Yuki leads the group to a spot behind her apartment building to find a cat, and Haruhi picks one out from the ones gathered. She decides to call it Shamisen, and although the cat doesn’t talk like she wants it to, they continue filming with it. After they finish up for the day though and Haruhi leaves, Shamisen surprises everyone by actually talking. This worries Itsuki because it means that more of Haruhi’s movie is making it into the real world, and he thinks that they have to prevent that. To do so, he suggests that they need a movie ending which makes sense of everything, like it being a dream. For the time being, however, Kyon takes home Shamisen. During the next day, Mikuru comes by to give him a yakisoba voucher, but she also tells him that she has a different interpretation of the situation than Itsuki. She thinks that Haruhi has the power to change the present reality, but that doesn’t mean that Haruhi can change the structure of the world, which Mikuru thinks has been like this from the very beginning. Yuki later explains further what Mikuru thinks and warns that there’s no guarantee that anything Itsuki says is true, but Kyon realizes this applies to Mikuru too, and Yuki notes that it’s true for herself as well.
Despite all this, the filming of the movie continues, as do the abnormal occurrences. Itsuki visits Kyon one night to talk about Haruhi, and he addresses the fact that there are many theories out there centered on her. He also claims that Mikuru’s job is to ensnare Kyon because he’s the only one that Haruhi sometimes listens to. Having this talk with Itsuki leads to Kyon figuring out a way to make Haruhi realize that everything in her film is nonsense. He proposes it the next day to Haruhi and gets her approval, and the group finishes filming later that day. That still leaves all the editing work for that night, and Haruhi tries to stay up with Kyon, but both of them fall asleep. When he wakes up though, Kyon finds that the movie has magically been finished, effects and all. They are thus able to present the film, and the end of it features Haruhi reading a disclaimer about everything being fiction. Sometime later, Kyon tries to tell Haruhi about the true identities of Yuki, Itsuki, and Mikuru, but Haruhi doesn’t believe him because it’s too convenient.
That was a decent ending to the arc, and a decent arc overall, but I’m a little underwhelmed by the disclaimer solution to their problems. It’s clever to a degree, but it left something to be desired, and I find myself a lot more engaged and satisfied with the kind of solutions to abnormal problems that Bakemonogatari features at the end of its arcs. Never mind the fact that a number of questions went unanswered, like who actually finished the movie. I will say though that Shamisen was absolutely adorable, and that scene with him talking and at the same time trying to stay on Yuki’s shoulder was by far my favorite of the episode.
I also liked how they were sowing some seeds of distrust between Itsuki and Mikuru’s factions, but I doubt I’ll remember it very well if it ever comes into play again. I say that, of course, because this should be the final new episode of this broadcast run. Though it might be a little awkward chronologically since the end of this episode had the end of the movie and aftermath, the final four episodes should all be from the original broadcast (Episode 00, Live A Live, The Day of Sagittarius, and Someday in the Rain). I’m planning on still tuning in just to see if KyoAni surprises us with something different, but I don’t think they will.