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Episode 22: The Black-Winged Angel

 

Review by Brian Shea

Original Review: April 1, 2006
New Review: September 11, 2014

 

Summary

 

In the past, Folken has his arm torn off by a dragon. In the present, Folken stands in the ruins of Fanelia. He remembers Naria and Eriya's deaths and wonders why his wish won't come true. Meanwhile in Palas, a council of Asturian's advisors are held, including Meiden, Dryden, Allen and Van. Various advisors say they should hand Hitomi over to Zaibach and avoid any confrontation with them. This upsets Allen, who says Zaibach will destroy them like had happened to Atlantis. Dryden says they are making assumptions, and that those who lost their homes in the massacre won't be happy. He says along with their allied nations, they should impose economic sanctions against Zaibach. Van remembers when he was a child and people said bad things about his brother, which he claimed was untrue. Allen and Van come out of the meeting to see Hitomi and Merle, who were waiting outside. The advisors pass them by, looking harshly at Hitomi. Van is still angry at Folken and wants to kill him. He heads off with Merle and Allen talks to Hitomi. That night Hitomi sits on her bed and thinks of what Naria said to her earlier. Hitomi hears a wolf hound and her pendant suddenly glows strangely. Meanwhile, Van heads through the woods and meets a wolf man, who carries a message from Ruhm, the leader of his tribe. He says Folken is waiting for him in Fanelia. Van remembers when he was a kid and heard people say Folken ran away from the country. Balgus told them to refrain, and said to Van that Folken would return. Van runs through the woods to get Escaflowne and meets up with Hitomi on the way. Later, Allen and everyone else finds Escaflowne missing. Gaddes comes up in the carriage with Millerna, who says Hitomi is missing as well, and her room has been cleaned out. Merle becomes very nervous about Hitomi seducing Van. The Mole Man, who had been hiding under the carriage, said he saw them together. Allen looks into the sky and wonders if a bird cage is necessary for Hitomi. Merle whines even further, fearing that Van and Hitomi have eloped. Meanwhile, Hitomi and Van head through the sky on Escaflowne. Van thinks it is a trap, but Hitomi doesn't think that Ruhm would have betrayed him. Van says he'll fulfill his promise to her and bring her back to the Mystic Moon, or to Allen. In Zaibach, the sorcerers report to Dornkirk, who says that Folken's plan is still working properly and there is no immediate danger. Elsewhere, the Zaibach generals discuss the current happenings, and the fact that Dornkirk hasn't issued them orders. General Adelphos heads outside where he sees a young woman in the garden, looking at a snail on a leaf. The woman is about to eat the snail when a dog like man stops her. Adelphos questions what has become of Zaibach.

 

Folken waits in Fanelia for Van, talking to Ruhm. Folken is confident Van will come. Van arrives and lands. Ruhm, recognizing Hitomi, tells her to leave them be and takes off. Van pulls out his sword and yells at Folken, telling him how he destroyed his country. Van says he will kill him. Suddenly, a land dragon appears from out of some wreckage nearby. Another appears behind them, causing Van to think that this is a trap. He and Hitomi run to safety and the dragons chase after them. Folken tells Van to get rid of his anger and the dragons will disappear. One finds them and breathes fire, but Van and Hitomi are able to jump out of the way and dodge it. Folken tells Van how he failed in the dragon hunt. He was weakened and the dragon tore off his right arm. He was prepared to die, but as it leaned over him, the dragon suddenly backed off and left. Folken woke up later on a lighted table, hearing Emperor Dornkirk talking to him about controlling fate with the power of Atlantis. Dornkirk told Folken that he survived because he had the power of Atlantis within him and that he should join him, creating a Gaea without war. Folken got up and looked at his new right arm, screaming in terror. Folken talks of how he learned science from Dornkirk and became a sorcerer to make a better future. Suddenly, a dragon attack Van and Hitomi from above and the two of them are separated. Hitomi runs through an alley up a set of stairs when a Dragon lands in front of her. She backs up and is grabbed by Folken, who tells her to stay calm and quiet. The dragon looks at her then leaves. Folken tells Hitomi he wants her to trust him. She looks at his arm and says he was modified just like Naria. Folken is surprised to hear her name. Van is attacked by the dragon and is knocked into a wall. Folken says they must change the fate of people to save Gaea. Folken says Dornkirk isn't entirely wrong; he'll learn how to change fate himself. Hitomi thinks of Naria. They go to the roof and see Van being attacked. Folken removes his shirt and flies towards Van. His wings are now a dark black. Folken stands between Van and the dragons and demands Van drop his sword. Van does so and the dragons leave. Folken says his anger attracts the dragons. Folken says that he'll change the fate of people so he can create a world without fear and war. Van thinks of when he was little and Folken read him a tale of the King of Fanelia slaying a dragon. Both Van and Folken agreed it was wrong to kill a dragon. Back in the present, Folken tells Van he wanted to remove the pressure from the King of Fanelia of fighting and admits that Zaibach's methods, which placed little value on human life were wrong. Folken asks Van to join him in defeating Dornkirk. Hitomi watches the reunion, noticing Folken's wings are as black as darkness.

 

Commentary

 

A solid episode, providing some detailed development on Folken, who to this point has appeared a lot but has not had much of his personal history told. The episode also brings up several things from the past; we see Fanelia for the first time since episode 2 and a dragon for the first time since episode 1. After a series of being enemies, it is good to see Van and his brother reunited, on the same side again. The episode features one of the strangest scenes of the series (at least in terms of the visuals and music) when General Adelphos sees a girl in a garden in Zaibach. Her identity (who even the unspoiled can probably guess at) will be revealed in a couple of episodes. The episode also features probably my favorite Merle scene in the series when she completely overreacts about Van and Hitomi disappearing, thinking that they have become eloped. My one complaint is that the episode features multiple flashbacks in the first half of the episode that were just from the previous episode and felt a bit unnecessary.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Escaflowne Episode 22 Escaflowne Episode 22

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Buy the collection (eps 14-26) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon

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