On balance, this was probably the best overall arc for Gosick. The mystery was complex, well-structured and internally consistent. It also – like the Horvitz Arc – tied in directly to the main characters and the larger forces that are impacting their lives. And there’s a growing sense that they – especially Victorique are pawns in the hands of fate as Europe lurches towards another “storm” – one that will put the first one to shame.
It certainly isn’t surprising that it was Victorique that pieced together the fragments of the Leviathan mystery and gave them meaning. For a change pretty much all the hints were relevant this time. The Africans were used to secretly smuggle gold in from Saubere’s unnamed African colony, then killed and buried in a mass grave to shut them up. But Leviathan – a child at the time – survived, and when the King dies unexpectedly the next year he’s now the only one who knows the secret location of the gold. He uses it to fake alchemy and get close to the new King, trying to protect his old homeland from exploitation. But Albert DeBois, from the Occult Ministry, thinks Leviathan is the real deal – and wants him to create an army of homunculi for the coming war. As things go from bad to worse for Leviathan he ends up retreating, wounded and near death to the secret room at the clock tower – built to hide Protestants – where the gold was stored. Which is just where Victorique finds him all those years later.
Where this all ties in with our heroes in the link to Victorique, the daughter of DeBois. Unable to have his homunculi army he takes Leviathan’s advice and sires a Grey Wolf child, his “secret armory” for the coming storm of WW II. It’s not clear yet how that’s going to work, but there’s no doubt that Victorique sees the karmic connection with Leviathan – both of them monsters, both tools to be exploited in the coming war. With only Kujo to protect her, can she escape the fate her father has planned?
If indeed Kujo is all she has. While mostly still intuitive, I have a growing conviction that Grevil is going to do everything he can for Victorique. Given his extremely untenable public position as regards her, he can’t overtly help her much – but I think he got her out of a dungeon and into a cottage. And I think he’s silently disgusted by what their father has in mind. I see him quietly, behind the scenes, trying to better her situation as much as he can. And then there’s Brian Roscoe, whose role in all this is extremely clouded. He’s clearly in league with her Victorique’s mother, but beyond that it isn’t clear just whose camp he’s in – or whether he has any interests here bar his own.
While it was definitely in the background this week, the dynamics between Kujo, Victorique and even Avril are a major part of the ongoing story. Kujo has been vital in forcing Victorique to grow beyond the role that was chosen for her – the freak, the curiosity. He wasn’t content to just let her be – for all his seeming foolishness he’s pure of heart and stubborn as a mule. In other words, a perfect complement to Victorique – yet surely the time has come for their relationship to grow beyond the tragicomic master-slave status it currently maintains. I think a review of the first couple of episodes with the benefit of hindsight reveals a lot about Victorique’s situation, and her relationship with Kujo. At that point she was perfectly content to push Kujo away continue to play the role that had been written for her. It was Kujo – due to his simple stubbornness, and probably also the fact that he empathized because the students also considered him a freak – who wasn’t content to take that at face value and pushed Victorique out of her comfort zone. He forced her to let him into her life – and even to drag her out of her prison.
This is why he’s a perfect partner for her – because he’s everything she isn’t, and vice-versa. He’s a simple, straightforward and moralistic boy – a “fool” if you want, but a kind and old-fashioned one, then. But their relationship is at the point where it needs to grow beyond where it’s been. Whatever the reasons are for Victorique’s anti-social nature – and they’re 100% valid – she needs someone to help her break free of the image her family forced upon her and become a complete person, rather than a stereotype. Avril absolutely should not have verbally attacked her, and her ignorance of what she was saying is no excuse. Kujo should have let Avril apologize and should have given more deference to Victorique’s past traumas, and his stubborn and moralistic nature is no excuse. Just as Victorique should not have called Avril vile names and certainly not thrown a desk at her, and her own childhood traumas were not an excuse. There’s plenty of blame to spare for all three of them. But if Victorique is going to overcome the chains of her childhood, her relationship with Kujo needs to go beyond one-sided verbal abuse and the “slave and master” comedy routine and become something with a measure of mutual respect.