As I said earlier, I consider this to be the best episode of the series. There is nothing that I can complain about in this episode. From start to finish, it is excellent.
The introduction of Lauro and Elsa provides a great foil for Jose and Henrietta. Lauro treats Elsa like a tool, a cyborg, a non-human thing. Elsa exists to protect Lauro and to do his bidding, nothing more. Jose treats Henrietta like a little girl, caring for her and treating her nicely as all young girls want to be. Jose is calm with her and never yells at her or is cold or cruel to her. He acts as an older brother figure to her.
Elsa is completely and totally devoted to Lauro to the point of obsession. The only thing she wants is to protect Lauro and do what he wants her to do. To her, nothing matters other than Lauro. She cares nothing for the other girls at the SWA or for anyone else. Only Lauro. While Henrietta is very devoted to Jose, she does not obsess over him. She is devoted to Jose and would die for him, but she does not shut everyone else out. She is friends with Rico, Triela, and Claes. To her, there is more to life than just her Handler.
This setting provides an excellent scene where it goes back and forth between Jose and Lauro having drinks to Henrietta confronting Elsa. All of the characters beliefs are brought out into the open. This allows viewers to get a firsthand view of Elsa's and Lauro's feelings, seeing as how they are two new characters. It also gives us a chance to look deeper into Henrietta and Jose. It gives us more than just the interactions between the two of them, but it shows what they feel when the other isn't around. This provides a great look into the characters.
The ending scene of the episode is, for lack of a better word, extraordinary. Of particular note is the music. During the scene while the four of them are setting up the sniper rifles to take out the police chief, there is a beautiful string piece playing, something that is pretty typical for Gunslinger Girl. Elsa then looks over to see Jose next to Henrietta, showing her what to do. Elsa becomes careless, and Lauro tells Jose to replace her. This sends Elsa's thoughts into total disarray, and at that exact moment, a completely dissonant piece of music begins to overlay with the strings piece. It creates a very strange and odd piece of music, perfectly reflecting Elsa's emotions during the scene. There is also great use of "camera-work", so to speak, when the final shot of the episode is a single bullet casing lying on the ground.
For these reasons, I classify this episode as the best of the series. It gives us great character development on two characters we've come to know over the past eight episodes, and it also pulls off grat character development for completely new characters. The quality of the episode is amazing (something to be expected from GSG), and the ending scene alone is worth the wait through the episode. 10/10.