Home > Episode Reviews, Gosick > Gosick Episode 23 – Ending with a Bang

Gosick Episode 23 – Ending with a Bang

Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

For a show as predictable as this one, it bears repeating: Gosick drops several narrative bombs this episode, each seemingly more explosive than the last, and none of them were plot points I would have guessed. When the literal explosions start and much of the named cast faces mortal peril, the usual rules of Gosick have obviously been upended. And it’s great; I’m only disappointed it took this long to reach this point.

Most surprising in all this is that Kujou and Victorique remain apart. Once Victorique is secure and under observation to block any suicide attempt, Kujou gets deported back to Japan. Although on opposite sides of Eurasia, the two are together in spirit, but not in body. The long-anticipated separation has begun, and it looks permanent.

Kujou, back in Japan, gets sent to boot camp. The new haircut makes him look older and younger at the same time

One major complaint is that, to make the prophecy fit, World War II gets pushed forward over a decade. Even though 1925 is just dawning, Germany is already making noises towards Poland. (In the real timeline, the Nazis wouldn’t be a major political force until toward the end of the decade, and didn’t take power until 1932. Perhaps in this timeline the Beer Hall Putsch succeeded.) Just economically speaking, Germany wouldn’t even be ready to start hostilities at this point, but for some reason the show still views them as the strong horse.

While better attention to the historical timeline would have been nice, historical accuracy has never been Gosick’s strong suit. The point is that Germany is about to start a war, and de Blois intends for Saubure to stand with them. He’s already sparked the Monstre Charmant fanatics into pressing for war (while hiding his own involvement in getting them started). Now he just needs to take control of the mechanisms of power, and that doesn’t take long at all.

The many techniques de Blois uses to intimidate his daughter include biting her ear. Boy am I happy he dies this episode

After forcing from Victorique proof of Roget’s ancestry, he discredits his rival just as the latter is pushing the country toward peace. When Roget flees, he uses his knowledge of the king’s transgressions to coax/manipulate/blackmail him into supporting the Occult Ministries plans for war. All the plots and schemes of the last two arcs come to fruition.

And then it all falls apart, when Cordelia sneaks in, doubles as her daughter to get close to de Blois (and give Victorique time to escape), and then bombs the Monstre Charmant/war rally he’s hosting for good measure. It’s a suicide attack, but she doesn’t care any longer, so long as she can take down de Blois and get her daughter to safety. She certainly succeeds on the first count.

The rational part of my brain was raising all sorts of objections to Cordelia being an acrobatic dual-wielding knife fighter, but concerns about realism were ultimately overruled by the rule of cool

The second proves more complicated, as the Roscoe helping Victorique escape eventually snaps at the prospect of both Cordelia and his twin dying to cover their escape. He attempts to murder Victorique in retaliation, which is in keeping with the misplaced rage he always felt toward her as de Blois’s daughter. It still makes the likely deaths of his brother and his love more pointless.

In all this, the question remains: How is Gosick going to end? Letting either Cordelia or the other Roscoe survive at this point would seem a poor narrative move, given how unlikely their survival always was and how the show takes pains to show them both seriously, perhaps mortally injured. Kujou’s not around to save Victorique, and any move to get him there would come off as horribly contrived. And regardless of how Victorique survives (and of course she will survive), how will the writers conclude the series, with the two leads separated forever?

Roscoe's rage is directed at the wrong target, but without Cordelia to hold him back, the years of resentment he's had toward Victorique can finally be expressed

The ending of Gosick was always going to be bittersweet at best; now Victorique has lost everyone she loves in the course of two episodes. Coming up with a resolution that isn’t completely depressing or completely unrealistic is going to be hard. But, as Gosick’s strength has always been the interplay between Kujou and Victorique, keeping finale interesting after the threat of mortal peril passes will be even harder.

Of course, on its own merits this episode is remarkably satisfying (if very rushed), so maybe Gosick still has some tricks up its sleeve. With the mysteries gone, and the plot armor over the main characters removed, there’s plenty of dramatic potential left to be tapped. The question is whether Gosick can draw that out, or whether it can somehow return Victorique and Kujou’s relationship back to center stage even when they are apart, or whether it will just meander through its finale episode in an overly long denouement. There’s only one way to find out.

Grevil gets chewed out by Jacqueline for betraying her trust (and Kujou's). I suspect he'll flip sides again before the show is over, particularly now that his father is dead

You can watch the episode here.

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