Still standing inside the crater left by the FREIJA, Suzaku is joined by Nina who is finally realizing what a horrible thing she caused. Suzaku drives home the point that she killed a lot of people, but he also calls it a big success and thinks that it’ll bring victory to Britannia. Meanwhile, Lelouch is reasoning that since the Emperor didn’t go to Tokyo even though he came to Area 11, the Emperor’s goal is something else: the ruins of Kaminejima. The Emperor is in fact here because it’s the best spot to let him synchronize all the ruins around the world and make use of the Sword of Akasha again. In connection with this, Anya has another painful reaction, but this time, her eyes glow red, and she pays a visit to C.C. on the Ikaruga afterwards. Anya comments on how it’s been a long time since they’ve met directly, and when C.C. doesn’t recognize her, Anya enters the World of C. There, she finds C.C.’s real personality just sitting around, and – so that C.C. will recognize her – Anya transforms herself into Marianne. C.C. thinks that Marianne is so worried about Lelouch that she came here, but Marianne denies it and wonders if C.C. felt she was such an ideal mother. Marianne’s reason for being here is because she wanted to know if C.C. was still their ally, and she questions why C.C sealed off her own Code since Charles would have been able to grant her wish to die. After C.C. admits that she doesn’t know, Marianne suggests that they have to find out, and she reveals that she’s always messing with C.C. as gratitude for C.C. giving her Geass. In response, C.C. notes that Marianne didn’t fulfill their contract, and Marianne then proposes going off somewhere together.
Elsewhere on the Ikaruga, Cornelia is asking Villetta what she plans to do, but Villetta isn’t sure. Cornelia’s advice is that there’s more to the world than just a title of nobility. At around this same time, Diethard is trying to convince the other Black Knight leaders that they should announce that Zero was killed in action. Diethard feels that even if the real Zero reappeared, no one has any way of proving that he’s real since a masked hero is just a symbol. Lelouch meanwhile calls up Rivalz to check on everything at school, and he wants his friend to tell Milly that he won’t be able to keep the promise of enjoying fireworks with everyone. He’s determined to defeat his father, though he’s relatively unaware of how his father has actually already synchronized all of the Geass ruins and proclaimed the beginning of Ragnarok. By now, Schneizel and the Black Knights have gone forward with telling the media about their ceasefire agreement, and the Black Knights further reveal that Zero is dead. This is met with disbelief by many, including Jeremiah who demands to see Zero’s face, but Ougi avoids any conflict by putting off doing that for now. Kallen isn’t happy that they’re treating Zero as disposable after he got them this far, but Ougi feels that it was Zero who did exactly that to them by deceiving them about Geass.
Onboard the Avalon, Gino, Cecile, and Lloyd are taking some recreation time when Suzaku comes by to ask about the Lancelot Albion. It’s almost ready, but Lloyd doesn’t want to hand it over to Suzaku right now, especially after Suzaku tries to order him to. Cornelia and Schneizel interrupt this conversation, and when Cornelia asks about Guilford, they reveal that he’s missing. Schneizel tries to praise Guilford’s service, but Suzaku takes responsibility for firing the FREIJA and claims that such merit is needed to become the Knight of One. Suzaku realizes now that he’s been naive and had valued ideals and aesthetics even though he had said that the means was more important than the result. He wants Schneizel to make him the Knight of One, and since only the Emperor can do that, Schneizel decides to try to take that role. As part of his explanation on why he’s willing to do this, Schneizel talks about how the Emperor saw the war with the Black Knights as a mundane affair and how the Emperor was completely absorbed in dangerous research. Schneizel feels that his father treats war and politics like a game and thus isn’t qualified to rule, so he decides to let Suzaku go assassinate the Emperor. Gino opposes this, but Suzaku is fine with killing because what’s important to him now is the ends rather than the means.
With this, Suzaku quickly tracks the Emperor down to Kaminejima and accuses him of two sins: abandoning his duties as a ruler and being involved with Geass. Suzaku believes that Geass brings out the evil in people, and he thinks that the Emperor could have saved Euphemia. Unfortunately for him, Bismarck appears and protects the Emperor, allowing the Emperor to go into the ruins while Bismarck handles Suzaku. The Geass effect that Lelouch put on Suzaku urges him to run away, but he resists and tries to fight. Bismarck easily knocks him down though and is about to kill him when a nearby explosion interrupts them. This explosion was courtesy of Lelouch who had just arrived on the island, and he’s created some chaos amongst the Britannian forces by using his Geass power to turn some of them against the others. Worried about what’s going on, Schneizel tries to excuse himself from a meeting with Kaguya and the other Black Knight leaders so that he can personally go to Kaminejima, but Kaguya insists on coming along because she can only think of one person who would challenge the Emperor in such a situation. Anya meanwhile arrives at Kaminejima in the Mordred and attacks Bismarck in the Galahad for supposedly taking part in the coup d’état. When Bismarck tells her that she’s mistaken, Anya pretends to believe him and uses the damage incurred from their brief skirmish as an excuse to land on the island. Anya had been acting all along because she knew that she didn’t have time to explain things to Bismarck, and she had figured that he wouldn’t suspect her if she suspected him first. Riding with her in the Mordred is C.C., and Anya wonders aloud if she should save Lelouch.
By this point, Lelouch has entered the place where the remains of the Sword of Akasha are. He finds his father addressing a pair of twisting pillars so he interrupts to say that his father won’t be settling things with the gods but rather with him. The Emperor remains confident because he knows nothing can kill him, but Lelouch’s plan is to seal off the exits and trap them there. Doing so means that they can’t interfere with the real world, and that’s the same as death in this case. Lelouch sees this as a prison of the soul, and he’s ready to suffer through eternal penitence together with his father.
So after all this time, Marianne does reappear, but it’s certainly not how or where I was expecting. I was surprised that they put the biggest plot twist of the episode near the beginning, making the end seem tame in comparison. Regardless, it seems that not only is Marianne inside of Anya (which makes me question how Marianne’s actual death worked), she was also given a Geass power from C.C. so that she could do so. That in turn implies that she’s aware of everything that’s going on, and she comes off as somewhat more devious than everyone always made her out to be. It’s not clear if she’s in cahoots with Charles or if she has her own agenda, but it’s a little worrisome that she adopts a rather flippant attitude towards saving her son. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that she’s evil, and this could very well set us up for another revelation that Charles isn’t as bad as we might think he is. I suspect, however, that Schneizel’s probably still the one to keep an eye on since he’s likely to make a big move now that he’s decided to replace his father.
Looking past the Marianne revelation, I thought the whole latter half of the episode (especially the part with Suzaku where one minute he’s with Schneizel and the next minute he’s already attacking the Emperor) happened a bit too fast, so I still have the feeling – carried over from last week – that they might be rushing things. It doesn’t help either that the animation quality was off this week as well – it’s not horrible, but a noticeable drop when compared to recent episodes. I still don’t think that there is cause for big concern, however it’s worth noting that I’ve seen a lot this past week about how all was not well in the production department. In any case, I’m hoping the pacing will a little better next week as we head into what appears from the preview to be some deep background power-of-Geass plot stuff, with a hint of religion thrown in.