CODE GEASS R2 – 17
As the Black Knights begin their attack on the Kagoshima coastline, they are met by the Britannian forces under the command of the Knight of One. Bismarck knows that they only have to protect Area 11 while the other Britannian royalty and Knight of Rounds use the chance to attack the rest of the United Federation of Nations, but the Black Knight strategy is to liberate Japan so that other Britannian Areas will rise up on their own. As the battle progresses, Luciano has no problem shredding his opponents, and with the Black Knight offensive weakening, Bismarck notes that this is too easy for an attack by Zero. Lelouch, however, is not leading the attack. Instead, he’s gone to the Kururugi shrine that he and Nunnally originally arrived at eight years ago. It was here that he met Suzaku, and Suzaku became his first friend. That friend is waiting for him at the top of the steps, but Suzaku treats Lelouch with contempt when Lelouch explains that he came alone – in accordance with their promise – because Suzaku doesn’t believe in the promises that Lelouch makes. In response to this, Lelouch points out that Suzaku came alone as well, so Suzaku reveals that he doesn’t want to lie anymore. He feels horrible about lying to Nunnally, but more importantly, he questions his friendship with Lelouch after how Lelouch has betrayed him and everyone else, including Euphemia.
During all this, the Ikaruga is underwater on a different mission away from the main battles, and both Asahina and Chiba Nagisa are getting suspicious about what Zero is up to despite Toudou’s faith in their leader. Diethard and Ougi are onboard the Ikaruga as well, but the two are meeting privately while Villetta is tied up elsewhere. Ougi thinks that Diethard is threatening him, but Diethard claims to only want Ougi to continue working as a member of the Black Knights. Diethard feels that Ougi is ordinary compared to the others in the organization, and he sees value in someone like that. Back at the shrine, Lelouch takes complete responsibility for what Euphemia did and for Shirley’s death, but he feels that his sins have nothing to do with Nunnally, and he gets on his knees to beg Suzaku to save her. Suzaku refuses to forgive him though and pushes Lelouch’s face into the ground with his foot. He wants Euphemia brought back to life if Lelouch wants to apologize, and he challenges Lelouch to save the world with malice given how Zero is supposed to be able to perform miracles. With no other choice, Lelouch admits that there are no miracles – everything is calculated and staged – and that Zero’s mask is a symbol used for nothing more than lying. Thus, he can’t bring back the past and start over again.
Still frustrated, Suzaku demands to know why Lelouch gave him the “Live” command, why Lelouch saved him after he was accused of murdering Clovis, and why Lelouch saved everyone during the hotel hijack incident. Lelouch gives him a frank answer each time, but – from personal experience – Suzaku can tell that Lelouch is accepting punishment to hide a secret. He finally tells Lelouch that there’s only one way to atone for the lies, and that’s to make those lies into truth. Suzaku wants Lelouch to keep with his lie until the very end by ending this war as Zero in a way that brings peace and happiness to everyone. In such a case, Suzaku would save Nunnally and work with Lelouch. Lelouch is willing to do this, but before he can take Suzaku’s hand, Britannian soldiers and Knightmares appear out of nowhere and surround them. Although Suzaku is surprised, Lelouch immediately assumes that Suzaku betrayed him again and is furious at his former friend. At around this same time, Gino is showing Kallen a scrapbook that Suzaku kept, and Gino notes that he’s never seen Suzaku smile like he is in the pictures. Gino then points out that Kallen is half Eleven and half Britannian, and he notes that if she chose to use Stadtfeld instead of Kouzuki, then she could have lived a good life – perhaps even become a Knight of Rounds. In short, he wants to know if she’d has any intentions of returning to the Britannian side.
