「Case 22 Comfort Comrade」
We are given an insight into the agent production process through an institution known as ‘The Farm’, which clearly takes inspiration from one of the CIA’s training camps. It’s pretty telling that Ange, Dorothy and Prefect were the last surviving members of their graduating class. Fast-forward to the present day, and we have an operation for all three of them to retrieve some sensitive documents. Only this mission is actually a subtext to investigate whether Prefect has become a double agent.
It’s not secret that the world of spies is extremely cut-throat, cold, and uncaring world. However, it is not entirely devoid of positive emotions either. The pathetic fallacy of the snow may have set a somber tone, but it warmed my heart to see the love and affection Prefect had towards Dorothy, for being a shining light in a life full of darkness. When I rewatcheed the episode to gather screencaps, I couldn’t help but notice how the only occasions Prefect smiled were in the presence of Dorothy. That tiny warmth amidst a cold winter quickly became despair, when Prefect shot herself through the head, in order to save Dorothy the pain of having to kill a friend. Needless to say, it was pretty heartbreaking to watch. This actually made me think back to a scene from Puella Magi Madoka Magica :
Why did Prefect have to die? Examining the evidence, the Kingdom seemed to have her on a leash with some kind of drug she built a dependence on. During her quick break in the bathroom, we can see the extreme effects it has upon her health, as her complexion seemed hugely deteriorated. While I really want to hear an explanation for these syringes and whatever is inside them, let that be a lesson to y’all. Don’t take drugs! I’m telling ya, it’s not worth it.
Though unfortunate third parties have always been caught up in the struggles between the Kingdom and the Commonwealth, this episode served as a grim reminder for the kind of gnarly demise one might expect to befall those dabbling in espionage at the highest level. Prefect became a sacrificial lamb to get this message across, and I really approve of how they went about executing it. To be honest, I expected Ange to shoot the gun out of her hand. So when Prefect pulled the trigger and ended her life, I ended up feeling quite shaken.
Now that a military general is in control of the Commonwealth faction, I’m starting to suspect that in actuality, the Duke of Normandy has been secretly pulling the strings behind everything. With the order to eliminate the Princess coming through, that makes my suspicion even more likely, and things begin to look dire for the Princess as her situation looks precarious. Despite maintaining a perfect poker face, I’m certain that Ange will betray the Kingdom in order to protect the Princess. If Dorothy couldn’t even put her allegiance to the Commonwealth aside for a friend like Prefect, I’m seriously doubting her ability to show up when her friends need her. But hopefully, Prefect’s death have sown the seeds of disillusionment, that will culminate in Dorothy’s defection. The turning of cogs of change signify that greater machinations are afoot, as the curtains soon look set to dramatically close upon a stage engulfed by mystery and excitement.