Cliffhanger! And what a cliffhanger, sheesh!
Next week's episode title doesn't sound particularly happy either...
This episode really wrapped up a lot of the open plot threads in the series so far, by contrasting the two competing desires: living in the world, and breaking free from it. While Kirito and Asuna would like to stay in the world where they can definitely be together, they know their bodies won't last forever. (They actually explained that all their bodies got moved to hospitals earlier in the story, answering one of those long-open questions from back in the early days.) Asuna confesses that she wants to date Kirito and marry him for real so they can spend the rest of their real lives together too, so to do that they have to get out of the game. And Kirito has to face his fear of losing Asuna and his inherent "solo player" nature of taking all the burden on himself. In the end, they fight together, protecting each other, as it should be.
Incidentally, the one-hit-kill boss is way
overpowered. It also looks like his defence is as strong as his attack (unlike the last boss), making it even worse. I'm sure they took all the strongest players to this battle too, so it's not like it was scrubs getting wiped out. Plus closing the door and
sadistic. Kirito's comment that "the game is fundamentally fair" really doesn't apply any more; there's nothing "fair" about this boss fight, just pure evil in a game where death is real.
Don't really have too much more to say at the moment, as the whole thing is really cut short by the evil cliffhanger ending. We'll see how things resolve next week, but the wait will be hard...