This photo sums up my opinions on Hush as a whole right now.
So, the episode begins with Mikazuki kicking ass and taking names while the newbies watch on until the group retreats after they lose three suits to the Devil of Tekkadan. But Mikazuki pushed Barbatos too hard and it ended up being put out of commission for a bit. In the aftermath, everyone gets ready for the next encounter with the newbies coming to terms with what actual combat is like, Mikazuki, Atra, and Kudelia being the series’ OT3, and McGillis pretty much admitting that he’s using Tekkadan as bait to further his plans and Orga using him to get ahead for them.
Earth-wise we see that Tekkadan and the regular military forces aren’t getting along. But Takaki is happy with his life there since he can send his sister to school and they have good food. Even the kids from the Brewer ship are doing better. There’s also some side-plots going on, like the man who tried to coerce Kudelia actually being a pawn of the guy who tried to turn her into a martyr, not everyone in Teiwaz are on the kid’s side, and that guy from the Seven Stars is basically being set-up to die given all the warning flags.
This episode also better fleshes out Hush, the glory-seeking newbie. It turns out that one of his friends joined Tekkadan years ago to make life easier for the rest of the kids in the slums and underwent the surgery that had a horrific fatality rate and could leave you paralyzed. The latter is exactly what happened to his friend and it drove him to commit suicide, so now Hush wants to be the next Bulith.
Personally… this is poorly done. Not the whole “wanting to become the next hope-bringer” part, but the fact that the way the system works now would allow him to operate without the surgery. Yet he’s not only hating on Mikazuki because he was fortunate enough to undergo it and survive when his friend wasn’t, but he’s trying to go too fast when he’s barely out of basics and willing to risk that same surgery that would leave him unable to fulfill his dream.
We’ve been through an entire season of Mikazuki and Tekkadan’s trials, so we know they haven’t had it easy. We got to know them, so things like Biscuit’s death hurt… a lot. Hush may have good intentions, but this sort of self-destructive glory-seeking behavior is liable to get one of his friends killed trying to save him before he gets more likable and that’s weak compared to what the first season gave us.
Or, in a worst case scenario, he becomes like Ein and revenge drives him mad.
But overall, it was a good transitional episode that will lead to the next battle with the Dawn Horizon pirates. It sets up a lot of foreshadowing as well, with the relationship between the regular troops being tense and the Earth-branch facing their own problems. So, yeah it’s a good watch.