「勇者、己の信念を貫く」 (Yūsha, Onore no Shinnen wo Tsuranuku)
“The Hero Keeps Her Faith”
Is no one going to talk about how Maou sets off to save the day with only Dullahan and a broom?
I think this is probably Hataraku’s most serious episode to date, though even that won’t stop it from being witty and fun whenever it sees fit. Though we have quite a bit of grim reflection on the part of Suzuno, there are still plenty of comedic moments to puncture the dour mood she’s brought with her. Normally these kinds of seemingly random interjections of comedy would take away from the seriousness of an episode like this, but as usual this series is damn near flawless in execution. We know stuff is going down, and we know it’s business time, but the silly faces and occasional moans of agony (as contributed by Ashiya, especially when contemplating the cost of an ambulance) never make us stop taking all of that seriously. What it does do is add relief from all that tension; things never feel forced or otherwise overdramatic without the express intent of the show to do so.
Still, to say that this is the funniest episode in the series would be rather off-base as well. As we approach the finale (only two episodes left already?! Please, sweet Goddess, let those Blu-Rays sell and bless us with a second cour!) it’s clear that the cards are lining up for another epic battle between our protagonists and the ever-sinister Church. Suzuno spends a great deal in the spotlight, coming to terms with her position as an Inquisitor (which is more or less Ente Isla codename for assassin) unsatisfied with the rampant corruption and ideals of the Church. Though she wants to do good, she notes that it was Emilia who really ended up helping people, not grunts like her who carried out orders for the sake of a greedy regime. Even so, she can’t simply abandon her job because for her it’s a betrayal to humanity. Though Emi and Chi are willing to vouch for Sadao’s newfound heart, Suzuno wants to charge Maou with the crimes of his past. Her thinking is not so different from Emi’s before she came to understand the human, part-timer Maou, but she’s more conflicted about it because of the blood already on her hands. Whereas Emilia has only ever fought demons, Suzuno has killed in the shadows, and only on the orders of her superiors.
It’s no wonder then that she’s loathe to give up her job even though she has become conflicted thanks to Chiho and Emilia, and when James (I will never call him by any other name) shows up and reveals himself to be an angel at last, she seems to take his side on the matter. Emi seemingly defeated, it looks like it will be up to Maou to stop him and Orba, who’s finally awoken in the hospital at last.