Since Telestina has taken responsibility of the children, Kuroko thinks that everything has been settled, but Mikoto still wonders if she did the right thing. Saten urges Uiharu to go visit Haruue, but Uiharu decides to go see Kiyama first. She tells Kiyama about Haruue and then urges Kiyama to bring the data she has to Telestina and the MAR group. Unfortunately, once they get there, Telestina refuses to let them see Haruue or any of the children, and she destroys the data in front of them. What really drives Kiyama crazy is learning that Telestina’s full name is Telestina Kihara Lifeline, but Telestina is easily able to subdue her and forces the two to leave. Uiharu’s friends don’t realize that something is wrong until after they call her and hear her crying, and Konori’s research reveals that Telestina is actually the old man Kihara’s grandchild. What’s more, they find out that Telestina was the first test subject in her grandfather’s experiment. After Kuroko slaps some sense into her, Uiharu tries to figure out where the children were taken, but Mikoto heads out by herself before anyone can stop her.
Mikoto finds the children being moved right as she arrives at the MAR facility, but she’s more interested in confronting a power-suit equipped Telestina. When Telestina laughs at and taunts her, Mikoto tries to user her power, however this is hindered by a Capacity Down system. It turns out that Telestina was the one who originally developed Capacity Down as well, and it prevents Mikoto from putting together any significant attack. Instead, she has to avoid getting hit by Telestina’s grenade launcher and then gets choked unconscious, though Telestina first reveals that her goal is to finish what her grandfather started. Telestina doesn’t kill Mikoto however and instead has her subordinates capture Mikoto to be use as a guinea pig. After Telestina leaves though, Kongou Mitsuko – who had heard the commotion earlier – saves Mikoto. Thanks to her, Mikoto wakes up sometime later in the hospital surrounded by her friends. She feels that this was all her own fault and takes it upon herself to stop Telestina, but Saten stops her and makes her realize that she’s got friends too. Saten also has Uiharu and Kuroko make up, and the girls then return to their Judgment office. They try to get Yomikawa and the Anti-skills involved and are subsequently able to track the MAR trucks carrying Haruue and the other children. The satellite images also reveal that Kiyama’s car is following those trucks, and so the girls get ready to head out.
Not surprisingly (at least not to me), Telestina turned out to be the villain. What I did find a bit odd was the fact that she turned so drastically down the road of crazy. All signs had pointed to her being a very manipulative woman who liked to operate from behind-the-scenes, but I didn’t think she’d show herself to be a complete lunatic if given the chance. The J.C.Staff crew certainly gave her some great facial expressions during the fight with Mikoto, and I guess they’re trying to make it easier for the audience to turn against her given how she had been fairly nice up until now.
On that note, I also was very happy to see all the action in the latter half of this episode, and I think Mikoto would have no problem handling Telestina if the Capacity Down system weren’t around. Perhaps that’s how they plan to show the importance of friends working together next week – and who knows, maybe even Touma will show up! Speaking of friends, I felt no sympathy towards Uiharu when she was crying halfway through the episode, and I was actually cheering a little when Kuroko slapped her because it’s exactly what I was hoping someone would do. Saten making everyone reconcile was a nice moment too, and I’m glad they’re not dragging that subplot out into the finale next week. It’s too bad the preview didn’t reveal anything, but as I alluded to above, I’m sure the theme of friends will be important, especially given the finale episode title.