WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Hero Academia Season 5, Episode 1, "All Hands on Deck! Class 1-A," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu.
My Hero Academia returns with a relatively low-stakes rumble between Class 1-A and U.A.'s Big 3. It's mostly an opportunity to be reintroduced to the cast, reminded of their respective Quirks and to see just how far they've come as a team, picking up right where the last season ended. While much of the episode is spent catching fans back up to speed, a final scene shows a surprising connection between Hawks and Dabi.
Season 5, Episode 1 kicks off with Class 1-A gushing over Endeavor's recent victory against a terrifying Nomu, with Kirishima predictably admiring Endeavor's manliness. When Todoroki arrives, everyone's attention goes to him, eager to hear about how his father is doing. Todoroki comments on how despite his wounds, Endeavor's injuries aren't severe. Mineta mentions how Todoroki can be proud of his father, something that may have previously irked him. While Todoroki isn't exactly jumping for joy discussing his father's victory, his tame reaction speaks to a potential shift in their dynamic.
In the classroom, Aizawa reminds his students that they have their provisional hero licenses now, meaning they need to understand the more significant roles they play. So, to kick things off, he tells them their training will become more intense, and pretty much instantaneously, an alarm goes off, letting Class 1-A know that they're in for an emergency drill. With "hypothetical villains" infiltrating the school grounds, the class doesn't waste time getting into their costumes and heading out.
Upon arriving at the test site, the heroes split off into different groups. It's clear that the class has a strong dynamic at this point; they know who works well with who and what duties are best suited to each hero. The Reconnaissance squad (featuring Jiro, Koda, and Shoji) surveys the situation and situates themselves in an urban setting by a river. Elsewhere, some buildings are burning out of control, and Yaoyorozu suggests that Iida, Todoroki, Tokoyami, Sato, Asui, and Aoyama extinguish the flames. The remaining members of Class 1-A follow to investigate the commotion -- except Bakugo, who drags Kirishima and Kaminari with him, saying, "Leave the rescuing to the extras."
Asui quickly spots Mirio Togata of the big 3 -- now Quirkless but still doing his best to make himself useful -- floating down the river as someone in need of rescue. As he floats towards a crumbling bridge, the heroes waste no time, with Asui lassoing him with her tongue, pulling him to safety. Meanwhile, some clever teamwork and coordination see "Team Acid Rain" spring into action. Uraraka levitates Ashido with Sero whipping her forward with his tape, allowing her to spray acid from above. Aoyama gets involved, too, as they all bring a building down to stifle the fire. Despite being a drill, everyone showcases how far they've come, playing to their strengths and working together.
The "villains" of the exercise are Hado Nejire and Amajiki Tamaki, who arrive on the scene with the former grabbing Ashido and immobilizing her. On the other hand, Tamaki is still shy around people -- despite his transformative battle against Overhaul and his Yakuza. While Tamaki wants to go home, Hado shows no such hesitation and quickly attacks the class. With Mirio throwing himself back in the water for another rescue, there is no doubt that the Big 3 know how to make Class 1-A work.
Hagakure gets a rare chance to shine as she uses her invisibility Quirk to surprise Hado, who is taken down by the combined team of Sero and Yaoyorozu. With his partner in fake crime taken down, Tamaki finally buckles down and starts fighting. Deku springs into action, catching Tamaki by surprise with a smash attack, but at the last second, he pulls back. Deku is treating this as nothing more than what it is-- a training exercise. Fair play, but that's not a Plus Ultra attitude, and Tamaki isn't having it, blasting Deku away and saying, "Right now... I'm a villain." It's a good reminder for Deku that at U.A., you always have to play for keeps.
Of course, not every U.A. student is as generous as Deku, with Bakugo, Kirishima, and Kaminari rushing in to save the day. Bakugo may be struggling with the hero coursework, but there's no doubt he is a supreme fighter, quickly bringing the drill to an end. Even after he has Tamaki pinned, Bakugo is worked up into a rage and unleashes a devastating explosion on the "villain." It's not the most heroic behavior, and his teachers aren't pleased, with All Might visibly disappointed and Aizawa ordering Bakugo to come to the faculty lounge.
The episode wraps up with Endeavor in a hospital bed, reflecting on his first bout as the new Number 1 Hero. Hawks came to Endeavor's aid after the fight, but Dabi suddenly emerged from the smoke with a menacing grin. Though we don't see everything that unfolds from this interaction, it's undoubtedly an exciting tease for the upcoming season. However, the strangest revelation comes next, with the episode concluding on another separate meet-up between Hawks and Dabi. Whether the two are working together is unclear, but one sure thing is Class 1-A will have a lot more to worry about soon than training drills with the Big 3.