Despite the FLEIJA detonation in Tokyo that has caused over 10 million deaths and 25 million total casualties, the Emperor of Britannia decides to leave things entirely to Schneizel. On the other side of the conflict, Diethard tries to stop Cornelia from escaping the Ikaruga, but before he can recapture her, a special Britannian diplomatic envoy arrives carrying Schneizel himself. Lelouch is at this moment desperately trying to get his men to find Nunnally, but Toudou ignores him and orders a retreat instead. Rolo eventually brings Lelouch back to his room on the Ikaruga and tries to comfort Lelouch by saying that Lelouch still has him. Although initially calm, Lelouch becomes enraged when he sees the heart-shaped locket on Rolo’s cell phone, and he questions why Rolo has it since he had originally intended to give it to Nunnally. He accuses Rolo of trying to be an replacement for her and goes on to admit that he both despises Rolo and has tried to kill him many times. Lelouch then kicks Rolo out, telling him not to show himself again. Meanwhile, over on the Avalon, Nina is finally realizing that she didn’t understand what kind of damage her weapon would cause. This prompts Lloyd to tell her that she has to decide whether to abandon science to protect her heart or to break her heart and sacrifice herself for science. When Nina wonders what choice Lloyd made, he claims that he was broken from the very beginning.
Inside the giant crater that makes up what’s left of the Tokyo Settlement, Jeremiah finds Suzaku just standing there, so he takes the chance to thank Suzaku for saving him a long time ago. Jeremiah also comments on how they’re probably destined to be enemies before returning to searching for Nunnally. Without Zero around, the Black Knights’ leadership meanwhile decides to meet with Schneizel by themselves. It is during this meeting that Schneizel reveals – much to everyone’s shock – that Zero is his younger brother Lelouch Vi Britannia. Diethard attempts to dismiss this as nonsense designed to confuse them, and he brings up all the miracles that Zero has performed for them, but Schneizel calls the miracles fake and proceeds to tell them all about Geass. Tamaki still refuses to believe anything without proof, and it is at this point that Ougi appears and declares that there is proof. Ougi feels that Zero has always been deceiving them and using them as pawns, and he reveals that Zero didn’t just use Geass against their enemies. Schneizel then plays the recording of Suzaku confronting Lelouch at the Kururugi shrine in which Lelouch admits to giving a Geass order to Euphemia to massacre the Japanese. As further proof, Kanon presents a set of documents of all the people and events where they suspect Geass was used. He also reveals that they had told Zero about the FREIJA beforehand in order to avoid unnecessary conflict, and the Black Knight leaders feel betrayed because Zero never informed them. Now that the Black Knights have lost faith in Zero, Schneizel asks them to hand him over, but to everyone’s surprise, Ougi asks for Japan in return.
Shortly after all this, Kallen pays a visit to Lelouch’s room with a message from Ougi to come to the fourth warehouse. When she hears C.C. tell Lelouch to take off his clothes – so that C.C. can apply a band-aid to wherever he’s hurt – Kallen overreacts, so Lelouch explains that C.C. has lost her memories. This makes Kallen realize that Lelouch has lost both C.C. and Nunnally now. On the elevator ride down, Lelouch tells Kallen that he’s glad she’s safe, and he apologizes for not rescuing her earlier. In response, she reveals that she had gotten to speak with Nunnally and that Nunnally had helped her. Kallen then starts to talk about how she also had a brother, but she’s interrupted by the Black Knights confronting Lelouch. They are all heavily armed and have brought Knightmares, and Diethard intends to make it look like Zero died in action. Kallen initially tries to protect Lelouch and in the process asks him what she is to him because she’s willing to die with him. Before answering, Lelouch notices that Schneizel is here as well, and this causes him to realize that there’s no way out. He thus decides to remove his mask and laughs about how it took this long for everyone to figure out they were being used. Lelouch calls Kallen his most excellent pawn and claims that this was all a game, but as she leaves his side, he says quietly that she must live on.
Before the Black Knights can execute Lelouch, Rolo bursts onto the scene onboard the Shinkirou. Determined to protect his brother, Rolo grabs Lelouch and uses his Geass power to escape from the Ikaruga. Even Anya in the Mordred is unable to stop the Shinkirou when it’s augmented by Rolo’s repeated use of his Geass power. Getting into the Shinkirou’s cockpit, Lelouch tries to stop Rolo because he knows that Rolo’s heart won’t be able to handle such Geass usage, but Rolo refuses. He knows that he’s always been someone’s tool, whether it was the religious cult or Lelouch, but he also knows that the time he spent with Lelouch was genuine, and thanks to those memories, he feels that he was able to become human. In short, he believes that what he’s doing now is not due to him being used as a tool but rather due to his own free will. Rolo’s abilities are enough to let them escape from all their pursuers, and he eventually lands the Shinkirou in a forest away from Tokyo. When Lelouch asks why Rolo saved him, Rolo asserts that Lelouch was lying earlier when he said he wanted to kill Rolo and hated him. Lelouch claims that Rolo saw through him and calls Rolo his little brother moments before Rolo passes away, his final words saying that he knows everything about his older brother. Putting the cell phone and locket in Rolo’s limp hand, Lelouch agrees that he’s a liar.
In the aftermath, Lelouch reflects on how he’s lost everything, but he thanks Rolo for keeping him alive since there’s still something he has to do. With the Emperor ready to destroy the old world and create a new one, Lelouch declares that he’ll take his father with him down the road to Hell.
For all the bad things that Rolo did, I thought he got a rather honorable and redeeming ending with a nice accompanying song (Boku wa, Tori ni Naru by Hitomi). My problem here is that I don’t think he deserved something like this after what he did to Shirley. In fact, I’m still fairly convinced that Lelouch would have been better off all along without him. It does make me I wonder though if the writers are going to push redemption storylines for all the characters, whether it be in death or whatever. Nina for example now seems to regret her weapon and the toll it took, so she might try to do something to right her wrongs. And despite Suzaku’s apparent madness (if you could call it that), I have a hard time seeing him ending that way.
As for the story itself, something about it all feels odd. I suspect it’s because, with Schneizel revealing everything, the Black Knights turning on Lelouch, and Lelouch basically losing everything all in one episode, it feels like the story’s moving almost too quickly, yet there’s still about a quarter of the series left. A lot can happen in that time – I’m still waiting for everyone to go to space – but the only thing I can think of is that they’ve given Lelouch his fall from greatness so that he can rise up again, maybe redeeming himself along the way. That rise will probably come against the Emperor and his plan to destroy the old world and create a new one, and at the pace they’re going, it could happen as soon as next week. It might not be the only thing of note next week though since it’ll also be interesting to see what Suzaku does and what Gino is up to.