In D.Gray-man (HALLOW) episode 10 (or 113), Sinner in Despair, Malcolm C. Lvellie extracts a terrible revenge for Allen Walker not brining Yu Kanda and Alma Karma back from the hidden place; jealousy ferments among the Noah, both at Road Kamelot’s relationship with the Millennium Earl and the Earl’s relationship with the Fourteenth; a Church Council carefully ignores all evidence contrary to their convictions and keeps Allen imprisoned; civil war ferments among the Exorcists living in the European Branch as several of the most powerful, like Lenalee Lee and many scientists, fume at Allen’s captivity, while others demand his execution; and an Arch-Bishop decides to take matters into his own hands.
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What Happened (Spoiler Free)
At the North American Branch, Allen tries to work with Tokusa to save the Third Exorcist’s life, but Howard Link, his suspicions of Allen at an all time high, restrains Allen. The Millennium Earl chastises the Black Order for its role in creating the Third Exorcists — and how that act transgressed the very laws of nature. Taking the Third Exorcists with him, the Earl withdraws.
Lvellie, furious that Allen disobeyed his orders, throws Allen in prison.
Road Kamelot watches over the Earl as he sleeps, exhausted from his confrontation. Why does Tyki Mikk confront her about her relationship with the Earl — and why is Sheril Kamelot so obsessed with interrogating Bookman? Is there disunity brewing in the ranks of the Noah?
The Exorcists’ morale in the European Branch is at an all time low. Jeryy, their chef, tries to help by force-feeding them, but it doesn’t help that many of the lower-level Exorcists and support staff actively want Allen put to death. Strife in the Noah; strife in the Black Order. How will any of them muster the will to move forward?
The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful!
What Happened (Spoilers!)
Allen and Tokusa come up with a strategy to defeat Alma Karma’s cells that are raging in Tokusa’s body. Lvellie is raging at Allen to stop everything, open a gate to where Kanda and Alma Karma are, and destroy Alma Karma. But Allen’s more concerned with saving Tokusa.
Before they can execute their strategy, Howard Link arrives. He’s suspicious of Allen. Lvellie plays on that, telling Howard that Allen’s out of control. Howard uses his charms to bind Allen. The Millennium Earl isn’t about to give the Black Order a chance to regroup. Using his teleportation gates, he removes the Third Exorcists and lays the guilt for this whole catastrophe at the feet of the Order’s leadership. Promising to come back for Allen, he, too, disappears with the rest of the Noah.
Lvellie has Allen thrown into chains in a deep dungeon.
The Millennium Earl, exhausted from the confrontation and back in his realm, was asleep. Road Kamelot protectively watches over him. Tyki Mikk expresses some jealousy at her intimacy with the Earl. On one hand, Tyki pledges complete loyalty to the Earl; on the other, he expresses frustration that they want to know the Earl as well as she does.
That’s not the only unrest fermenting. Sheril Kamelot has kidnapped Bookman and Lavi in an attempt to learn more about the Fourteenth. Lavi’s infected with a Feedler parasite, and though he tries to maintain his composure, it’s clear that Bookman is worried. Not only is Lavi infected: so is Chaozii Han.
The doctors explain that they don’t know how to heal Chaozii Han, because he’s infected by a Noah phenomenon. Along with the loss of Kanda, Bookman, and Lavi — and Allen’s imprisonment — the Exorcists’ morale is at an all time low.
Howard Link, Lvellie, and others briefed the Church’s hierarchy about the disaster at the North American Branch. Howard’s having second thoughts as his mind drifts back to the battle, where Allen was more concerned about Tokusa’s loss than about his own impending imprisonment. Howard’s concern deepens as he watches the Church leaders callously suggest torturing Allen to make him talk.
Jeryy, the European Branch’s chef, attacks the problem in his own way: he tries to force the dejected Exorcists to eat. He eventually convinces them, though many, like Lenalee, are reluctant. But Jeryy and memories of past camaraderie convince them.
