I think it’s pretty safe to assume there’s a third cour of Helck in the offing, either immediately after this one or as a split cour in 2024. I mean, this flashback just goes on and on. It’s hard to imagine there’s going to be enough time to resolve things in the next seven episodes – and I’ve only read a few chapters of the manga, so I’m just going on gut reaction. I don’t think you spend this much time establishing the basis for the current situation only to blow through it at breakneck speed.
I think we’ve reached the point where it’s not unreasonable to wonder if this flashback has gone on too long. We’ve been away from the rest of the main cast for a long time, and there hasn’t been much of Helck’s humorous side poking through. With good reason of course, as heavy and dark as all this is. And that was before Cless killed himself right in front of Helck. That was after having surprised Mikaros by coming to life, and apparently defying the king’s mind control. The fact that Cless impaled the supposed king through the head with a broken sword and it seems to have no effect it a good clue that whatever the king is, he’s not inside that armor and mask.
Cless uses Alicia’s hero killer sword (which he broke when Mikaros tried to use it on him) to off himself. First and foremost to avoid being forced by the king to attack Helck, and also because in theory if he dies he foils Mikaros’ plan. Now, from where I’m sitting the obvious candidate to replace him would be his brother, and I suspect we haven’t heard the last of that notion. This is I suppose the first occurrence of “Dark Helck” – Cress’ death and the taunting of the noble scum pushing him over the edge. It’s only Alicia’s soothing arms which pull him back from the edge, but their troubles are just beginning,
For now Helck – gravely wounded by the Hero Slayer – passes out, and comes to in an underground cavern with the remains of the broken blade. Who took him there? Seemingly not his comrades, who were all captured and are awaiting execution. And it should be noted that we do get some humor here, in the form of the omake – “Heck the Topless Trooper”. It comes off a bit jarring considering everything that went down in the episode itself, but it was nice to see Helck in goofball mode for the first time in a while.