Under the Rose 「薔薇の下で」
Joseph, you’re really mean! And Bernard going psycho was an actual scary moment there…
A most sinister plot is definitely hatching here. Galfa is summoned to meet with Joseph’s boss Lord Guillaume who then takes the chance to let his nephew, confessor and spiritual (and war strategist) guide Bernard convince Galfa of why Maria must be “saved”. He doesn’t mean that Galfa is to kill her per se, just that Maria has to stop interfering with the war. Galfa’s on the same page because hey, that’s how he makes his living the just and fair way right; the good man had shared his gambling winnings with his mates because it wasn’t money he had earned.
So Joseph unwillingly brought Galfa to see Maria, whereupon the mercenary learns from Ezekiel of St. Michael’s “curse”. He had of course conveyed the information to Bernard, who then very uncharacteristically (scaring poor little Gilbert) broke into psycho laughter and tears at the irony of semblance witch Maria has with St. Maria. So with that, one can easily imagine a dark plot brewing among these men as to how to have Maria’s virginity taken from her because that’s one way of stopping her meddling with war. I shudder just recollecting Sakurai Takahiro‘s psycho breakdown in that scene as much as wondering how these guys (Bernard, Guillaume & Galfa) are going to make that possibility happen… Joseph is very cross with Lord Guillaume but he’s a messenger, with no powers or dreams of his own. He can only suffer in silence and feel maligned for Maria but that’s about to change if she promises to not interfere with the battle at Normandy (no, not the WWII one). If she stays out of it, he’ll survive the war and return… to her, to help her pursue her dream of peace. Mean, mean Joseph! Maria does like the guy and so she would of course want him to return to her side. On the other hand, I’m not sure Joseph realises his affection for Maria goes beyond respect for her peaceful values just yet. He probably wants to return to her because he’s unwilling to follow a Lord who doesn’t care for stopping useless killing. Hopefully the boy comes around and protects Maria! For the greater good or for her own personal reasons, Maria made the decision to go because knowing that Joseph and Ann’s father’s at Normandy, how can she not?
Ezekiel (I really really like Hanazawa Kana in this role she’s so good at these cutesy yet strong types) on the other hand, isn’t so sure if she should remain just a messenger. Indeed that’s a dilemma we all feel at some point when all we do is like a human postbox, pass the message from one party to another. Messengers can have inputs and Maria made sure Ezekiel realised that this week – nice to see that even though Ezekiel is St. Michael’s minion proxy, Maria does genuinely take care of the little dovey. Is it arrogant for humans to ask for their wishes to be fulfilled? According to those who art in heaven, yes. Crudely but indirectly comparing humans to beasts on earth, St. Michael reminds his proxy that her job is to be his spear should she actually see Maria use magic. Humans know not the boundaries that surround their being on earth and heaven watches on even after it has heard their pleas. It is not for him to interfere, as everything on earth has its course, even if a pious monk goes on to plot the downfall of the only person who truly cares for human lives in this show. It’s irritating to watch (as it is in the real world sometimes) but plot-wise, we’re onto something big in the second half of Junketsu with new character (jaded-with-the-world witch?) Edwina (Uchiyama Yumi) potentially joining the fray.