Kyon arrives in class and finds Haruhi with her head on her desk and Ryoko standing over her asking she’s feeling ok. Kyon asks Haruhi why she didn’t come the previous day for the debriefing, but Haruhi says that she did it herself already. She starts complaining about how hot it is and how they haven’t yet switched uniforms. Kyon suggests that she could be like a normal high school student and find a boyfriend. Haruhi rejects that, comparing love to a mental disease. Haruhi is clearly depressed about how nothing is happening around her. During class, Kyon’s mind rests on the note he got in his shoe locker that morning asking him to meet him after school. In the clubroom later, he rules out Yuki, Mikuru, Haruhi, and Itsuki as people who could have left that letter. He thinks that maybe it’s a joke from Taniguchi and Kunikida. Haruhi arrives and starts looking at their webpage, which is now filled with pictures of Mikuru. Of course when Kyon catches sight of them, he deletes them all. Or at least he pretends to – when Haruhi’s not looking, he moves them out of the Recycle Bin into a folder marked “mikuru.” Mikuru shows up just as Haruhi leaves for home, and Itsuki briefly appears later that afternoon to tell them that he’s got a part time job to go to.
Kyon makes his way back to the classroom, and the person who’s waiting for him turns out to be Ryoko. She asks him what he thinks of the saying “It’s better to do something and regret it than to have never done it at all.” Kyon thinks that the words have meaning, so Ryoko asks him what he’d do if keeping things as they are would make things worse and he doesn’t know what direction to go in. A clueless Kyon thinks she’s talking about the Japanese economy. Ryoko continues on, suggesting that one should make a change because anything is ok and because nothing is going to change as it stands right now. Kyon starts to agree. Ryoko says that she’s going to take matters into her own hands and move forward with some changes. Kyon is once again confused and starts to wonder if this is a joke. His attention snaps back just as she says that she’s going to thus kill him to see how Haruhi would react. Kyon narrowly dodges her lunging at him with a knife and suddenly realizes the seriousness of the situation. He tries to convince Ryoko to put the knife away, but she professes to really wanting him dead. She charges him again, and he’s barely able to dodge her again. Kyon turns for the door, but it’s not there anymore – Ryoko has control over this space and can manipulate it how she wants. He attempts to throw a chair at her, but it’s futile since she can easily shield herself and deflect it.
As Kyon finds himself unable to move, Ryoko approaches him, saying that this will bring about some sort of action from Haruhi. Maybe they can observe a data explosion, which would make this a unique opportunity. Just as Ryoko is closing in for the kill, the wall beside them explodes. Standing in front of Kyon now is none other than Yuki, who has grabbed Ryoko’s knife with her bare hands. It seems that Ryoko is supposed to be Yuki’s back-up and acting on her own is not allowed. Ryoko isn’t about to comply, so Nagato starts the process for disconnecting Ryoko’s data interface. Ryoko jumps back and launches several glowing missiles at Yuki, but Yuki is able to block them all. She kicks Kyon out of the way right before the spot where he was sitting explodes. Ryoko launches more projectiles, but Yuki makes a flying leap and shields Kyon from them all. She flies up and falls down again just as the next wave is headed for Kyon. Instead of shielding him this time, she uses her own body to stop the projectiles, in the process losing her glasses. Yuki says that she’s fine, as if nothing had happened. She starts pulling the lances out of herself, but Ryoko impales Yuki from both the front and back with her arms, which have elongated and are now glowing. Yuki’s blood splatters all over Kyon’s face.
However, Yuki calmly says that it’s over. The disconnect of Ryoko’s data interface begins, and everything she created starts to disappear into sparkles. That includes not only the numerous things currently impaling Yuki, but also Ryoko’s own body too. Ryoko realizes that Yuki had made prior preparations and regrets what happened. Addressing Kyon, she warns him that there are many conflicting opinions in the Integrated Data Entity and that there may be more in the radical faction like her. She suggests that even the views of those who manipulate Yuki might change. But until then, she wishes him and Haruhi happiness, and then says goodbye as she disappears. Despite lying on the ground, Yuki’s priorities are returning the room back to normal. Once that is done, Kyon picks her up and cradles her in his arms. Yuki remembers that she forgot to reconstruct herself a pair of glasses, but Kyon says that she looks cuter without them. Kyon’s friend Taniguchi interrupts the scene, freezes when he sees Yuki in Kyon’s arms, apologizes, turns around, and runs out. Yuki tells Kyon that she’ll make everyone think that Ryoko has transferred away. Indeed the next day, their teacher announces that Ryoko has transferred out, much to everyone’s surprise. Haruhi lights up at the prospect of something mysterious having finally occurred.
