After five straight episodes of foreshadowing, intrigue, and all the feels, we’re finally back to classic Re:Zero action with this banger of an episode. Subaru and Ram return to Roswaal manor, Frederica shows her true form, and the Bowel Hunter Elsa returns to, well, hunt some bowels. I’m starting to think I’m a little fucked up for liking this show so much…
We open again on Emilia re-living her traumatic past, and Subaru unable to do much more than hold her and calm her down. Of all the places to restart, this has gotta be the worst. Seeing the person you love most in the world going through this horrible anguish, over and over again, and knowing that you can’t help her at all? I really hope Emilia can overcome her trial soon. It sucks to see her so helpless like this.
Back at the house, Subaru tells everyone he completed the first step of the trial, but he doesn’t get the reaction he was hoping for. Garfiel is furious (even though he told him to take the trial in the last loop – what gives?), and even Emilia wonders if Subaru doesn’t believe she can complete the trial on her own. It must have been awful to hear, but she’s right. It’s not just that Emilia was chosen, but she has to be the one to face her trauma. Subaru can’t do it for her.
Subaru goes back to the mansion with Ram and tells her Rem’s long and tragic story. Their reunion at the mansion is cold and heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine what Ram would be feeling right now, seeing her identical twin sister in a coma and not remembering her at all. You’d think she would start crying, but she just stares, silently, alone in a giant empty bedroom.
Petra shows up, still cute as a button, but it’s Frederica that Subaru’s really concerned about. Everyone’s suspected her of working with a conservative faction of beastmen who want to stay in the Sanctuary, but she’s clueless when Subaru and Ram launch accusations. Honestly, I never thought Frederica was suspicious. She’s been nice to everyone so far (although she loves trading barbs with Ram), and it just seemed too obvious of a red herring. Their interrogation is cut short when Elsa the Bowel Hunter returns, with little Petra terrified at her side.
The last half of the episode is all action. Ram fires off some wicked wind magic, Frederica shows her strength as a brawler, and Subaru nearly kills himself trying to use his one spell, Shamaac. (So much for Ferris’ warning not to use magic back in Episode 1!) But even three on one, they’re no match for Elsa and have to retreat. Subaru tries to get up and save Rem, but Ram, having forgotten her own sister, now argues to let her die.
But the other maids aren’t giving up yet, and Frederica steals the show with her full beast transformation. She’s some sort of yellow leopard/mountain lion/wolf thing, and a sight to behold. Why does she need to get naked to transform, though? Well, considering how many maid characters are in this series, they could have a lot more fanservice than they do. I’m not going to post a screencap, I’m trying to keep this blog (mostly) PG13 rated, but I didn’t not like that shot…
Subaru gets further humiliated when it turns out even Petra is more badass then he is. She removes a dagger from Subaru’s shoulder with her bare hands, practically cutting her own nerves open in the process! He goes straight into self-deprecation mode after literally needing to be saved by a child, but Petra isn’t having any of it. She reminds him of all the times he’s saved her – first from the demon dogs and then again during the battle with Betelgeuse – and it gives Subaru enough of a confidence boost to keep going. It’s great to see some of these side characters come into their own, and Nagatsuki is great at making even the smallest roles (literally) feel important.
But of course, Re:Zero can never give us one happy moment without immediately ripping it all away. Subaru is knocked unconscious, and he wakes up, he sees Petra’s arm – separated from her body. It’s a gruesome death for such an innocent child, and timing it right with the ED send goosebumps down my neck. Subaru tries to get some answers out of Elsa, but all she tells him is that she was waiting for him to return. She slashes at Subaru’s gut, the same place she’s killed him many times over already, but he’s saved at the last second by… Beatrice?!
This episode was much more action-heavy, but there were still some great character moments throughout. Frederica and Petra were the stars of the show this time, and it was great to see Elsa back in action. But there’s still the mystery Elsa’s employer, Beatrice’s connection to the Witch Cult, and the all the conspiracies Roswaal’s been plotting from his bed. I don’t think this episode was as good as, say, Episodes 1 or 4, but it’s nice to see the gears finally turning after so much buildup. Beako is one of the more underappreciated characters in Re:Zero, so I’m excited to see her take center stage next week!