Romeo X Juliet – 15
With Petruchio’s passing, Romeo goes through his stuff and finds some colored rocks that Petruchio had wanted to give his siblings. Romeo vows to bring these to Petruchio’s siblings and is visibly affected by the death, so Giovanni tells him that death here is something that happens daily. A frustrated Romeo is later working in the mines and thinking about how powerless he is when an earthquake causes some rocks to dislodge from the ceiling and almost crush him. Romeo manages to escape unscathed, and afterwards, Giovanni tells him to go back to Neo Verona or else he’ll die. Meanwhile, Hermione pays a visit to Romeo’s room to decorate it with roses. When she finds a sole iris sitting on his desk, she pulls off a petal and then falls to her knees in despair. Inside the city, Cerimon’s search for Juliet brings him to the house of some commoners with a daughter. However, after breaking down the door and entering, he finds only the body of a girl who had died after her cold got worse. Her father is angered by her death and confronts Cerimon about how this kind of thing didn’t happen during the time before girl was born, but Cerimon just knocks him out of the way. Cordelia happens to be part of the crowd that has gathered outside the house and speaks out against Cerimon, but when the soldiers come after her with their swords drawn, it’s Benvolio who pulls her away to safety. With the help of a tavern owner, they are able to escape, and Cordelia becomes embarrassed afterwards over how Benvolio had been holding her hand.
During dinnertime at the Gradisca mines, Romeo is looking at the handkerchief Juliet gave him when one of the laborers snatches it away. The others throw it around while Romeo tries to get it back, but when Giovanni gets his hands on it, he returns it to its rightful owner. The next day, Juliet and the others in the Capulet group stop at a river bank on their way to Mantua. Juliet becomes captivated by a large tree and suddenly experiences flashbacks of her encounter with Escalus and Ophelia which cause her to collapse. At the same time, a huge earthquake hits the Gradisca mines, causing more rocks to fall from the ceiling. Romeo once again manages to get out relatively unhurt, but the others are not so lucky. The man closest to Romeo – who happens to have been one of the men who picked on him earlier – has his leg trapped, so Romeo tries to get the rock off. However, it is ultimately Giovanni who provides the brute strength that lifts the rock up long enough for the man to get pulled out from under it. Outside the mines, Romeo finds numerous hurt laborers being helped by their fellow men, but the officer in charge of the mines Paolo is more worried about the collapse of the mining operations. Not caring about the injuries, Paolo tries to order the men back to work, but Romeo overrides this by declaring that the mine will be abandoned. He feels that the laborers here have atoned for their crimes and announces that everyone is going back to Neo Verona. When Paolo tries to object, Romeo reminds him who’s in charge and then starts issuing orders to the others.
After helping free more people from the rubble, Romeo learns that there is still one more person missing. Not wanting anyone else to die, Romeo goes searching for this missing man named Pietro and eventually finds him stuck on a ledge above a dark hole inside another cave. Pietro has hurt his leg, and the ledge is crumbling, so Romeo starts to climb down to get him, but he’s stopped by Giovanni who provides a rope to lower him down with instead. Romeo allows Pietro to grab onto his back and then starts climbing back up, but yet another earthquake strikes and causes Romeo to lose his grip. He and Pietro are saved only by Giovanni’s strength holding onto the rope, and it is Giovanni finally who pulls them up. In the aftermath, the wounded get treated and Giovanni brings Romeo his soup dinner. When he finds Romeo digging through the rubble looking for the bag with everything Petruchio had left behind, Giovanni questions if Romeo can really return them to Neo Verona since they are prisoners who probably won’t be let back into the city. Romeo suggests that they’ll live in a new land somewhere and explains his promise to create a world where they can all live together – he doesn’t want a world where someone has to make a sacrifice. Giovanni laughs at the idea because it’s a dream, but he says that he doesn’t hate it. The men who picked on Romeo earlier now also find him, and after thanking him and apologizing for the handkerchief incident, Pietro shows that he also has a ring that he wears on a necklace. It reminds him of a person precious to him, and everyone here has someone like that. As Romeo runs off to join them for dinner, Giovanni thinks to himself that the world Romeo is aiming for is down a long and rocky path.
ED: 「Good bye, yesterday」 by Mizrock
Watch the ED2!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
I wasn’t expecting a new ending this week since we’re already past the halfway point, so this was a welcome surprise. The ED sequence consists of a single shot of the Red Whirlwind’s gear blowing in a field of irises, and I really like the way the Mizrock song sounds. I think it fits this series a lot better than the first ED, which was a good song on its own, but it didn’t suit the mood at all.
This whole Romeo-at-the-mines arc seems rather unexciting to me because while he’s learning all these lessons about loss and leadership and making new allies, it doesn’t feel like it’s contributing very much to the overall storyline. In other words, I think they’re spending more time than they need to here unless these men are going to become part of Romeo’s private army or something in a rebellion against his father. More interesting for me was how Juliet seems to be reacting to and affecting the environment and how that will ultimately change the classic story. That and this scene also made me wonder if Neo Verona being an aerial city will come into play in terms of the Escalus being intertwined with the land.
This episode also makes it look like Benvolio X Cordelia is becoming more likely to happen. The two still seem like an odd couple to me, but that’s largely because I see Benvolio as someone Romeo’s age whereas I see Cordelia as like a mother to Juliet. In any case, maybe at least they will end up happily together even if Romeo and Juliet have their tragic end. Next week’s episode is focused on Hermione though, and she doesn’t look all too pleased in that preview.