Medusa isn’t happy to see Maka arrive to save Crona, particularly since Maka doesn’t care about the fact that Medusa is using someone else’s body or the deal that she made with Shibusen. Maka quickly gets Marie and Crona to work with her and Soul, but she has a hard time getting past Stein. He is currently suffering from a noise in his head that he can’t get rid of, and Medusa is telling him to destroy the source of the noise. Marie has a solution against Stein, but he’s too agile to let her get to him, and he blows all three of them away. Wanting to put an end to this, Medusa sneaks a Vector Arrow behind Maka and tries to stab her with it, but Crona pushes Maka out of the way at the last second and takes the hit. As Crona starts bleeding to death, she tells Maka not to cry and expresses how happy she is to have finally been of help to Maka. The loss of Crona drives Maka over the edge. Soul tries to warn her about her negative feelings, but it’s too late and he’s soon enveloped in black blood.
Stein has to come to help Medusa against Maka, but Marie then gets between them. She takes this opportunity to use her healing wavelength on Stein, and it helps rid Stein of the noise in his head and return to how he used to be. Maka protects the two from Medusa’s ensuing attack, and Stein is soon ready to fight again, this time against Medusa with Marie as his weapon. However, he first reassures Maka that Crona is still alive, if only barely, and he promises to save her, but for now he wants Maka to concentrate on Medusa. He also tells Medusa that her agreement with Shibusen is invalid because of her treacherous intentions. As for how to deal with the fact that Medusa is using the little girl Rachel’s body, Stein and Marie plan to distract her while Maka and Soul use the power she inherited from her mother. Stein thinks that this will allow them to defeat Medusa without harming the little girl.
When the opening comes, Maka channels all her feelings for Crona into the Majin Gari, and the attack succeeds in splitting Medusa from the body and subsequently kills her. Before she disappears though, Medusa warns ominously that this wavelength won’t work on the Kishin. In the aftermath, Stein declares that neither Crona nor Rachel’s lives are in danger, and as she watches over Crona, Maka pulls out the postcard that her mother sent her. On it is some writing that Maka can’t read, and when Stein takes a look, he realizes that it says شجاعت (shaja’at) which means courage. In any case, Marie and Stein are ready to head back to Shibusen with Crona and Rachel, but Maka and Soul decide to go face the Kishin. What they don’t realize is that Black*Star and Tsubaki have just reached Baba Yaga’s Castle, and they are met outside by Mifune.
I really liked this episode save for one big thing: they kept Crona alive. They go through a lot of trouble in making a fairly powerful death scene, showing Crona’s own courage and even Ragnarok in a sympathetic way, but in the end they walk it all back and say that Crona’s life isn’t really in danger. That’s the kind of thing that makes me bang my head against the wall. Death shouldn’t be something that you can use as a simple plot device like this – it should actually mean something. Gundam series, for example, often use death to show the brutality, senselessness, and/or tragedy of war. In this case, it would have shown the ultimate sacrifice for friendship, and that’s cheapened by having Crona still alive.
What I did like about this episode, though, was all the action, the various music pieces used during the fighting, seeing Marie finally redeem Stein, and seeing Stein kick some ass again using Marie like a tonfa. Medusa’s end came a little sooner than expected (I originally thought that she would outlast Arachne), and that leaves around half a dozen episodes to deal with Arachnophobia and Ashura. For the time being we’ll get to see Mifune vs. Black*Star, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to do everything that the manga did at this point since Black*Star’s character hasn’t been developed in the same way – in other words, I worry a little that it’ll be a watered-down version of the that fight.