And so ends season one of Gosick…
Well – just kidding. But it sure felt that way. The trip to Beelzebub’s Skull was actually a false start – or, more properly, a false finish. It’s obviously going to be connected to the final arc, but it was a mere tease of the arc itself – a chance to meet all the players and set the stage, rather than the stage itself.
The oldster on the train with Kujo was indeed Albert de Blois, as some suspected – though wearing a rather hokey disguise. The real Albert is disfigured, “Phantom” style, and a real piece of work. Since everyone in this episode seemed to say everything they were thinking there weren’t too many secrets. His specific plans for Victorique aren’t spelled out and may not even be all that relevant, but he clearly holds no familial affection for her at all – she is indeed merely a tool for him to achieve his ends. “For his country”, or whatever – the wolf cub is the key. For some reason (gotta have a final arc, I suppose) he allows Kujo to take Victorique back to the Academy – but not before smugly telling Kujo that he controls things there every bit as much as he does at Beelzebub’s Skull.
Brian and Cordelia are there as well, of course, with purposes of their own – and contrary to Albert’s. Cordelia still seems to love her daughter, and gives Kujo a ring to deliver, along with an instruction to “solve the mystery and prove her worth”, and a promise to come whenever Victorique is in trouble. Though she’s working with Brian it’s not clear if they’re allies of convenience or something more. He was the one responsible for the illusion that destroyed the German bomber squadron in 1918, and at the time he his a “Memento box” that seemed to be his goal this time – though it was gone when Cordelia went to fetch it. The Bishop running things seems to have his own agenda too, and as for Simon – the other chap who Kujo met on the train – he ends up very dead in a grisly triumph of mystery over science.
What the purpose of this entire bizarre soiree at the convent is I’m not exactly sure – it frankly feels like a plot device to move things along quickly more than anything else. It all ends with the floodgates literally opening, and Kujo and Victorique fleeing (she in his arms) escaping on the train by the skin of their teeth. It certainly had the effect of advancing their relationship substantially. She actually praised Kujo, albeit in a semi-condescending way, and grasped his hand as she pleaded with him to protect her forever. That was a declaration of love as far as I’m concerned, and while that was never really in doubt it was still nice to see some real tenderness coming from Victorique.
And was that Grevil on the train at the end, smiling as he observed that tender moment? That might just have been the most revealing moment of the entire episode.