There is not much to say about this episode. It is good, definitely. But nothing really remarkable in terms of adaptation. This is almost a perfect copy of the novel, and is neither bad nor better than its counterpart. It is just as it is. Of course, there are some changes that enhances the episode by a little. For one, Eugeo’s mentor, Golgorosso, is present in the strategy meeting. In the novel, Golgorosso was no longer mentioned after Kirito and Eugeo graduated, almost as if he was completely written off, unlike Sortiliena who remained until the end.
For me, this is a hint of a very slight chance, really slight, that many of the characters that has appeared so far in SAO anime universe will be present in the final battle as well. Not just the ones mentioned in the novels, like Liz, Klein, the Sleeping Knights, and the Faerie Lords. But probably Eiji/Nautilus from Ordinal Scale as well(that is, if he would even still fight). Heck, we might even see the characters from Gun Gale Alternative in a scene reminiscent of the final battle in Avengers: Endgame.
The ending song fits really well into the ending scene of the episode when the human armies are gathered in front of the Great Eastern Gates. The grimness, the tense atmosphere, and their expressions reminded me of the Battle of Helm’s Deep in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s even better than the novels because, here, they showed each knight facing the incoming threat of the dark army.
The one thing I found odd and irksome is the presence of Kirito right when a freaking battle is about to start. In the novel, he was back at camp and safe from danger. But in this episode, his two pages decided, rather stupidly, to bring him into the rear and let him watch all the slaughter.
Overall, a 7.5/10 for me.