|Beyond the winding road|
Hitei no Kanata e
|Air Date||September 24, 2009|
|Opening Song||Parallel Hearts|
|Ending Song||Watashi wo Mitsukete|
Beyond the winding road is the 25th episode and series finale of the Pandora Hearts Anime, having first aired on September 24th, 2009. Beyond the winding road also marks the conclusion of the final arc of the Pandora Hearts Anime, The Chain Invasion Arc - created outside of Pandora Hearts Canon.
Oscar arrives at the Rainsworth estate and tells Oz that it's about time he make his return to the Vessalius estate, stating that that he can't keep imposing on the Rainsworths forever. Though Oscar says that Oz's presence must be a great inconvenience toward the Rainsworths, Sharon admits that they don't mind at all, while Break and Emily reflect on how Oz makes every day rather lively and fun - while also being conveniently available to them for when he's needed. When Alice sees that Oz is rather reluctant to accept Oscar's offer, she questions what it is about returning home that has Oz so worried. Oscar can't help but wonder if it 's because of Xai, which he gathers is true from Oz's sudden stunned reaction. Hearing Oscar mention Xai prompts Alice to ask if he's not the one ho denounced Oz's existence and shunned him as his son. Gilbert quickly acts to stop Alice before she says too much, but he's too late, and so Oz stands as he learns first hand that Gilbert had told Alice about his personal struggles with Xai. Accepting this, Oz admits that even though he's recently been trying to overcome things in his own way, he can't help but wonder what his father would think of him if he suddenly appeared back home for the first time in 10 years. However, Oscar interrupts to tell Oz that Xai is no longer at the Vessalius estate, as he mysteriously vanished around the time of Oz's Coming of Age Ceremony 10 years beforehand.
Though Oz is disappointed over his father's disappearance, he decides to take Oscar up on his offer and joins him, Gilbert and Alice on a carriage ride to the Vessalius estate. On the way there, Oz mulls over Xai's disappearance and wonders why Gilbert never bothered to tell him of it until now. When Gilbert finds himself at a loss for words, Oscar steps in and says that, just like him, it wasn't something that he could say. Though Oz says nothing more on the subject, he can tell that there's something that Gilbert is keeping from him.
At the Rainsworth estate, Sharon remarks on how much quieter it's gotten without Oz, Alice and Gilbert around - asking Break what he's thinking of in order to break his silence. Break admits that he can't stop thinking about what Oz had done the day before - when he turned Jabberwock into stone to save Alice - making Break believe that Oz truly is the one who can master all of the power of the Abyss. Sharon then voices how it seems odd, wondering why Oz would have such power, prompting Break to explain that even though the Tragedy of Sablier is still a mystery, it seems as though The Intention of the Abyss has some sort of special feelings for Jack Vessalius. Although Sharon wonders if what The Intention feels is love, Break argues that even though her feelings for Jack could be a type of attraction, he's not completely convinced that it's love. Additionally, many say that Oz is the reincarnation of Jack - allowing Sharon to understand that because of Oz's connection to Jack, The Intention listens to what he has to say. With this in mind, Break claims that they may have to rethink what the Baskervilles' motives could be. Not fully understanding, Sharon asks what Break is getting at - prompting Break to elaborate that even though Pandora thinks that Oz is the key to controlling The Intention of the Abyss, the Baskervilles willingly dropped him into the Abyss instead of capturing him, making Break wonder if the Baskervilles weren't trying to offer Oz to the Abyss in order to make a change of some sort. Hearing this makes Sharon wonder if Oz knows about all of this, and though he can't say for sure, Break states that it's likely so - as Oz is more intelligent than he appears to be.
At the Vessalius Dukedom, Mrs. Kate rushes to Oz's side upon seeing him - happy to see that he's all right. Flattered, Oz returns the gesture and states that Mrs. Kate also appears to be doing well, which she confirms - though she's not as thrilled about having aged another 10 years since they last met one another. Openly, Alice questions if there's any meat in the Vessalius estate, which prompts Oz to request that Mrs. Kate prepare a meat-filled dinner for them - exciting Alice beyond belief. Walking through the estate, Oz notes how nostalgic it all feels because nothing seems to have changed. However, as they come to the courtyard where Xai had denied Oz's existence 15 years ago, Oz is struck with the memory of the encounter and stops dead in his tracks - making Oz question why Xai left even more.
