With the shocker that was last episode, I think the rushed plot of the show at least makes some sense in this episode, but it’s still a lot to take in. The conquest of Europe goes swimmingly well for the Greater Germanian Empire. What can possibly go wrong? (Don’t Say That!)
Eylstadt fell quickly from the magical blitzkrieg, as Finé and the other members of her cabinet manage to escape in tunnels that only the Royal Guard knew. Coenenberg was completely obliterated by Sophie’s magically guided V-1 rockets and crystalized magic, before she moved on to other targets hidden in the hills. Back at Sellun, frantic Eylstadtian resistance give Hans and the Royal Guard time to rescue Izetta before she is carted off by the Germanians. With the impending arrival of Germanian soldiers, people flee to the mountains, taking up arms for eventual resistance.
Around the world, news spread of Eylstadt’s fall, shoking many, including the Atlantiean ambassador. Back in Neue Berlin, Emperor Otto is ecstatic of the news. Berkman though has been promoted and also relieved of his duties overseeing Sophie, while Otto’s blind advisor finds his voice grow smaller in light of the growing victory before the Empire. Otto puts off Sophie’s promise for the time being, having developed weapons for her use, but she will be allowed to destroy Eylstadt in the fullness of time.
In a dream sequence, Izetta’s grandmother fully explains the legend of the White Witch to her. Not only did she meddle in the affairs of humanity, she stole the magic stone from the first ever witch, which drains the witch’s life to overturn the laws of power. From this dream, Izetta awakes to the tear-filled eyes of Finé. In a voice-over by Lotte, it has been a month since they fled Landsbruck. Escaping to a hidden fortress in the Alps, it has effectively become the new capital of the nation, where surviving government and military leaders coordinate their resistance.
When she is fully awake, she is told of the war, and how the capital fell. She tries to place her blame on herself, though Finé explains it was her fault for being arrogant when she should’ve been cautious. Izetta explains that Sophie had told her she was the real White Witch, brought to life by science. Müller repeats this, with Finé explaining that now they know of Izetta’s weakness, they’ve come to fear Sophie’s powers, with Izetta located in a place where she can’t use her powers.
Elsewhere, Sophie uses the magic stone to absorb the magical powers of the land and crystallizes it, much to the unease of the Workshop 9’s head. Obtaining enough crystalized magic, she divides it into smaller balls which then go into the rocket motors of waiting V-1 rockets. With Bassler flying behind, Sophie leads the first of the bombardment force of V-1s against Britannia, starting the Blitz.
Back at the secret base, Müller explains that the magic stone strips the magic of the land, and it’s most likely how she was defeated at Sellun. Sophie had drained the land of magic there to entrap her. She’s a terrifying foe, unconstrained by the need for leylines and natural magic. He also explains how he knows this all. The Müller family was involved in the real White Witch incident, having helped Finé’s ancestor betray the White Witch to the Inquisition. Around the time they left for Britannia, he had found a diary detailing the events of the incident. Hans interrupts with news of Britannia’s bombings.
Back at Workshop 9 though, it seems that Sophie’s body is degrading. Even with only half the stone, it places a great deal of stress on her unstable clone body. Unsure how long she’ll last, Sophie responds that as long as is able to destroy Eylstadt. While the Workshop is creating spare bodies, they are unsure if it’ll retain the same consciousness the current Sophie has. Sophie responds to this by stating she was already dead to begin with. The Workshop 9 leader explains that they are developing weapons suited for the Exenium (magic crystals) she creates, and if she wants to exact her revenge, she should listen.
Elsewhere, Bassler gives his report to Berkman, who doesn’t sugar coat the fact they would be outmatched if they had to go against Sophie. Berkman explains he’s moving on in the world, but clarifies to Bassler that it isn’t of his own volition, and he’s being kicked out, having earned the paranoia of Emperor Otto. Stamping out his cigarette, he bids Bassler farewell, attempting to stay alive now he’s been suspected by his majesty.
