Re: Zero’s Betelgeuse had a huge impact early on in the series, but did THAT decision put him on a dark path?
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Re: Zero – Starting Life on Another World, Season 2, Episode 18, “The Day Betelgeuse Laughed,” now airing on Crunchyroll.
Re: zero He is far from being kind to everyone who inhabits his world, and while Betelgeuse (occasionally spelled Petelgeuse) continued to torment Subaru earlier in the series, Emilia’s Graveyard trial reveals how his descent into darkness began. In order to deal with Regulus Corneas, the Un Archbishop of Greed, and a mysterious woman named Pandora, Betelgeuse chooses to merge with the Witch Factor of Sloth to gain more power. But at what price will this new force come?
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The authority of laziness
As Emilia continues to see her forgotten memories with Echidna in episode 18, things take a dark turn. Young Emilia and her Aunt Fortuna, who raised her as a mother, flee from Regulus and Pandora after Betelgeuse / Geuse assures them that she will catch up with them later. Having escaped, Geuse reveals a small box containing black tendrils, which he presses against his chest, causing him to writhe in pain and bleed from his eyes.
Pandora, who appears to be the leader of the Witch Cult, applauds Geuse for submitting to the Authority of Sloth and gaining its power. Citing love as his reason for choosing this path, Geuse now wields his famous Invisible Hands, which he uses to fight Regulus. Still, even when Geuse decided to open the Witch’s Factor of Sloth, he knew the decision would alter the course of his life.
While Geuse’s dedication is commendable and moving, it’s hard to dissociate him from the actions he ends up committing after seemingly losing control of reality. Yet it is so difficult not to feel for Geuse as the image of his past is painted more clearly. Given his relationship with Fortuna and his eventual death, it could be strongly argued that he will be a significant factor in pushing Geuse over the edge.
The power of the witch cult
Emilia and Fortuna share a heartbreaking goodbye as Geuse fights Regulus. Fortuna knows that Geuse will need her help, and will later reveal that she wants to share her last moments with him as well, and since Pandora and Regulus are targeting Emilia and the seal, she will have to help keep them out of her daughter’s trail. A tearful Emilia continues to flee as Fortuna finds an incredibly injured Geuse, whose arms have been ripped off by Regulus.
As Regulus becomes increasingly agitated by everyone interrupting him, including Pandora, he turns to his teammate and appears to wipe her out with a single hit. However, before she can kill Geuse, Pandora reappears and teleports Regulus, somehow reversing all the damage she caused and even healing Geuse’s injuries. Stunned by Pandora’s terrifying abilities, Geuse and Fortuna prepare for the worst as they throw everything they have at her.
We don’t see the results of the fights, but we know that things are not going well for Geuse and Fortuna as Pandora still ends up tracking Emilia. Since Emilia’s trial will likely come to a close soon, her final moments will no doubt shake her to her core and cement Geuse as one of the Re: zeromost tragic villains.
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