If there is anything gambling in Vegas has taught me, is that there is no gaming the system. There’s a reason the casino’s, and the businesses that own them, are filthy rich. You just can beat the house at their game, with their rules. Unfortunately for our protagonists, it’s a lesson they have yet to learn. When playing against the house, you can’t follow their rules if you expect to come out on top.
Ryuuko has the idea that if she starts a club at Honnouji, it will make her path to the top all that easier, and make life for Mako and her family a lot better. While her plan works at first, as she decimates many of the minor clubs, the enjoyable family life she relished is all but a think of the past. It’s even pit her against Mako, now a two-star uniform wearer. In the end, Ryuuko and Mako abandon the club, and go back to their normal life.
For me, this episode really focused on how selfish Ryuuko is. She has become so single minded in her goal, that at the beginning of this episode, she’s willing to use Mako as a pawn (by making her club president) to further her goals. And even in this story’s conclusion, she still acts selfish in wanting the prior life back. She want’s her cake, and be able to eat it too. It’s this greed and selfishness that’s representative of very enemy she’s trying to defeat.
To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not. In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are.
–YODA, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Lair of Grievous”
Leave it to Yoda to best describe the situation as a whole. While using the club to answer the Honnouji Student Council power with power, they lost sight of who they were. Mako was so intent of a better way of life for her family, that she picked up a weapon against Ryuuko. Ryuuko was so intent on fighting against the school hierarchy, that she lost sight of the importance of family and familial bonds. And in the end, the house (Honnouji) won, because it rid the student council of dead weight, and allowed a consolidation of it’s power base. Ryuuko has to become more intelligent in her pursuit, or she’s going to lose without ever reaching the top.