Howard Link goes directly to Jeryy and asks that he make a porridge for Allen — straight from Jeryy, not going through anyone from the Central Agency — so Allen would know it was safe. Howard personally delivers the food to Allen.
As Allen tired to eat, he stammers an apology to Howard for what happened after the battle — when Allen had lamented Howard’s lack of trust and the terrible effect it had on Tokusa. Howard admits his own role in this: that he was the one who gave Dark Matter to Lvellie in the timeframe of the end of the previous series, and that he felt completely responsible for what happened with the Third Exorcists, his friends.
Allen laments that he didn’t learn this perspective of the Third Exorcists before now. He wonders if he could even have saved Kanda and Alma Karma. Even as he reflects that applying that same idea to the Fourteenth might help him find a better solution to his current situation, he finds the Noah persona forcibly surfaced. A Cardinal enters and says that he’ll “heal” Allen.
At that moment, Howard notices the unconscious guards outside.
The Earl awakens, suddenly aware of a threat to Allen and the Fourteenth.
What I Liked
Allen’s focus was saving Tokusa; Lvellie’s was on maintaining his authority (though under the guise of destroying Alma Karma to kill the cells that had taken over the Third Exorcists). To me, it was clear who was really watching out for the health and safety of others.
I have to say that I think the show did a good job of showing Howard Link’s conflicted thought process. He really was trying to do the right thing; but his leadership had prejudiced him against Allen.
A huge Timcanpy! How cool is that? (Answer: very cool!).
The Earl laid things out clearly: by creating the Third Exorcists, the Order strayed into forbidden territory. The fault for the current debacle was squarely on their shoulders. At least, that’s the Earl’s interpretation. I think we have to take that with a grain of salt. I suspect he’s more trustworthy than someone like Lvellie, but that’s not saying much. There’s likely more to the story.
The Earl was crying because he wanted to be at the Fourteenth’s side? I knew he trusted Road enough to be open with her (as we saw in previous episodes), but this was a surprise to me. I can’t stress enough how much I like a complex villain, and the Earl certainly qualifies!
The Noah are jealous! They don’t like how much attention the Earl’s giving the Fourteenth, and they even seem uncomfortable with how close Road is to him! Further, they make no bones about their intention to kill the Fourteenth, even though the Earl wants them to keep him alive! It’s frustrating to them.
Now we know what happened to Bookman and Lavi. The Noah kidnapped them to interrogate Bookman. I was interested to see that Bookman at first suspected the Earl had issued the “invitation.” I also thought it was insightful how he immediately saw the Noah’s motivation: they are conflicted because the Earl told them to welcome the Fourteenth — a traitor to them.
I loved how Bookman tried to say cool (even picking his nose at one point!), but by the end, he was sweating. He was worried about Lavi, who was trying to fight off the parasite a Noah had implanted in him. And I think he was likely worried for his own life. The Fourteenth and his relationship to the Earl have clearly agitated the Noah. There’s no telling what they’ll do to ensure their own safety!
Allen’s smart enough not to trust his captors — even to the point of not eating their food. During the after-action report, it was clear that the hierarchy was not interested in facts, having already made up their mind. They even nonchalantly suggested torturing him might be a good idea! So Allen was right not to trust them.
I was pleased to see Howard Link’s conscience bothering him. He’s not evil; he caught up in a power structure that feeds on itself. Sooner or later, he’s going to have to make a decision: continue to support a hierarchy that thinks nothing of torturing children to create the Third Exorcists — and to matter-of-factly recommend torturing Allen — or following his own conscience.
Johnny Gill and others from the science section want to help Allen, going so far as to petition Lvellie for mercy for Allen — only to have the guards beat them and turn them away. They’re good friends to Allen. But are there enough of them to turn the tide? Why does it seem that honest, dependable people are so often in the minority — even in real life?
I like Jeryy. First, he speaks derisively to Howard as a lap-dog of Central; then, when he realizes what Howard’s really trying to do, he makes porridge for Allen. To convince Allen it was really from him, he wrote, “Lvellie is a shit!” in condiments!
We need more men like Jeryy in the world.
