In front of the Omoro restaurant back in Okinawa, Kaori wonders where everyone is. A plane flies overhead and lands at a nearby airport; a plane filled with Corpse Corps. Meanwhile, Okamura’s mother is on the phone, worried about her son. The TV nearby is reporting that Diva’s singing will be broadcast through satellite. In New York, David is outlining a plan where they go and plant a bomb at the parabolic antenna of a broadcast relay station. Okamura comments on how this is insurance in case they aren’t able to stop Diva’s performance. However, David says that this will only prevent the satellite transmission, so there are other forces of Red Shield making moves elsewhere. For the New York operation, David wants himself, Lewis, Kai, and Okamura to go, the latter of whom is quite surprised to be chosen. In the other room, Saya wakes up to find Hagi waiting by her side. He tells her that it’s impossible for her to fight with her body like this, but Saya knows that she must fight because there is no next time. If she sleeps and wakes up again, the world might already be controlled by Chiropteran. That’s why she has to defeat Diva and end everything. Hagi wonders if Saya spoke to Kai since Kai doesn’t know about the promise between the two of them. Saya thinks that it’s better if Kai doesn’t know because if he did, he’d try to stop her. She believes that they can’t live together with normal people – the tomorrow where Kai lives is too radiant a place for her; being a Chiropteran, she can’t hope for tomorrow. That’s why she can only live with Hagi. Saya wants him to please tell her to fight, and Hagi does so reluctantly, unable to look at her directly as he’s saying it.
Saya then gets dressed and finds Kai packing in the kitchen, getting ready for his Red Shield mission. As he’s leaving, Saya tells him not to get hurt, and Kai tells her to get some rest. Outside the apartment building, Okamura decides to give Mao his camera. She wonders if it’s a memento, but Okamura has no intention of dying and just wants her to keep it until he gets back. David is the last one to get into the group’s van, and he does so only after Julia tells him to be careful. During all of this, Solomon has been hanging by his wrists over a puddle of dried blood in a room somewhere in Nathan’s house. James comes in and comments on how Diva’s favorite beautiful Solomon is now a dirty animal. He says that he’s going to go kill Saya and bring her head back so that Solomon can kiss it the same way Salome kissed Iokanaan’s head (aka. John the Baptist). Laughing evilly, James leaves and is briefly held up by Nathan outside the house. Nathan likes the wonderful brutal blood smell coming from James, and James responds by saying that a person who won’t kneel to Diva has no value existing in this world. After James goes off, Amshel comes up behind Nathan and asks if he’s going to be succeeding James’ burden of Chevalier killing. In his serious voice, Nathan tells Amshel not to order him around and explains although that James is broken, what he said wasn’t wrong – a person who won’t kneel to Diva really has no value existing in this world. What’s more, he thinks that Amshel sees Diva as only an experiment. But Nathan than changes his tone back and says that they all look at Diva in different ways.
By evening, the Red Shield group is riding on a ferry to their destination. Hearing Okamura sigh, David tells him not to worry because there won’t be too much danger as long as they work skillfully. Actually, Okamura is thinking about how he went from collecting information on an event to causing an event. He explains that his father took pictures of Saya during the Vietnam War, but after that, his father had stopped taking photographs and opened up a small photograph shop instead. Okamura now understands his father’s feelings – having learned too much of the truth and having to choose between doing nothing and doing something. David wonders if Okamura was guided by his father to come here and then admits that he wanted to know why his own father protected Saya even though he was hurt and then entrusted her to George. The conclusion David came to was that Saya had been left to them as their only hope. Okamura comments on how David has also inherited his father’s blood and how it’s an ironic thing. At this point, Kai finally speaks up, saying that that has nothing to do with it. He is not related by blood with George or with Saya, but he’s still here now. He wanted to do it this way, so he’s here; that’s something that applies to David and Okamura too. The two of them realize that Kai is right since they were the ones that made the choice.
At the apartment, Lulu is watching Saya sleep and asks Hagi about Saya having dreams. Lulu wishes that she could sleep too so that she can meet all her friends in her dreams. However, Hagi tells her that she wouldn’t necessarily have good dreams. At the same time, James is standing on the Brooklyn Bridge and transforms himself into his Chiropteran form. Back at Nathan’s place, Solomon is futilely struggling with his chains. Nathan enters the room and wonders why Solomon is able to go so far for Saya. Solomon doesn’t know why, but he does know that he’s not following anyone’s orders – he chose this way of life where he devotes everything to Saya. Nathan thinks that Solomon is mad with love and came off the path. He notes that if Solomon had met Saya earlier, then perhaps this world would have been changed. In any case, Nathan wants Solomon to show him a new Salome story. He then uses his powers to break the chains and leaves Solomon some clothes. With it now being nighttime, the Red Shield group has arrived at the relay station and is planting their bombs. Meanwhile, Saya is still sleeping under the watch of Hagi and Lulu when Hagi senses something and raises his cello case just in time to block some spikes. Hagi flies up to fight James, but the enemy Chiropteran tears through Hagi’s wings with his Shifu arms. Right as Saya is waking up, James peers his Chiropteran head through the window, so she springs into action by grabbing her sword and pushing James out the window, onto the street below.
