Episode 10 of Slayers Evolution-R, “Wisdom: Pining for a time that won’t come back!”, starts off with Zelgadis sneaking out with the Hellmaster’s Vase while everyone else is still sleeping. It could have been quite some time before the rest of the group woke up and found the vase to be missing if Pocota didn’t start groping Lina’s chest in his sleep. Fortunately for Pocota, Lina starts chewing his head while dreaming about eating dumplings, which saves Pocota from severe pain for the breast groping, which would have been terrible indeed if Lina learned how Pocota mentioned something about flatness while doing so. Of course, the disappearance of the Hellmaster’s Vase overshadows any such mundane concerns.
Away from the group, Zelgadis demands answers from Rezo on ways that could restore himself from a chimera to a normal human being. At the same time, the rest of the group are running in search of Zelgadis and the Hellmaster’s Vase. Lina had hoped that by taking possession of the vase herself, Zelgadis wouldn’t do anything rash, but his desire to return to normal was obviously too much. Pocota complains that he could have waited until they reached Taforashia and awoke the residents, but he is told that Zelgadis does not want Rezo to be revived, even though he had used to believe in Rezo just like Pocota does now.
The next scene starts with events from the past of Zelgadis, back when he still believed in Rezo and worked for him. It is presumably showing Zelgadis’ monologue to Rezo in an effort to guilt him into talking. We get to see the late comrades of Zelgadis that we haven’t seen since the first season of Slayers, and Zelgadis himself was a rather idealistic young man back then, like a calmer version of Amelia, unlike the cynical person he is now. He wanted to be stronger so that he could better help the Red Priest Rezo that he idolized, but Rezo used this as a justification to turn Zelgadis into a chimera without his consent. Zelgadis could have lived with it if he didn’t surreptitiously witness a failed experiment by Rezo with chimeras that was supposed to restore his sight, and the sense of betrayal was great upon learning that everything Rezo did was aimed at finding ways to cure his blindness.
Zelgadis was too engaged in venting his anger against Rezo, so he doesn’t realize that the rest of the group had found him and had overheard his monologue. This lets Lina and most of the others finally learn about some details of Zelgadis’ past which they had only known in vague terms. It is also a much harder blow against Pocota’s trust in Rezo: it’s one thing to disbelieve accusations in the abstract, but it’s another thing entirely to hear about what happened in specific details. Zelgadis uses his experience to justify his belief that Rezo is an evil person who had a saintly public image, although Ozelle is dubious about Zelgadis’ claim, citing Rezo’s belief that no one is pure good or evil. No wisecracks about pure evil being right in their midst this time, though.
Regardless of the goodness or evilness of Rezo, his obsession with curing his blindness reminds Lina of an important question that the group had neglected during the hectic search for the Hellmaster’s Vase and the attempt to find a way to revive Rezo. Why had Rezo created the Hellmaster’s Vase in the first place? Lina fishes for confirmation from Rezo with her speculations that he had hoped to use the Hellmaster’s Vase to switch his body to one that had healthy eyesight. Lina gets an honest answer, but the answer is a bit more than she expected.
Rezo did not need just one healthy body to work with: he needed a thousand experimental subjects for his work with the Hellmaster’s Vase. The idea of switching bodies to sidestep curing his blindness motivated Rezo to study and eventually succeed in learning how to create the Hellmaster’s Vase, but he needed one thousand experimental subjects to find a body that could accommodate his soul. In fact, he had indeed managed to find an appropriate body, but he was killed along with Shabranigdo by Lina before he could switch bodies. One might find it odd that Rezo would have moved on to trying to revive Shabranigdo before he completed another approach whose end was just in sight.
