Oh boy was this ever a fun week. Zero has certainly been ramping up the suspense of late, but it seems time for some cathartic bloodletting as Thirteen proves himself to be the villain and Zero experiences the first taste of doubt. It might have been an episode with few answers and yet more questions, but Zero has now set itself up for some serious fun and games.
While we now have a better understanding of Thirteen and his current objective, we definitely do not know of his actual plans. The guy wants to recover Zero’s book of doom yes—that much is clear—but I seriously doubt it’s just because of its destructive potential. Thirteen is incredibly shady, making a sly ploy to first separate Albus from Zero, and then literally brainwashing the mercenary to isolate Zero. He is adamant Zero returns to the caves, and frequently promises to bear her burden (i.e. recover the book for her). Plus there’s also the brief moment where Thirteen insinuated the grimoire was his. There’s no doubt for me Thirteen has an ulterior motive, and I would not be surprised if it involves monopolizing Zero’s book for political ends. Thirteen could easily envy Zero’s power after all—the signs are there—and he may fancy himself a better source of order and stability than the church or state. With so many potential ways to take Thirteen’s desires—simple despot, world “saviour”, harbinger of chaos—it’s a total mystery where this villain in the making is going.
Where Thirteen helps stir the pot as well is in elaborating on Zero’s political divisions. We knew of the three witch groups last week, but I found it quite intriguing how culpability extends to all three. The rogue witches are obvious given their actions, but it’s surprising discovering the Sorcerers of Zero create rogue witches, and not only that, but breed resentment through their retaliatory killing. It’s kind of a chicken versus egg scenario, it’s unclear who actually sparked the civil war, but both the church/state and the Sorcerers are responsible for the fallout. As Albus unwillingly discovered this week, his faction is not as morally upright as he wants to believe, particularly given his leader “Him” actually stole the grimoire and killed every cave dweller except Thirteen and Zero. As with Thirteen’s hidden goals, I seriously doubt giving magic to the masses was the sole objective of “Him’s” actions, there’s another desire hiding behind that Promethean reasoning. The answer to that involves finding out who benefits from all the chaos.
With a surprising number of moving parts at play, I’ll be damned if Zero has not captured my attention wholesale. The plot truly thickens as the weeks pass, and now we also have our first true test of Zero’s fluffy relationship. While still shocking, I honestly expect this falling out to end next week. The mercenary cares too much now to let her go that easy—especially given Thirteen’s worm tongue was hallucinogenic—and Zero, once the hurt numbs, will eventually understand why her body pillow had some doubts. The girl is still naïve about things, but there’s too much depth to her friendship—and contract—to have it die that easily. No idea of course how both will end up reconciling, but with Albus’s fate unclear, a certain
dog wolf reappearing, and a magic potion tugging at the imagination, you can bet on a wild ride. Who knew you could actually look forward to Mondays.