I take it all back -- every hesitation I've expressed over the last couple of weeks -- this episode fixed everything.
Well, no, not really. But man, it's close enough to justify a little hyperbole. This has none of the weaknesses or shortcomings of the last couple of episodes -- there's some good action, the plot moves forward, there's some great character moments and the reader isn't left wondering about what's going on. There's one character's action that you can't be positive about, and there's something that happens in the closing paragraphs that you can't know everything about -- but you will soon into episode 10. But those are different from being aware that there's a lot going on and you don't get to see or know about it.
This takes place in the shadow of the events of last week's episode, kicking off mere hours later, and carries you at a great pace through the next events.
Adechike and Ojo have a confrontation about their nation's actions (and some of Ojo's) and I found myself rooting for the junior warden -- not something I'd have expected even a week ago. Michiko's investigation bears some fantastic fruit. Takeshi learned more than he expected to -- and possibly kicks off another sub-plot (who doesn't want one so close to the end?). And the other wardens find themselves forced to react to the embryonic war.
This far into the series, it continues to be difficult to talk about the events without ruining things for people who have yet to start the series, so hopefully this was enough. This was a very strong entry -- the strongest since episode 4 or 5, and one that bodes well for the end of this season.