In 2018 a.t.b, one year has passed since the Black Rebellion staged by Zero and the Order of the Black Knights in Area 11. A Britannian Farm blimp flies over the Tokyo settlement to advertise milk, but it’s really piloted by C.C. In the back of the blimp, Kousetsu Urabe and the remaining Black Knights drink sake as they prepare for their operation. At the Ashford Academy, Lelouch Lamperouge runs away when he’s confronted by his teacher, Viletta Nu. Viletta chases Lelouch into a chemistry lab, where he uses colored gas to make his escape. Student council president Milly Ashford gives him some food and is scolded by Viletta. She spots Lelouch running outside and jumps onto him from the window, but she discovers that it’s actually Rivalz Cardemonde wearing a black wig. Lelouch and his brother Rolo escape in Rivalz’s motorcycle, and Shirley Fenette is annoyed that Lelouch is skipping school again. As they drive on the highway, Lelouch complains about Viletta bothering him, and Rolo says it’s to be expected since Lelouch keeps cutting classes. Lelouch thinks about the Black Rebellion and how he was considering returning to the Britannian homeland with Rolo. Rolo asks him if he turned in his assignment about future goals and whether he’s going to a university, but Lelouch answers that he’s tired of being a student. He says it doesn’t matter because out in the real world everything is controlled by corporations and aristocrats. On TV, live executions are broadcast and emceed by Area 11’s cruel new Governor-General, Carales. Carales states that the Japanese are a dangerous race and require proper education. Carales is reminded of his meeting with Chinese Federation ambassador Gao Hai, and he’s informed that the intelligence department is moving on Babel Tower. He doesn’t think the remaining Black Knights terrorists can do anything, especially since Zero is dead. From the air, Britannian officers pick up Lelouch on surveillance as he arrives at Babel Tower. Rolo asks Lelouch if he’s playing chess for money, and Lelouch answers that he just wants to face stronger opponents, but it’s really just a way to kill time. Inside the casino, Rolo cringes at watching two Elevens in a brutal pit fight, but Lelouch tells him that pretending not to see it won’t change the reality. An Eleven waitress dressed in a bunny suit named Kallen Kouzuki accidentally bumps into Lelouch and spills a drink on him. Kallen tries to clean up the mess and slip a bug onto Lelouch, but a mobster named Black King grabs her by the hair. He thinks she’ll be good merchandise for the bunny hunt, and Kallen says she’s not for sale. He says she is because she’s a loser, and it’s a world where the fittest survive. Lelouch says the Black King is rude and challenges him to a game of chess to see who is the predator and who is the student. The Black King laughs if off, but Lelouch says he knows the Black King is a well-known player. At a Britannian prison, Shinichiro Tamaki is mistreated by guards. He thinks this wouldn’t happen if Zero was around, and pilot Nagisa Chiba says Zero is a traitor. Kyoshiro Tohdoh says it doesn’t matter because Zero is dead, which surprises Kaname Ohgi. Lelouch finishes the game with a checkmate, and the Black King says that Lelouch’s cheating is a problem. The Black King’s men restrain Lelouch while he draws a gun. The building suddenly shakes, and Kallen attacks the Black King. The blimp moves in over Babel Tower and deploys its Knightmare Frames, and Kallen grabs Lelouch.
Elsewhere, Carales meets with the eunuch Gao Hai, who comments on the death of Zero, and Carales answers that it’s too early for the Chinese Federation to understand Britannia. Britannian soldiers ask Gao Hai’s bodyguard Li Xingke to hand over his sword, but he responds by cutting off their gun belts with a swift movement, adding that it’s too early for the Britannians to understand the Chinese Federation. Their attention is then drawn to explosions and smoke emanating from Babel Tower. Kallen is knocked down and loses sight of Lelouch and Rolo. The blimp deploys purple smoke, and Burais use their slash harkens to destroy approaching helicopters. A Britannian baron prepares to launch his unit to launch and ignores Carales’ orders because he’s acting on direct orders from Emperor Charles zi Britannia. C.C. smashes into Babel Tower with Zero’s horned Burai and reaches out to Lelouch, but she comes under attack from Britannian Sutherlands and loses an arm. Kallen runs over to a container that’s storing her Guren Mk-II. Lelouch and Rolo run into an area under construction and come under fire. Lelouch pushes Rolo out of the way, but he slips on the edge and falls into an open shaft. At school, Shirley complains to Milly and Rivalz about how Lelouch is dragging Rolo into his troublemaking, so they tease Shirley about her feelings for Lelouch. Lelouch lands on a tarp and tries to call Rolo, but his cell phone has no signal. Lelouch quickly runs back up several levels to where they were before, but there’s no sign of Rolo. He’s shocked to find a mass of bodies, including Britannians and Elevens. He almost vomits and notices that one of the dead bunny girls was holding a picture of Zero. Lelouch looks up and realizes that Zero’s Burai is there. The cockpit then opens, and C.C. states that she’s come to pick him up. She tells him that they’re allies and that they made a contract. She says that Britannia is his enemy, and that she’s the only one who knows his true self. C.C. is suddenly shot through the heart and falls into Lelouch’s arms. Britannian soldiers then begin setting the bodies on fire, even though some are still alive. The baron thanks Lelouch for playing his part and pulls out a journal labeled “Lelouch’s Activity Log,” which has recorded all his daily actions. The baron explains that it was all a trap to lure out C.C. The Britannian soldiers prepare to shoot Lelouch, and he wonders if this is the end for him. He wishes he had the power to survive and change the world, and C.C. suddenly kisses him. He experiences strange visions, and C.C. tells him he already has that power, but it’s been sealed away. As memories rush back in, Lelouch remembers that he’s Zero and has been implanted with fake memories. He recalls his sister Nunnally, as well as a confrontation with Suzaku Kururugi on Kaminejima Island. Lelouch asks the baron if revenge is evil, and if having power is justice. He then uses his Geass and orders them all to kill themselves, and they happily comply. Just then, Kallen and Urabe smash into the room and ask Lelouch for orders. Elsewhere, Charles meets with several members of the Knights of the Round, including Suzaku, Gino Weinberg and Anya Alstreim. Suzaku declares that he will be the one to kill Zero.
The long wait is finally over, and the story picks up again. I’m sure many are displeased that R2 picks up after a one year time skip instead of directly after episode 25, but I think it’s necessary to show the impact of the Black Rebellion. However, a lot of the tension that built up in the previous four episodes fades away through this time skip. Surprisingly, most of the Black Knights are still alive and imprisoned, although I would’ve expected them to have been executed. The few remaining Black Knights are in hiding and working with C.C. to find Lelouch, who is living out a fake life, complete with fake memories and a fake brother, Rolo. In the meantime, things have gotten worse for the Elevens, who are mistreated even further under the command of Carales. Viletta is mysteriously a teacher at Ashford, so I wonder what she’s up to. Interestingly, much of this episode plays out like the first episode, although there’s plenty of new elements, such as the introduction of several Chinese characters. Lelouch finally reclaims his real memories at the end of the episode, so the question now is how he will move forward from here and rebuild his resources.