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Last week, I mentioned that the inclusion of another tournament in Free! is possible, barring events such as further training or extended flashbacks.  It looks like we might not see another tournament (in this season), as this week’s episode has both training and extended flashbacks in spades.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course.  This episode gives us some more backstory about what happened between Rin and the others in elementary school, which I’m pretty sure we’ve all been wanting more of.  While it’s still not entirely clear what caused Rin to shift from caring about swimming with Haruka and the others to wanting to beat Haruka, it’s interesting that he was originally the one who wanted to swim a relay with them in the first place.  It looks like we’ll get further exposition on the past in the next episode, as well.

I think we can all relate to Rei a little bit in this episode.  It’s hard to be left out of the loop while everyone around you is talking about things you don’t have any context for.  It’s sort of surprising that he waited this long to ask for an explanation of his teammates’ past relationship with Rin, to be honest.

This is potentially the most that Haruka has talked in a single episode to this point.  It’s obvious that he’s opening up more to his teammates now that he’s realized he wants to continue to swim with them.  After all, not even Nagisa had known about Haruka and Rin’s race back in middle school, and Nagisa has known Haruka for a long time.

Free! and its cliffhangers, I swear.  If it’s not a cliffhanger during which someone is drowning, it has to be one in which two characters who will obviously have some animosity between them meet for the first time.  This is a meeting I’ve been anticipating for quite a while.  What exactly will Rin and Rei discuss?  How will Rin react to Rei face-to-face?  The next episode definitely looks promising!

Free! Episode 11 Preview

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