This episode begins with Tomoya and Ushio returning home from their trip, and Tomoya’s and Ushio’s new found affection for each other is apparent. We see Ushio and Tomoya praying at Nagisa’s home shrine, and doing other father-daughter things. When Tomoya is in Nagisa’s room he remembers some of the good times he and Nagisa shared. When Tomoya and Sanae talk alone, Tomoya thanks her for raising Ushio, and he apologises for being a bad father, and he promises to make it up to her by raising Ushio to be strong like Nagisa. Ushio enters the room and tells Tomoya that Akio would like to play baseball with him.
As they are preparing to play, Sanae asks Ushio who will win this match? Ushio says Akio, to Tomoya’s annoyance. Tomoya gets the best of Akio this time, and afterwards they all settle down for drinks and conversation. Later that night, Tomoya is roused from his sleep with Ushio to hear Akio and Sanae talking. Tomoya hears Akio tell Sanae how tough he knows the past five years were on her, and that she’s never cried over her loss, and now it’s OK for her to cry because he’ll be there for her no matter how long she needs to cry. Tomoya hears Sanae finally shedding tears over Nagisa’s death.
As Tomoya is taking Ushio to live with him, Sanae and Akio wish them luck, and Tomoya says he knows to stop by often with Ushio and Sanae and Akio also agree to drop off and pick up Ushio from school if Tomoya’s work stands in the way. After Tomoya drops off Ushio at school he hears some women gossiping about him and his relationship with Nagisa’s parents, in the old days he would have gotten angry but now he pleasantly introduces himself as Ushio’s father, and the women seem to like like him. At work he apologises to Yoshino for making him worry and he says that compared to what Sanae and Akio went through his problems are small, but just the same Yoshino says that if he has any problems, he and the company will help him.
Later, Tomoya picks up Ushio from school and drops her off at his apartment before heading off to work, and Ushio starts to get acquainted with her new home. When Tomoya finally gets home, Ushio sees that he has brought her clothes and lots of other stuff from her old house, and they begin to organize things, such as where to place Nagisa’s picture.
Later, Ushio and Tomoya go for a walk and they run into Kouko (Fuko’s sister, and Yoshino’s wife). After Ushio properly introduces herself to Kouko, we find out that Fuko has recovered and has been released from the hospital. When Kouko introduces Fuko to Tomoya and Ushio, Tomoya starts messing with her in a playful way. Then Fuko takes a instant liking to Ushio and wants to adopt her as a younger sister, Tomoya asks how old Fuko is? Kouko tells Tomoya that she’s the same age as him, but because she spent so long sleeping she still has the mind of a first year high school student.
As Ushio and Tomoya are eating dinner, he tells her that he took a day off from work and he asks her if she wants to spend some time with daddy? That night, as Ushio is about to drift off to sleep hugging a stuffed Dango, Tomoya asks her if she likes the big Dango family? Ushio says that Sanaetold her that the stuffed Dango’s smell like mommy, Ushio says that they smell nice as she drifts off to sleep. The next day Tomoya takes Ushio to visit his father, and as they approach his apartment they can see it’s a wreck.
When Tomoya and Ushio enter the apartment, Tomoya tells his father that he’s home now, and he introduces his father to his granddaughter, Ushio. Tomoya tells his father about his trip with Ushio, and his encounter with with his grandmother Shino. He tells his father about all the things that Shino told him, all the things that he remembered as a child, he tells his father that he knows that he sacrificed everything for him, and that he’s done enough. Tomoya tells his father that it’s now time for him to rest, time for him to go back to the country and live with his mother. When his father looks at Tomoya and Ushio he finally realizes that his job is done, Tomoya is now a fine and proper young man. Tomoya helps his father clean up and he also helps him ready himself for his trip home.
Tomoya thanks his father for all the love and effort that he put into raising him, Tomoya tells his father that he’ll work hard at repaying his kindness, and he wishes his father a long life. As Tomoya is watching his father leave, Ushio notices a orb of light floating down from the sky to enter Tomoya’s chest. When Tomoya sees Ushio looking up at the sky he asks her what she’s looking at? The light, Tomoya assumes that she means the bright sun, so he moves her into the shade. Well, that’s all for this episode.
After watching this episode, I feel that this was the best episode of the whole Clannad series, so far. After watching so many episodes filled with sadness and foreboding, this episode left me with a feeling of joy and triumph. The events of this episode put many things in their proper places, and restored the proper flow to the river of time.
Things as the should be, and restoring the flow.
By the end of this episode there were almost too many things restored to their proper places to cover here, but I’ll give it a shot. Most importantly, Tomoya assumed his proper role as a loving and caring father to Ushio, it always was his duty, his unspoken promise to Nagisa, to protect and raise Ushio as a celebration and a confirmation of their mutual love. Secondly, Tomoya has matured from a insecure child into the proper man that his father sacrificed everything for in hopes of creating. He apologises to Sanae and Akio, to his co-worker Yoshino, and to his father for not living up to their expectations (no, they never said it out right, but he knows that until now he has been weak and failure), his duties as a man, and for letting his disinterested, gloomy, zombie-like behavior effect those around him. Once Tomoya put things into their proper order he breaksfree the dam the was holding back the flow of time that had become frozen with Nagisa death five years ago.
Nagisa in earlier episodes had said that she felt frozen in place while the world around her move forward, but when she met Tomoya and gained other friends that she felt a part of the normal world, she also told Tomoya several times that nothing can stay the same forever. So, while Tomoya wanted nothing more than to remain in his unchanging world with Nagisa, she moved forword through life. Love, marriage, children, things have to move, while Nagisa wasn’t strong of body, she was strong in character, she never let the fear of the future stop her from reaching her goals. Five years ago, Tomoya’s actions froze everyone around him, but now the river has broken free. Now, Sanae and Akio can become the loving grandparents they were supposed to be, Sanae was finally able to shed her extra responsibility and can now properly grieve for her lost daughter. Tomoya’s daughter, Ushio, can now have normal relationship with her father, he can now pass on some of Nagisa’s love, and her inner radiance that touched so many people on to Ushio, it was sweet watching Ushio falling asleep while hugging the Nagisa scented Dango. Tomoya was also able to move his father out of his dark place and put him back on a path to the normal world.
Tomoya having “to carry that weight”
The other day, I was listening to the Beatles’ Abby Road album, and I was amazed at how well that the “Golden Slumbers~Carry that Weight~The End” medley is following Tomoya’s story. In Golden Slumbers, a lullaby, you’re telling a child not to worry or be burdened by the fears and uncertainties of the world around you, sleep will kindly take you, and you’ll awake to be surrounded by happiness and love. Those have always been my feelings and wishes for the adorable Fuko; the kind and gentle Nagisa, who I prefer to think is just dreaming in another world; to Ushio, the legacy of Nagisa’s dream; and finally to the lonely girl in the other world, don’t worry someday you’ll awake in a better place.
Then in “Carry that Weight’, Tomoya is being told that he must bare the burden of immense loss and sadness, but the pressure of this burden will also forge something good out of all his pain, like how the unyielding pressure of the Earth forms a diamond out of carbon.
Then finally in “The End“, Tomoya will be able to take all those diamonds (the orbs of light) (the love he makes; through the happiness he and Nagisa created) living inside his soul, and cash those in. “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make” He’ll be able to balance the equation, or at least I hope he’ll be able to, kind of like the equivalent exchange from FMA. Well, that’s enough ramblings from a Clannad fanboy.