Facing off against James, Saya first cuts her own hand and bloodies her sword. However, she still can’t break through James’ armor, which he tells her is flawless now that he’s been reborn. He proceeds to shoot Saya with his arm, hitting Saya in the shoulder, but then Hagi comes to her aid. James claims that he wants to see his anguished brother (aka. Solomon) kiss her bloody head. After he pins Hagi down with his arm, James continues saying that he’s going to offer that maddening scene to Diva since love and despair make Diva’s song louder. Saya struggles to get back up, but James gets to her first and smacks her into the windshield of a nearby car. James then takes Saya’s sword with the intent of finishing her off with her own weapon. Lulu picks this moment to attack James, but he simply pins her to the wall with more spikes. James is about to stab Saya through the head, but her sword stops just short. The reason is because Solomon is now holding onto James’ arm. James can’t understand why Solomon is protecting Saya even though he’s Diva’s Chevalier. Solomon replies that he would become Saya’s Chevalier even if it’s not rewarding. By his own intent, he’s becoming Saya’s Chevalier. He’s gone beyond blood because he’s found something even sweeter and more fragrant. From now on, Solomon pledges to be Saya’s Chevalier. He starts crushing James’ wrist, forcing James’ to drop Saya’s sword. However, as it’s falling to the ground, the sword nicks Solomon on his chest.
James scoffs upon seeing both Solomon and Hagi defending Saya and wonders if they’re knights who serve love. Diva doesn’t like such stories, instead preferring ones with hatred, betrayal, despair, chaos, destruction, and death. It’s on the word “death” that James fires off more spikes at Saya, but Hagi protects her with his own body. Solomon steps up to attack, though James just swats him away. With Saya feeling faint, the end seems to be near. However, a familiar cracking starts to form on James’ face – the Thorn. He doesn’t know why this is happening, but Saya and Hagi quickly take the opportunity to drive her sword through his head. James’ final words before he dies call out to “Mama.” Lulu attributes all of this to Moses and everyone else protecting them after death. Solomon gets down on his knee and kisses Saya’s hand, telling her that if she needs him, she just needs to call his name. As Solomon walks away, Saya calls out his name to stop him, but she feels faint again and briefly takes her eyes off him. By the time she looks up again, he has disappeared. Hagi remarks that Solomon was able to go beyond blood and become Saya’s Chevalier with pride. It is at this point that Kai, David, Lewis, and Okamura return to the apartment and see that something’s happened. Julia comes outside with Mao and explains that a Chevalier appeared. She notes how Saya is exhausted even though she had just gotten up from sleeping when James attacked. David realizes that Saya’s sleeping period must be approaching, but Saya says that she’s ok.
Solomon meanwhile leans against a chain-link fence in an alleyway, with his chest now crystallizing because of how Saya’s sword had nicked him earlier. He knows that he still has to protect Saya and face off against Diva, so he’s trying his best to hold on for a bit longer. He notices Amshel appear in front of him and call him pitiful, so he walks forward and weakly tries to attack his brother. The only thing that that accomplishes is breaking Solomon’s own arm off from the impact of hitting Amshel combined with the crystallization effects. As he’s crumbling to the ground, Solomon apologizes to Saya. Amshel holds Solomon up by the shoulders and calls him a fool. Back at Nathan’s home, Nathan is telling Diva about it’s finally just him and Amshel now. Diva doesn’t seem to care, prompting Nathan to ask if she’s not lonely. Diva explains that she has these children and wants them to hear her song when they’re born. Nathan comments on how it’s rare that Diva does anything for someone else. Diva doesn’t quite understand it herself; she just gets these feelings when she sees her children. She thinks that in this world there are only the people who kneel down to her and the people who want to kill her, but these kids are somehow different. As Diva pets the cocoons, she wonders what kind of world her children will create. Back at the apartment, Saya is sleeping under the watch of her friends. It is sometime later that the performance time of Diva finally arrives.
Well, the Salome and Iokanaan/Jochanan reference was an interesting theme for the episode to be based around. The story of John the Baptist is from the Bible, but it was Oscar Wilde‘s version that gave Salome such an interesting character. I guess the main parallel between Salome and Solomon is how they both are in love with someone they can’t have, along with the whole kissing-the-head thing. If nothing else, it also shows how crazy James became. Incidentally, you can read the full text of Oscar Wilde’s Salome here.
The disappointment of this episode was not that Solomon died so much as how he died. It wasn’t that he was slain in the heat of battle, but rather that he got nicked by Saya’s sword as James was dropping it – that’s a really lame way. And I didn’t like that he then waited to die in an alley, though I guess dying in Amshel’s arms is somewhat fitting. At least Solomon got to become Saya’s Chevalier, if only in name and only for a short period of time. Of course, there’s always the tiny chance that Amshel has something up his sleeve to save Solomon, but I highly doubt that, particularly since Nathan made it clear to Diva that it’s just him and Amshel now as her Chevaliers. That hinges on the assumption that Nathan knows what’s going on, including all of Amshel’s moves.
That also brings up the point again of whether Nathan or Amshel is stronger or is the bigger bad guy. Once again, we see Nathan using his serious tone and Amshel not talking back to him. I still want to believe that Amshel is the final boss and that he’s just letting Nathan have his way for now, but certainly they’re portraying Nathan as a much stronger character than previously.
Next week, it looks like it’s finally time for the showdown between Saya and Diva at the opera.