If there’s one thing that I remember most clearly about this episode after having watched it four times (besides how amazingly moe Reinforce II is), it’s got to be how amazingly badass Hayate has become. To be honest, I really hated her in A’s because of her Kansai-ben. Times sure have changed though, especially when you consider that she currently outranks both Nanoha and Fate with a rank of SS (whereas the other two are at S+). I don’t particularly like her barrier jacket, but if the opening animation is any implication of what’s going to happen later (unlike Fate/stay night), I’m going to be seeing Hayate order people around a lot (which is exactly what I want because she was really cool in the airport scene). I will note that the “transformation scene” that occurred as she ran away from the truck was really cool and I will heartily approve more of that.
This episode appeared to have gone on the wayback machine, playing some familiar background music of the previous seasons in addition to hinting at one of the events in the manga where Nanoha came close to dying. There’s a lot of potential in this material although the actual outcome will obviously depend on their execution. If they’re going to have Nanoha in a life-and-death situation or some psychic breakdown, the obvious saviour that’s going to hit the scene is going to be Subaru. This is of course clichéd and expected, but if done properly, it shouldn’t be that bad. An alternative would be to have Nanoha actually die (yes, literally die) directly or indirectly because of that past injury. This of course has an adverse effect of there not being anymore Nanoha series to sate my undying lust, but I would give it a nod if done right. Doing it “right” would entail not having her come back to life. “People die when they are killed”, as Emiya Shirou noted in Fate/stay night, let’s keep it that way. Given how the resurrection bit turned out in the first season, things just might go my way for once.
As you can see below, former characters from A’s have reappeared. I don’t know when they’ll give some screen time for Amy or Yuno, but there better be some. What’s interesting to note at the end of the series is that Vita, Zafira, and Shamal were actually fighting against machines. In the past two seasons, there has been basically zero fights against machines besides the last bit of the first season when everyone rushed into Precia’s little “spaceship” (or island?). It seems like we’re going to see a lot more mechanical critters if the opening actually means anything (oh, here we go again with this opening foreshadowing business). Only time will tell as more episodes of StrikerS is aired. Damn I wish I had a time machine and could just go off into the future when the whole series has aired already. :(