Sword Art Online: Alicization - 1.14 The Crimson Knight
As expected, The Crimson Knight sees the start of Eugeo and Kirito's ascent through the Cathedral. As Cardinal promised, they find their swords in an armory but their arrival has not gone unnoticed. Upon leaving, the pair are challenged by an Integrity Knight dressed in crimson armor.
The battle is short but important: Eugeo defeats the knight (who wields a flame-based weapon) by unlocking the icy potential of his Blue Rose Sword. Previously, Eugeo had struggled with this aspect of sword fighting and it is very satisfying to see Eugeo grow into his skills. While Kirito remains the focus of the story, I feel like more attention is being paid to Eugeo with each episode.
The important part of this episode comes after the battle. Having admitted defeat, the knight introduces himself as Deusolbert Synthesis Seven, the same knight who took Alice away in the first episode. I appreciate that the story uses this knight to tie the story back to where it all began; this knight could have been anyone but they chose to make it someone we'd met before, which makes the rest of the scene so much more personal. Eugeo wants to kill Deusolbert for taking Alice away, but Kirito manages to talk him down by reminding him that Deusolbert no longer remembers what he did.
This is not the first time that Kirito has served as Eugeo's voice of reason or the source of advice and I wonder what would happen if the pair became separated. Without Kirito, how would Eugeo react in a similar situation? I ask that because, while Eugeo ultimately spares Deusolbert's life, I feel like he did so only because Kirito was watching (it certainly bears watching in future episodes).
While this episode wasn't an information dump like the previous two entries, I still feel like not much happened. Most of the episode focused on the battle between Kirito/Eugeo and the Crimson Knight and not long after that the credits were rolling. This is a flaw in the series that I've honestly been in denial about but I need to address it. There are times, when the series gets into a prolonged quest/journey, that the story is broken up into such tiny pieces that you have to wait three to four episodes before the plot takes a major leap forward. I could be wrong, but I feel like that's where the story is going and if it does things could get very boring very quickly. We'll have to wait until the next episode to see where things go with Kirito and Eugeo.