Princess Principal Episode 11: Ultimate betrayal

In many ways, this episode didn't quite go the way I expected, but I think I'll wait to see how it comes together in the end to pass ultimate judgment. Honestly, I thought from the moment when Ange first accepted the mission that she would try to die in Princess's place. I can understand that her plan to escape with the Princess is more reasonable given that she expressed her wish for that outcome in the first place, but I guess my head saw a different ending.

There are a couple pieces in this episode that didn't sit well with me. First and foremost, I'm wondering how the Duke of Normandy plays into everything. He's been a constant looming presence in this series, but he has very little setup himself. Given that his agent has been involved in many episodes now, I'm very much expecting that his character exists as a simple enemy. It seems to me like the ending will just prop him up as the mastermind behind the coup all along, which seems empty if we don't know much about him.

Along the same lines, Zelda seems like a bit of a random introduction. It's not unheard of for this series, but it's odd that she's being introduced so close to the end as someone presumably pivotal to the ending. It makes me wonder if she's just a simple spy for the Duke.

Of course, the whole idea of splitting the team just feels like a setup for a grand reunion in the final episode. There's nothing particularly wrong with that, but it's time that needs to be spent. Just how much is meant to happen in this finale?

The most interesting part of this episode was the statement from Ange that Operation: Changeling was her idea. It makes sense and has likely been said before in this series (knowing my track record), since it plays into her original plan to get close to Princess. But I find it interesting that the final conflict in the episode is that plan blowing up in her face.

I'm really shocked about the ending of this episode, though. It has nothing to do with the coup or the fact that Princess trapped Ange on the airship. I'm just surprised that Princess got away with pretending to be Ange so easily. Does the spy organization really think so little of her? They suspected Ange of betrayal, but take her word that Princess is dead without physical evidence? That just seems bizarre.

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