Okay, I’ll admit, the latest episode of Iron-Blooded Orphans was better than I expected it to be and lifted my spirits after last weeks episode. Though, sadly, I must report that I don’t think my hopeful wishing has any ground to stand on anymore. Despite there being no funeral scene for Lafter or anything, everything seems to suggest that her death is in fact permanent and not a ruse in any way, shape, or form. In fact, a lot of things in this episode solidified that we are now in the home stretch of season two as well as IBO in its entirety.

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Tekkadan has cut ties with everyone except for McGillis. McMurdo smashed Orga’s sakazuki cup because they cut their ties with Teiwaz in order to crush Jasley without opposition, and crush him they do. He never even stood a chance against Tekkadan, heck, I don’t think his forces managed to kill very many people. They were just cut down row by row as the Gusion, Flauros, and recently completed Barbatos Lupus Rex tore into them. The Rex is a beast of a Gundam I’ll give it that. Originally I wasn’t much of a fan of its design, but its grown on me after this episode because it truly does make the Barbatos look like a demon complete with tail. That being said, while the Rex did look epic after it smashed Jasley’s bridge, it really should have been Akihiro that landed the decisive blow because he has just been through the ringer when it comes to losing people close to him and I’m sure he wanted to personally handle Jasley.

I think the thing that shocked me the most about this episode is that Tekkadan cut all ties, not just with Teiwaz, but also Kudelia’s Admoss Company. Like, I can understand why they probably did that, but at the same time it felt like they were giving Kudelia the shaft which is a dick move. Atra gets to go along with Mikazuki to Earth at the end which basically guarantees one of two things: 1) She’s going to die because it does seem like a lot of members of Tekkadan, Akihiro included, are going to die. I assume Akihiro will because this episode threw up a death flag for him simply because of the mindset he’s him. Like he wants to die now so that he can be reborn in another life with Lafter. And I think she might because they left Kudelia in a rather safe place while Atra is sent right into the danger. My guess is that she gets one night with Mikazuki and then she dies during the big battle leaving Mikazuki to return to Kudelia on Mars, or not, he could die too which also seems plausible. Or 2) Mikazuki dies and Atra gets left behind possibly with child and Kudelia gets nothing. Those are the two ways I see this going for Atra. I just can’t see Kudelia being the one getting the happy ending at this point because she’s practically been written out of the main story.

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And of course we also have the Gjallorhorn side of things. Iok was supposed to come and back Jasley up, but McMurdo saw through Jasley like it was nothing and struck a deal with Rustal who then collared and leashed Iok. However, this deal backfired on Rustal because Tekkadan is now coming for him after mopping the floor with Jasley. If Iok had shown up as planned Tekkadan would have had a harder time, but he didn’t and so they won easily and still have the full strength of their forces. And typically he would have the backing of Gjallarhorn, but McGillis pulled the rug out from under him and the rest of the Seven Stars have turned their backs on Rustal and Iok after McGillis exposed the two of them and they were denounced publicly. Rustal was linked to Gallen Mossa from earlier in the season showing his corruption and of course at this point we all know what Iok did. In other words Rustal only has those loyal to him to fight. His and Ioks fleets versus all the Seven Stars, or at least McGillis, and Tekkadan. This seems like it’ll be a beatdown, but Rustal does have Darth Gaelio and his Vidar, as well as Julietta who I swear is going to get the Alaya-Vijnana surgery and become the next Ein.

Overall this episode was paper thin on plot, but that was perfectly fine considering what happened within the confines of said plot to give it meat and obviously the future it sets up. We now have 9 episodes left of this 26 episodes season and 51 episodes show and I’m quite excited to see how the rest of it plays out.