Geez, I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t tell if we’re getting any real clues, or the story is just meant to mess with us and throw as many random events as possible. Anyway, let’s try to put some pieces together.
I’m glad to see that Rosa and Eva decided not to duel each other to the death for the gold – although that may be because neither thought they could have gotten away with it. Rosa simply asks for 150 million yen to pay off her debts, and agrees to keep quiet so Eva can figure out how to pull the rug out from under Krauss and Rudolf.
I’m surprised to see the epitaph be solved so easily. And by two people at that. Moetrice didn’t think anyone would solve the riddle. Did both Eva and Rosa pick up on the same clue to solve the epitaph? While real life Eva is much more rational with her winnings, her still-teenage apparition hasn’t quite yet accepted the benefits of sharing.
But it’s apparition Eva who Moetrice recognizes as the one who solved the epitaph and earned the right to take over as Beatrice and the Golden and Endless Witch. In her coming of age ceremony, EvaBeatrice learns that Lambdadelta has been her supporter, while Berkastel merely refrains from criticizing EvaBeatrice too severely. How long has Moetrice been around? And with the history she has with Lamda and Bernkastel, I wonder how many of these "ceremonies" she’s pretended to conduct over the years.
Battler’s relying on Virgilia a little too much I think. I mean, we just learned in the last episode that whatever Moetrice shows could merely be a big special effect, so there’s no need to get flustered. However, Virgilia calms Battler down by telling him that the ceremony is a sham, and that he should think of Eva and EvaBeatrice as the same person.
Moetrice notifies Battler that she’s passed her title along and is no longer Beatrice and asks him to give her a name (Moetrice). Something cute she says (Moetrice). Instead Battler denies her and decides to continue calling her Beato, which disappoints the new, friendlier, cuter, but no less vicious Endless Witch. Ronove’s constant snickering is tremendously amusing. As Moetrice’s servant, he hasn’t exactly shown her the utmost respect. I suppose he feels confident that she won’t drive a stake through his head.
Regarding the whole ceremony, I’m thinking that the whole thing was a red herring to try to confuse Battler. It was pretty successful and possibly would’ve driven him insane if he didn’t have Virgilia’s help. I wonder where that ceremony actually took place. It looks a lot like the tea room, but obviously it’s not, since that’s where Battler and Moetrice are watching from. Is there a tea room both on the game board and in the meta world?
In the real world, Eva heads to her room with Hideyoshi, complaining of a headache. Unfortunately, the shrill cries of a very annoying Maria, who wants to check on her rose, brings Hideyoshi out of the room. He politely asks her to quiet down since Eva’s feeling sick, but that only drives her to launch into an even louder, more shrill, more annoying cry. Rosa quickly leads Maria into the garden to shut her up. Honestly, I felt bad for Rosa. This was probably the one time this season where I felt Maria was really deserving of a slap (except when she was making the strange gremlin faces and laughing like an asshole). Rosa and Maria encounter EvaBeatrice in the garden, while regular Eva’s condition worsens. I can’t even guess what Eva was suffering from, but her dialogue and the animation made it look like she was trying to keep from becoming possessed.
Strangely, Maria doesn’t recognize the Eva in the garden at first, but when she transforms into EvaBeatrice, Maria instantly points her out as Beatrice. EvaBeatrice then goes to town on Eva and Maria, killing them in all sorts of sweet, confectionary ways. I don’t know what it is about becoming a witch, but apparently it turns you into a murderous psycho. Or maybe only those who are murderous psychos are qualified to be witches? Although Virgilia seems to be an outlier.
Moetrice cackles in amusement and asks Battler whether he’s enjoying this too. Battler responds by bitch slapping half the moe out of her.
Moetrice’s shock at Battler’s angry reaction leaves me completely confused. It’s not the first time she’s seen him angry. I knew Moetrice thought these torture scenes were an interesting show. But I never thought that she actually believed that Battler found it interesting as well. All this time when she taunted Battler, I’d always interpreted that as her wanting to see Battler crumble and be crushed. But the way she talks about Battler, it’s almost as if she thought that they were friends. On the flip side, even Battler admits that at times he thought Moetrice was fun. Really? Battler always seemed like he’d been battling Moetrice so earnestly. Sure he might’ve enjoyed the gusto of his Phoenix Wright reactions, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any evidence of him thinking Moetrice was fun. I don’t think it impacts the game, but it’s just a strange turn of events between these two. Is this really a game of life and death for battler, or is this more of an entertaining chess match?
What was also interesting about Moetrice’s reactions after getting slapped (besides seeing Ronove calling her thick headed and snickering again), was how childlike her reactions and behavior were. They weren’t the reactions of an all-powerful, psycho-killer witch, but the reactions of a little kid who realized she went too far by kicking her friend’s sandcastle down. Is this the real Moetrice? Not necessarily an insane brutal killer, but merely a showman, who’s completely oblivious to the impact of her actions?
Stung by Battler’s criticisms, Moetrice quickly puts an end to Eva and Maria’s life – although Eva’s death wasn’t exactly the cleanest, most elegant death. Moetrice is going to need to take some killing etiquette classes. Like don’t mess with the face! Again, Maria reacts to Moetrice as if there was no difference between her or EvaBeatrice. There’s something there I think. But I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
Moetrice then tells EvaBeatrice that there’s no need for all this decadence, since the conditions for the resurrection have already been fulfilled. She then educates EvaBeatrice about the need to use magic more elegantly, and calls forth Ronove and the Seven Stakes to tell them to conduct their behavior in a manner that’s fitting for servants of a Golden Witch. While EvaBeatrice isn’t happy with her fun being curtailed, I got a real kick out of seeing Moetrice fumble and struggle to explain what behaving with elegance and dignity means. Likes to laugh, likes to play games, wants to please, believes in self-improvement… if Moetrice didn’t have this bad habit of killing everyone for fun, she’d be the kind of girl I wouldn’t mind bringing home to meet the parents.
So what to make of all this? I feel like we’re not any closer to any good clues than we were last week. When you think about where we left off last episode, with Ronove preventing Moetrice from using the red text and abruptly wisking her away to restrategize. I’m thinking that most of this episode was meant to divert Battler from the main mystery. The whole thing with the ceremony, the passing on of titles, the teenaged Eva, none of it seems critical to the story. And Battler’s statement, "all six were killed by other people" still remains unanswered.
However, I’m not sure what to make of Moetrice’s reaction to being slapped. But I don’t think her reaction was disingenuous. Actually, I think it’s perhaps the most genuinely honest display of Moetrice’s feelings that we’ve seen so far. It stands in sharp contrast to the craziness we’ve come to associate her with, which makes it a little difficult to accept readily. But is this the real Moetrice?