It was all according to plan.
In the conclusion of the little arc Zero comes out with a new Knightmare frame. The arms race aspect of this is a little silly. When Zero is facing a problem it tends to be solved by using new technology. Instead of resolving the situation with his genius it comes down to a bigger and better weapon. This time Zero is the one piloting it. Last season it made more sense that Zero would use a frame to get around but not fight himself. Fighting reduces the commander’s ability to look at the whole battle field. Kallen was his ace and He should be puttering around in a jalopy. It did seem a little far fetched for everything to fall into place. If Zero knew he was going to win the whole time then why was he fearful of losing? Zero should have been more confident, or he plan should have seemed like a more spontaneous plan.
Kallen’s appearances in this episode are for all the Kallen Fanboys. The audience is hit of the head with the love triangle. C.C. pushes Zero to make a choice for love. That Zero should let love develop. Then talking to Shirley asks Zero if there is someone that he cares about more then others. Well that would be Kallen. She stopped him from doing drugs, they liked being in compromising positions with each other, and he freaked when she was captured. But the show decided that Nunnally was this person for Zero. Also at the end of the episode we see the something happened between Lelouch and Shirley. In some ways this show is like a Harem comedy with mechs.
This episode had some goofy aspects to it. There was a ball gag and Kallen was restrained in the most unusual ways. No handcuffs for her, just straps and straitjackets. It seems this show is trying to add more sexuality. C.C. and Shirley also have scenes that really are fanservice. But Lelouch could be just like the Chinese Eunuchs for all it seems to matter. Although that would explain a lot. Lelouch and Xingke are placed as opposites to each other. They ride frames, are smart, and are engaged to the young loli leader of their countries. I am almost expecting Lelouch to turn Yaoi on everyone. Also the knights of the round turning up at the school only means there is going to be more stupid filler.