At dinner, Alice announces that she intends on living in the Vessalius estate as well, satisfied with the meat she's surrounding herself with. Suddenly, Oscar adopts a more serious tone as he mentions that there's really no hope for Xai, because they've exhausted all of their resources over the last 10 years just to look for him, only to find absolutely nothing. Then, Oscar reveals that, for the safety of the Vessalius Dukedom, Oz should take on the role of Duke Vessalius as soon as possible - the only problem being that Xai disappeared with his Contract to Gryphon still intact. Knowing where Oscar is going with this, Gilbert shudders, as Oz is shocked to have learned that Xai had a Contract with a Chain. Confirming this, Oscar elaborates that each of the Four Great Dukes is meant to have a Contract with their Dukedom's respective Black Winged Chain that guards their Door to the Abyss. With this, Oz asks what kind of Chain Gryphon is, making Oscar laugh as he reveals that Gryphon has been right behind Oz all this time. Confused, Oz goes to turn around, despite Gilbert's attempts to stop him, finding the mural of Gryphon and being overwhelmed to the point of his collapse. Confused, Oscar asks Oz what's wrong, leading Alice to reveal that Gryphon is the same Chain that was used to drop Oz into the Abyss during his Coming of Age Ceremony, meaning that Xai was acting as the lead Baskerville. Standing, Oz mentions that he now understands what Gilbert meant before running off Gilbert following close behind him, begging him to stop. When Oz does stop running, he refuses to face Gilbert and asks that he simply be left alone for a while.
Gilbert and Alice wait for Oz to come out of his room together, with Alice voicing how Xai having been the Baskerville to drop Oz into the Abyss was a surprise, even to her. Break then emerges from a nearby cabinet, agreeing with Alice on the matter at hand. Break reveals that he had a bad feeling and felt the need to come and investigate, resolving that they'll just have to wait for Oz to emerge together. Alice decides to take action, but Gilbert holds her back - insisting that she just can't go barging into Oz's room at a time like this. However, Alice argues that she's lost her patience with Oz and that she can't wait any longer for him to come out because he's her "servant" and she refuses to carry on worrying about him. Alice manages to break free of Gilbert's grip and heads toward Oz's room with Gilbert in close pursuit, though he's not able to stop her as she kicks open the door to Oz's room.
Inside, Alice and Gilbert find Oz staring out the window, where he states that he'd thought that even though he'd always known that Xai hated him, he wanted there to be a way to make Xai love him again. But he was wrong, as his love was never returned because Xai had always intended on denying his existence right from the start. Lamenting, Oz mentions that at least now he knows a little more about what "sin" Xai had been condemning him for at the Coming of Age Ceremony - because he's both connected to the Tragedy of Sablier and has the power to control the Abyss. Slamming his fists down, Oz demands that someone tell him just what he is and why he has to be rejected. Oz insists that he's himself and no one else - not Jack's reincarnation, not connected to The Intention of the Abyss, just regular old Oz Vessalius - yet he still doesn't know what that makes him. Stepping forward, Alice remarks on how that's really what they've been searching for together all along. Alice asks if, when Oz had told her that they were friends working together to find their true selves, he was just lying. When Oz is unable to respond, Alice accepts the truth and decides to go it alone - though not before asking if Oz is truly unable to carry on without being accepted by others. As Alice and Gilbert leave him to mull over his thoughts, Oz slumps down and smiles, confirming to Alice indirectly that he is alive.
The next morning, Alice, Gilbert and Break are still waiting for Oz, with Break wondering what it is that Oz could be doing. Just then, Oz enters and apologizes for making everyone worry. Gilbert rushes to Oz's side in order to make sure that Oz is all right, which Oz confirms as he moves past Gilbert to ask a favor of Break. Oz explains that he wants to meet with the Baskervilles, as he'd like to see his father. Break wonders what Oz will do once he's accomplished such a goal, but Oz stresses that he needs to do this, to find Xai. Without further question, Break and Gilbert make their way to Pandora Headquarters in order to find some trace of where the Baskervilles may be located within Pandora's archives. Eventually, Gilbert succeeds in finding what they're looking for, and when Break sees where the Baskervilles have been hiding, he notes that everything seems to be connected.
Back at the Vessalius estate, as they prepare their carriage, Break and Gilbert reveal to Oz that Pandora's investigations indicate that the stronghold of the Baskervilles is likely located within the ruins of Sablier. Gilbert has to ask if Oz is really sure that seeking out the Baskervilles is what he truly desires, which Oz confirms without a doubt. Alice, having jumped up on the carriage, insists that she's going with them, as Oz is her servant and servants shouldn't be acting without their masters - a fact which Oz doesn't argue.
