Having dealt with the potentially civilization-ending Morpho and lived to tell the tale, the five Spearheads return “home” to their adoptive father Ernst’s home just in time for the Giad equivalent of Christmas. As Frederica finishes her homework, they open their gifts, all of which could aid in their most difficult mission yet: living civilian lives.
Like the first time they were brought to Giad and given the freedom to choose, the kids all find their respective niches and genuinely enjoy the time they spend in those niches, as well as sharing various first-time experiences together. But the Legion are merely down, not out, and the battlefield beckons. When informally asked to join an independent unit, the five don’t hesitate to take up the call.
It’s there where we learn their unit will be led by a “foreign officer”, and where I once again started to get my hopes up about Shin & Co. meeting Lena—despite knowing how 86 loves to operate. As he visits Eugene’s grave, apologizes to Marcel and Nina, and finally places his brother’s shard of metal in the memorial with the others, Shin wants to find “something new” with his four comrades. He wants to take them to the end, and he doesn’t want that end to be a battlefield.
In a return to the first season formula of splitting the episodes between Shin and Lena, we see her visiting her father’s grave, walking around the ruined first district, and asking her departed uncle for more time before her “hopes are crushed”. Her white-haired brethren throwing racial slurs at the Giadian solders feeding them shows that it could be generations before the state-sanctioned bigotry fades…if ever.
But just as Shin found peace with Eugene, Marcel, and his brother, Lena comes to a détente with Annette, who is now no longer of the mind that nothing she does matters. She’s also curious about the Giadian’s Para-RAID resembling her own so closely, and has decided to accompany Lena as a tech officer. Lena, who already found a stray cat to keep her company, is elated at the news. Annette knows that the more she stays by Lena’s side, the more surprises she’ll see.
But the biggest and most pleasant surprise of all is that 86 doesn’t go out without letting Lena come face-to-face with Shin, Anju, Kurena, Raiden, and Theo for the first time. Even when she sees these five soldiers, she doesn’t know who they are, having just paid her respects to the five soldiers she believed to have died. Her reaction to Shin introducing himself was priceless, and so earned by everything that had preceded it.
While I worry about their trials in the battles to come, it fills my heart with joy and glee to see Lena triumphantly standing shoulder to shoulder with her comrades. These are the final moments that made the long wait more than worth it. This final episode provided both closure and enduring hope for the future of these crazy kids.