Code Geass R2 Ep 22
I like Code Geass. I’m the kind of guy who’d find good in practically every episode where others would scream “plothole!” because they overlooked something. In general, anyway, I’m the kind of guy who’s very easy to please and would try to find saving grace in practically anything. (You’ve seen my previous posts.)
This episode, however, was a colossal disappointment. So with many spoilers and a lot of anger, allow me to say what I feel about the episode.
The resolution of the Ragnarok Junction plot would’ve been a great ending to the series—had it been done at the very end. The crushing of the will of every human would’ve been a great tragedy for Lelouch to witness or avert, and indeed he has done this, ascending to the pinnacle of his power as a Geass User. However, he is now up against opponents who, for all intents and purposes, are immune to his power. (They know too much about it to be vulnerable to it.) Thus, he uses his Geass on his followers instead, making total, mindless slaves of them.
The episode begins with Lelouch abolishing the Empire’s traditions of oligarchical power play and making slaves of his siblings: Odysseus is seen doing laps in a grunt uniform (he needs the spine, anyway—though the Geass Lelouch used on him pretty much makes him a mindless zombie), while Carline and Guinevere are seen mopping up floors in the palace in maid uniforms. Furthermore, Lelouch sets fire to the Emperor’s tomb, erasing all memories of Charles di Britannia and the past that he stood for from the nation. Finally, Lelouch sets all the Numbers free, abolishing the colonialism of Britannia.
The Black Knights watch the broadcast of Lelouch’s reforms from the Ikaruga, amazed at the progress and yet doubting Lelouch’s intentions. Kaguya mentions, however, that many of the UNF members support Lelouch’s reign and think he’s much better than his father.
Lelouch is seen in the throne room assembling a new order of Geassed soldiers who follow his every whim. Lloyd asks Lelouch if he could study his power for even just once, but Jeremiah comes in, asking Lloyd if he wanted to die. Jeremiah reports to Lelouch that he’s successfully subjugated another rebel noble, and Lelouch remarks on how uppity they’ve been as of late. C.C. says it’s only natural, since their vested interests are being taken away from them.
Nina and Milly are talking in the Ashford basement about the future. Milly’s company is considering whether to support Lelouch or not, and whether to move back to the homeland. Rivalz comes in with pizza for Nina, and–get this–totally ignores Milly. He walks right past her and goes down the stairs to Nina, while Milly looks on for a second and walks away. Is this the start of a Rivalz x Nina pairing? (Honestly, it makes more sense than Rivalz x Milly and Nina x Table. I mean, Mr. Sidekick and Remorseful Racist-tan!)
Cut to Lelouch and Suzaku relaxing at the Pendragon’s Excelica Garden. Suzaku says that within days of his accession, Lelouch has already changed the face of Britannia forever. Lelouch says, however, that he has yet to make rivers of blood flow. He plans to be such a horrible despot and wicked tyrant that even Euphemia’s massacre of the Elevens will be forgotten–a plan he calls Requiem Zero.
An emergency message alerts Lelouch to an armed incursion: It’s the Knights of the Round, led by Bismarck. Flying with him are Gino, Monica (Knight of Twelve) and Dorothea (Knight of Four). I was expecting an awesome showdown involving a concerted effort by the Rounds to take down Suzaku, capitalizing on their strengths and complementary combat styles to overpower him.
This scene, however, was the part of the episode I hated the most. It seemed that the whole scene was devoted entirely to showing how overpowering Lancelot Albion was and writing off the Knights of the Round.
Dorothea lasted about 22 seconds from when she first appeared. Monica lasted four seconds from when she first appeared, not even finishing Suzaku’s name before she gets disintegrated by a VARIS shot to the face. The worst part of it is that their knightmare frames were not even shown. Obviously they couldn’t show the Rounds in regular Sutherlands, Vincents or even Gareths. They were shown in incognito KFs that were more awesome than the Gareths, but were just too old to keep up with Haxzaku, his SEED mode—err, Live Geass, and Strike Freedom—err, Lancelot Albion. (Which by the way, is a NINTH-generation Knightmare Frame. What about eighth-generation KFs?)
Gino shows up, telling Suzaku to wake up and join the good guys. Suzaku says “same to you” as he catches and breaks Gino’s rocket harkens, and launches a devastating counterattack. Gino lasted approximately 25 seconds until he got Harkengrappled and Spinzakued to the face.
