As the battle rages outside Damocles, Nunnally opens her eyes and says he must be what a murderer looks like. She says she must look the same to him and explains that she fired FLEIJA to stop him, even if it meant killing him. She declares that he can’t let him have the trigger, even if he uses Geass on her. Lelouch thinks about how he wanted to use Geass so that she could see again. Now, he doesn’t want to because it would mean bending her will too. Outside Damocles, Gino’s crippled Tristan Divider crashes on a lower platform. Kallen tells Suzaku she misunderstood him because she thought he had a vision for Japan. He says he and Lelouch have to do something, and she asks if he wants power so badly. Suzaku’s Geass activates, and the two attack each other. At the school, Milly asks Rivalz if he’s going to evacuate, but he points out there’s no place to evacuate too. In the sky, Jeremiah’s Sutherland Sieg continues to fight with Anya’s Mordred. On the Leung Tan, Chiba tries to stop Tohdoh from taking off in a damaged Akatsuki. Nunnally tells Lelouch that he has no right to control the world since he manipulated people’s hearts as Zero. He asks her if she prefers a future where she lives in fear and assassins are always around the corner, but she says she never asked him to do anything. Kallen tells Suzaku that she fights as part of the resistance against the system, but he counters that she could’ve used the establishment as well. She destroys his VARIS rifle, and he asks what someone is supposed to do when they have no choice but to join the system. Tohdoh tells Chiba that yielding to the ways of invaders means acknowledging them, and when she tries to stop him he almost slaps her in anger. He apologizes and says this is his way of life and collapses. Li flies up to Damocles with his damaged Shen-Hu while Kallen’s Guren SEITEN continues to fight Suzaku. Kallen uses her slash harkens to knock away both of Suzaku’s swords. Nunnally tells Lelouch that Geass is vile because it bends people’s hearts and destroys their pride. He asks how Damocles is any different since it’s a vile system that subjugates people, and she answers that Damocles will become the symbol of hatred so that people can embrace the future. Lelouch realizes that she’s trying to do almost the same thing as him and uses Geass to order her to hand over the trigger. She tries to resist the order, but eventually the Geass takes over and she happily complies. The Sutherland Sieg is blasted by Anya’s hadron cannons, so Jeremiah ejects in his orange Sutherland as the Sieg part explodes. Jeremiah grapples onto the Mordred and self-destructs, blasting open the Mordred. He then lands on the cockpit and says Anya should engrave his name in her memories, but she tells him there’s no point because she doesn’t have any. Gino tries to reactivate the Tristan Divider, and nearby Kallen and Suzaku switch to ground tactics when their energy weapons are depleted. Suzaku realizes that even with Geass he can’t beat Kallen, and she similarly wonders why she can’t beat him. Kallen smashes her radiation wave arm into the Lancelot Albion‘s cockpit, and Suzaku uses his slash harkens to sever both of the Guren SEITEN’s arms. Gino catches Kallen when the Guren SEITEN falls away, and the Lancelot Albion explodes. Lelouch tells Nunnally that she’s living with good principles, so he can walk his own path now. He tells her he loves her and releases her from the Geass. He then walks away and ignores her when she calls him evil, and she falls down stairs while trying to stop him. Kaguya asks C.C. to surrender, and Lelouch fires FLEIJA. He addresses the world and says he now controls FLEIJA and Damocles. Because of that, he’s claiming the whole world as his.
