This is more of a setup episode, a buildup toward the epic scenes in the future. Hence, why nothing too significant happened this time. The fights scenes are good, and the adaptation is almost on point with just a few alterations and omissions.
The scene with Sinon and Alice is nearly accurate, though in the novel, Bercouli’s body didn’t vanish, so Alice took his corpse with her to deliver it to Fanatio. Also, they removed a scene where Alice told Sinon that she is a rival for Kirito’s affection.
Sheyta’s scene is also nearly accurate, though the novel portrayed the emotions much better than this episode did, in my opinion. The ocean turtle scene was barely altered except for a minor detail: in the novel, Gabriel’s crew was playing cards when Critter informed them about the Japanese’s movements.
Now, the scene with Asuna and the gang. At this point, I’m quite convinced that the director hates her character for some reason. All of her scenes were downplayed from the very first time she entered Underworld using the Stacia account. And it is more evident in this scene. In the novel, she actually managed to make five giant statues dotting the area to move and attack the Chinese and Korean players for twenty seconds. It was the reason why she coughed up blood. But in this part, she just coughed up blood due to sheer exhaustion from the constant fighting, and the scene switched focus to the other characters, including a faceless Eiji from Ordinal Scale.
Still, I have high hopes for Asuna’s one last epic scene, which is her fight against PoH. Hopefully, they do it justice.
Overall, this is a good episode. A solid 8/10.