This week's episode of My Hero Academia brings things up to the tipping point. Though it was the slowest episode so far, the ending saved it somewhat for me. Things seem to be picking up in our heroes' world and it looks like the villains' plans starting to take shape.
Again, while a slower paced outing that previous episodes, "An Unpleasant Talk" did its part to dial up the tension.
We see Deku, Kirishima, Ochaco, and Tsuyu heading out to their Work Studies at the same time—heading the same direction, taking the same train, the same turns… a coincidence?
No. Sir Nighteye has finally called a meeting with all hero agencies to discuss Chisaki and the Shie Hassaikai. They each seemed to have done their research and have come pretty close to figuring out part of the plan. They determine that Overhaul and the Shie Hassaikai are behind the drugs they have come across so far and have a pretty good idea of what he is doing to Eri to obtain those bullets.
The meeting seemed to have gone on for a bit too long. I found it a bit informative, yet it could have been cut by a few minutes as it. It is always great to see the heroes gather together and get to meet new ones in the process. However, while I understand some of them have bigger egos than their quirks, it is still angering to see how dismissive they can be with those in training.
It was nice to see most of the heroes stand up for their students though. It was even nicer to see Sir Nighteye recognize how painful this situation is to Deku and Mirio. They have been doing a great job at showing how not being able to save Eri still weighs on them and at setting up a very somber tone around them.
We then see all the Work Studies students gathered around in silence with Mirio and Deku; both of them struggling over having left Eri behind, not really knowing what was happening to her, and regretting that decision over and over. We see their friends trying to cheer them up, but failing.
The changes in tone and colors whenever they think of the child help make this even more serious. We even saw it in the previous episode when Deku thinks back on it. It makes me wonder what they are hinting at—even more so after announcing what Chisaki's quirk truly is. It makes me fear for both, Deku and Mirio, considering Overhaul already knows them.
Mr. Aizawa then approaches the students, insisting they call him Eraserhead outside of school. He tells the students he was about to suspend Work Studies for them after hearing the League of Villains is involved. Eraserhead adds that Deku still has not regained his trust after that last time they rushed to save Bakugo and knows he will do it all over again to save Eri. Eraserhead goes on eye level with Deku and tells him will he will be watching over him in hopes he will act "properly" this time.
I really enjoyed this part, and it emphasized an aspect of Eraserhead that I've always appreciated: always seems to have a good understanding over his students and always pushes Deku to be better. This time, it did not come across like a push but more like a parental support after knowing how tough this is on Deku. In hopes of making Deku feel better Eraserhead makes it clear even though he failed to save her life that day, it probably did not mean despair to her, but it could have been a beam of hope.
Before the episode of My Hero Academia ends, we see that Gran Torino tells Sir Nighteye it was he who pushed Deku into meeting All Might's former sidekick and interning for his agency. It was a short exchange that gave us the answer we have been hoping to hear all along: Sir Nighteye does think Deku is very similar to All Might—there seems to be a "madness" living inside both of them that Sir Nighteye is not able to fully understand.
I cannot wait for the day that he admits there is a dazzling symbol of hope in Deku, too. We see this right before the episode ends when they cut to Eri and we realize that Eraserhead's words were true: without knowing he gave Eri hope, he showed her the kindness no one had showed her before.
Both Eraserhead and Sir Nighteye made this episode of My Hero Academia work, with a much more fulfilling ending than the heroes briefing was leading towards. Despite all, they pushed the story further and connected strands that should quicken the narrative's pace moving forward. I'm giving the episode the benefit of the doubt, giving it extra credit if the season goes "plus ultra" like it is setting itself up to do.