Content Note: Violence, Partial Nudity
Claymore Recap: Clare and Priscilla have awakened and are fighting on the mountain outside Pieta.
Claymore, Episode 25: For Whose Sake
Episode 25 is an episode that I can only think of as a character study, an episode that explores each character thus far and what motivates them to continue this deadly fight. It's the episode before the end, the second-to-last, and I think it's worth exploring the people within.
Priscilla revels in her awakened form as she fights Clare, seeing Clare almost as an afterthought to her own musings. She sighs that it has been "a long time since my mind has felt so free and clear," and yet she fights out of fear of Teresa, out of fear of "traitors" as she has long since categorized the yoma who appeared to be her own father.
For the many times she insists that she's not afraid of "Miss Teresa", it is nonetheless clear that she is afraid, deep down inside. Her emotions and memories are a garbled tangle: she sees Clare as Teresa, she sees Teresa as the killer of her family, she welcomes Miria and the others as "newly initiated" Claymore and introduces herself as Number 2. When Miria and the others attack her, Priscilla pouts: "You people are the monsters.. All I did was eat a bit of offal. I am far from being a yoma."
Priscilla is a child trained to be a warrior and given a body that she simply did not have the ability to control. She's as much a victim as anyone else in this series, and yet she's a victim capable of destroying almost the entire world in the wake of her rampages. She's the epitome of the Organization's brutal and careless training; a cautionary tale of why the system is fundamentally broken.
Miria explains to the others the significance of Clare's heritage, that she is half-human and half-Claymore instead of the usual half-yoma. She questions why Clare is ranked at the lowest when she is clearly so much more powerful than many of the others in the Organization. Helen agonizes that she promised Clare that she would die as a human and now that promise may no longer be possible. Deneve, still carrying a second sword from the fallen Undine, simply keeps quiet and runs alongside the others.
These three were thrown in with Clare when the Organization decided to test them or kill them, by delivering them into a trap with a male Awakened Being. The women realized that all four had experienced awakening, that all four were trouble-makers within the Organization. Either they were being groomed for something secretive, or they were being actively quashed -- and neither option appealed to them. But even as they were thrown together against their will, they formed a bound with one another in order to survive and thrive in their world with no loyalties and few friends.
Raki and Jean continue slowly up the mountain, slowed by Jean's wounds and Raki's human limitations. Raki asks why Jean cares so much about Clare and Jean replies simply that Clare saved her life: "I am taking this life that she saved and giving it back to her." Raki replies that he was also saved by Clare, many times.
Raki and Jean are two sides of the same coin. Jean wants to die for Clare; Raki wants to live for her. Jean explains gently to Raki that what Clare is doing is not very different: "Fighting for someone precious is what Clare is doing right now. She fights for the sake of the person she lost, and for the sake of the person she doesn't want to lose." Clare is fighting for the memory of Teresa and for the hope of a life with Raki.
Clare fights on futilely against Priscilla, and then watches -- wounded -- while her friends fight in her place. She is frustrated that she cannot help her friends and prays to Teresa, asking what she has become and whether it was all worth it. "If I can't kill Priscilla, then this was all for nothing," she thinks, bitterly. Slowly, the visions of all the people who have died flash through her mind: Teresa, Elena, Ilena, Ophelia... so many dead, and so many more will die if Priscilla cannot be stopped.
"I will kill you... I promise you," Clare vows, but I think she's no longer fighting for Teresa, or at least not wholly. Now there is Miria and Helen and Deneve before her; she senses Jean and Raki coming quickly from behind. Clare's fight is now one of protection, instead of revenge, and she has something more to hope for as a cause than just a check mark next to her lifelong goal.