I suspect that the theme of this episode for Van is both the upright and the reversed cards.
The tag reveals the tarot card to be Temperance. In its upright form I believe this to represent balance, harmony, possibly transcendance. The reverse is not so positive.
The episode begins with Hitomi dreaming of Amano and having the dream transform into Allen. Alas the dream rapidly becomes a nightmare as Millerna appears.
It also appears that Hitomi talks in her sleep. Much to Merle's amusement, and Hitomi's embarrassment. Fortunately either Van didn't hear, or is too much of a gentleman to comment on it.
It also appears that Merle has been going through Hitomi's things again, and does get away with the pager this time.
Hitomi finally notices the similarity between her pendant and the energist. This leads to a discussion of families and a dose of homesickness on Hitomi's part (hardly a surprise). Van on the other hand is alone apart from Merle, the accidental mention of Folken by Hitomi does not go down well.
Van comments about growth but focuses on the sword. Hitomi looks a little worried about this, but lets it go especially when Van promises to get her home somehow.
The Zaibach fleet appears over Asturia. At this stage it only reinforces my earlier comments about asymmetrical warfare. Aston has dumped Allen in the clink to stop him doing something rash, and a comment about only allowing it because Marlene is dead allows Millerna to join the dots: Freid, where Aston's grandson is the heir Prince Chid.
Van, Hitomi, and Merle are now flying over a dragon's graveyard that is being mined for energists by Zaibach. The fossilised ones don't look as effective as the fresh one Van is using in the Escaflowne.
Millerna and Gaddes break Allen out of jail.
Van decides to raid the dragon's graveyard.
is ready to lift off when Allen resorts to some dirty pool to leave Millerna behind. Judging by her reaction that was an amazing
On a more serious note this is the scene where Millerna begins to rise above the spoiled princess: she is not
about to abandon her nephew to politics, and is
prepared to act decisively to prevent it. Eries tacit support, although unwilling to let her leave Asturia, indicates that both the princesses are considerably more principled than their sire.
[Aside: Mind you this is not particularly hard, the challenge would be to be less
principled than Aston. Although to be fair (if I must), Aston is trying to preserve Asturia even if his methods leave a lot to be desired.]
I do wonder if the presence of the mole man behind Eries in this scene is a hint that Eries is running a spy network or similar.
The raid on the graveyard starts with Van wreaking a fair amount of damage until Hitomi is captured, and Merle just escapes.
This, naturally, results in the almost obligatory hostage scene courtesy of another crazy Zaibach commander (complete with a poisonous snake for a pet).
Hitomi's pager goes off distracting the guards and Van manages to escape. It is at this moment, with Hitomi being threatened, that Van's berserker button goes off. I think that this is the reversed card as Van is in no way balanced or in harmony here. Hitomi is clearly seeing the berserker rage for what it is and is not
Van mounts Escaflowne and Escaflowne's energist triggers a chain reaction with the fossilised energists in the storehouse. Think a big boom, an earthquake, and a chasm opening beneath Hitomi's feet as Merle just manages to scramble to safety.
As Hitomi starts falling to her death Van abandons his vengeance and literally flies to her rescue as the angelic wings sprout from his back. This is the upright card: transcending anger and rage as he returns to balance.
Hitomi awakes to a message on her pager from Amano (let's not
talk about the interplanetary range of that pager) and the sight of Van standing before her with his wings out.
This episode treads a fine balance. It is one of the few episodes thus far to have a clear A and B storyline
and the rapid cutting between them is perhaps overdone. In terms of the characters it is part of the ongoing bait-and-switch to draw Hitomi away from Allen and towards Van since she'd previously been associating visions of the wings with Allen "I am so pretty" Schezar.
On the other hand we see the increasingly sharp downside of Van's improvement as a fighter: it is the only
way he has been improving, and he is beginning to focus on it as the only way to
improve. Something that is clearly beginning to disturb Hitomi even as she begins to be drawn to him.
Bonus points (selecting the next movie perhaps) to anyone who can spot the slight alteration in the topic list below, and tell me why. :)
Day 1 - Fateful Confession / The Tower
Day 2 - The Girl From the Mystic Moon / The Ace of Serpents
Day 3 - The Gallant Swordsman / Death
Day 4 - The Diabolical Adonis / The Hanged Man
Day 5 - The Seal of the Brothers / Judgement
Day 6 - Capitol of Intrigue / Justice
Day 7 - Unexpected Partings / The Chariot
Day 8 - Sub vs Dub
Day 9 - The Day the Angel Flew / Temperance
Day 10 - Memories of a Feather
Day 11 - The Blue-Eyed Prince
Day 12 - Prophecy of Death
Day 13 - The Secret Door
Day 14 - Red Destiny
Day 15 - ???
Day 16 - Dangerous Wounds
Day 17 - Lost Paradise
Day 18 - The Guided Ones
Day 19 - The Edge of the World
Day 20 - The Gravity of Destiny
Day 21 - Operation Golden Rule of Love
Day 22 - False Vows
Day 23 - Reaction of Fortune
Day 24 - ???
Day 25 - The Black Winged Angel
Day 26 - Storm Premonition
Day 27 - Fateful Decision
Day 28 - Zone of Absolute Fortune
Day 29 - Eternal Love
Day 30 - Looking Back at The Vision of Escaflowne