Allen apologizes to Howard — one of the men responsible for imprisoning him! Then Howard opens up to him, telling him that the Third Exorcists were all his friends when he was a kid. He confesses that he was the one who, at end of the previous seasons, gave the Dark Matter to Lvellie; that enabled the Third Exorcist program to start and use his friends — homeless street children — as the subjects. Howard’s anger at Allen evaporated as he realized his own need for atonement. That was a beautiful moment.
Even while imprisoned, even after his mission and his freedom had been taken away, Allen laments that he didn’t learn this aspect of the Third Exorcists until now. Howard watches almost in awe as Allen wonders how differently things might have turned out if he had learned of them sympathetically. He thought that he might even have been able to save Kanda and Alma Karma.
What I Liked Less
MyAnimeList says this series will have 13 episodes. I want more.
Suggesting torture might be a good tool to make Allen talk…
Fostering a hierarchy that thrives less on salvation and more on the application of power…
Building a military program that takes advantage of defenseless and homeless children on the street…
If only these were ideas imprisoned in fiction.
I’ve always admired fiction for its ability to distill and shine light on topics that might otherwise be obscured by tradition, religion, political affiliations, or other human constructs. I think that’s the case with D.Gray-man (HALLOW).
The Church hierarchy governing the Black Order is clearly patterned on the Roman Catholic Church. If I as a writer wanted to call attention to a problem within the real Church hierarchy, I’d run into no end of difficulty. Just look at the folks who came forward, in great pain and anguish, to report their own abuse at the hands of Church personnel. Were they warmly welcomed in a spirit of healing? Or did they encounter a hailstorm of excuses — before enduring even more brutal responses?
Excuses like “any organization has a percentage of child molesters” led the way. Never mind the initial contact was only part of the problem — the real problem was a concerted Church effort to protect its own reputation at the expense of putting children in danger by hiding the perpetrator’s crime and shuffling them around. Only to put other children in danger.
False rushes to “fix” the problem with commissions and “oversight” completely ignored the root causes — a despicable lack of transparency in the Church leadership. Without scrutiny, any power structure involving humans will fail. So, the Church continues to fail. It’s only a matter of time before this problem explodes again. Causing yet more pain and anguish.
But the case isn’t that easy to make, because there are so many defenders. “The Church is taking positive steps!” “The bishops are taking decisive action!” Too many folks think that by saying these words, the problem’s magically solved — yet the core issue remains. No transparency by its nature means no solution.
That’s where a show like D.Gray-man can make a difference. When a bishop calls for Allen to be tortured, it’s clearly a Bad Thing. When a Cardinal comes in to slaughter Allen, it’s easy to see the Cardinal is a Bad Man. Even when the show uses its great characterization to give us nuanced characters, there’s still moral clarity: bad things are bad things.
I can only wish that folks could apply that clarity of vision to real life. Lack of transparency is a Bad Thing. There are no real excuses; we shouldn’t accept them. Bad is bad; evil is evil. But, too many people allow things other than facts to cloud their judgement.
And those who were injured at the hands of those who were supposed to do Good?
Their pain remains.
And you thought D.Gray-man was just an enjoyable fantasy series!
Reviews of Other Hallow Season Episodes
- Episode 104 (episode 1) HALLOW: The Fourteenth
- Episode 105 (episode 2) HALLOW: Lonely Boy
- Episode 106 (episode 3) HALLOW: It’ll be Fine If I Wash My Face
- Episode 107 (episode 4) HALLOW: Blood Crusade
- Episode 108 (episode 5) HALLOW: Alma Karma
- Episode 109 (episode 6) HALLOW: Friend
- Episode 110 (episode 7) HALLOW: The Truth about a Sterile Flower
- Episode 111 (episode 8) HALLOW: Awakening
- Episode 112 (episode 9) HALLOW: Little Goodbye
- Episode 114 (episode 11) HALLOW: Hidden One
- Episode 115 (episode 12) HALLOW: My Home
- Episode 116 (episode 13) HALLOW: Walker