The Gist: engage backstory exposition mode engaged! Salt’s father’s mind was destroyed by an experiment to project into pure illusion… or maybe control the destination or a dive? (It has something to do with the stone gate Cocona and Papika used to change Art-Senpai)
Salt got Mimi pregnant, but didn’t know until she and Papika ran away for a year and later brought back by Salt’s father’s army(?) at which point shit hit the fan and Mimi and the lab are lost.
Meanwhile, Salt has been telling Mimi this (I guess?) while aiming a gun at her at the site of the old lab. Mimi puts him down and returns to pure illusion, where she has Cocona trapped but is slowly absorbing parts of reality.
Meanwhile Meanwhile Meanwhile Yayaka and Papika join forces and go to rescue Cocona. Also, the 3rd child is hanging out with Team Salt because reasons…
The Verdict: So yeah… info-splaining Cocona’s backstory in one quick swoop, while setting up a final showdown between Mimi and Cocona’s friends is one way to make an episode. It’s not a particularly elegant way and, despite the striking compositions and a few imaginative backgrounds, it wasn’t especially attractive by Flip Flappers’ standards either.
From a structural standpoint, all of the pieces fit, but there aren’t many surprises. Cocona being Mimi’s daughter was not only spelled out last week, it’s been strongly implied all along. Seeing that Salt is Cocona’s father, and seeing specifically how Salt’s father became crazy and caused Mimi to dissappear into pure illusion (and eventually spit Cocona back out?) is not a particularly important detail, given that Salt had nearly no character building to this point and Salt’s father’s role in all of this was already implied last week.
In shorter words, last week’s implications were enough. I’m not even going to talk about the Third Child, who appears to be part of the good guy’s team now, nor the Twins, who only make an uneventful cameo. It all culminates in the same thing: mostly unnecessary retreading and/or abrupt plot advancement for the finale’s sake.
I guess I’m puzzled most by the decision to over explain what was very nicely implied last week, but under explain other elements like Mimi ‘switching places’ with …herself?… at some point, not unlike Papika and Cocona did during the stone gate adventure. :/