Two months later, Lelouch’s royal convoy travels through Japan with Kallen, Li, the Black Knights and everyone who fought against Lelouch under guard on the way to their executions. The convoy also includes Schneizel dressed in rags, along with Nunnally in chains. A TV reporter comments that many people were lost during the war, including the citizens of Pendragon and the loyal Knight of Zero, Suzaku. The people in the crowd comment that Lelouch is just a tyrant who kills anyone who disobeys him. Also watching the crowd, Rivalz wonders if controlling the world is what Lelouch really wanted to accomplish. In a prison, Rakshata continues to argue with Lloyd and calls him Pudding Earl. Nina asks what that means, and Cecile explains that it started years ago with a minor disagreement. In a nearby building, Viletta tries to run outside when she spots Ohgi with the prisoners, but Cornelia stops her and says going outside is what Lelouch wants. The Vincent Wards at the front of the convoy stop to scan something up ahead, and the crowd is shocked to see Zero. Kallen and the others don’t understand because Lelouch is right there next to him, and she suddenly realizes what Lelouch is trying to do. Zero runs and easily avoids gunfire from the Vincent Wards, jumping over them. Jeremiah then tries to fight him, but Zero uses him as a foothold to jump up to where Lelouch is. Lelouch pulls out a gun, but Zero knocks it aside with a sword. Lelouch then smiles and recalls his earlier conversation with Suzaku where he said Suzaku would kill him as promised. Suzaku asked Lelouch if he really wanted to do this, and Lelouch said the entire world hates him now, as he planned. Lelouch gave Suzaku the Zero mask and said all that was left was to erase his existence and leave the legend of Zero behind for the Black Knights. Lelouch added that Schneizel would work for Zero, and the world would come together through negotiation instead of subjugation, completing Zero Requiem. Suzaku said they understood inside the World of C that people desire the future. Lelouch commented that Geass was like wishes, because when someone couldn’t do something on their own, they asked for the help of others. Because of that, Lelouch said he’d gamble on the Geass of people’s wishes for the world’s future. C.C. cries as she prays in a church and recalls Lelouch saying that only those who are prepared to be fired at should fire. Lelouch thinks to himself that Suzaku will become a hero by becoming Zero and removing the world’s enemy: Lelouch. Suzaku, dressed as Zero, plunges his sword through Lelouch’s chest, shocking the crowd. Suzaku cries under the mask, and Lelouch tells him this is also a punishment for him, because he’ll always have to wear the mask and never be Suzaku again. Suzaku says he’ll accept that Geass, and Lelouch tumbles down the stage to where Nunnally is. She touches him and has a flash of visions that make her realize what he was really planning. She then tells Lelouch that she loves him, and as he dies he comments that he destroys and creates worlds. Nunnally cries and says she just wanted to live with Lelouch. Cornelia’s forces then run out to free the prisoners. Later, Kallen gets ready for school and thinks to herself how the world has improved because people are working to fight poverty instead of going to war. She wonders if it was easier for the world to recognize the name of one man instead of the Damocles system. Milly reports on a meeting between Nunnally, Zero and the Black Knights. A pregnant Viletta, who’s now married to Ohgi, watches the news inside Tamaki’s bar. Elsewhere, Anya picks oranges in a field with Jeremiah. In deep space, Damocles flies into the sun and is destroyed. C.C. rides on a cart in the countryside and addresses Lelouch, saying that it’s not quite correct that the power of kings brings one solitude.
Given the many twists and turns this series has taken over the course of two seasons, I really had no idea what to expect with this ending. The final battle between Suzaku and Kallen is one of the best in the series, and I think it’s fitting that in the end they both had to return to land combat and drop the Gundam-style air battles. It’s certainly a bittersweet ending with Lelouch dying, although all the speculation about his death means he’s joined the ranks of Amuro Ray, Char Aznable and Spike Spiegel when it comes to uncertain deaths. Personally, I’d like to think that he’s dead. In the end, Lelouch basically made himself the symbol of the world’s hatred to put an end to war, much like Treize Khushrenada in Gundam Wing. Assuming that Lelouch really is dead, I don’t think it was fair at all for all these idiots in the Black Knights to get such happy fairy tale endings. They get to reap the benefits of everything Lelouch did, but none of them had to pay any price. The ending is also bittersweet for Suzaku, who must live the rest of his life as Zero. At the beginning, I think he signed on for Zero Requiem because he still wanted to avenge Euphemia, but by the end I think he changed his mind because he asked Lelouch if he wanted to still do it. He also cried after stabbing Lelouch, so I think he finally put aside his hatred for him. Overall, Code Geass has been an entertaining series, but not without its faults – especially in season two. The first five or so episodes are a complete waste of time, with Lelouch building up the Black Knights over again from scratch and basically repeating what he did in the first season. Starting over like that really killed all the buildup and tension from the end of the first season. There was also too much time wasted on this convoluted “does he have his memories or doesn’t he” business. I think the second season also faltered by introducing too many new characters, mainly the Knights of the Round, meaning that pre-existing secondary characters like Tohdoh and the Black Knights stayed completely static. It’s not until the attack on the Geass Order that things really started to turn around, but by then quite a bit of time had been wasted. The second half of the season is certainly good stuff, but the pacing is too fast as a consequence of what came before. We may never really know what director Goro Taniguchi had originally planned for this second season, but overall he managed to bring the show to a good conclusion and kept it from turning into a disaster.