Kirito and Vassago have their epic final battle, with Kirito unlocking Eugeo’s sword’s powers thanks to his…memory(?), which he uses to painless kill the Red Knight players so they can be logged out. And then he turns Vassago into a tree with his black sword’s…memory(?) so that Vassago won’t be able to die or log out for a long time. But like Goku in the Frieza Saga, Kirito instantly knows what’s going on in the plot since he’s been gone without anyone telling him, so he takes Asuna with him to go finally finish Gabriel. It’s then that Kikuoka finally reestablishes a line with him, letting him know that Namek is about to explode in five minu-ER I MEAN that the time dilation is about to be cranked up in ten minutes because one of the bad guys shot the controls and that anyone still logged in after that will be mentally stuck in the game for over two hundred years, which may be longer than a human soul can last. But much like Namek exploding, this is going to take a lot longer than ten minutes to fully resolve, so Kirito and Asuna finally make it to the World’s End Altar to confront Gabriel and save Alice once and for all.
Welcome to the ever heightening rollercoaster of plot convenient bullcrap we’ll be dealing with for the remainder of the season, as Kirito, despite being essentially in a coma for several months, is now fully back to strength and can easily wipe out a bad guy that everyone else had a really tough time beating while also leaving him in a fate worse than death because he was just that bad a guy and deserves such a fate. Farewell Vassago, your character was annoying and confusing. And apparently Kirito can just turn people into trees now because of course. Also gotta love the line said by Renly that “the moment I saw him I knew he’d save us all” despite the fact that the first time he saw Kirito, he was drooling in a wheelchair. But yay, Kirito’s back! The guy who is somehow better at all this magic and power than anyone else who may have lived here for hundreds of years and has like a dozen girls who likes him and is the best at video games and will leave turn you into the grandma from Pocahontas if you cross him. He’s just like YOU, teenage male viewer who has never spoken to a girl before! And I am so glad he’s finally returned so that we can see how he’s grown as a character and not just powered up to god mode several times over.
Okay, okay, seeing me rant about this over and over is probably not fun to read week after week, but what the hell else is there to say right now? This is now back to being The Kirito is Awesome Show fulltime and everything is going to revolve around him being the greatest human who has ever lived for at least the next few episodes, no matter how little sense it makes or how much shit they have to make up THAT EXACT SECOND in order to drive that point home, and we are not even at the peak of how high that shit will stack. Though I guess what I can say about that is that I have zero actual fear that, even if anyone of the good human characters are left alive in the STL after the time dilation after it speeds up, I highly doubt any of them will actually die. Prove me wrong, SAO, please oh please prove me wrong.