There is no more backstory, no more clues to be found hidden away. Nobuaki has to return and figure out a way to end a game that doesn’t seem to be possible to end.
Personally I think this episode did a lot to save the series.
For a start it showed that Natsuko is now incapable of keeping the dark side of her personality hidden. She has slept with Teruaki but she’s also smart enough to know in this game the most important thing is everyone’s phones. She’s more dangerous then anyone else not that we didn’t already know that.
That side to her though seems to have bonded the rest of the group who when the next orders come through and they all could easily survive hatch a plan without Nobuaki’s help to either kill Natsuko or at least expose her for the person she is.
In the game you have to break your fingers. If you pass then you stay on 0. If you break the fingers on one hand you get positive points and if you break the fingers on the other you’ll get negative points. You are also allowed to give those points to others. So for example if Natsuko broke 5 negative fingers and gave them to Nobuaki he’d need five people to break one finger or break all his positive fingers to put him back on neutral ground. Whoever has a negative after everyone finishes their go loses.
I thought the plan was good and it was nice to get to know Teruaki a little more. His behaviour when he learnt he had to sleep with Natsuko was completely at odds to the character we see now and it becomes painfully obvious that he’s got a black mark on his head, even more so when he breaks all five of his negative fingers which basically ruins his dream of becoming a stylist.
It really is difficult to see the point in this game though. I guess it wants to breed dissension, one part of the game seems to be to watch people being emotionally tortured. Its a game everyone can win but its also very obvious that someone like Natsuko isn’t going to allow everyone to win. It would have been more interesting to see that game earlier and see Natsuko’s true self come out then but I guess it’ll serve its own purpose, the episode doesn’t end with the game ending it ends with Teruaki’s sacrifice. The implications of all this will be seen in the next episode.
Other then all this we also meet Riona Matsumoto. She’s also investigating the whole thing. Along with what Ria thought was going on, Nobuaki found in a notebook in the village and what Riona has figured out we’re back to the random letters showing up after people are killed. At some point I hope we do learn what they are spelling out or mean because I can’t take the suspense on that one anymore.