This episode begins with Nanako coming home to a letter from Takehiko. In it, Takehiko invites her to his university's festival using formal language. He also notes that she hasn't been sending as many letters lately, but he's glad because they're usually filled with horrible things, so presumably no news is good news.
Tomoko gets excited when Nanako shows her the festival program at lunch at school- which seems to have an Ace wo Nerae! reference-
all the men.
Takashi drives Takehiko to his mansion, where Takehiko sees Fukiko watering the roses. He greets her and makes some small talk, but she responds with clipped answers before walking away. I would normally be sympathetic to someone having trouble talking to their crush and I know she's seventeen or so, but considering how much energy Fukiko expends on keeping Takehiko's pen pal from maybe someday having a relationship with him and how pissy she gets at their having any communication at all, it's hard not to be like "Really?" when she doesn't make the effort to just talk to him when she has the chance.
Pretty sure that impression there wasn't because of Nanako.
Being Fukiko's brother, Takashi makes the least surprising declaration ever and says he doesn't get her.
Fukiko returns to the rose garden, and unfortunately for Nanako, hears Takehiko and Takashi seated inside, discussing meeting up with Nanako and her friends at the festival. As Takehiko leaves, she not-at-all-portentously beheads a large number of roses.
No matter, the Ichinomiyas can buy all-new roses.
All this rose symbolism is very subtle. We also saw Takehiko pricked by a rose when Fukiko was brusque to him earlier, and the camera lingered on a rose in a vase when Takehiko remarked to Takashi that she's pretty.
Cue the next morning at school. This part is adorable- Mariko gets Nanako to ask Kaoru to go out with her to the festival in exchange for asking Rei out for Nanako.
This shot is appropriately rainbow-tinged.
Rei knows that Kaoru won't go for reasons she won't tell Mariko that are obviously Takehiko-related, so she says she won't go either. Kaoru does indeed beg off, with the excuse that she has to do sports training that day. Sadface for Nanako and Mariko.
That night, Nanako plans her outfit for the festival and asks her mom for some sophisticated grown-up jewelry to wear. Little does she know of how college and grad school students actually dress.
Fukiko calls. More subtle rose symbolism as we see her break the innocently white rose- contrasted with all the red ones earlier- while beginning her conversation with Nanako.
More subtle rose symbolism.
Come Sunday, Nanako makes her way to the basement storageroom, and while looking for the tea set, is locked in by Fukiko, surprising no one watching this show. She can't tell it's Fukiko, though.
Tomoko meets up with Mariko, and they're like "Huh, guess she's running late."
Kaoru does running cardio on the school ground while Rei smokes a cigarette on a bench nearby, and they rib each other for constantly exercising and smoking, respectively.
Here my girlfriend is like, "Have you noticed that Kaoru looks like an anime Tig Notaro?" and digs for compelling photographic evidence.
Kaoru sees the torn-up program and hears Nanako playing waltz music in a sad effort to entertain herself.
More shadow face- albeit less all-covering- as Fukiko listens to Nanako apologize on a payphone from not-in-the-basement.
After the call ends, Fukiko throws the key she used against the floor, and we get our last destroyed rose imagery for this episode.
Next time, Nanako finally gets to enjoy the festival.