「絶望の罪人」 (Zetsubo no Tsumibito)
And so, thanks to an untimely intervention on Link’s part, the Earl ends up taking the remnants of the Third Exorcists to cap off a definitive victory on the part of the latter. Walker is imprisoned despite attempts to do the right thing, and the Black Order demonstrates once again how skewered their priorities really are. When push comes to shove, the truth only matters if it fits or results in the narrative they want, and the Cardinal’s actions at the episode’s conclusion merely emphasize how the place Allen called home may now be anything but. Granted, they don’t really tell us as to what’s actually being done to him, but with the previews hinting at an inability to use Innocence and the immediate reactions after the fact, let’s just say it can’t be good.
Curiously enough, it’s exactly this chain of events that could make the Earl (and Road) his best chance of survival, which would be the ultimate of ironic twists. The question is how readily the Noah would even participate in a rescue if their current lives ended up at risk as a result, and arguably the biggest surprises of the episode come from the revelation that the Earl told the Noah to sacrifice themselves to protect the Fourteenth and the fact that some of the Noah’s individual members are now acting behind his back in order to try and understand what’s going on. Of course, it’s extremely unlikely they’d betray the Earl when it’s all said and done given their ties, but the fact there’s even some dissension in the first place is surprising, and it goes to show just how illogical the Earl becomes when it comes to matters relating to the Fourteenth.
With that in mind, the captured Bookman’s memories suddenly become the most important piece of the short-term puzzle, and with a sudden offhand mention of “the Heart,” things are certainly advancing quicker than one would ever have expected. The mention of a lost Bookman successor merely adds to the intrigue, and it’s times like this where you realize how Bookman’s neutral stance as an observer also means that he likely knows much more than everyone else about what’s going on and how things ended up the way they did. Subsequently, one can argue that he did nothing despite the fact that this additional knowledge could’ve influenced prior events, and it’s interesting how looking at him with a different lens changes him into someone who’s potentially just as bad as those behind the Black Order in some respects.
Either way, the last few episodes are at hand, and it looks like the series will go off with a bang suitable for its current run. Here’s looking forward to how things go from here.