So, the fansub finally came out and allowed me to watch this episode. I must say that I was a bit surprised on several levels.

– Not only was Mao killed off much more quickly than I anticipated, but his character was both adequately developed and brought sufficient closure despite the brevity of his presence. It’s probably too early to tell, but could this and Mai-Otome Zwei be a sign of a Sunrise renaissance?. Sorry, pardon my wishful thinking out loud.

– Signs that C.C. and Lelouch care about each other are growing increasingly abundant. C.C. went to confront Mao in an effort to distance him from Lelouch (or so I’d like to think); Lelouch exercised use of his geass on a larger scale than has been seen quite some time (if ever) in his effort to rescue her. The thoroughness of the planning and execution of his rescue operation shows that he hasn’t lost his strategic expertise.

– It appears that Shirley is not going to be completely removed from the story or even significantly marginalized, which is bound to create some awkward situations for Lelouch down the road. It would be really interesting if she somehow ends up recovering the lost memories down the road.

– I didn’t watch the episode preview, but it seems likely that the next episode will be centered around Toudou, since during this episode he was smack dab in the middle of an ambush. He’s probably too important to the resistance for Lelouch to afford not rescuing him if he is captured.