WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World, Season 2, Episode 11, "The Taste of Death," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Subaru is no stranger to having his plans go awry, but perhaps this iteration of his failure crosses a truly disturbing line. As his attempt to rescue the residents of Roswaal's Mansion goes sideways for the umpteenth time, has Subaru learned an age-old lesson about the twisted reality of wish fulfillment?
Returning to the Mansion secretively, having left a note detailing his plans and absence for Emilia to discover, Subaru makes a beeline for Beatrice's hidden library. Armed with the knowledge of her being in possession of a Gospel, Subaru confronts her regarding what the pages dictate for her future actions. Showing a rather bold level of authority, Subaru snatches the book from Beatrice and learns the truth behind her method.
The pages within the Gospel are blank -- Beatrice notes that she hasn't received instruction from the book for a long while. Instead, she breaks down and tells Subaru that she has been a prisoner of the library for 400 years, and Subaru correctly guesses that she is a servant of Echidna as a spirit. Through tears, she begs him to kill her, to grant her wish of release from said contract. If he can't do that, she says, she requests that he make her his number one priority.
So, death it is, but before Subaru can even humor the idea, Elsa waltzes into the library as if she owns the place. Surprised, Beatrice notes that she shouldn't have been able to do that, but is educated by the assassin who informs her that once she learned that the library needs a door to operate, she simply left all the doors in the mansion open. A simple answer to what had been one of the mansion's greater mysteries.
Subaru and Beatrice escape the mansion using shamac -- the Witch power that produces a squid-like cloud of ink-black smoke -- only to run into a new threat, a familiar face who controls the mabeasts -- Maylie Portroute. Maylie is one of the villagers whom Subaru encountered on his visit and when she informs him and Beatrice that she had already taken care of the “big maid and little maid,” she also notes that she had been friends with Petra and so made her death a quick one.
Before Beatrice can act, Elsa reappears and goes on the offensive. Beatrice demonstrates her powers by destroying her quickly, but the assassin has a few tricks up her sleeve and kills the spirit with a blade through the chest. This, unsurprisingly, brings a smile to Beatrice's face as her wish to be released from this mortal coil is finally granted.
Left to their cruel intent, Subaru is tortured briefly -- losing an eye in the process -- before Beatrice teleports him away using the last of her energy. Back in the Sanctuary, Subaru stumbles across Emilia in the midst of the trial. She tells Subaru that she loves him and that she needs him -- immediately alerting Subaru to the fact that she's a bit.. off.
For all of his longing, his one true wish had been to have Emilia's love and affection. As common knowledge of Djinn lore goes, however, wishes can be interpreted in many cruel ways. Leaving the temple, Garfiel confronts Subaru about his state of being -- eyeless and bloodied -- and he tells him that Emilia confessed her love for him. Only, he admits, she would never do that, and also it's snowing, meaning that something has gone completely off-kilter. There is only one man who could be responsible for it, says Subaru, and so the trio set off to once again confront Roswaal.
This time, however, Roswaal is impatient. When Subaru and Garfiel accuse him of having created the snow, Roswaal does not deny it, which sets the hot-headed shapeshifter off. As Ram steps between them, Roswaal simply impales them both with his arm. Garfiel struggles to heal Ram, leaving Roswaal to finish the job with a swift kick to the head. Subaru, undoubtedly shocked but realizing that he's helpless, is surprised to learn that the owner of the true Gospel is Roswaal himself as he reveals the book hidden under his pillow.
Roswaal now knows the truth behind Subaru's Return by Death -- it's his reasoning behind killing Garfiel and Ram, knowing that Subaru can simply reset things. Before he does, however, Roswaal puts the boots to him and the pair leave the house as The Great Rabbit closes in. Roswaal tells Subaru that the only way to succeed -- and to become like him -- is to reject everything but the one thing he cares about the most. He is then consumed by the rabbits and Subaru, thoroughly chomped, dies in Emilia's lap.
Wishes can be tricky, as Subaru has come to learn. Armed with the knowledge of Roswaal's machinations and of the traitor in the village, Subaru's wish to uncover the final pieces of knowledge may have been granted... or he may simply be following an unending trail of breadcrumbs.
New episodes of Re:Zero premiere Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. ET on Crunchyroll.