By now, Lelouch has been taken to a car by Guilford and is met by a video feed of Schneizel. Schneizel views the revelation of Zero’s identity being Lelouch as tragic, however he promises to mediate between Lelouch and their father so that Lelouch’s life is spared. Since he’s Lelouch’s older brother, Schneizel asks Lelouch to trust him, but Lelouch decides that he’s done with trusting people after the betrayal of friendship. Lelouch then touches the collar of his jacket, and this causes a Geass effect to activate in Guilford. Unbeknownst to everyone, Guilford had earlier gone to a warehouse to meet Jeremiah but had been instead been put under a Geass effect by Lelouch: when Lelouch touches his collar, Guilford will recognize him as Cornelia. Because of this, Guilford frees Lelouch and, and as they fly off, Lelouch bids farewell to his first and last friend. That friend is brought before Schneizel afterwards, and Schneizel asks him if he knows why Guilford betrayed them, connecting it with how Suzaku acted back on Kaminejima. Suzaku tries to avoid the topic, but Schneizel goes on to question who Suzaku is and how he sees himself. Schneizel feels that if Suzaku doesn’t answer, then everyone else will be thrown into an unfair battle, and he wonders how far Suzaku intends to continue the chain of sorrow.
That night, after Guilford brings him back to the Shinkirou, Lelouch arrives at the Tokyo settlement and activates the Gefjun Disturbers aboard all the trains around the city. Doing so knocks out all power and all Britannian defenses, and Lelouch then calls on Toudou and the forces traveling with the Ikaruga who have been sneaking towards the city by water. He already has Rolo on the ground ready to go get Nunnally, and despite the tears in his eyes, Lelouch tells himself that he was mistaken for trying to rely on sympathy and pity. He now believes that he can’t get Nunnally back unless he’s puts himself in the perfect state of being cold and ruthless. Schneizel meanwhile has finally come to understand everything thanks to Suzaku, and he thinks that he holds all the cards. Kanon tells Suzaku that such a battle wouldn’t have occurred if he had revealed everything to Schneizel from the beginning, and though they can’t punish Suzaku since he’s a Knight of Rounds, Kanon urges him to find his own answer to the sin in his heart. This leaves Suzaku unsure of what to do and wondering if his only choice is to pilot the Lancelot and use the Freya on Lelouch.
With this latest falling out, it’s somewhat hard to see how Lelouch and Suzaku will ever reconcile again, even if what happened wasn’t really Suzaku’s fault. I think the best chance lies with Suzaku saving Nunnally in a situation where Lelouch is powerless, and the two would then have to find the ability to forgive each other. That’s not entirely out of the question because despite his calculating nature, Lelouch has shown soft spots for everyone he loves and trusts, and him fighting back tears demonstrates just how much Suzaku’s betrayal hurt him. I suspect that if Suzaku died protecting Lelouch or Nunnally, then Lelouch might consider him a friend again. Similarly, I don’t think that Lelouch can become as cold and ruthless as he wants to be, especially since it carries the irony of making him just like his father. On the other side, Suzaku likely feels at least a little guilty for leading Schneizel to Lelouch, and part of him probably wants to try to fix things again. The problem is that there’s a nuclear weapon in his hands now, and they’ve made a big enough deal about it to make me think that it’s just a matter of time before its used. If Suzaku ends up killing a lot of civilians or something, that’ll just add to his guilt and make things all the more complicated and unpredictable.
Aside from all the Suzaku and Lelouch stuff, the scenes between Kallen and Gino were also noteworthy because it’s looking more and more like Gino is going to be the one who’ll set her free. I originally thought Suzaku would do it to atone for almost using Refrain on her, but Gino’s now paid multiple visits to her, all of them shown in positive lights, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it were him (or even if they eventually hooked up). That’s assuming of course that Kallen doesn’t just escape somehow during all the chaos of the upcoming battle. The one thing that was notably missing, on the other hand, was what happened after Villetta and Ougi fell off the cliff two episodes ago. As far as I can tell, they both survived the water landing just fine but Villetta got captured, and Diethard is holding that over Ougi. We still haven’t seen Ougi actually speak again with Villetta though, so it’s possible it could still come up in a flashback. Ultimately, I get the feeling that their relationship could end tragically, though with the way things are going, I get that feeling about a lot of characters right now. The preview would have us believe that even Nunnally may not be safe.