I knew she wasn’t gone. I knew I saw a fleeting moment of hesitation before her complete destruction of Battler in the third game. Hope lives for Moetrice’s true resurrection!
~Pu ku ku, Ronove that mischievous kidder. His description of a despondent, nearly comatose Battler perks the concerns of Moetrice, who turns out to be better at dishing it out than being on the receiving end.
Unfortunately for Moetrice, Battler has moved onto his rebound relationship, fondling Beelzebub, right in front of Moetrice, to grab some delicious biscuits. This leads to Moetrice going back into hiding, with the Beatrice personality taking front row center for the rest of the episode. It also probably didn’t help that Ange has now come to play the game along with Battler – ostensibly without the ulterior motives that his former partner, Virgilia had. Anyway, with the relationship fun out of the way, onto the episode.
Seeing Bern in cat form seemed too fitting. I like the purple eyes and little tail ribbon, just to make sure we knew it was her. Whether you’re a witch or a cat, make sure you always travel in style. On the game board, Battler runs into Ange and apologizes, but shows no signs of recognizing who she is. However, Ange tells Bernkastel how happy she is to see her family happy again. Rather than Hanyuu, I wonder if Ange will play more the Maebara role – the X factor that allows change to occur.
Battler recognizes Ange from the last game, but there’s no guarantee that she isn’t another trap set by Beatrice. Battler recognizes this, but Ange (or Gretel, as she introduces herself to Battler) seems to strike a chord, when she reminds him that there’s someone outside waiting for him to return.
Elsewhere, we see a bit of Ange’s life growing up with Eva, who may or may not have had some enhancement surgeries to keep up her looks (although her sickness causes her to take a drastic dive in looks and health). Eva is still distraught over the loss of George, and she takes her resentment out on Ange. We also see that Ange’s life at school (Saint Lucia, the same school that Shion went to in Higurashi) is probably just as disfunctional as her life at home. She’s isolated from her classmates, as jealousy and envy seems to reek from them. It also doesn’t help that Ange herself isn’t the most affable person.
Ange shuffles off on her own to read a diary that Maria had left behind talking about magic and witches. We then see a flashback with Maria pulling off a pretty mean Kobato, talking stuffed animal and all. The ~uryu is much more cuter sounding than the seagull-esque ~uu. Rosa meanwhile shows off her super mom skills by creating that said talking stuffed animal for Maria, then leaving the little 9 year old girl alone while she goes on overnight
rendezvous work trips. It’s a good thing this story didn’t take place in the US, because child services would’ve been all over Rosa and Maria. Who knows whether Maria’s diary would’ve ever reached Ange, if Maria ended up being deported to some foster home.
Ange meanwhile doesn’t seem to quite understand what power the magic holds, beyond creating talking stuffed animals, but a short conversation with ghost Maria helps her realize that if she had more magical power, she could talk with Maria at any time. Now, is ghost Maria an apparition from the dead, a magical projection, or simply Ange’s insanity?
Apparently, Okonogi started working for the Ushiromiyas after running the Yamainu for a while. I’m guessing there’s not a whole lot of significance behind his presence, and it’s one of those random meaningless crossovers you see CLAMP do all the time. However, he appears to be serving as some sort of caretaker (and executioner) for Ange. The discussion between him and Ange about people viewing things differently, because of love, was a good one though. Okonogi believes that Eva wasn’t the culprit, because he feels her tears for George and Hideyoshi couldn’t have been fake, while Ange believes the opposite. Both come to separate conclusions with the same evidence, because of their feelings towards Eva. Both may be right and wrong here. I do think Eva cares for her family, I don’t know that it extends beyond her immediate family – Hideyoshi and George. Although I believe she’s still the most likely culprit based on the evidence to date, I feel like it’s too obvious for me to believe that she’s the true culprit in the end though.
I’m not exactly sure what happened next, but apparently, Ange’s aunt from the Sumadara family wants Ange iced. But Okonogi, who’s taken a shine to Ange’s boldness, gives her a head start, and later provides her a bodyguard and driver to get her out of the pinch. For a second, I thought Tomitake might show up as her driver, but alas we get some bishonen.
Flashback over, we return to the gameboard, where we see that the adults are not getting along as well as they did in the previous arc. Kraus refuses to let the others see Kinzo (or more accurately, tells them Kinzo doesn’t want to see him), at which point, Kyrie theorizes that Kinzo’s already dead and proposes a deal to Krauss, forcing him to clarify whether Kinzo is still alive and whether Krauss is worthy of the inheritance.
Kinzo being dead or not present on the island when the murders begin is something I’ve postulated for a while now. There’s something a bit odd about him either being completely missing or showing up as an unidentifiable charred corpse in each game. Rather than him being dead though, I’m more apt to believe that he leaves the island when the family arrives and before the twilight murders begin, opening up a spot for that 18th person being the culprit. When Battler tells Beatrice to verify that Kinzo is among the 18 in red, she refuses and introduces another rule change.
So now Battler has to make a hypothesis in blue, to warrant Beatrice’s response in red. The catch is that the blue text has to deny witches as a possible explanation. Meanwhile Gretel instructs Battler to stop using a pistol and start using a shotgun with his explanations. And while Battler claims he’s figured how to fight, I really doubt that, considering he doesn’t seem to have remembered any of the instructions Virgilia gave him previously. But Battler asks the question that I’ve wanted to ask, although the way he asks it, still seems too restricted. I wouldn’t have said that Kinzo was dead, and instead would’ve said that he wasn’t on the island when the murders began, as I mentioned above. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. I’m looking forward to seeing how Beatrice shatters that text.
Back on the game board, Krauss agrees to try to convince Kinzo to meet the family. Kinzo meanwhile apparently has been working out, because he tosses Krauss like a rag doll, while bemoaning Krauss’ weakness. Kinzo vows to clear up the family quarrel himself. Now this seems like clear evidence that Kinzo is alive (and I actually do think he’s alive), but if we go back to the third game, we’ve already learned that we can’t trust anything we see on the game board. Is this Kinzo really Kinzo? Or is it a Beatrice/Lambdadelta creation like EvaBeatrice? Simply seeing him doesn’t prove that he’s alive or still on the island. Hopefully, Battler asks some good follow up questions in the next episode.
The introduction of the blue text at first glance seems like it should help Battler, because if he’s able to ask the questions the right way, he can force Beatrice to reveal truths with red. But it’s doubtful Beatrice introduced the blue text as a way to help Battler. And the title of the next episode "Zugzwang" (one of my favorite chess terms actually), suggests that she may be painting Battler into a corner again.