If episode 9 was all about how much Yayaka’s suffered, episode 10 loads an entire lifetime’s worth of betrayal onto Cocona’s back. Not all of the betrayals are real, but they feel real to her. Even more so, because they validate all her old feelings of worthlessness. That she wasn’t really needed for herself. Just for what she represented or what she could do.
Of the three major betrayals this episode, two were real while the third was a misunderstanding. On their own, each could be gotten over. But they came in such quick succession, each one building on the one before, that in the end all Cocona could do was reject everything and everyone.
The imagined betrayal, of course, was Papika and Mimi. In another situation, this would become more of a love-comedy misunderstanding. Unfortunately, Papika isn’t very good at explaining things in words and when she tried, Cocona was in no mood to listen. It also hinges, a bit, on an aspect that the show has played with regarding yuri tropes. Papika tells Cocona that Mimi is her “most precious friend” (‘taisetsu no tomodachi’, in Japanese). This is a very, very common way for the girls in shows with lesbian subtext to refer to each other. Its become a winking short-hand for “girlfriends but we can’t say that, or have them confess their love explicitly”.
However, Papika has already told Cocona she loves her. Multiple times. She has not ever called her a “most precious friend”. Because thats not how she sees her. Papika loves Cocona, in an explicitly and unmistakably romantic way. Cocona’s growing self-worth has been shattered. Especially now that she knows that Mimi looks almost exactly like herself. Added on to learning that her relationship with Yayaka had been based on a lie, its too much. Cocona does the only thing she can in this situation. She runs.
And at the end, she finds the final, cruelest betrayal. That her grandmother was an Aesclepius robot. That everything about her life was orchestrated for the purpose of others. Cocona breaks. And in her place, Mimi is here to protect her. As a mother should.