Well, as it turns out: Theodore isn’t a bad kid, he just wants his brother’s attention and be useful to him!
Up until this point, Theodore did make himself to be a convincing villain, but today his antagonistic image fell apart when he got haughty and tried really hard to be seen as a “threat”, that it was actually laughable. Contrary to what he says: This was Theodore trying to be helpful to his brother. Because he looks up to his brother, Theodore has picked up on the fact Arnold is trying to set things up by portraying himself as a tyrant so he can remove himself from the picture. And this frustrates him, because he doesn’t want to see his brother do that when he knows he’s the one who deserves the credit for his well-thought out policies, and would make an excellent leader of the nation. So Theodore decided if he were to get himself removed from his position of being in-line for the throne, this would ensure Arnold would be the “only” option. (Though whether he were to be the sole choice in such situation can be left for debate should there be a power struggle over the disagreements of him being in power.)
This goes to show that Theodore is actually someone who has a good heart, especially with how he has been using his own resources to help improve the lives of those living in the slums. But at the same time, he’s just desperate for his brother’s love and attention. The one thing he has been holding onto the one time Arnold had praised and acknowledge him for the first time, which was when he was working as a medic on the battlefield, and protected his vassal when the enemies attacked.
And because of he has been observing his brother from afar for a long time, Theodore picked up on the fact that Arnold is trying to set things up for so he can eventually disappear, and set about a plan to try to prevent that from happening.
I will admit, there was a part of me that was relieved that Theodore wasn’t the one responsible for Arnold’s neck wounds. However now that we know that he wasn’t the one to do it (nor did he even know about it until now), this seems to indicate further that the one who tried to kill Arnold may have been his mother after-all. This would explain why he ended up killing her, because if could have been if he hadn’t, he would’ve been the one killed instead.
As for Rishe’s kidnapping: Some people may have though it was anticlimactic with the fact Rishe had already suspected both Kamil and Elsie worked under Theodore. But it makes sense, given that there was no way Theodore was going to walk into the palace to drop off that letter to meet at the chapel, and with Elsie being the only maid from the slums, it makes her the prime suspect. Kamil is among the retainers Arnold had instructed to watch over Rishe, but as pointed out earlier on, he was among some of the knights from the slums who worked hard to earn their positions.
Since Rishe had formed a good relationship with Kamil and Elsie, they obviously felt guilty about having to betray her, but at the same time, they couldn’t disobey their orders to the one that they are indebted to. That’s why they swore to protect her and gently bring to her Theodore– who in turn gave her relatively nice hospitality given that she wasn’t cast into a cell. At best she was tied up, but she didn’t get a pat down for any weapons by his people, which proven to be one massive oversight in his plans.
Though I have to say I wasn’t expecting Rishe to freaking lecture Theodore on how to hold a prisoner. It was so funny, especially with the way Arnold was just sitting there, knowing that Rishe was 100% on her way out, especially since Theodore had so generously locked her in a room rather than a dirty cell. We could see how Arnold was eager to find out what kind of crazy antic did she do this time: Bust a hole in the wall? Jump out the window? Unfortunately for him she had only taken the door out– that isn’t to say she didn’t have obstacles in her way. It was absolutely hilarious to see her just take everyone down one by one. Needless to say, she still impressed him.
Now that Rishe has found a fellow ally to help her reshape the future, it will be interesting to see how the two of them will work together. Theodore will undoubtedly be extremely resourceful as the people of the slums are loyal to him, and serve as vital informants.
There were some really cute moments between Rishe and Arnold this episode. The first was with Arnold excitedly waiting to see how she went about things, the next giving her his coat, and later sticking around after she had collapsed, and finally mentioning he owes her one again after having kissed her last week, as he breached her agreement to not touch her (though I’m starting to think he’s not really inclined to abide it, hahahaha). But that isn’t to say everything was sunshine and rainbows between Rishe and Arnold today.
Like Theodore, Rishe had also picked up on this sentiment of Arnold’s settings things up to disappear from the picture, after he had told her last week that she doesn’t need to have any resolve to be his wife. When she decided to confront him on that, this led to a real tense moment between them. You could almost pin-point the exact moment he was solidifying the walls around him, attempting to intimidate Rishe, claiming she is confused, and doesn’t understand his intention, and goes on to say it’s better that way. In other words, he doesn’t want her to stick her nose into it. To his credit, he did actually manage to scare her just with the dangerous look in his eyes, one of which threatening to cut down whoever gets in his way. But Rishe managed to regain her composure to counter him with a very fair point: Even if he were to disappear, who knows what will happen afterwards, and what would happen if Theodore were to disappear too? Would everything he had tried to set the stage for play out as he had hoped for it to? Truth to be told, there’s no way of knowing he if chooses to die. And because Rishe always died before the war was resolved, she never got to witness the outcome of Arnold’s actions either. That is why she will see it to live her life as his wife without any regrets.
This episode also appears to solidify Rishe’s idea of preventing the war is to save Arnold. And in some ways, this would make sense if the war were to be triggered by Arnold, all for the sake of eventually removing himself from the picture. Still, we don’t know the depths and story behind his intentions. Was the war absolutely necessary in order to carry out his plans? Was he really planning to have Theodore take his place when he disappeared? Or did he have something else entirely in mind like dismantling the current system of monarchy? What made him confident things would be better afterwards? We’ll have to wait and see what’s running through that head of his to fully understand the grand scheme he is trying to put together.
Bearing that in mind, one does have to wonder whether Arnold had overheard Rishe extending her hand to Theodore to form a partnership because they both want to stop whatever Arnold is plotting for the future. It wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibilities, especially since Rishe probably wouldn’t have been able to sense his presence because she was at her limit at that point. It could also explain how he managed to catch Theodore, thwarting his attempted suicide. That said, if he did hear them, I can only imagine the gears running in his head to counteract them. Whether he did or not will probably not be seen for a while though.
This brings me to the point I made last week: There’s appears to be one key distinction in this timeline. An alliance formed to save Arnold. Given how things have unfolded in previous lifetimes, and the fact Rishe heard little to nothing about Theodore, the brothers probably never had the conversation they had today. And that’s a major deviation in itself, perhaps as significant as Rishe bumping into him as early as she had, which resulted him asking for her hand in marriage. This makes two people who were not actively present in the previous events now working together to keep tabs on this one man.
Lastly, it is sad to see how Arnold chooses to distance himself from Theodore. He was very stubborn about it, to the point he really didn’t want Rishe to hang around him. But now that I think about it, maybe it was because he sensed Rishe and Theodore shared a common goal (of stopping him), he didn’t really want them to get too close with one another. Needless to say, if that were to be the case, his efforts were for naught as he himself couldn’t bear to watch his brother attempt to commit suicide under the claim for his sake. It’s an understandable why Arnold gave him a good slap afterwards. At the very least, thanks to that, they were able to clear the air and get a bit closer to one another.