Episode 446 of "Naruto Shippuden", which airs on Thursday, 28 January, is expected to take the filler arc forward. However, fans are a little hopeful that the arc might finally end soon, and the show may return to the main storyline after "Collision".
In the previously aired Episode 445, titled "Pursuers", Shikamaru had realised the Root Anbu they were fighting were sent to ensure Sasuke reached Orochimaru. The group therefore continued in its journey to stop Sasuke, while Lee stayed behind and stalled the Root Shinobi.
However, the Root Shinobi also employed a similar tactic and only one of them engaged with Lee as the others continued to pursue the rest of the group. Meanwhile, Deidara and Hidan started arguing, forcing Sasori to intervene. However, Hidan accused him of siding with Deidara, and following a series of fights, Sasori gifted Nagato and Konan a Flying Raijin Kunai.
Naruto, Neji and Shikamaru were closing in on Sasuke, but were still followed by two Root Shinobi. Sasuke, meanwhile, had almost reached Orochimaru, who was waiting for him. Unknown to Sasuke, Orochimaru is planning on using the young ninja's body as a new vessel for himself.
In the promo for "Collision", Naruto is seen asking Orochimaru what he plans on doing with his former teammate. A screenshot of Sasuke shows he has a new tattoo on the right side of his face and his palms. While Sasuke calls Naruto "as annoying as ever", the latter tells him he has come to take him home.
"Give me a break! What can a loser like you do?" asks Sasuke, to which Naruto replies he will take Sasuke by brute force if need be. Most fans believe the filler arc will end with the big showdown between Naruto and Sasuke.
If that is the case, Episode 446 "Collision" could in all probability be the end of the filler arc. So do not forget to watch "Naruto Shippuden" Season 19 Episode 446 at 7:30 pm (JST) on Thursday, 28 January, via TV Tokyo. You can also watch "Collision" online via jpPlayer, Naruspot and Crunchyroll.