So, not only did the last episode of Sora wo Kakeru Shuojo manage to cop out somewhat by revealing that Imoko isn't actually dead at all, but now it makes us feel like idiots by pointing out how ridiculous such a concept would be? Seems like this series didn't intend to pull any punches when it came to pointing out that particular point.
Anyhow, despite my still finding her survival unlikely, Imoko finding herself alive and well and under the care of Nerval (along with Nami) certainly serves to keep things interesting here - Naturally, Akiha's first thought is to go and see Imo, a move which would almost certainly put her in danger from Nerval, thus causing Kazane to lock her up within Leopard rather than risk her safety. Ignoring the logic of this move however, both Honoka and Itsuki look to rescue her from her captivity and help her in turn rescue Imoko.
However, this idea ends up being put on the back burner as Leopard... well, goes a bit loopy really. With all of his upgrades in place, the ghosts of his past come to revisit him in the form of Leopard's "evil" side. Yes, it's a big fat cliche, but it leaves us with a new look Leopard who cares little for his human "cargo", and even less for Benkei who passes by to return a mirror to Leopard. Come the end of the episode, Leopard has rashly made his way to Kirkwood, only to be faced by Nerval in a decidedly The Empire Strikes Back-esque moment...
I have to confess that a few holes are beginning to appear in the plot at this late stage, between Imoko's survival and Leopard "turning bad", but thankfully the series is also moulding these aspects of the story into something intriguing in its own right - Indeed, this episode in particular has effectively turned the tables on our expectations, with Nerval seemingly playing the "good guy" who wants to co-exist with humans (although he really does need to drop the whole box thing if he's going to do that) while Leopard now cares only for his own powers. Throw in a handful of wildcards such as Akiha and Nami, and we could be in for a fascinating final couple of episodes.