With the Imperial attack, Welkin and Squad 7 have to abandon their plans to go help Alicia and fight instead. Despite their casualties, Welkin does his best to rally the group, even after learning of the large explosion at Ghirlandaio. What they’re unprepared for is Maximilian’s Marmota pulling out the central tower of the castle and letting it fall onto the ship. It turns out that the tower had a huge lance inside of it, and that lance now sits on top of the Marmota. This is all according to Maximilian’s plan, and he knows that this lance was used in the past by the Valkyrur to defeat the Darcsen. He also knows that the Valkyrur hadn’t been saviors and had instead subjugated the Darcsen and had rewritten history. To test this weapon now, he fires at a nearby mountain and completely blows it away. Even after seeing this though, Welkin refuses to give up and continues to believe that Alicia is still alive, so Squad 7 keeps fighting.
Onboard the Marmota, Jaeger starts to questions Maximilian’s motives and finds out that Maximilian had been after this weapon all along. It all stems from how Maximilian lost his mother when their train exploded, and to get back at his father and brother, he wants to become something greater than the Emperor – he wants to be the Valkyria King. He now orders the weapon to be fired on the castle, but right as it’s about to do so, Alicia appears and fires a blast at the tip of the giant lance. This dispels the weapon temporarily, but Alicia is exhausted afterward, and the Marmota begins shelling her with conventional weaponry. When Maximilian fires the giant lance again, Alicia is able to block this shot and counterattack, but she faints soon after. Seeing this, Maximilian orders her to be captured, and when Jaeger questions what he plans to do with her, Maximilian just warns him not to interfere. Jaeger, however, decides that he can’t support Maximilian anymore, and since Maximilian refuses to let him just walk away, he shoots Jaeger.
Back outside, Welkin is too late to save Alicia from the Imperial soldiers, and he nearly gets sniped, but he’s saved thanks to Faldio who has arrived as back-up. Welkin and Squad 7 then charge towards the Marmota to go save Alicia.
After all of the backstory this episode, I’ve finally now realized just how much Maximilian really is like Lelouch. Both are princes who despise their fathers and siblings after losing their mothers, both aspire for the throne and beyond, both have witches who support them, and both are voiced by Fukuyama Jun. I know this probably isn’t a new revelation for those of you who have played the game, but for me who hasn’t, watching this episode finally allowed me to understand the depth of the similarities. It’s almost too much to be a coincidence, and I have to think that the writers were inspired or at least influenced by CODE GEASS. It’s a shame though that they gave Maximilian all of this backstory that made him a tragic but relatable character, and then had him be a dick and kill Jaeger. Now I can’t do anything but hate him since I really liked Jaeger’s character and had wanted him to survive the series (even though I knew deep down that it wasn’t likely to happen).
As for the rest of the episode, it was nice to hear more about the history of the Darcsen and the Valkyrur, but I wish they had explained how a Darcsen like Cordelia came to be disguised as a Valkyria-descended ruler. I also questioned a lot of what happened with Alicia. I can believe that she survived Selvaria’s blast, but how the heck did she get from Ghirlandaio all the way to Randgriz? According to the map of Gallia from a few episodes ago, there’s well over 200 kilometers between the two, and I highly doubt she ran the entire distance in such a short amount of time. The other thing I didn’t understand is why she didn’t just aim for the giant lance’s support structure. If she blew that up, then Maximilian has no functional weapon anymore, and it’s over. Instead, she’s now the one who needs to get saved, and it’s up to Welkin, Squad 7, and Faldio to do it – I guess maybe they felt the need for Welkin to be more of a hero at the end. And where the heck did Faldio come from anyway? In any case, I hope they’ll have time to do everything and wrap up all the loose ends in the finale, but I get the vague feeling that things might be rushed.