D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 12: Allen at the Crossroads

In “My Home,” episode 115 (or 12) of D.Gray-man (HALLOW), Tyki Mikk offers Allen Walker some candid and oddly useful advice; Lenalee Lee encounters Akuma interference as she tries to catch up to Allen; the Black Order Exorcists find out that the Third Exorcists have come back, and they are very, very unhappy; and Malcolm C. Lvellie suggests that he knows more about Apocryphos than anyone expected — but what, exactly, does he know?

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What Happened (Spoiler Free)

Even Johnny Gill, one of Allen's strongest supports, is at a loss to describe why Allen ran off with two Noah. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Even Johnny Gill, one of Allen’s strongest supports, is at a loss to describe why Allen ran off with two Noah. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The European Branch of the Black Order is in an uproar. Exorcists form parties to search for Allen. The scientists debate what happened. Has Allen really betrayed them? What other explanation could there be? Even some of Allen’s friends like Johnny Gill feel upset and confused.

Lvellie, Renny Epstain, and Zuu Mei Chang visit the cell where last episode’s battle took place. Howard Link remains there, unconscious. How much does Lvellie and Renny know about Apocryphos? What does Chang mean when he questions Lvellie about the real reason behind the Third Exorcist project?

Realizing that Allen’s left arm and its Innocence are leading Apocryphos right to them, Tyki prepares to slice off the arm — much to Allen’s dismay! Tyki lays it out for Allen: the Exorcists see him as a Noah; Apocryphos sees him as a merger candidate; and the Noah see him as an Exorcist whose Noah memories have not yet awakened. In other words, he’s between all groups, and he’s sowing chaos!

Allen’s an honest man. How will he react to Tyki’s words?

What will the Black Order Exorcists do when they run into the trap laid by the Third Exorcists?

And will Lenalee reach Allen before it’s too late?

The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful!

What Happened (Spoilers!)

Bak Chang's unnerved by Renny's reaction to the possibility that Apocryphos may have been involved. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Bak Chang’s unnerved by Renny’s reaction to the possibility that Apocryphos may have been involved. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The European Branch of the Black Order is in chaos. The Exorcists are forming parties to bring Allen back. The scientists are divided — even some of Allen’s friends like Johnny Gill feel upset and confused because they don’t know what to believe. The Exorcists, too, are divided.

Lvellie visits the cell where Howard Link remains unconscious. Both he and Renny Epstain appear to know that Apocryphos had visited; Zuu Mei Chang even asks Lvellie for the real reason behind the Third Exorcist project. Lvellie remains silent on the matter.

As they stop to take a break, Allen realizes that he has just escaped prison with two with Tyki and Road; he’s chagrined at how that must look. He protests that as an Exorcist, he shouldn’t be with the Noah at all, that he has to go back to the Black Order. As they argue, his Innocence activates because Apocryphos is getting closer. Realizing that Allen’s Innocence is actually calling Apocryphos, Tyki tries to slash off Allen’s arm — much to Allen’s alarm.

Allen and Tyki have slightly differing points of view regarding who's in the right. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Allen and Tyki have slightly differing points of view regarding who’s in the right. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The Noah demands that Allen pick a side. The Exorcists see him as a Noah because he has the memories of the Fourteenth; Apocryphos wants to merge with him to protect the Heart of Innocence; the Noah don’t see him as an equal because the Fourteenth’s memories haven’t awoken — yet. Until he chooses a side, Tyki tells him that he’ll spread chaos and dissent among all the factions.

Meanwhile, as the Exorcists fanned out to find Allen, they ran into an obstacle: the Third Exorcists. The forest around erupted in flames as they fought. Exorcist Generals Klaud Nine and Winters Socalo joined the fray only to have their most powerful attacks rebuffed.

The Thirds launch the Akuma equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
The Thirds launch the Akuma equivalent of a tactical nuclear weapon. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The Thirds launched their biggest attack yet.

Tyki decides he’s said enough. Sensing Apocryphos’ approach, he escapes to report is findings to the Millennium Earl, leaving Road in Allen’s care. She briefly regains consciousness, tears in here eyes, and tells Allen that Nea (the Fourteenth) had told Mana, Allen’s adoptive father, that continuing forward motion was important. Saying cryptically that Nea fought for Mana, and that it was supposed to be a secret, Road faded into a green mist and disappeared.

Allen knew the truth that had been in Tyki’s words. Opening a Noah Ark gate, he prepares to go to a place where neither the Noah nor the Order can find him. Lenalee lands, out of breath, and asks what he’s doing. They exchange small talk completely at odds with what’s going on all around them as they try to find a way to communicate.

Of all the Exorcists, Lenalee's faith in Allen remained the strongest. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Of all the Exorcists, Lenalee’s faith in Allen remained the strongest. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Allen tells her he has to leave, but that he’ll also consider the Order his home because that’s where his friends are — that’s where she is. After a tearful embrace, he departs through the gate.

The gate dissipates behind him.

What I Liked

Showing the scientists in a state of complete shock, some of them divided on how to interpret Allen’s actions, felt authentic and tragic at the same time. How do people at the mid-level of an organization know if they’re seeing the results of the machinations of their “superiors” or the influence of the enemy? Both look really similar at close range.

In all the confusion, Apocryphos in human cardinal mode just walks out of the Branch. I hate to say it, but that’s too realistic. I think the European Branch could use use training in how to resist social engineering!

