Thoughts & Feelings Column: Princess Principal – Episode Eleven

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Episode eleven begins directly where we left off with Dorothy asking why plans have changed to killing the Princess. General reminds the girls that assassination was always on the table since the inception of Operation: Changeling, and though Dorothy attempts to convince General otherwise- the girls are ordered to begin the assassination plot.  

aDorothy seems to know more about Ange’s feelings, and possibly situation with Charlotte, than she often lets on. Sensing that something is wrong, Dorothy acts on her maternal instincts in an attempt to protect her friend. While Ange states she will accomplish the mission, Dorothy calls Ange out as a liar and almost begs Ange to be truthful about her feelings during the car ride back to the dorm.

When the girls make it back, Dorothy allows Ange to run ahead to report what their new ordered to the Princess, and while Ange is gone a group of people show up to take Dorothy (or kill her, it’s actually not clear what happened just yet). Honestly, it’s very likely that if Dorothy wasn’t removed from the team in some capacity, the girls would have found a way to protect Charlotte far easier than Ange’s final plan. Furthermore, though Dorothy is a skilled asset, Ange is far more valuable considering her ability to “become” the princess- even if she isn’t completely compliant in the entire assassination plot.

bOn Ange’s side of things, after she knocks on the Princess’s window, a mysterious woman answers the door and invites Ange in. As it turns out, Control works fast, and this new woman (Zelda) is Charlotte’s new bodyguard. Zelda was assigned to Charlotte to keep an eye on Ange so that she doesn’t pass any information to Charlotte about her impending death. This bodyguard is amazing at her job, and she manages to thwart every opportunity and trick Ange can imagine to contact Charlotte. It seems Control not only realized, but fully understood, how the girls were able to outsmart Charlotte’s previous, Duke-assigned detail countless times before and used this knowledge to beef up their own security for Operation: Changeling’s intended success.

Zelda isn’t Ange’s only adversary, however, Control has placed numerous agents throughout the school and town to be sure Ange doesn’t attempt any communication before assassination day. Chise, the only person who would be able to logically help Ange (Beatrice is far too emotional when it comes to Charlotte), is reassigned to another school by the order of Lord Horikawa who learned about the unsteady climate that is centering around Charlotte. Ange, either gripped by her own pride, fearful of leaks, or afraid of getting another friend hurt, decides to withhold information about the assassination from Chise.

Because none of her reconnaissance efforts were paying off, Ange turns to the woman that is always in Control’s meetings. She advises Ange that there was shake-up at the highest level that resulted in removing L from their team. This shake-up  has also ended with the military taking over the Commonwealth’s spy agency.

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There’s a brief aside with the Duke and the Queen of Albion where they discusss the new royal temple being built as a way for the kingdom to pray for victory. The Queen is booked to attend the unveiling, and I’m wondering what kind of evil the Duke will be planning for this ceremony as it would be perfect for a royal death. I’d like to see the Queen turn stone faced and reveal that she’s known about the Duke’s ill intentions this whole time, but Princess Principal is oddly realistic in terms of government operations- so maybe the Queen is none the wiser and the Duke will get his country the bloody way.

During this meeting, the Duke slips out to meet with Gazelle who reports that there is unrest near the wall. Gazelle has information that states there is an army of their own soldiers with growing dissent in the ranks as they begin to see the divide the wall brings in the world. The Duke doesn’t do anything with this information other than store it away in his brain. He seems to be using this new revolution for something, but for what, we don’t know just yet. Actually, even Gazelle seems surprised by his inaction.

The day before assassination day, Ange reminds Zelda that Operation: Changeling was her idea and that she will be the one to kill Charlotte. Zelda is suspicious, but Ange’s successful track record works to put most of the mistrust at ease.

dBack in Ange’s room, she is preparing for the next day by cutting rebar into gas tank houses. Ange reminisces about her childhood with Charlotte and reveals that she didn’t want to just get out of the castle that day- Ange had planned on dying by throwing herself into the well. Seeing Charlotte save her, and this Charlotte was the first friend she ever had. After the revolution, Ange lost everything, including her friend. Ange still wants to apologize for all her selfishness, though she’s surely done that enough at this point. This does bring up the idea that maybe Ange’s obsessive apologies and protection of Charlotte is stifling and selfish as well.

During these past few days, Charlotte has known that something was up, but on assassination day- Charlotte’s uncertainty is lent credence. Ange and Charlotte take a train to the shopping district under the watch of Zelda and Control’s goons. Operation: Changeling has become more than just a plot to kill and replace the princess, it’s now a test of Ange’s loyalty to the Commonwealth.

eAnge manages to convince Charlotte to switch outfits and hair styles to lose their security detail, like when they were kids. The girls are able to escape with the help of Ange’s gas bombs, but it should be noted that during the ordeal Charlotte is smiling, laughing, and having fun. I was under the assumption that Charlotte realized she was in danger until this point, but it seems she wasn’t. Charlotte had no idea or inkling that she is under the chopping block. 

When Ange and Charlotte make it to a very large air balloon hanger, Ange informs Charlotte that they will be absconding to Casablanca where there is a white house that will help the girls hide from Control and the Kingdom. However, Charlotte refuses to go with Ange. She doesn’t want to run, and she wishes to face her death if it’s coming. Charlotte is upset that Ange made this decision for her. Ange pleads with Charlotte, but ultimately fails as Charlotte locks Ange in the balloon’s cargo chamber. Charlotte tells Ange she never wants to see her again and that she always hated Ange’s fear, crying, and troublesome nature. With that, the girls are separated and Charlotte returns to the shopping district.

As Ange.

hPretending to be Ange disguised as Charlotte in a truly Tropic Thunder way, Charlotte is able to convince both Zelda and Control’s goons that she is their spy. Pleased with the apparent success of Operation: Changeling, a group of disenfranchised Kingdom soldiers are introduced to Charlotte whom they (rightfully) recognize as their Princess. These soldiers had no idea about Operation: Changeling, so they don’t know about Control’s plans to control the Princess. The soldiers only believe that the Commonwealth is helping them usurp the throne. You see, the plan is make the Princess the new queen of Albion.

Charlotte will get exactly what she wanted, but she will have to continue this particular charade for the rest of her life- as we know it – constantly under the scrutiny of not just the elites of the Kingdom, but also that of the Commonwealth who has at this point shown they don’t care about her life, just her usefulness. Ange is theoretically stuck in Casablanca, though it’s likely that she will manage to escape the air balloon. But, what will Ange do? There isn’t anything lost if Charlotte maintains this position, in fact, it’s what Charlotte has been dreaming of. This is also a consequence of Charlotte’s own stubbornness in the wake of a friend’s selfishness. I’m terribly curious how the rest of this is going to play out for all our girls.

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