Knowing that he’s running out of time, Stein wants to defeat Medusa quickly, but she’s hard to catch off guard. Medusa is simply fighting to buy time, and in order to beat her, Stein has to refocus himself. She tries to tempt him again to join her, but Stein lets himself go wild and explains the madness and fear inside of himself – what he needs is the order granted by an ego-less god. Medusa eventually stabs Stein in the gut, and from that, he counterattacks with his signature Kon-i attack. Though greatly injured, Medusa thinks she has won because she’s in position to cut off Stein’s head with her Tail Snake. She is thus surprised when she suddenly freezes in place, unable to move at all. The reason is because Stein had used one of his suture techniques on her entire body. Unfortunately, Stein can’t do anything else until he releases those strings, and Medusa knows that once that happens, her Tail Snake would behead Stein faster than he can kill her.
Meanwhile, Eruka prepares the black blood for the Kishin, and when she gets interrupted by Kid, Free protects her. Both Kid and Free come under the effect of the madness of Ashura, but both are able to get out of it, and Kid ends up keeping Free occupied while Black*Star arrives and goes after Eruka. After a brief struggle, Eruka manages to stick the syringe needle into Ashura’s bag, however Black*Star uses everything he’s got to break the syringe, spilling the black blood everywhere. Back in the tunnel, Stein knows that his chances of success are very low, and right as he decides to take a gamble, the entire place starts shaking. He and Maka’s father both can sense that the Kishin has been revived, and as it turns out, Black*Star hadn’t succeeded in breaking the syringe – he had merely hallucinated that he did. The success of Ashura’s revival causes Medusa to laugh and declare this as her victory, but Stein uses this very moment to release everything and strike. He succeeds in slicing her in half, and as the lower half of her body explodes into a rain of blood, Stein comments on how he got his chance when she felt a sense of achievement from the Kishin’s revival. He grimly notes the irony in how he won because of the Kishin, yet in the end, the Kishin’s revival is his defeat. Having said that though, he’s then laughs over how refreshing this is. Over at the shrine, nothing Kid does can stop the revival. Ashura soon begins to emerge and wears the bag as his skin, smiling in the process.
For an episode that I thought was a bit slow in the middle (particularly during some of the Stein vs. Medusa parts), I liked how the two battles ended up being tied together, with the result of one affecting that of the other. The BONES staff also did a pretty good job handling the scene where Stein slices Medusa apart. It managed to be quite bloody, yet the arrow/snake shape of the blood took off some of the edge to it, and I suspect that’s a much better option than just animating less blood or even censoring. In any case, now that Ashura is revived, I’m looking forward to some more heated battles, and from the preview, it appears that I’ll get my wish of seeing Shinigami-sama in action.
Oh and on a semi-random side-note, I didn’t realize how cute Eruka could be sometimes – she’s a fun character to watch, especially her facial expressions.