How do Lvellie and Renny Epstain know what’s going on? What do they know? It seems clear that they both knew Apocryphos had been there. What had their interaction with him been? Knowing D.Gray-man, we’ll find out when it’s the right time.

Lenalee's recollections of the past help racket-up tensions for the final scene. Not many shows can draw on a history this long! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Lenalee’s recollections of the past help racket-up tensions for the final scene. Not many shows can draw on a history this long! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Lenalee’s flashbacks were poignant instead of exploitive. She’s been through so much. It’s hard (and dramatic!) to see her trying to deal with the uncertainty surrounding Allen’s situation. She’s not that naive; she knows how it looks for him to be on the run with the Noah. Yet, her faith remains strong.

It took Allen time to realize how him running off with the Noah would look. I loved the astonished look on his face!

Tyki’s understanding of the situation was far more nuanced than Allen’s. The Exorcist is still too naive to understand how much chaos he’s sowing simply by trying to be what he sees as a good man. I was surprised that the Noah would encourage Allen to basically find himself until I realized that the story had already set the stage for this: the Noah don’t want the Fourteenth back, but they’re also ordered to keep him alive. If he leaves of his own volition, they think they can avoid the Earl’s wrath.

The Akuma on the right had no idea that Timothy was possessing his colleague. I love the expression on his face! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
The Akuma on the right had no idea that Timothy was possessing his colleague. I love the expression on his face! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

With the Third Exorcists entering the battle, the chickens have come home to roost, so to speak. I love seeing accountability in action! Their attacks were deadly, too, benefiting from the combination of Exorcist training and the Earl’s tutelage.

Timothy Heart’s possession of an Akuma was hilarious — especially the expression on the Akuma’s colleague.

The Exorcists battling the Third Exorcists and the Akuma was exciting to watch. Seeing the Akuma strategy play out against that of the Exorcists was particularly enjoyable. The scenes weren’t random collections of action; I could see strategies and tactics playing out as both sides executed their plans.

Seeing Chaozii Han, still suffering from the Noah’s parasite but wanting to fight, cursing Allen’s “treachery” was hard to watch. It furthered the theme of division and chaos within the Order.

Tokusa called himself and Allen "defiled" -- because of what the Order had done to them. Because of the honest love and support they had never received. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Tokusa called himself and Allen “defiled” — because of what the Order had done to them. Because of the honest love and support they had never received. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Despite all the evidence, despite even her brother calling Allen the Fourteenth, Lenalee refused to relinquish her faith in him.

I found it sad that Tokusa sees himself as defiled. I have to wonder how he would have seen himself if the Church had treated him as it should treat any believer: with love and respect? How would this story have played out differently?

Allen is an honest man. That’s why he took Tyki’s words to heart; that’s why he’s the hero of this story.

What’s it mean that Nea fought for Mana? Why’d Road weep as she shared that with Allen? And why’d Road discorporate? I think the next episode will give us some of the answers.

What did Road mean when she said, "Nea fought for Mana?" Just what do the Noah mean to Allen's past? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
What did Road mean when she said, “Nea fought for Mana?” Just what do the Noah mean to Allen’s past? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Lenalee arrives just in time to find Allen using the Ark — a forbidden device — but despite the circumstantial evidence right in front of her, she still believes in him. Her faith is a beacon of light in a very dark world.

I have to say that their hug was epic. They were both so overcome by the moment that they sank to their knees. Their words to each other were so gentle and trusting that they, like her faith, were a huge contrast to so much else that was going on all around them.

What I Liked Less

Only one more episode in this season… I hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next as we waited for this one!

Thoughts

D.Gray-man is a study on contrasts. Most of this season has emphasized some very dark concepts: Church authority misspent on torture and the maintenance of power; betrayal on an epic scale as experienced by both Kanda and the Thirds; horrible treatment of children in the name of righteousness. These things resulted in misery.

Lenalee, a powerful Exorcist in her own right, can handle almost any Akuma. But Allen leaving? That's a different matter. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Lenalee, a powerful Exorcist in her own right, can handle almost any Akuma. But Allen leaving? That’s a different matter. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

On the other hand, you have Yu Kanda thanking Allen for his friendship. You have Johnny Gill conflicted and miserable, yet not willing to give up on his belief in Allen. You have Allen himself, still trying to grant mercy to the Akuma, still trying to stay true to his humanity despite growing opposition by almost every power group around him — and his complete inability to reconcile the contradictions within himself. And finally, you have Lenalee, a powerful Exorcist, Allen’s longtime friend, who adamantly refuses to let go of her hope in Allen’s goodness.

The last scene, where she arrives just before he can escape through the gate, was beautiful. She didn’t know what to say; both of them fell back on phrases and attitudes that they had shared through more than a hundred episodes in previous seasons. She had been dispatched to bring back the Fourteenth; she stood in tears before her friend Allen. She may not have known what to think, but her heart was clear: he was her friend, and she didn’t want him to leave.

No political machinations. No power base to maintain. No diplomatic plans to move an agenda forward. Just two friends standing amid the chaos, neither really knowing how to ease the pain of the other, but both unwilling to let the moment pass.

The essential unassuming goodness both of them possess is what makes this series shine. There are other great characters who deserve mention, but in this episode, Allen and Lenalee share the spotlight. As long as they remain in the Order, and as long as humanity can produce people like them, there will be hope.

Or am I being naive? Will the powerful overwhelm their quiet beauty? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow