Now that he’s in front of the Emperor again, Lelouch questions why his father didn’t protect his mother even though his father knew that the rest of the royal family shunned her. The Emperor answers that all people aren’t created equal, and he suggests that Lelouch use his Geass power to find the answer. Lelouch, however, is wary of doing so because it requires him to make eye contact with the Emperor, and that would put him in danger of being affected by the Emperor’s Geass. He comes up with a plan instead where he fires a special part from the Shinkirou and reflects his Geass power off the shards of glass that are now in the air. He orders his father to die, and, to his surprise, it actually works because the Emperor proceeds to shoot himself in the heart. Lelouch is ecstatic at first, but he soon realizes that there were things he wanted to ask his father and people he wanted his father to apologize to. It is at this moment that the fallen Emperor reopens his eyes and wonders who Lelouch is talking about. Lelouch reacts to this by trying to use his Geass power again, but neither this nor shooting the Emperor repeatedly with a gun has any effect, and this immortality causes Lelouch to despair.
The Emperor subsequently reveals that he has a new power to replace his Geass power, and he’s now ready to tell Lelouch about the true form of the world they’re in. By activating a control panel, the Emperor puts Lelouch in an environment where there are white masks and giant gears all around. When Lelouch wonders what the Emperor is planning to do, the Emperor comments on how a child covered in lies wants to know the truth from others. He then questions what Lelouch has gained from the lies of Zero’s mask, so Lelouch tries to assert that he got an army and subordinates that a normal student couldn’t have ever obtained. In response to this, a voice in these new surroundings – one that is attached to the masks – points out that Lelouch also lost Euphemia and can’t show himself to Suzaku or Nunnally. Lelouch tries to argue that everyone lies, but the voice observes that Lelouch wants others to understand his true self but wore a mask because he was afraid that others would know who he really is. The Emperor then reappears and says that there’s no need to lie because he is Lelouch and Lelouch is him – he feels that there is only one person in the past, future, and history of mankind.
Lelouch doesn’t know what his father talking about, and he’s further surprised when C.C. suddenly shows up and says that playtime is over. It turns out that the Emperor knows of her wish and promises to grant it, and C.C. finally reveals to Lelouch what that is: to die. C.C. goes on to explain that, at the limits of Geass, the person who has the power succeeds the position of the person who gave the power – in other words, he would gain the power to kill her. Of all the people she’s contracted with so far, none have been able to reach that point, however the Emperor has now achieved it. With Lelouch shocked to hear that she contracted with him so that she could die, C.C. asserts that the providence of this world is in living in order to die. She feels that people are aware of life because there is death, and when Lelouch declares that a life only for death is too sad, C.C. says that the accumulation of not dying is not life – it’s an experience. C.C. finally tells Lelouch that if he has a reason to live, then he should kill her and gain the same power to fight as his father has. Knowing that he can’t do it, C.C. bids Lelouch farewell and, as she plunges him into another world, she says that he’s too kind. Afterwards, she wonders why the Emperor took V.V.’s Code, but the Emperor avoids answering because he doesn’t think that there’s any meaning now that C.C. is about to die.
Meanwhile, back in Area 11, Miss Romeyer reports to Nunnally on the redevelopment of the Saitama Ghetto, but Nunnally wants to know more and questions if there aren’t disadvantages for the Elevens in this, all while she holds Miss Romeyer’s hand. When Miss Romeyer claims that this is the best choice for both sides, Nunnally accuses her of lying and requests a revision of the plan that doesn’t hold disadvantages for the Elevens. Miss Romeyer thinks that Nunnally should just leave this to the experts, but Nunnally then declares that she’s the one who is the governor-general. As for Suzaku, he prepares to inject Kallen with the Refrain but he stops himself when he realizes that he’s acting he same way that Lelouch would. Frustrated, he decides that his only course of action is to try to meet Lelouch directly in order to confirm his suspicions, but he can’t find Lelouch at Ashford Academy, and all of the Secret Intelligence Agency members in charge of surveillance are under the influence of Lelouch’s Geass power. When Suzaku returns to Nunnally, he learns that Schneizel had told her that Area 11 is getting its status raised to that of a satellite area, but his thoughts remain on his conclusion that Lelouch is Zero again. He considers reporting it to the Emperor, but he wonders what would happen to Nunnally if he did because the Emperor had promised to use Nunnally if Lelouch’s memories returned.
Nunnally then notices that Suzaku might be hiding something from her, and when he declares that he wouldn’t lie to her, she questions him about who the person that he had put on the phone a while back was. Nunnally knows that it was her brother and tries to touch Suzaku’s hand to figure out if he’s telling the truth, but when he pulls back, she comments on how he’s the same as Lelouch. Around this time, Villetta meets with Ougi in China with the intent of erasing any stains she has with Elevens. She’s surprised when she learns that Ougi had come knowing that he might die, but he explains that he wanted to choose for himself when he dies. Villetta then asks why a terrorist like him had saved a Britannian soldier like her, so Ougi reveals that he originally just wanted to find out information about Zero. However, even though he knew she was the enemy, he had fallen in love with her, and all Villetta can say in response to that is that it would have been better if they had never met. She then hears rustling in the trees behind her and realizes that Sayoko had been spying on them. Sayoko attacks Villetta and corners her at the edge of a cliff, but when she tries to finish Villetta off, Ougi jumps in and takes the kunai hits. He loses his footing in the process and falls off the cliff, and Villetta instinctively dives after him and catches him in midair. Unfortunately, the two are now plunging towards some rocks in the water below.
Lelouch meanwhile finds himself looking into C.C.’s past, and he sees her when she was young telling a nun that she didn’t want to die. The nun had proposed a contract where, in exchange for the power to live for a long time, she wanted C.C. to someday grant a single wish for her. The Geass power that C.C. ended up getting was one that allowed her to be loved because that’s what she wanted deep in her heart. Unfortunately, due to everyone loving her, C.C. couldn’t figure out what was true love, and the only person she trusted was the nun. One day however, the nun had decided to end everything and had revealed that she needed someone to take her place who had a certain level of Geass. The aftermath of this left the nun dead and C.C. scarred, and C.C. had realized that the nun had merely used her as a tool to bring an end to the nun’s own life. The image of C.C. who is guiding Lelouch through these memories then observes that Lelouch isn’t there yet in the World of C, so he must be a person in her present rather than her past. She also thinks that her real self sent Lelouch to this place so that he could be protected from something.
With the real C.C. ready to let the Emperor end her long journey, Lelouch somehow opens the Thought Elevator and returns to the cockpit of the Shinkirou. He’s figured out that this place is a system that interferes with thought, but the Emperor traps the Shinkirou in place to force Lelouch to watch what’s about to happen. Unwilling to sit there and do nothing, Lelouch asks C.C. why she didn’t have him take over the eternal life so that she could die. Seeing that she’s started to cry as the Emperor holds her, Lelouch implores her not to die with such a face and says that it should be with a smile. He vows to make her smile, and hearing these words finally make C.C. push the Emperor away and use a control panel to release the Shinkirou. Lelouch then springs into action by having his Knightmare Frame open fire on the Sword of Akasha, and when the ground crumbles, he flies towards the falling C.C. while declaring that he knows her true wish. While all this is going on, Nina meanwhile leads a successful test of her new weapon at the Dallas Laboratories, and she tells Schneizel that from now on, mankind and wars will change. Back at the Geass cult’s base, Lelouch wakes C.C. and is shocked to find out that she no longer recognizes who he is. Instead, she thinks that he’s her new master and tells him about her cooking and cleaning abilities.
Well geez, that was one helluva episode. There was development in several subplots, but the main focus here was definitely on C.C. This episode reveals much about her past (including the nun and the bloody altar scene which have been referenced before) and how she wants to die, and I think there are only a few things left to explain about her. One of those is of course her real name, and I’m now of the opinion that, since it doesn’t play a big part in her past, it’ll likely come up during a crucial moment between her and Lelouch, assuming it ever comes up again at all. The other thing left to explain is what she truly wants, and the way Lelouch tries to convince her not to die (i.e. using the fact that she didn’t make him replace her) makes me think that he knows that she loves him and that this is where the true love that she never understood lies. For the time being though, she’s reverted to some servant personality/memories, and I’m sure Lelouch will have his hands full. Regardless, I think the chances of C.C. dying at the end of all this are pretty good since that’s what she originally wanted.
Speaking of chances of dying, Suzaku might have improved his odds since wasn’t able to use the Refrain on Kallen because he realized that he’d become like Lelouch. It makes him somewhat less despicable, so the writers probably aren’t trying to turn the audience against him so that they can kill him off easier, though on the other hand, perhaps he’s now more annoying in that self-righteous sort of way. As for the other subplots, I wished they had gone back to the Ougi/Villetta/Sayoko scene again before the end of the episode. The way that scene ended was almost literally a cliffhanger, and while I don’t doubt that Ougi and Villetta will survive, the question is what the repercussions of all this is (for example, if they have to go on the run from Diethard/Sayoko now) and how their relationship proceeds from here.
The added wild card this week is that Nina finally succeeded in making the bomb, so Schneizel just got a lot scarier. The end of the current OP sequence seems to suggest that Schneizel, the Emperor, and Lelouch are the three major players, and this new weapon is probably how Schneizel finally makes his move. There aren’t any hints about it in the preview for next week though, and instead it looks like Lelouch will be interrogating Cornelia (with his mask off), propose some new international union resolution, and have to deal with servant-girl C.C. It also appears that another Knight of Rounds – Luciano Brandli to be specific – will be entering the picture, and he might not have the scruples that Suzaku does in dealing with Kallen.