Polar Star is under attack, even before Eizan’s victory is declared. It’s an underhanded tactic, and one that honestly feels like it is only there for some forced drama. The forceful removal of the residents of Polar Storm, literally by thug-like violence strays a bit far from believability. Though in the larger picture, it does at least mesh with Eizan’s mob boss image. Unexpected by Eizan, the Polar Star members hang their remaining hope on Soma, and they refuse to let their dorm be destroyed before the outcome of the shokugeki is decided. They’ll fight, literally, until the end. Even if they understand how bleak the situation is, they still manage to hang some hope that Soma will pull off yet another miracle.
During the shokugeki, Eizan is content to just sit back and watch as Soma gives it his all. However, seeing that Soma is going to continue with the farce with full confidence, Eizan decides he needs to break him by showing off the difference between them. Though with victory assured, he feels no need to put much effort into his dish.
The judges mock Soma’s unorthodox cooking, which is a huge indicator itself. People who look down on Soma’s cooking tend to eat crow. Or in this case, chicken.
Soma’s key to victory ultimately ends up being Eizan himself. Being so easy to bait, Soma constantly jabs at Eizan’s pride throughout the match, frustrating the revered Alchemist more and more. The straw that breaks Eizan’s back is when Soma declares that Eizan won’t taste his dish because he fears Soma’s cooking. Eizan realizes he’s trapped now. If he doesn’t taste Soma’s dish, he’s admitting that he recognizes Soma’s abilities. And once he does taste Soma’s cooking, in true Food Wars! fashion, he’s unable to hide his reaction completely. This slip on his part is what ultimately tempts the judges to try Soma’s dish too. If an Elite Ten member such as Eizan appears to enjoy Soma’s cooking, then it’s got to be something delicious after all.
In the end, the judges all recognize Soma’s talent, admitting that his dish is delicious. The taste sways them, and they cannot help but vote for Soma’s dish as the superior dish since Eizan did not go all out. This moment is somewhat eyeroll-inducing, as for plot purposes, Soma had to win. But it would have been just as easy for the judges to enjoy both Soma and Eizan’s dishes, then give the win to Eizan as agreed. From the start, they had no intention to judge fairly, so for them to be so swayed by Soma’s cooking is a bit contrived. They realize that perhaps Azami’s vision is not absolutely correct and that there are multiple ways to cook delicious food, but I still wonder if that would really be enough to change their allegiance. In the end, though, the shokugeki lives and Polar Star is saved.
Ultimately, this battle illustrates the corrupt nature of the Azami administration. The top students are allowed to run wild so long as they subscribe to Azami’s regime. The attempted destruction of the shokugeki is likely only the tip of the iceberg. There’s surely much more dastardly deeds coming up from Azami and Central. With these last few episodes, the show has begun to head in a new direction. It is no longer just about cooking; it’s about a survival of ideals and creativity, and a challenge to unfair and ruthless authority.