Deku continues his training and in typical fashion, we see him pushing himself as hard as he can. We also get another glimpse at his intelligence as he spars with the ultra fast Gran Torino. Gran Torino is so impressed that he even believes Deku could become a real monster. However, I don’t think this foreshadows Deku struggling with the ‘dark side’. I think it’s intention was not dissimilar to calling someone a beast when performing in athletic events.
Deku isn’t the only one training, however, as the episode takes some time to focus on Iida whom acknowledges that he’s noticed Iida hunger for vengeance and then even explains why using powers selfishly will not work out for him in the end. While these strict rules and guidelines are exactly what old Iide would have loved, the new angry Iide only briefly heeds his mentors’ words. It’s a quick but effective illustration of how rage can change a person.
Stain, meanwhile, speaks to how futile he believes Shigaraki’s goals are, and his motives become somewhat more clear. Stain purposely injures several heroes and then kills one. By doing so, he decreases crime in the area before moving on. This is likely because the heroes in the areas that he attacks become much more proactive as a result of Stain’s attacks. In his own twisted way, Stain thinks of himself as a hero who is trying to create selfless heroes. Not only do we get a glimpse of his motives, which still have some growing to do, but we catch a glimpse of his power set as well. It seems like anyone who is cut by his blade goes into a form of paralysis, save Shigaraki who now seems to have more than one power.
This brings me to the hint that there may be an even higher puppet master than Shigaraki. One who All-Might seems to know personally. The revelation that Noumu (the gigantic birdman that went toe-to-toe with All-Might) was actually a normal guy that somehow had several different quirks passed down to him seems to indicate that there is an enemy that can transfer powers from one person to another. By doing so they can create more Noumu which we catch a glimpse of in the final moments of the episode.
In a fun and interesting culmination of the major plot points of the last two episodes, we see Deku en route to more fight so low level villains, Iide confronting Stain, and Shigaraki unleashing several Noumu on the city that Deku, and Iide just so happen to be in at that time. My Hero Academia knows how to ramp up the stakes of it’s story fluidly without coming off as ‘time for the next plot point’. Is it convenient that Deku is there? Yes, but it works well enough that I’m excited to see how Deku and (if?) Iide will survive the confrontations with not just the Noumu but Stain as well.