As Kallen urges the other Black Knights to hold out for a while longer against the Britannian counterattack, she remembers what happened back in that cave a year ago. When Lelouch and Suzaku had shot each other, Lelouch’s bullet had shattered Suzaku’s communicator while Suzaku’s bullet had hit Lelouch’s gun. Suzaku had then knocked Lelouch down and kept Kallen at bay with his gun while he took the bomb off of Lelouch. At the time, Kallen had called out to Zero, but Suzaku had insisted that this was Lelouch and that Lelouch had been using Kallen and the Japanese people. Kallen had run out of the cave at that point, and Suzaku captured and brought Lelouch in front of the Emperor of Britannia. In exchange for Lelouch, Suzaku had asked to be added to the twelve Knight of Rounds. Lelouch had been pissed off about this, but Suzaku reminded him that he was going to change the world from within, even if it meant betraying his friend. Liking what Suzaku had just said, the Emperor appointed him to the Knight of Rounds and had then asked him to keep Zero’s left eye closed because he still had a use for his son. The Emperor had proceeded to activate the Geass that was in both of his eyes and had rewritten Lelouch’s memories of his mother, of his sister, and of Zero.
As Lelouch remembers all this back in the present, C.C. tells him that she’s not the one who gave the Emperor his Geass power. She hasn’t been able to look for Nunnally, but she does know that Sayoko escaped to the Chinese Federation with Diethard. Lelouch decides that they need to find out who gave the Emperor his Geass power and where Nunnally is, but as he’s thinking about this, he suddenly realizes that he has a little sister – not a little brother – so he questions who Rolo really is. Before Lelouch can make another move, one of Carares’ Sutherlands finds him. Playing the role of a concerned student, Lelouch convinces the pilot to get out of the cockpit and uses his Geass power to make guy hand over his Knightmare Frame. As for Carares, he’s still with the Chinese delegation and finds out what’s going on from Gilbert. He decides to go handle things himself and shows up at the command vessel shortly after Lelouch starts personally directing the Black Knights around. Meanwhile, the Emperor of Britannia tells Suzaku that he’s the only person in the Knight of Rounds who knows of Zero’s true identity and of the Geass. He then brings Suzaku to the place that resembles a temple, but the Emperor refers to it as a weapon to destroy God called the Sword of Akasha.
Back at the Babel Tower, Lelouch has found himself a control room to watch the action from, and to his surprise, Kallen shows up there too. She claims to have wanted to be at his side, but she then pulls out a gun and points it at him. Knowing now that Lelouch had deceived her in the past, she questions if he used Geass on her to twist her heart and make her follow him. Lelouch laughs in response to this and tells her that her heart and feelings of loyalty and yearning for Zero are her own. He feels that she can be proud of how she chose him, and though Kallen wants to believe him, she makes it clear that the one she believes is Zero and not Lelouch. At this point, Lelouch changes the subject by questioning how long she’s going to stay in her skimpy bunny costume, and Kallen gets embarrassed. C.C. then radios him to inform him that a ton of Britannian reinforcements have arrived – the result of Carares wanting a show of Britannian power for the Chinese Federation. As he covers Kallen up with his jacket, Lelouch declares that since escape is difficult, this will be his victory.
The Britannian forces soon secure the tower in a way that leaves only one escape route, and Carares’ main unit is waiting there. Lelouch’s plan involves having C.C. set a lot of explosives, but in the meantime, Black Knight units mysteriously start to get taken out. When two of the Knightmares under Urabe’s command spot a Knightmare Frame that looks like it’s the Lancelot’s mass production prototype, Lelouch orders them to destroy it, but the new Knightmare Frame suddenly disappears and reappears beside them. It takes out both of the Burais, and Lelouch really starts to panic when it shows up in front of him. The new Knightmare Frame uses the instant movement trick to get past Urabe and Kallen, and it nearly succeeds in hitting Lelouch’s Sutherland, but Urabe comes to his defense right in the nick of time. Deciding to sacrifice himself, Urabe leaves Kallen to protect Zero and stabs his Gekka’s sword through his own unit, hitting the enemy Knightmare Frame in the process and getting it caught in the subsequent explosion. This barely damages the enemy Knightmare Frame though because it used the instant movement trick again.
