I thought this wasa great episode. I know that it wasa little slow, despite the combat sequences between Hagi and the poor, misguided Solomon. But there was a lot going on. I'd give it a 9.6 on the obligatory rating system. The first time through I must have missed or maybe I just didn't remember the little exchange between Nathan and Amshel. I like the Nathan chatacter in the English dubs more than in the orginal Japanese - although I can't quite articulate why; perhaps he is just more memerable. But in this ep, he warns off Amshel in that harsh, grindy voice he uses with James; and Amshel seems to understand the warning. The majority of the show focuses on Saya and the shallow wiles of Solomon. Poor guy, still doesn't get it. His line, "You look so much better in that dress than you do with a sword". The sword represents who Saya is now; at the end, Saya replies, "I have no time for sweet dreams". Solomon must confront his own preconceptions at some point, his own misconceptions. To love Saya not to love only the dream. His attack on Hagi is an example of his unwillingness to let go of that dream and to face Saya on her own terms. The most horible thing Solomon says to Saya is "I want to free you from your destiny". Saya defines her own destiny, for her own reasons. He fights...wants to kill...Hagi as if that would change anything, as if that would make Saya love him...as if Hagi was his obsticle. Solomon, you poor spelunker, you are your own obsticle. Perhaps Hagi says it best to Solomon, "No future you can give her will ever bring her happiness, her future is her own wish."
A few more things are going on. The exchange between Mao and Kai was entertaining, she tells him that she loves him, that she is crazy about him, but she says so without resentment or jealousy. Mao has grown as a person through this ordeal. She even teases Kai about Saya. David asks Julia to return to the Red Shield, but he means to return to him. Julia is stunned by her revelation. What will she do? Saya learns that Diva is preggers.