The entire class is whispering rumors amongst themselves about Suzaku, but he pays them no heed. After class, Lelouch glances in Suzaku’s direction and pulls on his own collar. Suzaku recognizes this as an old signal they used to share that meant Lelouch wanted to talk on the roof. Lelouch is glad that Suzaku saved him back in the subway tunnels, but Suzaku considers it repayment after seven years. When Suzaku asks about C.C., Lelouch claims to have been separated with her during the confusion of the battle. As the two do some catching up, Lelouch reveals he now goes by Lelouch Lamperouge since the previous him is officially dead. Suzaku in turn explains that there was a person – Euphemia – who arranged for him to come to this school. At that time, Euphemia is looking over all of Clovis’ paintings, including one of Lelouch, Nanaly, and their mother. Her sister Cornelia is meanwhile conquering a guerrilla base, looking for Zero.
Lelouch returns home and surprises Nanaly by bringing along Suzaku. She’s moved to tears that he is safe and is excited that he’s attending this school now. Suzaku can’t come to visit every day because he is still in the military, but he thinks that he’s in less danger now that he’s been transferred to the Engineering Department. When Lelouch goes to the kitchen to get more tea, he finds C.C. waiting for him. She remembers Suzaku as the person from Shinjuku and has doubts about him, but Lelouch thinks of him as a friend. When it’s finally time for Suzaku to leave, he tells Lelouch that they should pretend not to know each other in school. He doesn’t want people wondering why the honorary Britannian is friends with Lelouch and then discovering that Lelouch is really a prince. Lelouch gets angry that Suzaku is again putting others before himself, but he realizes his mistake when Suzaku catches onto the again implication. After Lelouch drops the subject, Suzaku says his goodbye and notes how happy he is.
In a Britannia prison, Jeremiah is finally cleared of suspicion and freed. However, because of what he did, he has been demoted three ranks and must start over as a pilot. At school the next day, the students continue to treat Suzaku as an outcast. When not in class, Lelouch – as Zero – contacts Ougi Kaname and learns about Cornelia’s military campaign. Kaname wants to act, but Zero thinks that they should wait for an opportunity. Once he hangs up, Lelouch sees Suzaku washing his gym t-shirt outside. It seems that someone had spray painted on it “GO BACK TO YOUR GHETTO” in large red letters. What’s more, Nanaly learns that student council member Nina is scared of going to school because of Suzaku. At home later, C.C. gets a pizza delivery and unknowingly lets a cat inside while she’s talking to the delivery guy. She returns to Lelouch, who is in the middle of making a hiding place for his Zero mask.
Nanaly comes by and draws away Lelouch’s attention, allowing the cat to sneak in and get the mask stuck on its head. Lelouch eventually notices the cat when it walks into the dining room as he and Nanaly are discussing Suzaku’s situation at school. Panicking at the sight of the mask, Lelouch chases after the cat as it escapes out of the house. When Millay, Leval, and Nina come looking for him, Nanaly tells them of the cat that took something precious of Lelouch’s. Interested in what this precious thing is, Millay vows to get it before Lelouch does, so she broadcasts a message across the school to mobilize the students. She announces that the person who succeeds in catching the cat will be given a kiss by a member of the student council. This scares Kallen because there are now hordes of boys searching for the cat so that they can kiss her – what she considers to be her first kiss.
She runs into Shirley, who is worried about the same thing, and the two join forces to track down the cat. They manage to corner it, but the cat gets away when Shirley asks Kallen if she’d use the kiss reward on Lelouch. Suzaku then catches sight of the cat going into the bell tower, and he encounters Lelouch at the entrance. Lelouch tries to get him to give up the chase, but Suzaku continues to run up the stairs. The students below see Suzaku climb out onto the roof and Lelouch following him, but Lelouch then loses his balance and starts to slip downward. Reacting quickly, Suzaku catches his friend and pulls him back up. Luckily for Lelouch, the mask comes off the cat when it gets to the bells at the very top of the building.
Suzaku brings the cat back down to everyone else, but they aren’t quite sure how to act towards him. Shirley finally runs up and thanks him for saving Lelouch, and she’s joined by the other student council members. Millay is more interested in what the cat had, but Suzaku didn’t get a good look at it. The student council president is disappointed when Lelouch appears soon afterwards because she wanted to find out his weakness. When Kallen suddenly asks if Lelouch and Suzaku know each other, Suzaku tries to deny it, but Lelouch declares that they are indeed friends. In fact, he even asks Millay to let Suzaku into the student government, which she agrees to do. Nanaly then kisses both boys on their cheeks as part of the reward that Millay had promised.
It is sometime later that the entire school is present in the auditorium to watch the broadcast of Clovis’ state funeral. The emperor of Britannia makes a speech about how people are not equal – there are fast people, beautiful people, people with poor parents, and people with weak bodies. Everyone is different depending on their birth, their upbringing, and their abilities. It is through fighting and competition that progress is born. Therefore, inequality is not evil – only equality is. The emperor doesn’t want Britannia to be under mob-rule like the equal rights EU or to be filled with lazy people like in the Chinese Federation where wealth is distributed equally, so he calls for fighting and competition so that they can continue to evolve. He considers the death of Clovis to be proof that Britannia is continually evolving. Hearing all of this, Lelouch can’t help but get pissed off at the emperor, and even Suzaku starts to clench his fist. Watching on TV from home, C.C. wonders if this man is Lelouch’s enemy.
I thought the whole cat-stealing-the-mask thing was hilarious. Lelouch is such a powerful and smart guy, yet he’s so easily outwitted by a cat. If they had seen the mask, Lelouch would have had to use his GEASS power or else everyone would have found out about his secret. And even then, Kallen would still know his secret since she’s now immune to his eye. On a side note, this cat gave me nostalgic memories of a certain cat from another Sunrise series.
This episode finally introduces the Emperor of Britannia along with some top grade propaganda. The Emperor’s speech seemed like a big excuse to discriminate against people and continue war. His singling out of an EU (probably European Union) and a China Federation in particular for equal rights and equal wealth makes me wonder once again about the message that this series is trying to send. And it doesn’t help either that he ends the speech with “All Heil Britannia!” I don’t think that he’ll end up being the final boss character of this show, though it’s still too early to tell.
The preview for next week’s episode has some interesting shots, including a young Nanaly, Shirley seeing Kallen pull a knife, and a rather close encounter between Shirley and Suzaku. That last one has me most interested because of the relationship web that can develop considering Shirley’s current crush on Lelouch.
And as always, remember folks that Pizza Hut supports the Rebellion. It seems that C.C. has developed a real fondness for Pizza Hut pizza…