Kallen is ready to do what she needs to in order to protect Zero too, but fortunately C.C. radios them first to inform them that the preparations are complete. Declaring that the time that Urabe bought them wasn’t in vain, Lelouch presses the detonator that blows up key parts of the Babel Tower and allows him and Kallen to escape from their battle. This also causes a large piece of the tower to fall right on top of Carares’ command vessel, killing him. Carares’ death throws the Britannian central command center into disarray until Gilbert takes temporary control. He begins to give out orders, but he’s interrupted when live video of Zero suddenly starts being broadcast. Zero first introduces himself and announces to the Japanese people that he’s back. He then turns the focus of his speech towards Britannia and those in power, saying that he’s sad that nothing has changed in the world with all the war and discrimination. Zero claims that as long as the strong continue oppressing the weak, he’ll keep fighting. As Zero is talking, Gilbert’s men trace the transmission to the Chinese Federation’s Consulate-General. When Suzaku learns of this, he suggests to the other Knights of Round that it could become an international problem if they storm the place.
Zero is indeed broadcasting from the Chinese Federation’s Consulate-General, and as he watches the Black Knight leader, Li Xingke notes to himself Zero’s intelligence and boldness. As Zero proceeds into the next part of his speech which has him re-announcing the founding of the United States of Japan, Li Xingke wonders if it’s okay for them to do this without the Chinese Emperor’s imperial order. He doesn’t question Gaohai’s decision though and doesn’t realize that Gaohai is being influenced by Lelouch’s Geass power. Li Xingke then heads outside of the Consulate-General grounds where a Britannian military unit has arrived, and he forces them to back off. However, the new Knightmare Frame from earlier suddenly shows up, and Li Xingke questions if its pilot is from the Britannian military or is someone related to Zero. When the pilot – Rolo – doesn’t give him a straight answer, Li Xingke says that he doesn’t like riddles, so Rolo claims that he’s the same. Rolo wants to know the truth – that’s why he’s here to kill Zero – and as he says this, the Geass in his right eye activates.
I have to say, that was an incredibly good place to end the episode in terms of cliffhangers and making me want to see what happens next. Rolo was already a pretty suspicious character, and in the span of those last 30 seconds or so, we find out that he’s the pilot of the Vincent, in possession of a Geass power, and he wants to kill Zero. Since it’s unlikely that all Vincent models will be able to use that instant movement/teleportation ability (it’s just too overpowered), then either that Vincent is special, or Rolo’s Geass power allows him to do that – I’m leaning towards the latter conclusion. I wonder if we’re going to see Rolo use his ability in hand-to-hand combat (maybe against Li Xingke) next episode or sometime in the future.
Rolo wasn’t the only Geass that was revealed this week since we learn that the Emperor of Britannia can erase memories. That seems like the kind of power that can wreak a ton of havoc if planned out correctly, but it sounds fairly useless in a battle (unlike Lelouch’s ability or even Mao’s). I assume V.V. is the one who gave the Emperor his Geass power, and V.V. probably did the same for Rolo too. I would also venture to guess that V.V. would be the one to give Suzaku a Geass power if it ever came to that, but given that Suzaku already has the power of the Lancelot, that probably won’t happen.
Speaking of which, I found it interesting that the Emperor referred to the place that he showed Suzaku as the Sword of Akasha. Akasha is apparently the Sanskrit word for aether, and aether, in Greek mythology, is the personification of the clear upper air of the sky. What’s more, as the Wikipedia page for aether points out, this concept is linked to Brihaspati – or the planet Jupiter. Jupiter, of course, is significant in CODE GEASS because that’s the planet we see in the mysterious Geass sequences like the one last week when Lelouch got his memory back. It’s also possible that Jupiter is the God that the Emperor is referring to, but it’s less clear why he would want to destroy Jupiter. In any case, with everything connected like this, I’m curious to see what the ultimate scope of the series is (i.e. are they eventually going to be fighting on a different metaphysical plane).
The only other thing I have to say about this episode is that it was good to see some of the old characters again. I laughed at Diethard’s overjoyed reaction to seeing Zero, and I loved that shocked look on Nina’s face. Hopefully there’ll be more of them in the near future (well, maybe not Nina). For next week though, it looks like the focus will be on Rolo, Shirley, and school life. That seems like an odd choice given the momentum that the series has right now, but I’ll trust the writers on it.