Ergo Proxy Episode 20: Sacred Eye of The Void (Goodbye Vincent)
Welcome to all guys, girls, and others. This is an intense and confusing episode of Ergo Proxy that nobody seems to fully understand. As you can probably guess, it's going to be difficult writing an analysis of something I don't completely comprehend. But since there's so little guidance from other sources online, all I can do is try my best and come up with my own conclusions. The gist of the episode is that a proxy named Swan invades Vincent's mind to produce a false dream-world set in Romdeau. We don't clearly know who Swan is or why she did this. There are also some things within the dream world that are confusing for me and I can't make sense of them. Still, let's try to analyze what we can.
Vincent wakes up in Romdeau, but he is not himself, quite literally. He's in Re-L's body. He's unable to control or have any effect on what Re-L does. For all a while, all Vincent can do is observe. One day, Re-L meets with Daedalus and a woman named Swan for dinner. The following day, Re-L visits Swan in an office. It seems that Swan is her new mental counselor.
As Re-L starts to trust Swan, we gradually see more of her world. She betrayed Vincent and gave him over to Romdeau, where he is held captive. If he moves, he will be killed by FP bullets. As for Pino, she is being kept in a dark cell, where nobody can find out she is infected and scrap her. Even though Re-L is trying to protect Pino by keeping her locked up, the little Autoreiv hates it, and resents the betrayal of Vincent.
Much to Vincent's surprise, Swan can detect his presence within Re-L. One day, she calls Vincent out and explains a few things to him. Re-L has developed DID (Dissociation Identity Disorder) from the guilt of betraying Vincent. She now has an alternate personality based on Vincent Law. That's who this "Vincent" is. Swan tries to walk Vincent through some ideas of how to make himself disappear from Re-L's consciousness. Even if it means he ceases to exist, Vincent says he's willing to try in order to save Re-L's mental stability.
First, Swan tells Vincent that telling Re-L his past will somehow stabilize things. No reason is given why this should be the case. Stranger yet, Swan says it's ok for Vincent to make something up out of his own desires, since he can't recall his true past. The next scene is incredibly strange, as we see a world where things go according to Vincent's inner desires. In this world, Vincent is the Chief of the Security Bureau and the extremely popular fiancé of Re-L. Additionally, Daedalus is Re-L's younger brother. There's no mentions of proxies or other issues within this rosy world.
When Re-L avoids coming to counseling, Swan and Daedalus get worried. Re-L finally shows up, but is confused about how she got there. She is also confusing the world of Vincent's desires with reality, and thinks she's engaged to Vincent. Swan tells Vincent he is subconsciously trying to take over Re-L, and his desires are harmful to her stable view of reality. To make things worse, Pino escaped and broke Vincent out of captivity. In the form of Ergo Proxy, Vincent is now free and out to kill Re-L for betraying him.
Seeing that Re-L is coming apart at the seams, Vincent asks what he should do. Swan tells him to kill the Re-L that exists within his imagined world, and this will reset everything. Again, no reason is given for why this should be the case. Vincent rejects the idea of killing any form of Re-L, and finally realizes that something is very wrong. Swan is wearing his necklace, which makes him realize there could never be a world where he would give it away. It's his most treasured possession. Swan basically admits to being a proxy, and says some strange words to Vincent about how she hates men who smell of other women. At that moment, Ergo Proxy finds and attacks Re-L, who pulls out her gun and fires the FP bullet. The scene cuts off abruptly.
Vincent wakes up still steering the Centzon ship through the wilderness on the way back to Romdeau. The entire episode thus far had only happened in his dreams. Vincent is a little shaken, but very glad to be back in a stable reality. He touches Re-L's face with affection when she comes to take over steering. They tell each other good night, and the journey continues.
Who is Swan and why did she do this? For today's discussion section, all we're really doing is going over that question. There are two main options for the identity and purpose of Swan: either 1) she is a form of Proxy One; or 2) She is a fragment of Monad's consciousness. I'm not sure which is correct, but I lean toward option two. Let's discuss both possibilities.
Proxy One's ultimate goal is to spite the humans who fled Earth long ago. He wants them to come back to empty wastelands, so he's trying to kill Proxies using Ergo as his pawn, and manipulate humans into wars and massacre. Ergo Proxy was supposed to be on Proxy One's side, but he started down his own path with Monad taking his memories. That's why Proxy One is now trying to turn Vincent back toward a path of death and destruction.
We know Proxy One has been messing with events since very early on in the series. For example, way back in episode 11, he was with the bookstore proxy, trying to push Vincent into insanity from the shock of being Ergo Proxy. He also broke the autoreiv Amnesia so Vincent couldn't get his memories back. If Swan was secretly Proxy One, or a sympathizer of him, that could explain why she put Vincent through so much mental torment and confusion in this episode. She probably wanted to drive him insane. That's the first explanation of Swan.
The other option is that Swan is a leftover piece of Monad. This makes slightly more sense to me because Swan seemed jealous of Vincent's relationship with Re-L. Let's review what we know about Monad and her story. She was the Proxy who took care of Mosk. She was in love with Ergo, and she agreed to take his memories from him even though it would drive her mad. Ergo transferred his memories and became Vincent Law; and sure enough, Monad went insane. She was captured, dragged away from Mosk, and held captive by the regent of Romdeau. Monad stayed dormant there until Vincent came back to Romdeau. Then she woke up, and even in her madness, still tried to pursue him. In the end, Ergo had no choice but to kill Monad.
The corpse of Monad was taken in secretly by Daedalus, who was trying to revive it. He also used Monad's genetic material in the creation of Real, his replacement for Re-L. Even though Monad's body is dead, it's possible that fragments of her consciousness still exist. Stranger things have happened in the world of Ergo Proxy. Plus, we don't know exactly if Proxies "die" in the same way that humans do. Let's assume a remnant of Monad was alive. It would probably wander around looking for Vincent. And if it found him, it would be infuriated to see him in love with Re-L. So it would haunt his dreams and try to make him doubt Re-L, by presenting a world in which she betrayed him. That's the second explanation of Swan.
Whichever option you think is more likely, the fact is we don't have a clear answer. Some Proxies, like Swan, might remain a mystery forever. That's all for today. Thanks for reading and take care until next time!