When the Crimson Lotus makes its escape, Suzaku wants to chase it in the Lancelot but gets an order telling him not to. Kaname meanwhile gets a radio transmission from C.C. informing him that Zero is safe and relaying an order to retreat. By now, Lelouch has woken up from the crash, but he’s worried about his gun being gone and figures out that someone must have taken it while he was unconscious. And his face had to have been seen by at least two people – one shooter and one person who got shot – because there is a large splatter of blood at his feet. Although he doesn’t think of it immediately, one of those people is Shirley, and she brought his gun back to her room. She’s now writing and crying, causing her roommate to wake up. The next day, Suzaku and the others learn that Nina wants to meet Euphemia. The group then gets a phone call from Lelouch asking if anything has changed. Suzaku says that there is indeed something and cites Lelouch not being there, but he then tells Lelouch about Shirley not showing up either. Lelouch asks Suzaku to tell Nunnally that he’ll be late today, and soon after, Suzaku is forced to hang up because Arthur the cat started playing with the phone cord.
With Suzaku not apparently knowing anything, C.C. tells Lelouch that she doesn’t think anyone else would have been there aside from the military and the Black Knights. Lelouch remembers seeing Shirley there, and C.C. identifies her as the girl who Lelouch kissed. Meanwhile, Darlton is reporting to Cornelia and Euphemia that it’s clear that this incident and the Narita one were both targeted at the princesses. He thinks that there’s a possibility that Zero has a grudge against the imperial family, which reminds Euphemia of what Zero said to her during the hotel hijacking incident. After Cornelia asks her sister to be careful, Gilbert suggests Euphemia get a full-time knight as a bodyguard. Back at school, Lelouch and C.C. are going through Shirley’s room looking for the gun while they have her GEASS-influenced roommate guard the entrance. C.C. notices that Shirley’s diary only goes up to the 14th of the month, which Lelouch realizes is the same day her father died. He then opens a shoebox filled with photos of himself and also finds a book of train schedules with a bookmark for the page that has Narita circled.
Shirley has actually gone to a memorial monument in Narita and is thinking about Lelouch when a mysterious man interrupts her. He knows her name and seems to admire the monument as he claps his hands in the air. Around this time, Kaname is aboard the Black Knights van with the other members, and he’s thinking about why the Japan Liberation Front ship exploded. Tamaki reminds him that it was a self-destruction and then Kallen asks if he doubts Zero. Joining in the conversation, Diethard wonders if Kaname thinks it was too timely and asks what he intends to do if the explosion was indeed caused by Zero. The person in question is at that moment on a train to Narita with C.C. She asks him if he likes or hates Shirley, but Lelouch doesn’t give her a straight answer. When she then asks why he’s going to Narita, Lelouch points out that Shirley might know his true identity. In response, C.C. wonders if he’s going to deal with Shirley if she knows, and she also comments that the person that you really don’t want to lose is the person you keep furthest away from. Lelouch questions if that’s her experience talking, but C.C. claims that it’s a way of living.
Back at the monument, the mysterious man calls Lelouch cruel and seems to know everything about him, including that he’s Zero. The man points out that Lelouch ordered the killing of Shirley’s father and stole a kiss from her with those same lips. He feels that both she and Lelouch need to be punished – the reason for Shirley is because he knows what happened that night she found out about Lelouch. Back then, when Shirley had been staring at the unmasked Zero, Villetta had come up and laughed about how she would be made into a noble for presenting him to Cornelia. But when Villetta turned back around, Shirley was pointing the gun at her and fired as Villetta rushed forward. The mysterious man now calls Shirley a murderer guilty of the same crime as Zero. In fact, he even feels that she got compensation for her father’s death in the form of her kiss with Lelouch. Despite Shirley’s denials, he suggests that she behaved with grief because she had expected Lelouch to be kind to her. He then wonders if she intended to be the heroine in a tragedy, but he calls her a disgusting witch instead because she killed people. Under pressure from all the psychological attacks, Shirley eventually crumbles to her knees in tears as he calls her and Lelouch pathetic.