Actually, something else strange has happened to Kyon: he got another letter in his shoe locker. But this one came in an envelope that was labeled Asahina Mikuru. The letter says that she’ll be waiting for him in the club room during lunchtime. When he gets there, he finds a girl who looks and sounds just like Mikuru, but not quite. He thinks that she’s Mikuru’s sister or something. She explains that she is indeed Mikuru, but she’s from further in the future than the Mikuru he knows. Since Kyon doesn’t look like he believes her, Mikuru decides to prove it by showing him the star-shaped birthmark on her left breast. Kyon’s even more confused now because he never noticed that mark before and thus doesn’t understand the meaning of it. Seeing his reaction, Mikuru remembers that if Kyon hadn’t told her about it, she wouldn’t have noticed it herself, and then realizes that it’s an event that hasn’t occurred yet. In any case, when Kyon figures out that there’s now two Mikurus in this time period, Mikuru says that the Mikuru of the past is currently having lunch with classmates. The Mikuru in front of him has something important to tell him – she wants him to remember the words of the Snow White story when he’s in a worrisome situation. Kyon admits that he already went through worrisome situation yesterday, but Mikuru says that that’s not it. It’ll be a time when Haruhi is by his side. Unfortunately, she can’t give him a thorough account of what she’s talking about, only hints.
After Kyon promises to remember the story, Mikuru starts getting nostalgic looking at her maid uniform. Kyon asks her what else Haruhi made her wear, but Mikuru says that it’s a secret because it’s embarrassing. She prepares to leave, but first gives Kyon a look like she wants to kiss him. Mikuru hugs him instead and warns him about not to get too close to her (past) self. She then goes for the door, but stops when Kyon also has one more thing to ask her: how old is she right now? The future Mikuru gives him the same wink and same answer that the Mikuru he knows gave him not long ago: “it’s a prohibited subject.” Soon after Mikuru disappears, Yuki comes back; she had already met the future Mikuru that morning. Kyon asks her if she can also move through time, but Yuki says that she cannot. When he thanks her for yesterday, she says that it’s ok because Ryoko’s strange actions are her responsibility. Kyon adds that she looks better without her glasses, but is met with silence. Back in class, Haruhi is mad that Kyon never showed up for lunch. She drags him outside and fills him in on her investigation into the Ryoko’s mysterious transfer. Haruhi has gotten Ryoko’s old address and is planning to go there after school. Kyon doesn’t care because the one who’s wasting her time and effort is Haruhi, not him. But actually it does involve him because Haruhi is making him go too because he’s still a member of the SOS Brigade. She tacks a notice on the club room door that says today is a day off.
*picks jaw off floor*
The production quality of the episode was off the charts. That battle sequence was simply amazing. The way Yuki did her leaps and jumps, protecting Kyon was simply put, really cool. I’d say that was like movie-level choreography. Never mind all the different backgrounds that fight took place in and the they way everything dissolved into sparkles at the end. The fast-paced battle techno-y battle music just made it all the more better. This also explains how Yuki lost her glasses – I’m kinda surprised she took Kyon’s advice and kept them off.
And if that wasn’t enough for you, this episode wasn’t done yet because it also featured more-future Mikuru (the older woman several people pointed out in the OP). I thought Yuuko Gotou did a fabulous job in making her sound older, yet still very familiar. It felt to me like Kyon knew what she’d do, but asked her age anyway just so that he could see her smile like that. As for the breast birthmark matter, it implies that Kyon sometime in the future gets a good look at them and points out the birthmark, which in turn seems to suggest that she and he will get pretty close. Or it could means some time-travel cycle/paradox where future Mikuru accidentally pointed it out to Kyon who points it out to Mikuru, who in the future will travel back in time to point it out accidentally to Kyon…lol. And yes I did go back and verify, and yes that birthmark has always been there in every cleavage shot Mikuru has given. Just like Kyon, I had never noticed until now.
Next week is the 13th story, “The Day of Sagittarius,” which is a chapter from Volume 5 of the novels.
To clear up any misunderstandings before they occur: Normally Haruhi airs on Teletama and Chiba-TV late on Sunday nights. Because of World Cup coverage, Teletama isn’t going to be airing the next episode of Haruhi until the 13th of this month. However, Chiba-TV is still going to be airing Haruhi in its normal timeslot. Therefore, Haruhi will still be airing next week.