Where the last episode was split between two plot lines, this is focused solely on one. The result is a much stronger episode. It picks up where the last left off, with Lucy still grieving over what she was forced to watch. She runs into Kohta, who tries to befriend her. Lucy is, justifiably, reluctant to put her trust in another person and is skeptical of his motives. While she brushes him off, Kohta still offers to meet her again at the same spot the next day.
Surprisingly enough, Lucy does go to meet up with Kohta again. She becomes paranoid when he's late and assumes that he had no desire to follow up on his offer, but he does show up eventually. A lot of focus is put on the budding friendship between the two and it works rather well. It is lighter and softer in tone, but it is quite welcome after the gruesomeness of the last episode's ending.
It doesn't go to complete fluff as we see Lucy is still killing as a way to find places to stay. She is never directly accused, but we do hear via a news report that authorities are looking for a missing girl from the orphanage. She becomes wary whenever cops are around or when events are talked about by passersby, but she manages to maintain her cover. There were a few moments when it seemed like she was going to relapse, like when Kohta was talking about how he liked looking at all the weird animals, or when he splashed water on her and started laughing. Fortunately for Kohta, she picked up on the fact that he was just being playful and managed to get into the spirit of things in both instances.
While the last episode had a split narrative, this episode has a bit of a split tone. It's not quite as drastic as the first episode, but it is still noticeable. We see a growing disconnect in Lucy's psyche as she is torn between her conscience and her nonchalance about killing people. These scenes were very well done, cutting to black and white as Lucy talks to a mysterious masked figure who goads her into killing all humans. It freaks Lucy out to the point where she asks Kohta to kill her if she can't stop. Granted, he has no clue what she's talking about, but it is still a pretty heavy moment.
Alas, bad news comes in the form of Kohta announcing that he and his family are going away for a while. Lucy doesn't take it too well, feeling that her time with him has been the happiest in her life, but they decide to spend his last day there together. Kohta does mention that he will be spending time with his cousin as well, which makes Lucy rather jealous.
I got the feeling that Lucy saw Kohta using "cousin" as a cover story, but at the same time, I don't see how she immediately sees this person as a romantic rival. Cousins are generally not potential romantic interests. Ok, that's true in the real world, but this show has clearly established that family members are totally capable of being love interests so I guess we just have to roll with it. In any event, Lucy is somewhat appeased when Kohta tells her that said cousin is a boy.
Not surprisingly, the lie is uncovered and Lucy does not take it well. Her psyche turns a little white lie into proof that humanity isn't worth protecting and that she should succumb to her darker urges. Having been betrayed and hurt enough, Lucy agrees and decides, "to hell with 'em".
If there was any chance of saving Lucy by this point (which I don't think that there was), it was taken away when passersby berate her for being in the way or write her off as being on drugs. Their contempt soon turns to fear as people are brutally ripped apart. Even one woman who was showing genuine concern gets her head ripped off in return for her trouble.
Now that I think about it, Lucy's backstory is very reminiscent of "Carrie". Granted, it's a fairly basic premise (girl with powers gets ostracized and unleashes hell when it goes too far) and it works well here, but the parallels are quite palpable.
The episode ends as it cuts back to the present and we see that Lucy has recovered. As she looks at Yuka and Kohta, Nana reveals that she knows that Lucy is awake. She and Mayu return to the compound to find Lucy waiting for them. Judging by the look of it, Lucy isn't too happy to see them.
I actually thought that this was one of the stronger episodes of the series so far. The character evolutions felt natural and I really liked seeing Lucy's inner battle. I wouldn't have minded seeing more of the psychological stuff, but it was done enough that it didn't feel underdeveloped. If the last episode didn't have you feeling bad for Lucy, this one sure does as she really went through the ringer. You really do understand why she hates mankind the way she does. Seeing what she went through, I don't know how you can blame her for her assessment.
There's only a few episodes remaining. Plot threads are starting to come together, but it should be interesting to see how things play out from here. With the backstory covered, I think we should be seeing things start to kick into high gear as the series starts to near its end.