Violet Evergarden – 09

A tool cares nothing for itself. It doesn’t even consider itself a “self”. It only has purpose in the hands of its master. No master, no purpose. Violet was only able to get as far as she did as an Auto Memoir Doll because she thought the Major was out there somewhere, they would one day reunite so she could be issued fresh orders.

Despite Gilbert’s attempts to appeal to her humanity, Violet had been so conditioned for carrying out orders and nothing else that even when she loses one arm to a bullet and another to a grenade, she’s still compelled to try to dress his wounds with her teeth, until he has to all but order her to stop.

But now there are no more orders to look forward to, and Violet is lost in her past. She revisits the ruin of the castle where he fell, perhaps harboring a glimmer of hope everyone was wrong, and Gilbert was there after all. It doesn’t take long for that hope to be crushed, which is just about when Claudia and Benedict arrive to pick her up.

Claudia explains his need to withhold the truth from her when she was admitted to the hospital; she was more concerned with Gilbert than herself, but Gilbert demonstrated to Claudia on the eve of battle that he never saw Violet as a tool or weapon, but an ordinary girl he’d taken it upon himself to care for.

Gilbert had hope of his own: that one day Violet could be an ordinary girl with a purpose and emotions and dreams all her own. And even if he wasn’t around to meet that girl, he entrusted Claudia to care for her in his stead. Claudia perhaps understood more than Gilbert did just how difficult a transition from weapon to person would be.

Still, he doesn’t regret how he’s handled things. Cattleya thinks him heartless to tell Violet she’s “burning in the flames of what she’s done”, but it’s true, and it’s not something unique to Violet. Everyone has lost people, and parts of themselves. There’s nothing for it but to accept those flames, and they’ll gradually subside.

Upon returning to Leiden, everyone is worried about Violet, but also keep their distance out of respect. She sits in her dark room, alone with her flames, her grief and regret. She dreams of returning to the steps where she last saw Gilbert, but he’s not very nice.

Dream Gilbert essentially repeats the words his brother said to Violet at the port—words that appeal to her guilt over being able to write letters that connect people with the same hands that took the lives of so many others. She cries. She makes a mess. She puts those hands around her throat and contemplates joining the major.

Then there’s a knock at her door and she receives a letter; her first. Before reading it, she helps deliver some letters an errant delivery boy abandoned, and seems to enjoy ensuring the thoughts and hearts and souls of those who wrote them find their way to where they belong.

The letter addressed to her was written by Iris and Erica, figuring writing Doll-to-Doll was the best way to maintain that respectful distance while making sure Violet knew they were worried about her and are hoping and waiting for her to return. Additionally, Spencer requested her by name to ghostwrite an apology/thank you letter for his sister Luculia.

In this way, Violet gets back to work, the embers still glowing but the flames perhaps gradually subsiding. Spencer’s hope was to express gratitude for the one who got her back on her feet, all the while unaware that he’s helping Violet to do the same.

On her way back to the office, she spots a newspaper article featuring Princess Charlotte and her new husband meeting with children, as well as an advertisement for Oscar Webster’s newest play about Olivia. It’s a little on the nose, but it’s important that she she be reminded of what she’s done since her military career ended.

That’s because when she rushes to Claudia’s office to ask him if it’s really, truly all right for her to live on, he tells her that while the things she did back then can’t be undone, neither can the things she’s doing and will continue to do as an Auto Memoir Doll. Not only is it all right to live on…it’s essential. Both the show and this episode share her name. They are hers, and so is her life. Time to start living it.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

4 thoughts on “Violet Evergarden – 09”

  1. I want to strangle Claudia. Focusing on her guilt vs the apocalyptic bullshit done to her…… She killed in a war she was abused into a weapon…… Stop giving her a “respectfull distance” and somebody go give that poor girl a HUG!

  2. The background music used for the room scene where Violet tries to choke herself really felt awkward. It was a track they typically use more for the chase scenes i. I wish they went with a more somber track to suit that scene.

    Overall though, this is a really good episode. It can even work as the finale or the series , if not for the fact that there are still five more episodes. At this point, some fans are probably complaining why the series has adapted only a few materials from the novels. But I really like how it works as a companion piece for the novels and not just a straight adaptation.

    1. I didn’t mention it in the review, but Evan Call’s score was again a bit too emphatic at times this week, both in the scene you mentioned, and at the very beginning during the flashback with Violet and Gilbert on the stairs.

      Call me crazy, but I think the scene on the stairs would have been a lot more powerful with no music at all—just the distant sounds of battle in the background. It was as if the show didn’t trust me to feel what it wanted me to feel, so it piled on the music.

      Many of Call’s pieces in the show are downright masterful, but he and the director don’t seem to realize that sometimes the music simply gets in the way. Sometimes, less is more.

      It did feel like a finale, but I’m glad it’s not, as I’m looking forward to how Violet fares after such a major catharsis (no pun intended).

  3. For some weird reason, this episode really got to me. Violet still has a long way to go, but giving her a compelling reason to continue living could finally start the ball rolling.

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