On the ride to Sablier, Oz mentions that, when he thinks about all that's happened since he emerged from the Abyss, not everything he's done has been right - having said things without knowing the consequences that would follow - reasoning that it's because he was born as a privileged child outside of the real world. Alice asks why Oz is bringing it up all of a sudden, prompting Oz to explain that he's realized that he's full of faults. Later, while taking a break from the carriage ride, Gilbert sends Alice to speak with Oz alone, while Break tells Gilbert that it seems as though Oz has lost all of his self confidence after discovering the truth about Xai. Then, Alice comes back from her conversation with Oz, admitting that even though they'd talked, she had no idea what any of it meant. For this, Gilbert calls Alice useless, but for that Alice suggests that Gilbert instead go and talk to Alice himself rather than having other people do it for him. Break agrees with Alice, but voices his concerns over what Oz may do when he encounters his father. While Break and Alice debate possible outcomes, Gilbert realizes that they're attempting to encourage him to take action with Oz, but instead he simply leaves Oz to sit alone with his thoughts.
The next day, the group arrives in Sablier, with Break mentioning that the scene of the Tragedy of Sablier is probably the most fitting place for the Baskervilles to hide. Suddenly, Gilbert tells Oz that he's not alone and that he can't forget that they will always be by his side. But Oz doesn't respond and instead proceeds into Sablier's ruins, with Break, Alice and Gilbert following closely behind. As they move forward though, the group is addressed by the Baskervilles - with Dug stating that they're on the road to the Abyss, while Fang claims that the power that Oz displayed during the Chain Invasion truly convinced Xai that he needs to be judged and Lottie asks if Oz is looking to see Xai once again. The Baskervilles then appear before Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Break, saying that they will grant Oz his wish without haste. Lottie bids Oz farewell before she, Dug and Fang clear the way for Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Break to get directly to Xai. Instead however, Gryphon emerges and summon the Chains of Condemnation to bind Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Break and start dragging them into the depths of the Abyss.
Just then, Oz calls out for B-Rabbit, releasing Raven's seal on Alice's power by himself, destroying the Chains of Condemnation around them and allowing Alice to stop Gryphon as he moves to crush them under his foot. When it seems as though Alice is losing the fight against Gryphon, Oz screams her name, unlocking his powers once more and making Alice erupt with power than destroys the debris of Sablier in a powerful blast, alongside Gryphon himself. One the smoke clears, Alice has reverted to her human form, saying that it's Oz's strength that's providing her with power right now. Seeing his father in the distance, Oz moves ahead of the group, telling Xai that even though he's weak and riddled with faults, he will never stop moving forward. No matter who he may really be, Oz declares that it's him who affirms his existence rather than anyone else - and although he doesn't know what others think of him, he intends on continuing forward as Oz Vessalius regardless of the stigmas anyone else presents. As Oz turns and leaves with the rest of the group, Xai's inner monologue reveals that "Even though it's never ideal to reject someone's existence, a being such as Oz can't be allowed to carry on existing, or else..." Alternatively, Oz thinks to himself that everything almost seems like some sort of fairy tale that someone made up, with everything being shrouded in mystery. But now rather than accepting everything as it is, he wants to rewrite the story as his own. But even if his time's limited, he's sure they'll be okay, because they're the authors after all.
During the carriage ride home, Alice asks what will become of them once everything is all said and done and they've managed to solve all the mysteries they've been faced with.
Back at the mansion where the Coming of Age Ceremony was held, "Lacie" can be heard playing as Jack's pocket watch sits wrapped around the grave in the tomb.
- (*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.
- (†) - While situated on a page containing Non-Canon information, characters bearing this symbol did not die at this moment or by the means displayed within the actual Pandora Hearts Canon
- Beyond the winding road marks the conclusion of a three-episode arc in the Pandora Hearts Anime, The Chain Invasion Arc. As these episodes had been written exclusively for the Pandora Hearts Anime due to lack of further content from the original manga series at the time, they are not considered to be within Pandora Hearts Canon.
- Xai Vessalius is shown to have been the Duke of the Vessalius Dukedom in the Anime, whereas within Pandora Hearts Canon, Oscar is Duke Vessalius and Xai was never mentioned to have had such a position.
- Xai was also stated to have been missing ever since Oz's Coming of Age Ceremony, which is untrue, as within Pandora Hearts Canon, it is shown that Xai had frequently been present within Pandora and the Vessalius estate during Oz's 10 years in the Abyss.
- Gryphon was shown to be killed by Alice in Beyond the winding road, which conflicts with Gryphon's use later in the series within Pandora Hearts Canon.
|Coming of Age Ceremony Arc||1 • 2 • 3 • 4|
|Working for Pandora Arc||5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10|
|Cheshire's Dimension Arc||11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16|
|Lutwidge Academy Arc||17 • 18 • 19|
|Break's Past Arc||20 • 21 • 22|
|Chain Invasion Arc||23 • 24 • 25|
|Other||Pandora Hearts Special Episodes|