By the time Lelouch arrives at the monument, Shirley and the mysterious man are gone. After he and C.C. split up, Lelouch is thinking about the other person who was at the scene that night when he gets a phone call from Shirley. However, the person on the phone isn’t her – it’s a male. The mysterious man then appears in front of Lelouch and tosses Shirley’s phone to him. Since Lelouch demands to know where Shirley is, the man pulls out a chess piece and challenges Lelouch to a game. Lelouch accepts and boards a tram with the man, but the two are spotted by C.C. who identifies the man as Mao. Starting the game of chess, Lelouch wonders to himself if Mao is the other witness. As he tries to think through things, Mao suggests that he focus on the game. Lelouch actually is about to lose, but the tram arrives at the station with a jolt that shakes off all the chess pieces. Mao then reveals that he has the GEASS power too, which Lelouch realizes is the power to read minds. Lelouch gets furious at the thought that Mao did something to Shirley, but she appears outside the tram and points his gun inward. Mao decides that the punishment game will start now.
On the docks, Kaname is thinking to himself that Zero yesterday didn’t seem like himself. when he notices a trail of blood and a body nearby. The person he saves is actually Villetta, and she mutters in pain something about Zero. Back at the tram station, Shirley is pointing Lelouch’s own gun at him. She feels that they should die together and atone for their crimes. Since Lelouch doesn’t understand, Mao reveals that Shirley shot the other witness in order to protect Lelouch’s secret. Lelouch tries to tell Shirley that Mao is deceiving her, but Mao notes that Lelouch was too. With all that Lelouch and Mao are trying to say to her, Shirley fires her gun and narrowly misses Lelouch’s head, but the force of the blast still sends him falling backwards. Out of his jacket come all the pictures he got from her room, including several of them together. When Mao raises his gun at Lelouch, Shirley fires again and misses Mao. She then falls forward into Lelouch’s arms as Mao goes back into the tram to get a bigger gun. Much to Mao’s surprise, the tram doors suddenly close and it starts moving back down the mountainside. He realizes that C.C. is the one to blame, but he’s actually very excited to see her. In fact, his headphones had a recording of her voice going in a loop. As the tram pulls away, Mao yells that he’ll definitely come to see C.C.
With Mao gone, Lelouch tries to comfort Shirley and blames himself for everything. Seeing how distraught she is with everything that happened, he decides to make her forget it all by using his GEASS powers. After apologizing for what he did to her father, Lelouch activates his eye over Shirley’s cry telling him not to. It is later that night that Shirley faces Lelouch at the monument and asks if he also lost his family. Lelouch tells her that it’s not his family, but rather a friend – probably an important friend. He says that there are things you understand for the first time after you lose someone – how much has he been saved by her smile? Shirley thinks that he must have liked this person, but Lelouch says that he doesn’t know. Hearing this, Shirley tells him that morning will come and admits that she thinks she probably came up here to put and end to something. She’s forgotten what, so she’ll never be able to do it, and she feels full of sadness. However, she believes that morning will come. Agreeing with her, Lelouch thanks Shirley for everything up until now and then turns his back to walk away.
This episode is the perfect example of why there’s such an excitement for me every week when it comes time for GEASS. There are just so many twists and turns, some expected, but most not. This is why I love this show.
The beginning was a bit frustrating because I wanted to know what happened with Shirley in that battle, but they cut to C.C. finding Lelouch afterwards. We don’t learn what occurred until Mao talks about Shirley’s crime later at the monument. I didn’t think that Shirley would shoot Lelouch – and she didn’t – but I wouldn’t have predicted that she’d shoot Villetta. Since they didn’t show Villetta’s body afterwards, it was pretty apparent that she was still alive, and now Kaname has found her. This is made even more interesting because Kaname has growing doubts about Zero, meaning that Villetta could potentially win him over to her side or something.
The real focus of the episode, and the reason why it was called GEASS vs. GEASS, is Mao. His ability is to read people’s minds, though his own sanity is called into question by his infatuation with C.C. I would definitely classify him as an enemy to Lelouch and his goals given all the things that Mao did and said to mess up Shirley. Perhaps without Mao egging Shirley on, her confrontation with Lelouch about knowing his alter ego and reconciling the fact that he was responsible for her father’s death would have gone much differently. Instead of wiping her memory – which was quite frustrating for me to watch – he might have been able to win her over or something. As you might be able to tell, I feel really sympathetic for both of them, and I hope Shirley doesn’t get written out of the story.
The other thing I wanted to point out was Gilbert’s suggestion that Euphemia take on a knight as a bodyguard. Gee, I wonder who she’ll choose… I’d be shocked if it didn’t end up being Suzaku. Anyway, next week’s episode looks like it’ll be more Mao and C.C. I can’t wait to see it 🙂