I was planning to make a review post for Episode 2 but seeing the newest episode made me change my mind. Not that it is bad; Episode 11 does a good job of setting up things up for the Finale. But, like the first part of a detective/mystery novel, I believe said episode cannot be judged on its merit until we see the solution/key to the mystery.
Until now, the cases are episodic; we were presented the problem, the clues and the solution within the same episode. This time though, what we have are problems and some of the clues – the resolution still lies next week unaired.
This does provide a unique opportunity to truly guess and not rely on hindsight. Let us see how much we’ll get right on the next episode!
For those who are reading this post, here is a simple legend:
Normal text= Fact or something that I believe is 100% true
Italic text = Speculation/Guesses/Wishful thinking
The Kingdom is divided into 3 major active factions with differing agenda right now.
Rebel Colonist – In exchange for helping the Princess get the throne, the Princess will help the Commonwealth. On paper, this is a pretty sweet deal for Control – they could use the Princess to gain access to things not possible for their normal spies and they could install a puppet ruler once the deal succeeded. On the other hand, if the Princess proved false, they could just assassinate her with the team that is assigned to Operation Changeling and have her replaced.
For control, they must feel that Operation Changeling is a sure bet, no matter how it goes. Thus, out of sight of our protagonists, they went and spread propaganda and dissent in the Princess name. This enabled faction Rebel Colonist to form – a group who wants to put the Princess on the throne for a better future.
The Queen and her Loyalist – While the Queen isn’t aware of the plots around her. She should still have a power base that is loyal to her. This faction most likely believes it is business as usual and would most likely be blindsided by the events to come. It doesn’t help that the one who’s supposed to prevent that from happening is actively helping to pull the wool from the Queen’s eye – cough Duke of Normandy cough.
Duke Normandy’s Faction – the Kingdom’s head of Intelligence is up to no good. Noticing the rebellion forming, he is preparing the army but doesn’t tell the Queen. This would lead the Queen to not be heavily guarded at a crucial moment and thus easy pickings for an assassination.
The Duke of Normandy is most likely in the line of succession. He is going to let the coup happen to get closer to the throne and come off as a hero. The forces he command might arrive purposely late to save the Queen or other noble personages the Duke doesn’t like but early enough to defeat the coup and their entrenchment.
The other possibility is letting it happen fully. He might hope the incoming fight would kill most of those who have power leaving the Duke as the only viable candidate. This could also Duke to set-up a separate capital at Normandy, his seat of power.
- The Commonwealth
The Commonwealth had a change of leadership. It seemed like that whatever faction “L” belongs to got supplanted by the military. And the military wants Operation: Changeling to happen now. They ordered the assassination of the Princess and for Ange to replace her. This though is just step 1 of their plan, as they are going to use Ange as “Princess Charlotte” to rally the Rebel Colonist and kill the Queen.
While the Commonwealth appears to be not as divided as the Kingdom, I believe there are factions in there as well. “L”‘s faction is probably okay with using the real!Princess or a fake!Princess as a puppet ruler on the throne. But, the military faction is probably not content playing intrigue and politics.
With the Military ascendant in the Commonwealth and the corresponding information of a military build-up surreptitiously dropped in the previous episodes, I believe that Control currently has no wish to put a puppet ruler on the Kingdom Throne. They are most likely using the Rebel Colonist to stage a coup in order to destabilize the kingdom as much as possible in order to prepare for invasion or a full-scale war.
Now we begin at the juicier parts, what do our main characters have to add to this Xanatos gambit pileup? Is the break-up of the such a heartwarming friendship inevitable? Who is the right one in this argument?
I chose to believe in a third option.
Ange and the Princess are freaking lying.
Let’s start with the easier to understand one – “Princess”. (Note: I’ll call Ange the Spy, “Charlotte” in this segment to help drive my point home).
“Princess” is committed to her ideal and won’t back down even if it cost her life. This puts her at odds to “Charlotte” who seemed to want her safe at any cost.
That said, I believe the harsh words Princess said to “Charlotte” is a lie. This is the classic “hurt your loved ones to keep them safe strategy”. The anime isn’t even shy about this with their choreography. Not showing Princess face while having tears fall from her eyes.
From the time she locked “Charlotte” at that room, everything Princess uttered is false. Seriously, how many times has Princess said in the previous episodes that she loves “Charlotte” past personality? Heck, just this last scene we have Princess happily reminiscing about their escapades.
In fact, judging from the content of Princess’ words, she’s most likely talking about herself. I really doubt Ange even as “Charlotte” have a sunny, mischievous personality. We know that “Charlotte” is borderline depressed just this episode. That is not a personality conducive to mischief-making. Instead, the show has consistently portrayed the Princess as the adventurous, mischievous one and “Charlotte” as the one who goes along her whims and fixes any mess that results from it.
Also, note the Princess wording.
The Princess always calls our resident superspy in private as “Charlotte”. Not anything else. This is her saying goodbye because the Princess believed that she’s going to die. But, as she argued to “Charlotte” she is going to do her best to make a difference.
Personally, I believe that Zelda will discover the Princess is pretending to be Ange and then try to kill her. But not immediately, the Rebel Colonist still need a figure to rally around. After that, it is fair game.
Note that the Princess has no idea about the coup in progress or the Rebel Colonist so I doubt she has some grand plan on using them before. That said there is still hope that the Princess could use them to her advantage in the next episode.
This is going to be controversial and might be a product of wishful thinking.
But, there are two ways to read Ange this episode – straight – as someone who is getting increasingly desperate to save someone she loves or as the show has repeatedly taught us – a lying liar who lies.
I chose to believe that Ange is lying.
Remember the beginning of the third episode? Ange and Princess have a conversation that mirrors what they will have at the airship. And Ange learned from that conversation that the Princess wouldn’t be dissuaded from her path even if it cost her life.
Do you guys remember what Ange said?
I will deceive them all.
I’ll deceive you, the world and even myself.
Ange is making good on her promise. Besides that, there are several things that don’t add up:
- We don’t know the result of Ange and Dorothy’s conversation. Only that Ange said “Thank you” at the end of it. Dorothy is also suspiciously absent for the rest of the episode.
- Ange blatantly telegraphed that she is lying when Chise offered her help.
- Ange is a deliberate character. The fact that she kept calling her childhood friend by “Princess” – a name that she admitted denote respect and the person is now worthy of that role when Ange want said Princess to toss said role to the curb is weird. Its like she’s sabotaging herself.
- The fact that Ange got tossed around by Princess. Seriously. Ange is consistently portrayed as an expert at close quarter combat. We have a scene about that a few minutes ago. How did that happen?
So yeah, I’m betting my pokedollars on Ange having another plan. And hey, there could be allusions to this on the previous episodes.
Notice on episode 3 that while Ange says that she’ll deceive everyone, Princess gets blinded by the rays of the sun. Could it be foreshadowing that Princess will at one point not be able to see through Ange’s lies?
And another interpretation of OP. While Ange jumps to rescue the Princess, Ange for a moment turned into a lizard in the Princess perception and then back again to Ange. Could it also be an allusion to the above? That while Ange is doing her best to rescue Princess, for a moment Princess will not be able to recognize Ange?
That said, even if Ange doesn’t have a plan and there isn’t an agenda in the works I’m confident that she’s still going to try to rescue the Princess next episode.
These are my final speculations. Even if I get an egg on my face next week, I hope we have a satisfying conclusion. Also praying for an S2. ^^
Thanks for the ride PriPri!