but Usui can’t trust her. She knows that Mizuki looks down on weak people. She points out how she always ganged up on Morishige with Sakura and now she’s decided to abandon her as well.
Mizuki admits that she’s never cared for others before and had decided to never talk to Usui though she didn’t know anything about her. But she says now it’s different. “I want to make it back home with everyone, including Usui.”
Usui calms down a little and says that she’s never had any self-confidence so she wanted to do something by herself for once. “In the end, I’m still scared…I don’t know what to do…”
Mizuki assures her it’s okay to be scared; everyone is. “We’re definitely going to go home alive. Together.” She tells her she’s sorry for abandoning her and Usui finally drops the sickle. Mizuki approaches her, but she sees someone move in the trees in the background. She decides to go after them, promising Usui she’ll come back for her.
Mizuki’s mom calls Haruka and informs her of what happened to her sister. She asks if she can get any information since she works at a newspaper office. Haruka promises that she’ll do what she can, but before that she asks if Dad knows. There’s no need for him to know, since he has nothing to do with them anymore, an answer that Haruka can’t argue with.
Mizuki doesn’t find the mysterious student so she goes back to Usui, but she’s not there. She returns to the camp and finds only Morishige and Kamiya. Mizuki’s upset to see them so calm and turns her anger on Kamiya, who’s listening to the radio. Ripping the headphones out of her ear, she asks Kamiya why she didn’t come with her. Kamiya ignores her outburst, reaching to pick up her wallet, but Mizuki beats her to it.
Holding the picture to her face, she asks if Kamiya would have done the same if one of her siblings had gone missing. Kamiya, unfazed, snatches back her wallet and defends herself by saying that she was only waiting for the fog to clear up. Mizuki asks if she only cares about herself and Kamiya points out there’s nothing wrong with that. Usui left of her own accord, why should they waste their energy going after her?
Mizuki doesn’t understand how she could think like that. In their current situation, of course Usui’s scared and doesn’t really want to be alone. Mizuki scoffs, saying that Kamiya doesn’t understand because she’s never had any friends. Her words strike a nerve with Kamiya and she leaves to look for Usui alone.
Haru comes in late and Morishige, still thinking she’s in control, orders her to stoke the fire. Haru doesn’t comply, so Morishige snatches her around the collar, but Haru grabs her hand. She points out that she doesn’t have her sickle anymore so she doesn’t have any power. “You’re neither an empress or somebody we’d call Arisa-sama. You are and always will be the same cowardly and useless Moriko!”
Morishige thinks of all the times she’s been bullied and yells over and over for Haru to shut up before running out of the camp, completely cracked. Watching her leave, Haru says she hates everything, not just Moriko, but also herself for making her that way.
We see the sixth student, who we know for sure is a male by his voice as he’s calling for help.
Mizuki collapses while looking for Usui, her phone falling out of her pocket. She thinks to herself, “It was the first time I wanted to understand others.”
Back at the camp, the fog is starting to lift and Kamiya tells Haru they can look for Usui, but Haru doesn’t want to be around Kamiya and leaves by herself. Morishige is also looking for Usui, intent on getting her sickle back.
“Yet contrary to my wish, the distance between us gradually increased. ‘I want to go home.’ We all want the same thing and yet…”
We see Usui’s shoe in a pit of rocks and as the credits roll, Usui’s desk falls over.
Thoughts: Yay for Mizuki really stepping up and trying to bring the girls together, even though it’s not going so well, at least she’s trying. Both Haru and Mizuki are starting to see how they have negatively affected those around them, but while Haru doesn’t really know how to go about changing, as evidenced by her continued reliance on snacks and her lashing out at Morishige, Mizuki’s actively trying to find a different path. It does sort of seem sudden for Mizuki to try to be friends with Usui, who she had pretty much ignored up until this episode, but considering all the suffering she’s had to go through because of Morishige, Usui really needed someone on her side. I was worried the show would take the typical route of the j-drama protagonist making heartwarming speeches that make people do a complete one-eighty after last episode, but thankfully, that didn’t happen. Even though Mizuki’s trying to make amends and help the other girls, things don’t always turn out for the better; Haru still hasn’t accepted her as a friend and Usui still left, despite the fact Mizuki promised to come back for her. People don’t change so easily in real life, no matter what the circumstances, so I’m glad to see that the show is taking this approach.