Finally, Suzaku goes up against Zen—err, Bismarck. The Knight of One taunts Suzaku, saying he has no reason to relinquish his title to him and reveals his Geass (which has already been obviously hinted at in Ep 20). Suzaku, however, says he has no need for the title, being Knight of Zero. He draws his Excalibur, proclaims that he is Bismarck Waldstein, the Sword that Cleaves Traitors, and says his Excalibur never fails to cleave, and attacks.
Since the fight is being broadcast internationally, Lelouch says that failure is not an option. Suzaku concurs, and Lelouch commands him to live, activating his SEED mode—errr, Live Geass.
Bismarck fights valiantly, lasting for almost two whole minutes against Suzaku. However, despite the former’s precognitive Geass, Suzaku still manages to beat him by using the Live Geass to his advantage, going in for a suicidal frontal assault that Bismarck’s Geass predicts–however, the Live Geass kicks in, forcing him to involuntarily duck out of the way at the last moment. Bismarck’s sword and the Galahad itself are split in half.
Ugh. This fight really could’ve been done in a much more credible way. I’d have the Rounds fight in a formation that allowed their combat styles to complement each other: Bismarck leading the charge to pin down Suzaku, while Gino skirmishes by taking potshots at him. They could’ve even brought Anya along to snipe from afar, laying down a curtain of destructive fire. Unfortunately, we don’t really know what Dorothea’s and Monica’s Knightmares can do. In any case, the Albion’s power and Suzaku’s prowess would’ve been a lot more impressive that way—he’s pinned, cornered, and is unable to win—which is when Lelouch suddenly helps him out with tactical analysis.
The entire attack on the motherland was harebrained as well. Bismarck’s reason was entirely stupid—it was obvious that Charles was already dead. How could he still pledge his loyalty to someone who was dead? Why didn’t he just join Schneizel (who would be heir presumptive given Odysseus’ current state of mind) if he didn’t like Lelouch?
Furthermore, Bismarck apparently did it without any battleship support, without any intelligence on the Albion or its capabilities (heck, they should have known that it was under construction, right? And that Lloyd had joined up with Lelouch? Or are they suffering from the stereotypical oxymoron of “Military Intelligence”?), and it seems, without any battle plan at all. (Take the Imperial Capital with just a few Knightmares?) They should’ve anticipated Albion, should’ve anticipated Suzaku, and even if they were supposed to lose, they could’ve at least put up an impressive fight that would likely have made Albion all the more impressive.
It’s really unfortunate. Bismarck could’ve been a very effective Dragon to Schneizel, but the production staff just tossed him out of the equation like that. So who’s going to fight for Schneizel now? (If it’s Cornelia, please don’t let her die. Two of my favorite Britannians–Bismarck and Guilford–are already dead. Cornelia’s all that’s left. )
All in all, this scene was a waste of time and was stupid through and through. The best two words to describe it: Fanboy Fuel.
In any case, with Bismarck’s defeat, Lelouch broadcasts his intention to join the UFN and says that while he intends to abide by the UFN’s regulations and laws, he would like to set the meeting place in a neutral territory: Ashford Academy in Japan. He will not bring Suzaku or any military officials with him as a show of his sincerity.
Schneizel and his staff are seen watching the announcement, and Anya is with them. Cut to commercial break and back. Schneizel says that someone who couldn’t take them anymore had fled. (Presumably Anya; she’s no longer seen in the rest of the episode.)
Lelouch arrives at Ashford with the crowd looking on with oohs and ahhs. Rivalz tries to climb over the barricade, calling out to Lelouch. Now for some reason, the Black Knights, of all people, accost Rivalz, a Britannian, and are angry at him for showing disrespect to the Emperor of Britannia.
Wait for a moment.
The Black Knights, which were an organization created to overthrow Britannia’s rule in their country, are now, all of a sudden, loyal to the Emperor of the country that practically destroyed their identity as a nation? Even if he’s another Emperor, why do they automatically protect him from a Britannian?
Sigh. Nothing makes sense anymore. Of course, this scene fortunately ends well:
A pairing that actually makes sense.
