After his first fight with Oriana, Touma and the others discover that the Stab Sword is merely a myth and that the item is actually St. Peter’s Cross, which would allow the Church to claim control over any land it is stuck into. This means if the Roman Catholic Church claimed Academy City, the balance between science and magic would be swung completely into magic’s favor, allowing the Roman Catholics to essentially take over the world.
This arc has strayed a long way from it’s school competition beginnings, though I guess that’s fine with me. Oriana seems to be pretty nasty, though in the sense that she has such a breadth of magical spells and not because her spells are all that powerful, per se (at least to this point). She’s hard to defend against because you have no idea what’s coming next. However, Tsuchikimado’s successful bluff suggested that she may be easily deceived or otherwise not all that knowledgeable about the workings of magic.
Otherwise, Oriana’s most brutal attack came against Himegami, whom she mistakes as a magical agent, and attacks her by virtually blowing her up. Touma now seems to be on his own against Oriana now as Tsuchikimado seems out for the count and Stiyl is staying behind to try to help Himegami, and it seemed like Tsuchikimado’s threat that Kaori might show up really was a bluff (but we’ll see I guess). We also got a brief glimpse of the other half of the transaction, Lidvia, though that’s all we really know right now.
Otherwise, Mikoto and Index seem to be developing a bit of a rivalry over Touma, and of course Kuroko hates Touma because of her jealousy over Mikoto. I just wondered why it look this long for Mikoto to ask Touma who, exactly, Index is. We’re only, what?, 35 episodes into the series now?
We only have one more episode until it heads into the spring season, but this arc doesn’t seem anywhere near ending. It could end next episode, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it went on into the January episodes at this point.