It’s the final episode of Phantom, and Ellen and Reiji have to face down one final test: Scythe Master and his Zahlenschwestern.
Four of the six Zahlenschwestern start attacking Reiji and Ellen. Reiji and Ellen soon lure them into an old school building, where Ellen tricks two of them into shooting at a statue, where Reiji takes the opportunity to take out one of them and Ellen the other, leaving four Zahlenschwestern left. Reiji decides that he’ll go after the last two Zahlenschwestern going after them, and tells Ellen to find Scythe Master, since she’s the only person who really knows how he thinks.
Reiji starts his 2-on-1 battle while Ellen finds Scythe Master. However, she tells him that she won’t act on his stage, and drops her gun, knowing that Scythe Master won’t kill her yet since that would be too ordinary and boring. Ellen then engages in a knife fight with the two Zahlenschwestern protecting Scythe Master. However, she mostly runs, which Scythe finds boring, so Ellen throws her knife at Scythe Master. One of the Zahlenschwestern tosses her knife to deflect Ellen’s, and Ellen uses this opportunity to knock her out (and likely killing her). The second Zahlenschwestern throws her knife at Ellen, who catches it, and throws it back, hitting the second Zahlenschwestern in the head, killing her.
Meanwhile, the two remaining girls attack Reiji with a piece of heavy equipment, driving him into the church, where Reiji shoots a chandelier, causing it to fall on one of the girls, leaving only one of the Zahlenschwestern. She’s about to hunt Reiji down when Cal’s watch suddenly starts to play, This distracts the girl long enough for Reiji to shoot her.
Back to where Ellen is, she is about to shoot Scythe Master, but he “surrenders” by throwing away his gun, thus causing him to no longer be an immediate threat to her, which, due to her training, causes her to hesitate in shooting him. Scythe explains that she can only kill when following orders, otherwise she’ll be thrown into despair, and thus can’t kill him. However, Ellen tells him that she no longer needs him, and will live like Reiji wishes for her too, and with that, shoots Scythe Master. Afterward, Ellen cries in Reiji’s arms.
Reiji then goes on a search to find out who Ellen is, and his first step is to research Scythe Master’s past – who ends up being a man named Helmut von Giuseppe, who had a Ph.D in Psychology and Physiology. He learns that Ellen first met Scythe in Hong Kong 5 years prior. He tracks Ellen’s past down to an orphanage there, as a girl from Ulan Bator in Mongolia. The pair travel to Mongolia, but run into a dead end. However, while there, Ellen recognizes the scenery and knows that they’ve found where she’s from.
However, as Ellen looks out towards the sky, a cart passes, we hear a muffed gun shot, and Reiji falls to the ground. Ellen then smiles back, apparently not noticing anything is wrong. At the very end, Ellen is laying in the grass motionless, and the camera pans to a nearby empty bullet casing.
RAAGGGGEEEEE!!!! OK, maybe not so much rage, but maybe some trolling here at the end of the episode, and since the ending was so surprising, I’ll start with that first.
First off, I think there are several questions that arne’t really answered. Some of them have probable answers, but I don’t think any of them are guaranteed.
Question 1: Is Reiji Really Dead?
Given this series, it tends to have a “we don’t know if they’re dead until we see ‘me dead” history. However, the way Reiji fell and the fact that it’s the end of the series suggests that, yeah, Reiji is dead. Again, not guaranteed, but I think it’s a somewhat safe assumption. Having assumed that, then we go to:
Question 2: Who Killed Reiji?
We had Scythe Master telling Ellen that people would continue chasing them, as well as McGuire, who somehow survives this series, gives the impression that Inferno still intends to hunt the pair down.
This leads to the most likely answer: the guy on the passing cart was actually an Inferno assassin, who took out Reiji. However, that brings up the question of why didn’t he take out Ellen as well? Clearly we only hear one shot. Also, why didn’t Ellen react to Reiji crumpling to the ground? (that we see anyway)
That brings up a second possibility: Did Ellen, having now found her dream and where she’s from, kill Reiji because, well, she didn’t need him anymore, or thought that their journey was somehow complete? After all, we don’t actually see who shot Reiji or where he was shot. The fact that she wasn’t facing Reiji, considering Ellen’s skill as an assassin, doesn’t really seem to be much of a barrier for pulling such a thing off.
Question 3: Is Ellen Dead?
At the very end, Ellen is laying on the ground motionless. This could be just her enjoying the view, but could it be that she’s dead now too?
At the very end, we see a glimpse of a bullet casing on the ground. I think the first assumption is that it is the casing from the bullet that killed Reiji. But what if it’s from a bullet that killed Ellen? If it is, then that takes us to the question…
Question 4: If Ellen is Dead, who Killed Her?
If Ellen is dead – something which is by no means certain – I have three theories as to how this happened:
1) The shot fired by the man on the cart killed both of them, probably by going straight through Reiji and hitting Ellen as well. Since the harm to Reiji was probably more severe, he fell first, but Ellen, knowing they had both been shot, just smiles back before falling to the ground herself.
2) Ellen, having found her happiness of where she belonged, committed a murder/suicide with Reiji, shooting Reiji, and then killing herself.
3) Having looked back smiling at Reiji, she sees that he’s dead, and so she shoots herself.
I personally seem to think that Ellen is dead. Just the fact that she’s motionless on the ground, and it doesn’t make sense to kill off Reiji and not Ellen. I’m not sure who killed Reiji, but I’m almost of the mind that it is the murder/suicide route. Ellen finally found who she was, wanted to “stay with Reiji forever” there, and, with this being Ellen, in her mind the best way to do that was to die together with Reiji there. But that’s just my own personal theory.
Also, poor Mio, hoping that Reiji will come back, but alas, it appears he never will now (maybe Ellen offed Reiji too so that he couldn’t go running back to Mio too?)
Now that I’ve talked about the ending, let’s get to the rest of the episode.
The fight scenes were pretty spectacular, but man, the Zahlenschwestern seemed to be taken out pretty easily. I know that Ellen and Reiji are great assassins, and the Zahlenschwestern were more skilled than average, but they just didn’t seem as sharp as Ellen or Reiji.
I think the main explanation for that might be that Ellen and Reiji were basically self-thinkers while the Zahlenschwestern, like how Ellen was originally, are mindless “just follow the orders” type assassins, and thus can’t think creatively. This disadvantage ultimately doomed them.
I figured that Ellen would be the one who killed Scythe Master, and I was right, and Scythe Master’s supreme belief that he could predict how anyone and everyone could act ended up being his undoing.
The one thing I was surprised about was McGuire and Inferno surviving. I thought that Reiji and Ellen would go and take them out, just because they wouldn’t be truly safe until they did that. However, both survived and, perhaps, lead to one or both of their deaths in the end.
In the end, I thought this was a spectacular final episode and was executed pretty well. I’m also glad that we finally found out where Ellen was from, and perhaps we know why she kept around brochures for Mongolia around all the time too – because she subconsciously recognized the scenery.
In the end, I think this is an overall great episode to cap off an overall great series.