Gosick Episode Eight, “Howling Echoes from the Kingdom of the Past”–Review

We open with a very distraught Derek, who is upset that his friend Raoul has been shot by the old man. The old man denies having shot the Raoul, and Ambrose is trying to explain that this was certainly an accident. Derek does not care if it was an accident and continues to wail over the death of his friend. Unnoticed by everyone, Victorique picks up a hazelnut. This would be a Clue.

After the credits, Kujo, Victorique and Ambrose are talking about the shooting. She asks what Ambrose thinks of the case, he replies that Elder Sergius will have to show proof that he had not shot Raoul. Victorique states that she has the “proof” concerning the crime, and that she can explain it to both Ambrose and Kujo.

The explanation takes place in the church. Victorique believes that the murderer will come to the church because he has plans to steal expensive artifacts. As they hide the real murderer turns up and goes for the vase he had planned to steal–as he does so, Grevil appears to arrest him. (This is very much a surprise to Kujo who had not expected Grevil to turn up–Poor Kujo, he is always the Watson, isn’t he?)

Victorique explains that Derek, Alan and Raoul had been thieves. Their earlier “prank” with tossing the vase in a baptismal font had been to see if it would float. (It was a gilded vase, they wanted to see if it was really gold.) The murders had been the result of a falling out among the thieves, Derek having killed both of his partners.

Sergius says that he never expected to have his name cleared by Cordelia’s daughter, and orders the villagers to take Derek away. Grevil protests very strongly but Sergius has some sad news for Grevil; apparently, the old guy considers his village to be a sovereign nation–the kingdom of Seyrun, over which Grevil’s country has no authority. (Victorique recognizes the name, but Grevil does not.)

Later, Grevil is grumbling and outraged (but is apparently unable to argue so this is why he is complaining). Kujo asks Grevil why he was here, and how he knew to come. Victorique explains that Grevil had been trailing the thieves via Sister Mildred who is actually a swindler Grevil used to keep an eye on the thieves (and Victorique’s) whereabouts.

Victorique however is not here to help Grevil with nabbing crooks. She wants to clear her mother’s name, and she has a plan for getting the real murderer to confess. This plan involves hijacking a ritual where there’s a procession of people dressed as ancestor spirits. Kujo approaches the person Victorique says is the suspect, and the suspect has a nervous breakdown and confesses to the crime. Victorique explains exactly how the murder happened, and how her mother was framed.

It was the maid who did it, but Cordelia was not that maid. It was dear, unhinged Harminia. It turns out that our suspect had received a prediction from Theodore saying that she would die when she was twenty six. For some reason, she decided that if she killed Theodore, then the prediction would not come true. (She’s definitely not a good representative of the Gray Wolves, who are all supposed to be geniuses, because I’m not sure how you could get the idea that if you killed the prophet you can avert the prophecy.)

The suspect is convicted and condemned to die. (Grevil protests but it’s hard to argue with a sword and you’re currently unarmed.) Sergius orders Ambrose to execute the criminal, but Ambrose apparently kind of liked her before he found out she was a crazy murderess and is somewhat reluctant to chop her head off. He decides to help her make a break for it, which turns out to have been a very bad idea because Harminia decides to start fires all over the village as a distraction.

(I’d like to point out here that she is one heck of a fast runner. She starts three fires that are several blocks apart, and given this is a medieval walled city more than a village, these are very crowded twisty streets.)

Harminia makes it to the gate and has plans to escape, burning the bridge behind her. Sergius does not care, but Ambrose is upset. Kujo, realizing that they have to get across the bridge before they get trapped in the village starts across, accompanied by Grevil and Victorique. Unfortunately, Harminia is not going to let them pass. She attacks Victorique, but Kujo blocks her.

Of course, Kujo is unarmed so he isn’t able to do a lot, when Harminia has a spear of some kind.

Ambrose steps between Kujo and Harminia, disarming her. Harminia loses her footing and falls into the ravine.

This is followed by more burning and then running before the bridge falls apart. Kujo is not able to make it and ends up dangling over the cliff. (How a teeny girl like Victorique could have caught Kujo by the arm and held on without sliding after him I don’t know.) There are some heartfelt words and Kujo is inspired to get a second wind and climb up the cliff.

The scene shifts to two figures who are apparently watching all of this from a distance. One of them looks extremely familiar; the other is a very tiny woman with long blond hair.

The episode ends with everyone going home (except for Ambrose who is effectively exiled because of the bridge and possibly also because of the entire “let Harminia get away and burn down parts of the village” thing). We discover that both Kujo and Victorique asked the same question (which is extremely cute).

Once again, the mystery was telegraphed but the underlying mystery of Victorique and her mother’s past keeps the story interesting. (Another key factor for why I’m enjoying the series is Kujo and his interactions with Victorique.)

The next episode features Victorique with a cold, which means Kujo’s mostly on his own when he stumbles across a mystery in a department store.