It’s pretty remarkable just how much Working!!! has upped the ante when it comes to plot this season, and just as much so that it’s done it without stepping on the series’ comic effectiveness. The hits just keep on coming – so much stuff happened this week that it’s almost dizzying, and that’s not even including Daisy amongst the Popuras in the OP and a banana hairpin. But somehow it’s still the same show it always was – just different.
As usual, Popura is involved mainly as an observer of the major plot threads, and not actually part of them (too bad, that) – and this time literally so. As in, it’s her observational skills that are the concern of Inami, who’s rather amazed that Popura hasn’t put two and two together when it comes to Yachiyo and Satou’s relationship. And when she finally does, she gets five – although perhaps her read of the situation (Yachiyo liking Satou is what jumps out to her) might not be so far off-base.
Turns out there’s been an extra set of eyes – or two – while all these tectonic shifts in Wagnaria relationships were taking place. The knowledge that not just Haruna-san but Otoo Hyougo-san too have so little presence that they very often pass unnoticed by others (in her case it was already obvious) makes me wonder if Haruna might just have been a lot closer than anyone realized for a long time.
The complicating factor here is that romantic relationships are against the rules at Wagnaria (and as a veteran of this sort of workplace, I can tell you it’s a rule I wholeheartedly support), and of course Otoo-san is ultimately the decision-maker. That’s rather vexing to Aoi, who’s all about helping the others find love but would never go against her surrogate father. Otoo-san professes an admirable sense of flexibility, but there are still cards to be played with this plotline, that’s for sure.
The biggest cards waiting to be dealt, though, seem to involve the Takanashis mother, and it’s looking like we won’t have to wait long. Minegishi is the one bringing the news, and he’s also the one who causes Inami to relapse – though in her defense, a strange (very strange) man grabbing a girl’s hand in an alley is a pretty bit provocation. It’s not all bad, though, as it’s Souta who comforts her in her dismay – not just arguing that she really is cured, but even grabbing her hands in doing so. This one seems all over bar the shouting, with the only question being just how demonstrative an expression of affection between the two of them we’ll see before the season ends.
As for Minegishi, getting punched by Inami somehow makes him reflect on how much more he enjoys being punched by Kazue, and the two of them actually seem to get back together. When he delivers the news of his mother’s return to Souta, Souta’s obvious consternation forces him to explain himself a bit. His mother has been away for years, and she’s a politician – seemingly an important one, too. Takanashi Okaa-san is being set up as an almost mythical figure, but my creeping suspicion is that she’s going to be a lot more normal – and nicer – than everyone expects. Working keeps you guessing here, because based on history it could go either way, and their big reveals have done so in the past – but my gut tells me we’re looking at someone who’s going to surprise on the low-key side.