WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Re: Zero - Starting Life in Another World, Season 2, Episode 17, "A Journey Through Memories," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Re: Zero Season 2 has spent a lot of time delving into characters' pasts, and Episode 17 shines a light on the memories Emilia had forgotten. As Echidna joins her for a trip down memory lane, viewers learn that Emilia's aunt Fortuna was the person who raised her in Elior Forest. These memories showing Emilia spending time with Fortuna -- who she refers to as "mother" -- are bright spots eventually eclipsed by the looming darkness.
Though two villains appear in the episode, it's Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti -- the former Sin Archbishop of Sloth -- that comes as the more unsettling surprise. In this flashback, he goes by Geuse and is a caring and emotional friend to Fortuna and Emilia. Given who Geuse becomes and Regulus Corneas's arrival at the end of the episode, the next memories Emilia sees are likely to be devastating.
Emilia's "Mother" Fortuna, Revealed
In these memories, Echidna takes Emilia to her childhood home, where we meet Fortuna. She acts as Emilia's mother, taking care of her instead of her brother and his wife. Though they don't go into much detail, it's inferred that Emilia hasn't had the chance to be close to her birth parents and views Fortuna as her mother.
When Fortuna heads into town, young Emilia spends the day following a lesser spirit around that eventually leads her to where her aunt went. Fortuna meets with a peculiar group of followers (possibly the origins of the Witch Cult) who are here to provide the village with supplies. Among them is a young Geuse. The familiarity -- and flirtation -- between the two is pretty clear, which only looks to deepen an upcoming trauma for Emilia as she watches her memories.
Petelgeuse's Origin, Explored
A constant point of interest for Geuse is something referred to as "the seal," which is later revealed to be a strange door in the middle of a field. Though he wasn't meant to meet young Emilia, they share a surprise encounter that reduces Geuse to tears. As the episode, and Emilia's memories, continue so does a fleeting period of happiness for the makeshift family.
Up until now, viewers have only seen Geuse when he was overwhelmed by the Authority of Sloth. Frighteningly unpredictable and dangerously resolute in his devout following of the Witch's Cult, Geuse was the primary antagonist of the second half of Season 1. Witnessing him before those events paint a much more sympathetic picture of his character, and could be directly linked to the darker memories Emilia is about to unlock.
Regulus Corneas Enters
As a seemingly playful day for Emilia, Fortuna and Geuse winds down, they're approached by Regulus Corneas, who introduces himself as the "Archbishop of the Witch's Cult, representing Greed." The tension of the moment and Echidna's earlier warning that more difficult memories were about to play out mean the upcoming encounter is likely to be dangerous.
Much like Geuse, Regulus Corneas has previously been introduced in the show. In the Season 2 premiere, it was revealed that Regulus, along with Lye Batenkaitos -- the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony -- were responsible for the attack that wiped out Crusch Karsten's forces and left Rem in her catatonic state. Regulus's devastating power reduced the small army to dust while Lye consumed the victims' names and memories.
Though Emilia still doesn't remember her entire past, the impending conflict between Regulus, Geuse and Fortuna will undoubtedly change the course of everyone's lives -- and certainly not for the better in the case of Geuse and Fortuna. However, seeing this could offer Emilia and Subaru some valuable knowledge before they inevitably come against the archbishop duo.