Back at the secret base, those assembled watch as Izetta attempts to stand, with General Schneider pleading with the doctor to try to save her. One of Finé’s advisors suggests that she leave to form a Government-in-Exile. Izetta upon hearing this still wants to fight, though Finé realizes that she has made Izetta break her promise to not use her magic, with their current state of affairs being the end result. She cannot be thankful enough or apologetic enough to the girl who had fought for her, but is sure this is the end. She runs out of the room, wanting some time by herself, as everyone else looks on.
Back at Neue Berlin, Emperor Otto gives his advisors a draft of a peace conditions to the Allied powers, equating to ransom, which includes Gibraltar, Malta, Africa, the Middle East, and the Suez canal as well as monetary reparations equaling 130 million Marks. Asked if they would follow, Otto says they have no choice. After the Allies have been defanged, they will mount the invasion of the Volga Federation. Elliot cautions against this, noting their non-aggression treaty, but Otto had intended to break it when he had signed it.
Once Europe is under their control, they will cross the Atlantic Ocean for the final battle with the United States of Atlanta, leading to the Great Germanian Empire’s control of the entire world. All others are ecstatic of this news, apart from Elliot who appears to disprove of his Emperor’s actions.
Back at the hidden bunker, Izetta is upset for having disappointed Finé, and once again attempts to move. Falling to the floor, Bianca come to her aid as Müller comes in, face grim. Brushing aside Bianca’s admonitions, she explains she had made the Archduchess cry, and explains that it isn’t over yet nor has she repaid her back.
Müller drops down to her, and notes that there is a way to change things, regardless, and reveals to Izetta the missing half of the magic stone that has been with his family since the betrayal.
Well, it was a given that Finé would survive, though my thoughts last episode were much more grim. I had thought she’d be captured and tortured for the world to see, but I’m actually fine with this. There was really no surprise at this point of Müller’s knowledge of the White Witch, just the origin of that knowledge. Being descended from the family that helped the Mölder’s (the Prince’s wife of legend) and finding out that your ancestor left a diary detailing the drama that happened in the incident seems convenient, but considering the setting, I’m not really all that surprised.
Unlike Americans (or Atlanteans), the families of Europe are rooted deep into the past, and it stands to reason that a family that has maintained the Archduchy’s palace for so long would also have families that serve as servants for just as long. Just amused that such a book has survived surprisingly well enough over the centuries.
Now in other news, the technology of the world is once again sufficiently advanced. Arthur C. Clarke has once written that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Such a saying has been cited before many times, and has been bent or broken as well, particularly in the marriage of magic with science, as is being done here. The crystal fragments of Exenium created by Sophie seems to not only form the basis of the fuel for the V-1 rocket bombs, but also its guidance system and potentially an additive to the explosive potential of the weapon.
A single small crystal was enough completely obliterate the mountain that Coenenberg was once located on, and considering the preview of the weapon utilizing it was shown, one can say rather than fissionables, magical energy is the catalyst for weapons of mass destruction in the world of Izetta.
It is without saying this, but the Germanian Empire under Otto in the universe of Izetta is more formidable than the Nazi Germany of Hitler in our timeline. Even if Izetta is able to triumph in the remaining two episodes, kill Sophie, destroy her clones, and destroy any and all research regarding the witch, Otto still commands what amounts to the most technologically advanced militaristic nation in all of the world.
The scary thing is, even with the happy ending, it still is a bittersweet, and even Pyrrhic in nature. The pacing of the episode at this point is still quite fast, but frankly, after several episodes of rushed plot, this seemed rather slow. It is Otto consolidating on his victories while Eylstadt and the world are put into the defensive once more, with Eylstadt becoming nothing but an occupied territory.
Next episode probably is Finé coming to terms with her actions that had led to this point, with Izetta reassuring her all would be well as she starts to use the stone that will eventually kill her to prove it, with the last episode probably the big match between the two witches.