…wait, 32 is the freezing point of water in Fahrenheit. Coincidence?! Probably.
Kirito engages Eugeo in combat, begging him to remember their original mission of rescuing Alice, but Eugeo is surprisingly evenly matched. Despite this, Kirito tells Alice to not get involved in the fight (even though they’d probably be able to beat him at least a little quicker) and instead just has Eugeo look at her to shake some of his memories loose. After regaining some sense of himself and even that he knew Kirito as a child, he freezes him and Alice and returns to the top floor to be properly synthesized by Quinella.
However, he fully returns to his former self and rejects Quinella’s power and offering of “love”, proclaiming that love is something given freely and not to obtain control. He then uses the dagger Cardinal gave him to strike her, only to have it blocked because of her ability to apparently block all metal weapons. Her night gown seems to NOT be immune to this, having been shredded due to sheer force of…air? Anyway, she’s naked now and for the rest of the season.
Eugeo also didn’t quite freeze Kirito and Alice, who beat up Chudelkin a bit before joining the rest at the top. The three confront Quinella, with Alice saying the Integrity Knights have been dissolved and that she will defeat her. Bored with this, Quinella tells Chudelkin to kill them, though he asks for a pity lay as compensation. Invigorated by the power of his clown boner, he summons a massive flaming genie to face them.
So, just putting this out there, but the previous three major antagonists of this show’s arcs have been guys covered head to toe in their respective armor or cloth outfits. Now we get to the series’ first female main bad guy and her final battle attire is…her birthday suit, with as much camera focus put on this point as possible. Just saying.
Anyway, with all the build up for Kirito facing Eugeo in battle, their fight was rather brief and pretty flat. As mentioned, the fact that Eugeo is not doing this by choice makes this considerably less interesting, as it basically just turns him into yet another Integrity Knight being forcibly manipulated to fight instead of anything authentic he might be feeling about Kirito or Alice. He and Kirito don’t really have any real beef between them, so there’s nowhere for this fight to really go except have him be reminded of his memories until he stops fighting. It MIGHT have been a neat opportunity on Alice’s part for HER to be the one to fight Eugeo, providing her with a parallel as someone who doesn’t remember her old life but is fighting for someone else to regain theirs, with the added irony of her fighting against AND FOR someone who she once called a friend without being aware of it, but I guess that wasn’t the route they wanted to take this.
But now that Eugeo is back on the side of good, this also leaves the villain side with their least interesting members. Chudelkin was pretty much just a one note sadistic and creepy clown…up until this week, where we got to see his more…amorous side? I guess that’s technically a new facet to his character, but it sure doesn’t make me any more interested in seeing more of him, let alone seeing him fight. Though with his big summoning being the cliffhanger of the episode, I guess he’s going to be a big point of focus for the next episode. And after he’s beaten, that just leaves Quinella, who is just so dull and stale as an antagonist that the only major appeal she has is probably her looks. Which the camera makes EXTRA CLEAR to make sure that we’re aware of. We’re closing in on the finale for this season (or at least this part of the season) and I am starting to become very unsure of my investment.