This is the episode I have been waiting for.
Zero is coming up against an enemy that he cannot simply defeat. Last season, Lelouch had a built an army from nothing. Now that he has that army, he has to fight against competent enemies. Xingke is really the enemy Zero should be facing. He can out plan Zero’s moves and create a situation where Zero’s geass is not as powerful. Why Xingke went back to work with the eunuchs is ridiculous. Xingke should betray the eunuchs and partner with Zero simply to be the empress’s body guards.
Zero is only crazy in spurts now. Last episode, he was super crazy, pointing a gun at the head of a child. Now he is constantly worried about Kallen. This particular plot arc has been disappointing. Kallen looks at Zero as a hero who will bring about her greatest desires; she does not have that same respect for Lelouch. She appears to have separated the two and desires only her ideal of Zero. The love triangle that is going to develop between C.C. and them is going to be downright annoying.
This show felt like a more like a badass game of “Risk,” with awesome moves and counter moves. This is the reason I liked this show: it had awesome explosions and strategy. There is not this ridiculous filler with the high school stuff. This episode even had the good twist at the end that makes me want to see the next episode, with a lot more elements that could be interesting to follow up on.