Never let it be said that Accelerator doesn't find ways to have fun! I don't know that there's ever been an episode with as much of his nasty, maniacal laugh as we see this week. (I'm not necessarily saying that's a good thing, since I have never cared much for that laugh.)
However, that endless laugh is a sign that he's in top form, and he gets ample opportunity to show off his combat capabilities in this episode. It doesn't seem to matter to him how much Hishigata pumps up his mecha or how many clever coordination tricks he gives them, whether it's teleporting targets or long-range coordinated aiming, nothing fazes him. It just means that Accelerator has to be creative in how he confronts his targets and deals with the problems they pose. He has lamented before that previous opponents have not offered him enough of a challenge for his fights to be enjoyable, and now he's taking advantage of this opportunity. Facing machines just means that he can fully cut loose. He does not give the impression that he's the least bit concerned about Hirumi supposedly being bumped up to Level 6, even though he probably should be. Compared to that, the rescue of 10048 is almost incongruously tender. Add that to the whole “I want you to keep hating me” routine, and Accelerator might actually be starting to build some “bad boy” romantic cred.
Team Esther isn't forgotten in all of the action fuss involving Accelerator. Zombie Girl gets some nice moves of her own, but I was more pleased to see Esther get more directly involved. Her efforts at the end do raise some questions, however. Was the spell on that dagger only a single-use item? If not, why not try to stab Hirumi again right away? I can understand her being flummoxed by stabbing Hishigata when he jumped in her path, but that guy had it coming. At least it means that the spirit inside her will have no further pretext for pretending to be Hirumi in front of Hishigata. That being said, the spirit's behavior this episode raises an interesting question: might it have been willing to maintain the deception if Hishigata had shown more ambition about what to do next after turning Hirumi into a Level 6? It did seem like it was looking for an excuse in the way it questioned him late in the episode.
For all of its action and creative power uses, this episode's visual impact is hit-or-miss. The flaming whirlwind was both a neat power application and visual effect, but there were other times when the CG used for the mecha did not integrate so well. Between that and some awkward angles in certain scenes, this was not the visual spectacle that it could have been. Still, it offered plenty enough to satisfy franchise fans.
A Certain Scientific Accelerator is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.