I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.
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Ergo Proxy episode eleven was quite a mind bending episode to say the very least. We find out that Ergo Proxy is the reincarnation of the ancient philosopher Aristotle. Ok so I made up the last part up but it’s close enough to the truth. Anyway, let us think upon episode eleven and discuss our world changing conclusions.

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Ergo Proxy ep eleven starts of with Vincent lost in the fog searching for Pino. When he suddenly stumbles upon a bookstore called City Lights Bookstore. Now this bookstore actually exists it’s in San Francisco, California and is widely know for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl & Other Poems.” The poem Howl is also rather mind numbing but definitely worth a read.

Vincent then enters the bookstore hoping to find Pino. The bookstore its self is dimly lit, full of old books piled up all over the place, and just plain creepy looking. At this point I would have turned around and left however Vincent isn’t that smart. So, while taking a look around Vincent bumps into an old man who appears to be the owner, and who asks Vincent to sit down for some tea. Once again I think this is a stupid move on Vincent’s part but hey who am I to judge?

As the two sit down for some tea and engage in general small talk the mind numbing symbolism begins. First off, the owner says “As the ancients said. ‘No one knows what lies ahead.’” I believe that this is a quote from Ecclesiates 9:1 in the Bible and I think that verses 9:1-6 fit the show rather well.

“Everyone Will Die

9:1 So I reflected on all this, attempting to clear it all up.
I concluded that the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hand of God;
whether a person will be loved or hated –
no one knows what lies ahead.
9:2 Everyone shares the same fate –
the righteous and the wicked,
the good and the bad,
the ceremonially clean and unclean,
those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
What happens to the good person, also happens to the sinner;
what happens to those who make vows, also happens to those who are afraid to make vows.
9:3 This is the unfortunate fact about everything that happens on earth:
the same fate awaits everyone.
In addition to this, the hearts of all people are full of evil,
and there is folly in their hearts during their lives – then they die.

Better to Be Poor but Alive than Rich but Dead

9:4 But whoever is among the living has hope;
a live dog is better than a dead lion.
9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything;
they have no further reward – and even the memory of them disappears.
9:6 What they loved, as well as what they hated and envied, perished long ago,
and they no longer have a part in anything that happens on earth.”

After they talk for a bit Vincent decides to find a book to read. The first book he pulls off one of the shelves happens to have his name written on the front. Now from here on out or at least until we get close to the end, I do believe everything happens inside of Vincent’s head.

At this point in time we seem to go through Vincent’s memory with all the characters taking on the appearance of Ergo Proxy. A very interesting thing is said by Hoody/Proxy I quote “He can even live inside human beings, and control their minds. He can burn down this earth with a lightning bolt in an instant. Once, he even summoned a fire-spouting planet.” (referring to Proxy) During this time Real/Proxy keeps reminding Vincent that he is the one who can or has done all of this. So, my hypothesis is that Vincent is the one responsible for the way the world currently is. However, I could easily be wrong.

Ergo Proxy and Vincent keep going back in time through Vincent’s memories until Vincent can’t seem to remember anything. For instance, Vincent still can’t recall what happed to Moscow dome and why it was destroyed. Obviously Vincent has erased his own memories because he doesn’t ever want to recall what happened in Moscow. Ergo Proxy, then takes a different approach and starts to asks Vincent questions, or to put it more accurately he starts spewing philosophy to Vincent. Now it seems that Ergo Proxy’s motive for doing all of this is to get Vincent to realize that they are one. That Vincent is Ergo Proxy, and that he is part of the “awakening” that is currently taking place. In the end, Ergo Proxy achieves his motive and Vincent finally realizes that he is indeed Ergo Proxy. Or what I believe to be the container for Ergo Proxy.

At this point Vincent seems to come to his sense and leaves the bookshop. After doing so he breaks down and starts to cry, but that is when Real appears. The End. Gah!!! Don’t end yet! Stupid cliff hangers. -_-

Anyway, I have to say that was one hell of an episode. The animation is back up for the most part and the story is super confusing as always. The best part is that Real and Vincent are finally together again. Well that does it for this episode I can’t wait for the next one.

Rating: 9/10

My Musings:

This episode seemed to be heavily related to Social Constructionism especially when Ergo Proxy was talking. Not to mention, there is a ton of symbolism and external references throughout this entire episode. The major references can be read about at the end of Shinsen Subs release. One of the biggest references in this episode besides the two I mentioned already is the bookstore owner quoting Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “On the Origin of Languag.” Another one is quarter-power scaling in reference to Vincent’s changing pulse and as well as Ergo Proxy’s. Needless to say, I could go on about the symbolism and references in this episode for quite awhile, but I would much rather hear what other people have to think first.

One last thing I would like to point out is the meaning of Vincent’s name. Vincent is taken from the Roman name Vincentius, which was derived from the Latin word vincere meaning “to conquer”. The surname Law means “1) A diminutive of the given name Laurence, from the Roman cognomen Laurentius, meaning “of Laurentum” - a city in ancient Italy. 2) Possibly derived from the Old English ‘hlaw’ or ‘hyll,’ meaning small hill or burial mound; which became “low” in the south, but “law” in the north.” The name goes along quite well with my hypothesis that Vincent is the one who destroyed the world making it into a “burial mound.”

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