Prophecy of Death
is a disturbing episode on a number of levels.
The episode begins with Allen's goon squad in the clink as Hitomi is being take to interrogation by Zongi/Plaktu.
The card is then revealed to be The Devil. Nothing to worry about there, right?
Prince Chid is still conflicted but is holding to the tradition of the royal family that they listen to Plaktu.
Meanwhile the stakes have risen: Asturia has placed a price on Allen's head, and on Escaflowne and this matches neatly with the false story set up by Zongi.
The interrogation begins and seems to further implicate Allen et al. The key being the questions asked by Plaktu whilst Hitomi is hypnotised, and the questions that are not
asked (as the entirely not-stupid Millerna points out).
I will give Zongi this much: interrogating Hitomi in front of Millerna for information primarily of interest to Zaibach is a gutsy move. Unfortunately, touching Hitomi's pendant turns out to be a spectacularly stupid one when you have Hitomi hypnotised.
The action shifts to a shared mindscape where Hitomi is not
hypnotised and is holding her pendant. From Zongi's perspective this is bad. Very bad.
Toe begin with Hitomi sees Zongi's true form and violent past. Of note here is the scene showing Folken's ability to rise above the fantastic racism of Gaea, and gain loyalty from all.
In a panicked attempt to escape the mindscape, Zongi then threatens Hitomi as her visions shift from the past to a particularly gruesome death for Zongi in the future.
Back in the real world, Hitomi screams, collapses, and her heart stops.
Zongi flees in absolute terror of the vision he has seen.
Whilst Millerna tries to revive Hitomi (there's that medical training again), Allen and crew break out by holding Chid hostage.
The scene when Millerna, and then Van, try to revive Hitomi is disturbing. During this scene Hitomi's eyes are drawn in a terrifyingly blank way: the lights aren't on, and nobody's home. The tension mounts until finally Van succeeds.
It turns out Merle does like Hitomi after all, and shows it in typically catlike fashion. :)
Hitomi relates what she saw as Allen and the others are again made prisoners.
Finally we see the decision of the Knight of Beasts
from The Blue-Eyed Prince
: Prince Chid finally chooses faith and releases Allen to catch Zongi.
Chid justifies this under the laws of Freid that allow proof of innocence by deeds, accepts responsibility for the consequences, and wins respect from his subjects.
Alas Allen is still wounded so Van and Hitomi go in Allen's place.
At an abandoned tower in the forest Zongi is reporting to Dilandau, who now has a serious hatred of Hitomi. However Zongi DID kill one of Dilandau's dragonslayers and meets the end seen by Hitomi at Dilandau's hand.
Hitomi "sees" it happening but not as closely this time and doesn't quite lose consciousness.
Van again manages to dowse for Dilandau's guylmelefs, possibly with Hitomi's assistance, and the resulting skirmish is something of a draw.
Van and Hitomi return to Freid and their innocence is accepted due to their return and the discovery of the real Plaktu's body.
The episode ends with a comment about Chid's resemblance to Allen, and the return of Chid's father (who Chid does not
in any way shape or form resemble).Prophecy of
Death is a well constructed episode but more than a little disturbing.
The violation of Hitomi's mind, her shared vision of Zongi's death, finally resulting in her own temporary death is fairly hard to watch even when you know what is coming.
Did I mention that the eye catch for the ad break is in the middle of that scene?
I'm not entirely certain of the symbolism of The Devil here, unless it is in Zongi's desperate (and futile) attempt to flee the bleak vision presented to him by Hitomi. Some of the websites I've looked at seem to imply that flight in the face of The Devil is the wrong, or weak response. That facing the card is the correct response. I suppose that facing Hitomi by turning himself into Freid would have been the way out for Zongi but we'll never know for sure.
A strong conclusion to the previous episode, with a more gentle cliffhanger in the sense that something is not right in the House of Freid.
Day 1 - Fateful Confession / The Tower
Day 2 - The Girl From the Mystic Moon / 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 / Ace of Birds
Day 11 - The Blue-Eyed Prince / Knight of Beasts
Day 12 - Prophecy of Death / The Devil
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