Pocota’s belief in the goodness of Rezo receives a severe blow when he realizes that the one thousand experimental subjects were the people of Taforashia, with Rezo taking advantage of the epidemic to gain pliant subjects. But it’s even worse when Lina raises the much more disturbing possibility that Rezo deliberately spread the epidemic in the first place, and Rezo’s rationalization that a small number could be sacrificed for the greater good doesn’t help. However, Pocota goes through the first stage of grief, denial, and tries to talk himself into believing that it was all made up. To show that it couldn’t be true, Pocota demands to know who the vessel was that Rezo deemed an appropriate body for himself, hoping that Rezo would not be able to answer and prove that it was a fictional story.
Contrary to Pocota’s hope, he only gets a bigger shock when Rezo cites his full name, Posel Corba Taforashia, as the one Rezo had found to have a body as an appropriate vessel. Unfortunately for Rezo, Pocota had already been used as a test subject for verifying that the Hellmaster’s Vase actually switched souls from body to body. With Pocota having gone away in search of a cure for the Duran epidemic, Rezo could not use the Hellmaster’s Vase to switch bodies as both body and soul must be together for it to work, which is why Rezo had gone on to other things like resurrecting the Demon Lord. Pocota thinks that he may be able to save the people of Taforashia if he gave up his body, but Zelgadis realizes what he is thinking and flies away with the vase.
Over the ocean, Zelgadis threatens Rezo that he would sink the vase under the waters forever if Rezo didn’t tell him a way to turn his body back to normal. At first, Rezo believes that Zelgadis would not carry out his threat, saying that Zelgadis would forever lose a source of information that could reveal a way to restore himself. However, Zelgadis is willing to live as he is if necessary, especially since he has no desire to see Rezo resurrected. So Rezo decides that it’s time for Zelgadis to know the truth, which is about the same time that Lina, Amelia, and Ozelle manages to catch up to Zelgadis. Rezo tells Zelgadis that a method to return a chimera back to normal does not exist, and tells Zelgadis that he should throw the vase into the ocean.
In his grief, Zelgadis tries to throw the Hellmaster’s Vase into the ocean, which Ozelle tries to stop, but Lina holds her back knowing that Zelgadis would stop himself. Ozelle does not understand why Zelgadis stopped, and Lina explains it’s because Zelgadis is human, that losing access to Rezo’s knowledge and perhaps a residual love for his ancestor is enough for Zelgadis to hesitate out of confusion. Lina also realizes that Zelgadis is not the only one who is confused: Rezo wanted Ozelle to destroy the vase back when she asked Lina and friends to seek it out and destroy it, then he wanted her to protect it, and now he’s provoking Zelgadis. It’s almost as if Rezo can’t make up his mind whether he wants to live or die. For that matter, Rezo’s current claim that there is no way to reverse Zelgadis’ transformation into a chimera could be a lie to provoke Zelgadis, although I am inclined to believe it to be the truth.
However, further provocation from Rezo finally has Zelgadis resolving to get rid of the vase, but Pocota takes the vase by force before he can do so. Pocota intends to head to Taforashia with the vase, and with both his soul and body at the same place, sacrifice his body to Rezo so that his people can be revived. Everyone else follows him by air, except for Gourry who has to chase after them on foot, while Lina can’t figure out what Rezo is thinking and wonders if there is more at stake than just the resurrection of Rezo. Her speculations are backed up by the presence of Xellos, who is floating high above them and watching discretely.
Having seen a good side of Rezo in the previous episode, now we have seen a bad side in this episode, albeit they were in events from the past. What kind of Rezo will we be seeing in the near future? I suspect that Rezo feels huge guilt about what he had done during his life, which would explain his half-suicidal tendencies, but is holding back on death because of whatever that might be drawing the attention of the Mazoku, although I wouldn’t rule out more evil deeds out of him. And I have the feeling that the humanity of Ozelle, or lack of it, will become a major issue with the way it keeps coming up every so often. As for Pocota, I wonder if it would ever occur to him to simply destroy the Hellmaster’s Vase and hence Rezo’s soul and revive the people of Taforashia from their magically induced hibernation as indicated in episode 5 of Slayers Revolution, something he would not have considered before out of admiration for Rezo. Then again, there’s no guarantee that Rezo actually did include the fail-safe in his magical hibernation spell.