The Crusade‘s crew, who are in a jail cell, yell at the guards. Down the hall Hitomi is brought into a dark room where her interrogation is to take place. Chid is there, in a cell at the side of the room. He says he wants to trust her, but is hesitant and says he’ll wait for Plaktu’s reading. Plaktu, who is really Zongi, arrives behind Hitomi and says it is time to start. In his cell, Van yells at Voris about Hitomi being interrogated first. Van says Zaibach could attack at any moment and they are wasting time. Voris tells them how a messenger from Asturia arrived notifying them of a bounty on Allen and Escaflowne. Millerna says that Allen is telling the truth; Voris says they will wait for Plaktu’s questioning. Meanwhile, Plaktu questions Hitomi under hypnosis, who says she is from the Mystic Moon. Plaktu asks Hitomi how she found the Energist excavation site and the Vione. Hitomi says that she did it by dowsing with her pendant. Voris believes the attacks permitted through Hitomi’s powers proves Miguel’s claims. Plaktu demands to see Hitomi’s pendant, but when he touches it the whole room turns black and Zongi’s disguise disappears. To everyone but Hitomi and Plaktu, it appears that they are paralyzed. Zongi watches as the scene of him taking Plaktu’s body takes place once again before them. Hitomi says she knows that Zongi is a doppelganger. Zongi recalls a message from his elder, then a battle where he killed his brother while he was taking someone else’s form. Later, Folken asks Zongi to work for him. Zongi says he will have to kill Hitomi, but suddenly liquid metal appears from beneath him, smothering him. However, he grabs Hitomi’s leg and the liquid metal surrounds her, killing her as well. Back in reality, Hitomi falls over dead; Plaktu is in shock, but alright. Chid and Millerna rush to Hitomi and find out that her heart stopped. Guards rush by Van’s cell and one of them tells him that Hitomi is dead. Chid rushes in to tell them, and Allen takes the opportunity to take Chid hostage with a sharp blade. He demands they be let out, and the guards follow his orders. Millerna performs CPR on Hitomi, but to no avail. Allen, Van and Merle are released and they head to the room where Hitomi and Millerna are. Van performs CPR on Hitomi, with Millerna’s direction.
Van continues to perform CPR on Hitomi and she eventually regains consciousness. Allen releases his grip on Chid, revealing his weapon to be Merle’s nail file. Allen is taken captive once more. Hitomi, still in shock says that the doppelganger is going to die. At that time, Zongi rushes through the woods, very nervous about what happened. He sees a hallucination of the trees turning into liquid metal and heads to a nearby temple so he can report on Hitomi. Back at the castle, Hitomi tells Chid that Plaktu is really a Zaibach spy. Nobody is able to find out where Plaktu is, and Van says they should release them so they can get the spy. Chid walks up to Allen and draws his knife, then cuts off Allen’s bindings, asking him to find Zongi. However, Allen is still too ill so Van and Hitomi are allowed to go instead. They head out on Escaflowne. Chid says he let them go because of Allen’s strong trust for Van. At the temple, Zongi tells Dilandau about Hitomi’s abilities. Dilandau flashes back to when Hitomi saved Van on the bridge, when she pointed out the Alseides in the woods, when she warned Van of his attack and when he saw her in Asturia. Dilandau gets in his Alseides and wraps the liquid metal around Zongi, giving out punishment for Miguel’s death. Van and Hitomi approach the temple and Hitomi senses Zongi dying. Zongi is crushed by the liquid metal and Hitomi passes out just as Escaflowne flies over the temple. Dilandau, Shesta and Gatty fire at Escaflowne. Hitomi wakes up and tells Van to imagine them in his mind. Escaflowne takes out its sword while still in Dragon mode. Van tries to envision Dilandau’s Alseides at the top of the temple and is successful, cutting off its stealth cloak. Dilandau turns around to counter attack, but Escaflowne cuts off his Alseides’ arm then knocks it down the temple stairs. Dilandau sees that Hitomi is there with Van. Van then quickly dispatches both Shesta and Gatty’s Alseides, but Dilandau charges Escaflowne, attempting to kill Hitomi. Escaflowne bashes in his Alseides’ head and flies away. Since Dilandau’s Alseides is damaged, he is unable to chase after him. The next day, everyone is freed because they found Plaktu’s dried up corpse in the forest. Chid says he would have trusted them anyway since they returned. Suddenly, word comes that Duke Freid has returned to the country. There is a big ceremony to welcome his return. Hitomi wonders what Duke Freid is like.
This episode is really good, containing one of the most suspenseful parts of the series when Hitomi dies. It kept you on the edge, wondering if she would make it out okay or not. Also interesting was the scene between Hitomi and Zongi, with her being able to find out about his past with her powers. It makes Zongi a more sympathetic character, enough so that you kind of feel bad for him when Dilandau kills him. The battle at the temple is another interesting one and a rare instance where Escaflowne fights while in Dragon mode the entire time. The midway point of this episode, just after when Hitomi recovers is when FOX Kids pulled the plug on Escaflowne when they aired it back in 2000. An unfortunate moment to end the series as the exciting second half of this episode was missed, not to mention the many great episodes that are still to come.
Original Review: April 1, 2006