When the symbol of heroism and tolerance gets worfed like a c-list mook and a good many nigh-instantly take it as a sign to begin a mutually Guilt-Free Extermination War, you're probably not living in the Sugar Bowl world.
The student heroes are right in the middle of multiple attempted final solutions, an utterly collapsing super-security system and the uncaring teachers meant to perpetuate it, the sheer number of nihilistic doomsday villains coming out of the works, and the rest of the fallout of the last attempt at regional catastrophe and genocide.
Oh and most of the students are fresh out of high school and the vast majority have little resembling life experience. ...Or would have, except even the Cheerful Child is a war veteran by the first episode.
- As noted above, the world of MSU is a thoroughly Crapsack World where post-2016 politics have set in and the most popular rallies seem to differ in only who should be 'finally resolved'. The hero system ran on a single, now dead keystone and its other 'champions' care little about educating the next generation or much of anything outside their hobbies. The most consistent defenders of the world are the only slightly less dysfunctional student heroes of the former class 1. And even among them students drop out of the fight one by one...
- Even The Paragon believes the end is inevitable; though he's trying to build up something to replace the old system as it crumbles. And then he gives up holding on to his ideals during the events of Holding Too Tightly, Afraid To Lose Control.
- The lore of the Baern Elves. They were a group of elves who separated from the other elves due to religious differences and preferences for living conditions. They proceeded to form a powerful, religiously motivated empire, and it all went downhill from there. The living conditions for slaves were simply abominable - literally ritualistic torture, immediate and violent purges for causing offense to the "True Gods", use of children in Blood Magic rituals for divining the future. It should come as no surprise they were overthrown by a slave revolution - and that most evidence of their empire was then destroyed.
- The sheer lengths Sommerset, their last and "greatest" High King, went to in trying to destroy The Wolf Boy / The Saint.
- Lily may have been in her nightmare for years. Read: By one interpretation, she 'lived' in her nightmare dimension for longer than she had been alive on Earth. When goes to patrol the convention center weeks later she forgets her name and can only recall the sounds of her own head being squashed like a watermelon. Everything reminds her of her head being squashed like a watermelon and she's kept her mental tic of counting her demises.
- Sam's nightmare is deceptively simple. He's unpersoned by the entire world until he's Driven to Suicide.
- The hostage situation. In a bid to get the artifact, Malhareff mind controls Sally and puppets her mechanical limbs. He uses her in order to force Mahvash, Cole and Perry into handing over the artifact. If they don't, he will make Sally's mechanical limbs delf-destruct. After seeing through one of Mahvash's plans, he begins to have Sally begin to choke herself, which keeps getting progressively worse to point where it reminds Cole of a traumatic memory and he has a Freak Out. It's made worse when Mahvash is able to get through to Sally mentally, who is completely trapped into watching what is occurring and can't do anything against the brainwashing. Ultimately, there is no easy way out to save Sally and what Mahvash and Sally agree on is to unmake Sally's metal parts and immediately get her to care due to the fact she can't survive without them.
- This episode ends up being one long Adult Fear for Armada as she is greeted with image of her adopted daughter bleeding out due losing her prosthetics as mentioned above. She ends up having to rush to the lab in order to upload Sally to android body to keep her alive before she bleeds out and enters shock. Adding to this is Dementius interfering making matters much harder. This all made worse given that last episode Armada revealed her worst fear was outliving Sally.
- Dementius is truly at one of his worst this episode given what he does to quite a few members of the class:
- He starts the episode by possessing Dante and impersonating him. In Dante's mental landscape, he held hostage by Dementius by being stuck in a straight jacket, being emotionally berated by Dementius and being Forced to Watch whatever Dementius does. The worst being when Dementius ends up eating the various souls of the people fleeing the area. Upon leaving to chase after the artifact at being taken to the university, Dante ends up shooting multiple purple flames from his body which he can't control.
- Upon making it to the university, he tries to take the artifact from Perry. When that fails due to the Lance of Longinus and Perry fleeing to the Other Side, he sets his sights on killing Sally, who is already on the verge of bleeding out to death due to losing her prosthetics, just to see how the reactions and despair to her dying.
- Upon arriving to help protect Armada and Sally from Dementius, Holiday ends up taking the brunt of Dementius's flames. What follows is her body being almost destroyed with injuries such as her metal skeleton and various her various mechanical workings becoming exposed, most of her synthetic skin being destroyed, various short circuiting and losing oil and other fluids.
- Even when he ends up leaving, he takes time to gloat and taunt towards Ryuu. He mentions how he delighted what Armada, Sally and Holiday felt during the chase and how he wasn't able to create as much chaos as he wanted. Right as he leaves, he whispers right in Ryuu's ear how he would have loved to put Sally out of her misery.
- Vivian's whole breakdown near the end of the episode due to how unsettling it is. After not being able to do anything against Dementius, she ends up talking to Armada outside of the lab through her suit. She talks to Armada about if it was better to transfer into an android and if it hurt. All the while, it is made clear that Vivian is not in the right state of mind and her suit is being rather imposing towards Armada. Armada tries to get through to her by explaining how hard of a choice it is to make and that there is no going back once the deed us done. However, upon seeing the newly uploaded Sally, Vivian leaves one last cryptic message before she powers down the suit. Meanwhile Vivian decides to make a rough upload to her prototype suit. As she does so, she keeps insisting mentally it is a necessity, not a choice and how she will be a better hero afterwards. She ends up blowing out the lights when it happens. By the end of the episode, it is unknown what has happened to Vivian. Thankfully, the start of the next episode reveals she has transferred into an android body.