The best place to start would be with the end. When this episode ended, we already knew that the show has been green-lit for another season. And while you could say that the show definitely ended on a cliffhanger, but I actually think if the show had ended here, then it’d have been terribly climactic (yes, you read that right, climactic, not “anti”).
Why? Because Bon’s arc has been about giving everything up for the sake of rakugo, and here it is, how he’s not going to leave anything behind him, unlike Shin who gave up on rakugo and will have both his bloodline and his rakugo continue on after him. One could understand why he looks at his beloved younger brother with this soft and rueful smile, that the dead will live on, while the living must die out.