Claymore Recap: Clare, Miria, Deneve, and Helen have defeated the male Awakened Being, but are badly wounded for all of their efforts.
Claymore, Episode 11: Those Who Rend Asunder, Part 3
Episode 11 is something of an exposition chapter to bring everyone up to speed in the wake of the Awakened Being battle.
Miria is a tactician, so she immediately hones in on the suspicious aspects of their battle. The four of them were sent to battle an Awakened Being, despite their rankings being (except for Miria's) unusually low for such a difficult task. This could perhaps be excused if the Awakened Being was particularly weak, but this one was not: he was one of the oldest and strongest of the monsters, simply by virtue of him being a male.
In addition, due to his age and the longevity of his life in these mountains, it seems impossible that the Organization didn't know the magnitude of the assigned task. In which case, Miria has to consider: was this a test, or is the Organization deliberately trying to get them killed?
Other pieces of the puzzle come together. Helen's limb growth ability is off the charts, especially for her relatively low rank. Deneve's healing abilities are equally overpowered and would tax most healers to the limits of their yoma powers. And then there's Clare... Clare who is the weakest of all the Claymore and yet can telegraph the attacks of Awakened Beings well in advance and can easily avoid being hurt in vital areas. This is the technique that made Teresa the strongest of Claymore, now being used by the supposedly weakest of them all.
There are two mysteries here: Why does the Organization want to kill them? And why are these four so unusually powerful? There are two answers that may be intertwined: They are all four trouble-makers in the Organization and they have all four nearly Awakened in battle. Each of them has traveled to the brink of her limits and somehow managed to not turn into the warped, human-eating monsters that Awakened Claymore usually become. Miria theorizes that they are partially Awakened, or half-way Awakened, or... or, well, she doesn't know. No one does; Awakened Beings who still look and act and behave as Claymore aren't spoken about freely in the Organization. For all these four know, they could be the only ones... or their experience could be more standard than they realize.
The other three are disturbed by the news that they may be partially Awakened... and that their full Awakening may be inevitable over a function of time. Deneve, knowing that she will die if she doesn't try, decides to make a test of the hypothesis: she'll push herself to the brink during her healing. If she Awakens, then so be it and the others must kill her; if she does not, then Miria's hypothesis that they can bring themselves back from the brink without becoming monsters is valid. Deneve is taking a huge chance, but the alternative is no chance at all.
And yet, I find the question that Deneve asks intriguing. "Are we supposed to sit around waiting to become some hideous monster and not do anything about it?" Miria responds calmly: "The fact of the matter is, we have no idea when or how we'll turn." She's speaking to the four of them, to their unique circumstances as Partially Awakened, and yet hasn't this always been true for the Claymore? A very few of them sense their turning in advance, with enough time to issue a black card to their most trusted friend, but the bulk of them are taken by surprise in battle or succumb to their wounds after the fact. The mere existence of Awakened Beings proves that most Claymore have no idea "when or how" they turn. And Clare promised us way back in the very first episodes that every Claymore reaches her limit; it's just a matter of time. They can only hold back the monster inside them for so long... or so experience has taught them.
This situation is different, of course. The four partially Awakened Claymore are treading -- as far as they know -- new ground. They don't know what to expect, and they have no way to ask for advice. They have every reason to feel overwhelmed and frightened and I don't want to diminish that. But at the same time, from a certain point of view, their situation has not changed. They're battling their inner demons in a desperate struggle to retain their humanity as long as they possibly can. And thus there's a certain irony when Miria advises them to act like everything is normal, because in a way, everything is.
The biggest difference is that now -- for perhaps the first time in years -- the four women are suddenly seeing how utterly messed up the whole thing is.