The first half of R2 has been one great episode after another. With the minor exception of the School Festival episode each episode of R2 has been able to stand out on its with each episode giving us at least one "Oh Shit!" moment. But for some reason I did not get that same feeling from watching this episode.
The episode started off strong with Lelouch coming up with a brilliant plan in order to "kill" his dad without having to look eye to eye. The plan in a nut shell was that Lelouch used a bunch of mirrors that were shot out of his Shikiro in and quickly used his Geass that bounced off one mirror to the next to reach the Emperor and ordered to kill himself. Now even though I knew the Emperor was not dead since he is one of the end bosses for this series it was still a cool move by Lelouch and it was as close to an "Oh Shit!" moment we would have in this episode.
After that first 5 minutes I couldn't help but be disappointed with the rest of the episode. This is not to say this was a bad episode but more like the whole story structure felt a bit to predictable with telling of CC's origin story and what her wish is. It might be because I have read to many books, comics, and manga that have some sort of immortal character but it is predictable that CC's wish(es) was to die. From what I can tell CC has been around for at least sometime before the American Revolution since I could not tell if were she was living during her time with only her Love Geass was somewhere in Great Britain or in one of the 13 colonies. So it was predictable that since the start of her contract with Lelouch that she wanted to be killed.
And you know what I would have been fine if that was her only wish since her origin story and the Love Geass she had before becoming immortal gives reason why CC is such a cold and detached person that she would want to die after living so long. But now that CC has lost her memory and turned back into being the slave girl she used to be before she got her Geass it feels like they regressed her character in order to just keep one of the most popular characters on the show. More than any other character death CC's death would have been the most shocking to see at the half way point and could have made this show even more unpredictable than it already was. But now I kind of feel like I can predict how this story is going with this move and that this adds nothing but filler for the story.
Now the most interesting part of this episode other than the first five minutes was the sub-plot involving Prince Schneizel and what looks to be some sort of Atomic Bomb-like weapon Nina created. Even though we only got about two minutes dedicated to this sub-plot it was cool to see since I have thought that Schneizel has his own endgame in mind that no one, not even the Emperor, knows about. I have found it weird that after the China arc Schneizel had disappeared and not been given any lines since the arc but hopefully with this new development we will see more of what Schneizel has planned and how it will ruin the Emperor's and Lelouch's plans.
For the other two sub-plots that went on during this episode I found them to not be very interesting. If there has been one character I could care less about it is Ohgi. Nothing against the character but the writers have not really developed his character enough for me to care about or hate. So I kind of hope he is dead since that will trim some of the cast down a bit since it is getting ridiculous how large the cast of characters, both main and supporting, they have that have played a much larger role than Ohgi has at this point.
Also the whole scene with Suzaku tempted to use Refrain on Kallen and later him lying to Nunnally to be a bit forced into this episode that does not develop his character any further. It wasn't hard to tell Suzaku would not use Refrain on Kallen since that would be to extreme for his character. And though I found him lying to Nunnally to be forced I do wonder how long he can keep up lying to Nunnally since she is like a sister to him
Overall while I did not hate this episode I did not like it and felt disappointed about how predictable this episode's story was. For how strong R2 has been this is probably my least favorite episode so far of the series and I hope this show gets back on track and we find out more about the endgame of various characters in the show since not much was revealed in this episode and we go back to the war aspect of this show.
Episode Rating - 6.2/10
Thursday, March 12, 2009