With this episode, we close out Yukiko’s plot in spectacular fashion. By emphasizing events that were alluded to, but never clearly shown in the game, the anime shows us slightly more about the characters whilst still remaining faithful to the source material, giving us its best episode yet.
The episode begins with our protagonists almost immediately meeting Yukiko’s shadow, telling them that with the entry of these “surprise guests”; she’ll resume her search for her prince. We then jump back to scenes of Yukiko’s everyday life, showing us how her upcoming inheritance of her family’s inn took up a very large part of her life, forcing her to neglect time with friends and give up pretty much all free time that she had, likening her situation to a bird in a cage, trapped in one place her whole life. Though she once had a pet bird that managed to escape from its cage when she forgot to lock it.
This also shows us that the real reason she’s looking for a prince is so that she’ll have someone who can take her away from the life she’s destined to lead, she doesn’t care where that prince will take her, as long as she no longer has everything in her life decided for her. She now realises that Chie cannot be that prince, which leads her to give up almost all hope of any escape.
Like the other’s before her, Yukiko refuses to accept this side of her, and as a result, the shadow gets stronger and takes a new form (rather obviously given the situation, it takes the form of a bird in a cage). After a brief fight, Chie decides to open up to Yukiko, revealing that she was jealous of everything Yukiko had that she didn’t, and that she loved the fact that Yukiko depended on her for safety, and used it to boost her own. She wanted to believe that Yukiko needed her as it gave her a sense of purpose. She then explains that Yukiko doesn’t need her, she can break free of any cage and go wherever she wants to in life.
Yukiko explains how when her pet bird which she believed to be caged just like herself, she was mortified that it could break free by mustering up all of its courage, something she believes that she lacks, and that she needs someone else’s help to set her free. Chie says that even if Yukiko doesn’t have courage, both of them are flawed, and that she accepts her regardless of her failings. Yukiko breaks free, weakening the shadow and allowing the others to defeat it; she then receives Persona as well.
When all of them decide to go back to the real world, Teddie is saddened. So Yukiko promises to come back and see him. Teddie then gifts her with a pair of glasses, revealing what is possibly Yukiko’s worst flaw of all; she laughs at crap like this:
I’ll never understand why anyone thought these stupid glasses were necessary for anything. Ever.