This episode is split in half between two narratives. The first half follows up on the cliffhanger from last episode, where Nana attacks Nyuu. Where normally, such a circumstance leads to the "Lucy" persona waking up, here she remains as Nyuu. Suffice it to say, the others aren't too pleased with Nana for attacking someone they see as a total innocent. Kohta even flat out slaps her. It wasn't supposed to be comical, but to be honest, it was. It comes out of nowhere and Kohta is so nonchalant about it that it makes the moment more humorous than dramatic.
After getting berated by just about everyone, Nana runs off. To her credit, Mayu does go and try to comfort Nana. It doesn't go well at first, but eventually, she is able to get Nana to calm down a bit. Nana reveals that she isn't exactly human and shows Mayu her vectors and what they are capable of doing.
As that is going on, Professor Kakuzawa's assistant is flown into HQ. Kakuzawa's father determines that she knows too much and he shoots her. He must have hit a major artery or something because she starts to bleed out quick. After a bizarre internal reference to her virginity, the assistant pleads for help. Surprisingly, Kakuzawa agrees as long as she swears her loyalty to him.
Later on, Kurama comes in and Kakuzawa reveals his nefarious scheme. Rather than fight the diclonii, he wants to do "God's work" and use them to bring humanity to another stage of evolution. Kurama writes this off as madness at first, but he is later strong-armed into going along with the plan. Kakuzawa decides to unleash a third diclonii to deal with both Nana and Lucy.
Back at Kohta's Nyuu suddenly falls ill. Kohta notes that being shoved shouldn't have made her sick, but she seems to be suffering from a fever. Yuka suggests taking her to the hospital, but Kohta decides against it as he remembers the assistant telling him that diclonii are quarantined and killed. Even when Nyuu shifts into her Lucy persona, she still seems to suffer from the effects of her affliction.
In her delirium, Lucy begins to wander around the house making random utterances. It is here where she begins to remember her past and the episode shifts into its second narrative, that of Lucy's origin.
We see that she lived in an orphanage as a young girl. Interestingly enough, young Lucy looks a lot like Nana, though I suppose that makes a fair bit of sense. Due to her appearance (namely her horns) and her reclusive personality, Lucy is shunned by just about everyone (though she does befriend a stray puppy). Even the headmasters admit that they're a bit creeped out by her.
The worst of it comes from three boys who taunt her repeatedly and shove her around, knowing that she won't fight back. I'm not sure orphans would use "your parents abandoned you" as a taunting point, but it was just a segue to take a dig at her horns, so I suppose it makes some sense.
The bullying is interrupted by another girl who actually shows kindness to Lucy and the two start to forge a friendship. Said girl is even introduced to the puppy. Both agree that the dog should be kept away from the other boys as they determine that the dog would suffer at their hands.
Said prediction turns out to be true as the boys do find out about the dog. One of the boys drop kicks the puppy into a wall and then the leader decides to beat it to death with a vase. It's pretty brutal. As if that weren't enough, it's revealed that the girl who Lucy believed to be her friend was the one who told the boys about the dog. I'm not sure why she did this, considering she agreed that it would be smart to keep it away from the sociopaths, but she tries to argue that she didn't know that they would go so far.
Lucy cries out and in an instant, everyone else in the room is dead, killed as a result of Lucy's vectors, which had just started to develop. Considering how loathsome these bullies were, I kind of wanted to see Lucy toss them around and rough them up a bit before ending them, but I think runtime became an issue. The fact that she's not trained at using them and is in a very emotional state also helps justify the quick end.
The episode ends with one of the softer cliffhangers as Lucy runs off and manages to run into a young Kohta. Considering Lucy recognized him, we knew that they had some history, but this leads into what that history is.
This episode had a healthy balance of character development and plot advancement. The bullies are very one dimensional and over the top, but the episode does succeed in making them loathsome characters who you have no sympathy for when they do eventually die at Lucy's hand.
There was no real major highlight, but the episode wasn't exactly filler. As I said, it did advance the plot and we got some good insight into Lucy's backstory. It was decent overall. My only real complaint comes from the dog death and that's more due to a personal affinity to dogs than to anything from a technically critical standpoint. It should be interesting to see how the next episode plays out as it looks like we'll be getting a deeper glimpse into Lucy's background and we'll see how she and Kohta are connected.