In case you noticed the Black Knights’ visors, it’s because they were instructed to wear reflective eyewear to prevent the use of Lelouch’s Geass. Even Kallen, who was to meet Lelouch herself, requested the Black Knight brass to have a sniper take her down in case she was suspected of being Geassed.
Lelouch meets Kallen again, and acts as if it were his first time to see her (much to her disappointment). They walk through the hall they’d once shared lots of happy moments in, and Kallen expresses her gratitude to Lelouch for everything he’d done for them. Finally, she asks him what he thinks of her, then kisses him.
Lelouch, however, remains stoic. Kallen, understanding, said goodbye. Under his breath, Lelouch does too, out of earshot. Thanks for ruining my favorite pairing, Sunrise. Kallen would be the best wife material among any of Lelouch’s possible paramours. I have a feeling that they’ll never reconcile.
Lelouch finally reaches the UFN assembly and formally makes his request to Kaguya. Kaguya still sees him as Zero, the freedom-fighting hero she once loved and considered her husband. Since the decision-making process is democratic, a vote is in order. Kaguya activates a shield around Lelouch (how did they add that to Ashford on such short notice?) to hide the voters–and of course, to prevent him from Geassing anyone.
The assembly speaks favorably, finding the shield to be rude and also acknowledging that all of Britannia’s evil was the fault of Charles and that the current Britannia was something else. However, Kaguya, Xing Ke, Toudou, and Ohgi open private channels to Lelouch, asking him what he was really up to. (Though it seems that only Kaguya’s and Lelouch’s voices were audible to the assembly.) The four of them make it known that due to the collapse of the Chinese Federation, the country with the largest population in the world is Britannia. Since a country’s electoral count in the assembly of the UFN is proportionate to its population, Britannia would end up being the decider in the UFN’s policymaking—effectively making Lelouch the Emperor of the world. Lelouch asks Kaguya what determines the right to rule, and she speaks of pride and honor. Lelouch disagrees, offering his own answer: The preparedness to destroy oneself and the world. He points to the sky, and Roofzaku drops through the roof in Lancelot once more, pointing its guns at the assembly (naturally shocking everyone).
The Black Knights say they were unable to stop the Lancelot as it just flew out of the ocean, and while the Ikaruga begins to sortie to Ashford, they detect a gigantic movement of Britannia’s forces—heading straight for Japan. (Maybe that’s why Bismarck was able to move into the motherland, and how Schneizel’s next move proved to be undetectable until the aftermath.)
Seriously, though. How do you hide that many ships? Even if you had them in a holding pattern in the Pacific Ocean, I’m sure someone would spot them.
Anyway, the Black Knight KFs stationed at Ashford begin to sortie, including Kallen. Ashford is taken over by Lelouch’s Geass Zealots.
Presenting, the Amazing Shrinking Lancelot! Even if you take into consideration perspective and position, the Lancelot is all of a sudden half its height in this picture. QUALITY pzl.
Rivalz and Nina are trying to escape the academy on Rivalz’s sidecar, and they say more things that make me believe that they’re really seriously being paired up.
The two of them run into a Black Knights barricade and then turn off the highway just to run into another blockade:
A Geass Zealot reports that Nina was successfully retrieved, which seems to have been Lelouch’s main reason for setting this whole thing up, anyway. So what does he want to do, fill the world with pretty pink nuclear lights?
Anyway, Lelouch begins to breathe down poor Kaguya’s neck, telling her to go ahead with the “vote.”
The jerk. He made her cry. Kaguya shields her face to protect herself from Lelouch’s Geass, but it seems that’s not his plan at all. However, Shockzaku is shocked! Bad news.
Schneizel obliterates the capital with FLEIJA, and unveals his shiny new toy:
Damocles.(How did something that big get to the motherland? Are they aware that if the FLEIJA explosion was spherical and had a radius of 100 km, it would touch space?)
Even worse, Schneizel confronts Lelouch:
Nunnally, likely fattened up with Schneizel’s pretty words, tells Suzaku and Lelouch that she is now their enemy.
…WHY? How can she hate her brother and his former best friend so much yet stay with a man who has the gall to nuke the Imperial capital while their own brothers and sisters are inside it?
I don’t get it. This series actually used to be good, and I had high hopes for it. Now it’s a mess. I sure hope Sunrise is happy with the profits they got from this, because frankly, I’m just about ready to give up on the series. I just hope that it redeems itself before the end.