Episode 8 of Slayers Evolution-R, “Uncover: Darkness Unveiled!”, begins with Radok ready to embark on a business trip despite the supposed threat to his life, which is just fine with Lina in that she’s getting pretty tired of just waiting for Zuma to show up. She isn’t quite fine with how her companions respond when she raises the possibility of herself getting killed by Zuma: they’re more worried about how they could keep the evil of Lina Inverse from reviving … Abel also tags along unexpectedly: this would be the first time he’s embarking on a trip with his father, and he justifies it to him by claiming that he should start learning his father’s trade.
The convoy with Radok, Abel, Ozelle, and Lina and friends stop mid-trip to rest the horses, and Abel uses this as a chance for a father and son talk. He finally gets to learn from his father what had happened to his mother. His grandfather, also Radok’s father, was a very ruthless businessman who had many enemies, and one of those enemies hired bandits to kidnap Radok and his wife. Radok’s wife was injured when they were captured, however, and she soon died right in front of Radok while imprisoned, who couldn’t even reach her because of his shackles. By the time Radok’s father finally managed to pay the ransom, Radok had been watching his wife’s body decompose: that must have seriously messed up with Radok’s mental state.
Abel can’t understand how his father could just inherit the family business despite what had happened, and the argument between father and son ends with Abel heading off. Lina and Pocota were nearby to make sure that Radok was safe, so they got to overhear what they said. While Lina and Pocota understand how revenge can be meaningless, Radok reveals another reason why he’s not after revenge: the bandits that killed his wife were in turn killed in battle a few years ago, so Radok can’t even attempt to capture them to find out who had hired them. In an odd coincidence, the bandits died in a battle at Sairag, and I think it must have been the same time when Lina and company had their own problems there. Before anything more could be said, though, a bunch of monsters start attacking.
Everyone except Abel regroups to defend themselves against the monsters, but Radok runs off in search of his son when he notices that Abel is missing, who is followed by Ozelle in turn. Lina, Gourry, and Pocota head off to follow Radok while Zelgadis and Amelia remain to fight the incoming monsters, and they soon find an oblivious Abel attended by Ozelle: it obviously didn’t occur to her to tell Abel about the attack. Radok manages to find his son soon after, but they have been found by more monsters, so Lina has Radok and Abel run away under the protection of Ozelle. But Radok disappears while the three are running away.
Meanwhile, Zelgadis and Amelia have made short work of the low-level monsters, but there’s no rest for them when the pair of Mazoku, Guthusa and Deugurd, appear again to attack them. The Mazoku are supposed to keep Zelgadis and Amelia from rejoining the others, but the Mazoku don’t mind if they do it by killing them. At the same time, Lina and the others have gotten rid of their own share of monsters, only to be attacked by Zuma. Neither side has the clear upper hand in the fight, which ends up with a standoff and giving both sides a chance to have a confrontational talk, where Zuma reveals that there was a reason for him to have obtained the Hellmaster’s Vase: using Rezo’s soul that resides in the vase, Zuma summoned Mazoku and absorbed them within himself, which is presumably how he regenerated his arms. The association between Rezo and Mazoku is not a good sign for Pocota’s saintly impression of Rezo. And I suspect that this revelation has Lina worrying about the Demon Lord Shabranigdo connected to Rezo’s soul.
Back to Zelgadis and Amelia, their battle against the two Mazoku has not gone well, and Guthusa is about to enjoy dismembering Amelia with her hairy tentacles (or should they be called tentacly hair?). Fortunately for Amelia, the two Mazoku are suddenly summoned elsewhere at that very moment, and Guthusa and Deugurd find themselves floating behind Zuma. Deugurd is under the impression that they’re cooperating with Zuma because of the contract with Rezo, but Zuma isn’t really interested in their cooperation. Zuma wants the two Mazoku as material for his own arms to increase his power, and he promptly does so with alarming ease. The way that Zuma has effectively given up being a human makes Lina very uncomfortable as it seems to remind her of someone from her past (like, Rezo, perhaps?).
Zuma is even more powerful than before and uses abilities shown by Guthusa and Deugurd, and he manages to knock down everyone, with Gourry even dropping the replica Sword of Light. In fact, Lina is about to be impaled by Zuma, only to be saved by Abel, who puts himself between them and screams for his father to stop. But with all the Mazoku that Zuma must have absorbed, it wouldn’t be too wise to approach him, which Abel gets to learn when his father impales him. Abel says something that we can’t hear when Zuma asks how Abel knew he was Radok, which I won’t hazard to guess what it was, although I would think it would have been something sappy. I do suspect that Radok disappearing when father and son were running away would have been a big clue.
The cat is now out of the bag: everyone knows that Zuma is actually Radok. And we get to see something that we don’t get to see much: a really, really angry Lina Inverse. And it’s no trivial anger from being annoyed or insulted, which we see often enough: it’s a deep, intense fury after seeing Radok kill his own son. So Lina immediately summons the Ragna Blade against Zuma, and while Zuma does manage to momentarily stop her by picking up the replica Sword of Light and using it to block the Ragna Blade, Lina quickly breaks through and cuts off his arms.
At least Radok managed to survive against the Ragna Blade thanks to the replica Sword of Light, but when he says that it’s the way of life for Zuma to Lina’s demand for the reasons to his actions, the voice of Xellos rings out suggesting that his way of life may as well be as good as any other. But this has another side, a corresponding way of death, and Xellos promptly kills Radok. He had come to claim the Hellmaster’s Vase, and now that he has gotten rid of Radok, he could have just taken it if it weren’t for Ozelle, who has just arrived with the vase. She says that the vase cannot be given over to the Mazoku yet (the “yet” sort of worries me …) because it is the will of Rezo. And with Ozelle’s threat to destroy the vase if Xellos tried to take it by force (which is probably credible: Ozelle survived being impaled by the Ragna Blade, she should last long enough against even a high-level Mazoku like Xellos), Xellos withdraws for now.
The episode ends with Lina being troubled by the death of Abel and the Hellmaster’s Vase containing Rezo’s soul. I do hope that we won’t be seeing a revived Abel as the next Zuma, though, due to some silly reason like “being Zuma” being the actual family business …