As the new emperor, Lelouch enacts sweeping changes to the way Britannian society works by abolishing the nobility system, breaking up the conglomerates, and liberating the Numbers. The opinion of him within the Black Knights is mixed, and many in the leadership such as Toudou and Xingke are still suspicious of his motives. What they don’t know is that Lelouch has used his Geass to create a small army of people to serve as his slaves, and he’s having Jeremiah handle the uprisings by former nobility. Lelouch feels that these former nobility need to understand the foolishness of clinging to their pedigree and to the glory of the past. During this time, back at Ashford, Milly is considering returning to the Britannian mainland now that Area 11 has become Japan again, and Nina is hiding out there because she’s being targeted by various countries for creating the FLEIJA weapon.
Suzaku meanwhile has been impressed with what Lelouch has been able to accomplish since ascending to the throne, and Lelouch explains that there’s still much blood to be spilt as he plans to erase the name of the murder princess from people’s memories. He feels that they’ve lost too much, and in order to face the future, they have to conquer the world first as part of something he calls the Zero Requiem. There is also the problem of Schneizel, and Lelouch plans to advance his plan before his brother can act. An even more immediate concern pops up when Bismarck leads three other Knight of Rounds – Dorothea, Monica, and Gino – in an assault on Pendragon. Suzaku meets them in battle with the Lancelot Albion, and after quickly taking out the two women, he tries to convince Gino that he’s on the wrong side, leaving Gino wondering what he should be fighting for.
Suzaku’s subsequent fight with Bismarck is broadcast throughout the world, and he feels that for the sake of the Zero Requiem, he cannot lose. He is able to use the “live” Geass effect that Lelouch put on him to counter Bismarck’s Geass power of being able to read into the future, and the Lancelot ends up slicing the Galahad in half. Afterwards, Lelouch closes out the worldwide broadcast by using the battle to reinforce his position as the ruler of Britannia, and he surprises everyone by announcing that Britannia will be participating in the United Federation of Nations. He promises to follow their rules for the negotiations, however he stipulates that it takes place in neutral Japan – specifically, Ashford Academy. A few days later, Lelouch arrives there to a large crowd, among which is Rivalz who climbs the fence in order to try to find out why Lelouch never told him about anything. Rivalz gets pulled down by the guards, and Lelouch ignores him.
Lelouch is met at the front of Ashford by Kallen who is representing the Black Knights, and although he addresses her as if they’re meeting for the first time, he also asks to take a detour to get to the negotiation room. As she leads him around, Kallen thanks him because she would have died in the Shinjuku Ghetto if not for him, and she was honored that Zero needed her. But now that he’s joined with Suzaku, she questions what he’s after or if this is all a game to him. When she asks him what he thinks of her and why he told her back on the Ikaruga that she had to live on, he doesn’t answer her, so she kisses him and then bids him farewell. Lelouch says goodbye to her as well before proceeding on to the negotiations which are being led by Kaguya. These negotiations take place with Lelouch put inside an enclosure as a countermeasure against his Geass ability, and Kaguya, Toudou, Ougi, and Xingke question what his goal is.
They know that resolutions inside the United Federation of Nations are determined by majority vote, and voting is proportional to the population of each country. With the breakup of the Chinese Federation, Britannia now has the world’s largest population, and that would give Lelouch the majority vote if Britannia joined the United Federation of Nations. They figure that this is how he intends to take over, and to prevent that, they offer him the option of either breaking Britannia up or accepting that the ratio of votes to Britannian population be lowered to 20%. Lelouch responds by asking Kaguya what qualifies someone to rule the world. Her answer is pride, and although Lelouch thinks that this is a good one, he has a different opinion: the readiness to destroy the world and oneself. As if on cue, Suzaku suddenly crashes the negotiations in the Lancelot, and the Britannian forces start advancing towards Japan.
This leaves the Black Knights no choice but to conclude that Lelouch wants a dictatorship and is their enemy. Kallen insists on defeating Lelouch, but Xingke tells her to retreat because fighting would claim the lives of each country’s delegation, and he knows that they have to wait for each country’s decision in this or else the United Federation of Nations would collapse. With his men having secured the negotiation room, Lelouch calls for Kaguya to resume the vote to decide whether or not Britannia is accepted. Meanwhile, Rivalz is giving a ride through the city to Nina who is carrying a package, and though Nina doesn’t want to get Rivalz involved, he feels that he can’t leave her alone. They are stopped at a roadblock by a group of Geass’d civilians accompanied by Lloyd. At around this same time, Lelouch gets word that a VIP has been secured, but Suzaku then reports that he’s getting an urgent message from the Avalon.
As it turns out, the imperial capital of Pendragon has been annihilated by what appears to be a FLEIJA blast, and there’s now a giant sky fortress floating above it. Lelouch had known that this was coming and that the FLEIJA weapons were installed on the aerial fortress Damocles, and these events cause him to leave the negotiations. This is all the doing of Schneizel, and he soon contacts Lelouch to ask if it feels good to subjugate others. He doesn’t acknowledge Lelouch as emperor, but instead of saying that he’s personally more suitable, Schneizel presents someone else who he claims is: Nunnally. This shocks Suzaku and Lelouch, and Nunnally proceeds to declare herself the enemy of both of them.
Well Nunnally reappearing and declaring herself to be Lelouch and Suzaku’s enemy was a nice cliffhanger even if it wasn’t too big a surprise. I’m actually a little bit disappointed that she didn’t give the end of the episode a little extra oomph by opening her eyes or something. Maybe that’ll require a visit from Jeremiah, assuming it ever happens. The bigger issue is that Schneizel has reappeared in what seems to be the villain role, but I still don’t see him to be as significant an antagonist as his father was – the aerial fortress doesn’t make him much more menacing. He’d have to have some grandiose plan that tops even Charles’, and so far that hasn’t materialized. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t care about slaying the Gods or whatever – all he wants to do is have Nunnally rule the world while he pulls all the strings – so it feels a little anticlimactic.
Aside from the end, the other thing that got a big reaction out of me was the rather one-sided fight between Suzaku and Bismarck’s group. They had added a new Knight of Rounds (Dorothea Ernst) to the official website a week or two ago, so I had been waiting for her to appear. Imagine my amusement when they killed her off within ten seconds of showing her. Along with Monica, I think part of the problem here is that having a dozen Knight of Rounds gives too many characters to deal with in addition to an already huge cast, so we get some characters who barely make an appearance before biting the dust. It’s also more evidence – as if it was really needed – that the Lancelot is Strike Freedom level overpowered.
As for Kallen, the preview from last week made me think that there could be a LelouchXKallen end, but the kiss and goodbyes this episode throws things up in the air again. I want to say that the two of them being apart like this only makes it more likely that they’ll end up together – especially if C.C. ultimately gets her wish to die – but it looks like Kallen is with Gino in the preview for next week (
as well as a Knightmare I don’t recognize edit: I’ve been told it’s the Tristan Twin and is in the OP), and there’s already been some development in that direction. Less of a question is Nina who already appears to be on the road to redemption/normalcy (it’s so weird not seeing her freak out all the time) and perhaps a relationship with Rivalz – that is, unless Lloyd and/or Lelouch have some other plans for her. A lot can happen in the final three episodes…