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Turn 9: A Bride in the Vermilion Forbidden City

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 19, 2008

 

Summary

 

The Black Knights arrive at the Chinese Federation, which grants them Penglai Island as their territory. As everyone works on the island, Tamaki jokes with Asahina about the eunuchs not having any balls. Ohgi runs over and tells them that the Indian ship has arrived, carrying new Knightmares. Lelouch delegates staff assignments to Diethard, but Kallen wonders if he can be trusted. Lelouch says that Diethard is trying to make Zero into a god and possesses superb media manipulation skills. Tohdoh wonders why the Gawain's systems were moved over to the new carrier Ikaruga, and Rakshata explains that the Gawain was totally wrecked when they salvaged it. Chiba asks about the Siegfried, but Rakshata says she couldn't find it. Kallen asks Lelouch if he intends to take over the Chinese capital, and he states it will help them met the conditions for defeating Britannia. Kallen thinks to herself that Lelouch seems to be doing better, but she loses her footing on the box she was standing on and falls on top of Lelouch. She asks him why he came back, and he asks her to return to Ashford with him when everything is over. They're interrupted by C.C., who is eating pizza and demanding Tabasco sauce for it. Kaguya calls Lelouch over to the Ikaruga because there's a problem: Tianzi is to be wed to Odysseus. Lelouch believes this is a move by Britannia, and it messes with his plan. Tamaki doesn't think the Britannians are their problem anymore, but bridge operators Mutsuki Minase, Ichijuku Hinata and Ayame Futaba point out that Britannia might use this as an excuse to retaliate. Lelouch knows that there's someone else behind this deal: Schneizel. In a large party at the Forbidden City, Odysseus sits next to a nervous Tianzi. Suzaku wonders if Tianzi approved of this, and Cecile points out that it's a path to peace. Gino asks about eating food decorations while Anya blogs for her memories. Milly asks Lloyd if she's still his fiance, and Kanon says he's surprised to see Lloyd. Kanon makes a joke about being Schneizel's aide in public and private, and he says Schneizel loves strange people. Just then, Milly is surprised to see Schneizel show up escorting Nina. Everyone in the crowd gossips about Nina, and Schneizel tells her to walk straight like Euphemia did. Schneizel is greeted by the Knights of the Round, and when Nina asks Suzaku how Ashford is, he points out that Milly is in the crowd. Li, Zhou and several other officers discuss the secret pact between the eunuchs and Britannia to sell out China. Li recalls his first meeting with Tianzi years earlier when she saved him from execution for stealing medicine. At the time, Tianzi expressed a wish to see the outside world, and Li vowed to show it to her someday. At the party, Tianzi's mood improves when Kaguya arrives, but the crowd is shocked to see Zero and Kallen in tow.

 

Milly and Nina talk outside, and Milly says she's glad Nina is doing well. Nina tells Milly she doesn't like women who are just about appearance, and she comments that Euphemia saved her. She says she doesn't want Milly's sympathy and accuses her of being a hypocrite. Inside, Chinese guards surround Zero, and the eunuchs tells Tianzi they'll handle everything, including handing over Kaguya and Zero for execution. Schneizel steps in and says there's no reason to create trouble at a celebration. The guards back off, and Lelouch sees that as an opportunity, but just then Suzaku steps in front of Schneizel to prevent Lelouch from using Geass. Kaguya asks Suzaku if he remembers her and mentions they're the only ones left from the Kyoto clans. Suzaku says Kirihara and the others couldn't avoid the death penalty, and Kaguya reminds him he was saved from execution by Zero. Lelouch asks Schneizel to play chess and asks for Suzaku if he wins. Lelouch hopes to take Suzaku out of the equation so he can Geass everyone. Schneizel agrees, on the condition that Lelouch takes off his mask if he loses. Kaguya is confident that Lelouch will win, but Odysseus notes that he's never seen Schneizel lose. As the game continues, Kanon notes that Schneizel is under pressure. Lelouch is having a tough time as well and recalls that Schneizel was the one man he could never beat at chess. Lelouch makes a bold move with his king, and Schneizel follows. Lelouch offers a draw, but Schneizel declines and checkmates. Lelouch asks him what he's doing and thinks to himself that he can't accept the humiliation Schneizel is offering. Just then, Nina runs in with a knife and tries to stab Lelouch as revenge for Euphemia. Suzaku stops her, but she yells at him that he was Euphemia's knight. She asks Kallen why she's with Zero, and Kallen says she's Japanese. Nina says she wants Euphemia back and collapses in tears. Schneizel wants to end the game and tells Lelouch not to come to the wedding tomorrow. Tianzi thinks to herself that after tomorrow she'll get to leave the Forbidden City, but as a hostage to Britannia. The next day, Li and his men interrupt the wedding and initiate a coup d'etat. Li attacks several guards, and the eunuchs cut the broadcast. Li wonders if Tianzi remembers their promise, but he's willing to stake his life on it. She calls out to him and shows her pinky finger, signifying that she remembers. Lelouch then appears behind Tianzi and points a gun to her head. Li reminds Lelouch that he owes him a favor, and Lelouch says he's repaying it by destroying the marriage. Li calls Lelouch a fiend, and Lelouch laughs maniacally. In a remote location, V.V. discusses Lelouch's motives with Jeremiah.

 

Commentary

 

With the Black Knights exiled from Area 11, the action naturally moves to China. Lelouch was hoping to manipulate the Chinese Federation, but his plans are thrown into confusion by Schneizel's move to marry Odysseus to Tianzi and secure an alliance between the Britannians and China. This prompts Li to initiate his coup, because it's clear the eunuchs are selling China out. We also get to see Li's background, so we now know why he's so devoted to Tianzi. She saved his life and gave him a second chance, so he's determined to show her the outside world. Milly has a brief reunion with Nina, and it's clear that Nina is still competing for that "most annoying character" award. Spotting Zero flips her Euphemia insanity switch, so she tries to attack him with a dinner knife. Obviously, it doesn't work. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Li initiating his coup, but Lelouch stepping in during the confusion to take Tianzi hostage. That cliffhanger is then followed by another surprise with the return of Orange himself, Jeremiah.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Code Geass R2 Episode 9 Code Geass R2 Episode 9

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