We begin Episode 18 aboard the NSS (Norma Sailing Ship, my acronym, not official) Aurora, with the bridge bunnies all like "so Ange and Vivian were alive after all", and we cut to a meeting where Ange is giving Jill, Mei, Maggy, and all the other major named characters on the Aurora her account of what happened on the DRAGON side of the dimensional rift, and as Jil lights a cig with "is this shit for real?" look on her face, Ange says the DRAGONs aren't assholes like humans and proposes they form an alliance as the intro starts.
As we get back to show, Ange is spellign out why allying with the DRAGONs is a good idea (if they get Aura back, Humanity 2.0 is screwed into being Norma as well, which will end basically all shit the Norma have gone through. Jasmine immediately warms to the idea, but Rosalie is a little agahast at the idea of cooperating with their former enemy, and Jill surprisingly agrees with Rosaline on teh grounds of their untrustworthiness, and thinks the proper solution is kill Embryo, which admittedly isn't too unsound, as he's the asshole keeping Aura's prison key, and killing Embryo would have the same effect, but more importantly, Jill believes that's the more realistic goal.
Jill further cites that her intention is to screw humanity over for betraying the Norma and tries to play on Ange's desire for the same, then aims below the belt by insuinating Ange was brainwashed, and then just gets downright bitchy in the worst way by insinuating she's become an utter pussy (in the literal and figurative sense, as in she became pregnant by Tusk and lost her will to fight).
Jasmine and Maggy then point out Salia's defection has crippled them, and after confirming from Ange the Vilkiss can go to the other side without assistance, Jasmine asks Jill to keep her options open. Jill still doesn't buy it, but she concedes the point as she leaves to evaluate intel reports, and Jasmine tells Ange that Jill is trying to hide the fact she was worried about her.
Later, as Vivian is eating, Maggy feels her up (not that way, for medical reasons, seeing if she's got DRAGON wings), and Vivian confirms she's good now on the spontaneous transformation front, and Maggy reveals she chopped off Vivian's wings and tail as a child to protect her (wow Maggy, let me add a few points to your guy meter, given the reasons you had NOT to help her keep that a secret. ), and we also get confirmation from a conversing Tusk and Ange a scene cut later the Aurora is the Libertus flagship. We also find out Hilda seems to be jealous of Tusk (apparently she didn't fake being gay as much as we thought), and Rosalie not all that happy over Salia, Chris, and Ersha's defections, and we find out three rookies names Nonna, Marika, and Mary got promoted to fill the blank spots in the fighting roster (and it turns out they are fangirls of Vivian, oddly enough), and Hilda informs us that Jill spilled her past and her goals to everyone during the interim.
And that when it funny as hell when Emma (yeah, she's on the Aurora, she survived with the Norma because Julio's troops weren't being too picky who they shot until Maggy saved her) pops out of nowhere drunk off her ass, both drinking like a fish because her fellow humans tried to kill her and also kinda grateful to Jill because Jill gave her sanctuary on the Aurora, and the shock of both caused her to turn to the bottle, and she gets a few nice points added to her tally when she reveals she wasn't all that happy about being an asshole prison warden, and as Maggy drags her drunk ass out (clutching a Perolina doll) to sober up, everyone else has a ".....the fuck?" look on their face.
The first to recover is Rosalie, who agrees with Emma that the only authority figure they truly trust right now is Jill.
Scene cut to the shower with Ange later, shes noticing the water stings, and Hilda pops up behind her and informs her that's because the water has some salt mixed in, and Hilda puts her hands on Ange's shoulders and asks if Ange gained weight (prompting Ange to panic), then around her waist, bitches about how Ange didn't contact them (with Ange protesting how she couldn't), then Hilda's hand dips below the censor steam (do I have to spell out why?) as she complains Ange was alone with a guy, then asks if Ange and Tusk got it on. Ange is like "uh, no, why the hell do you ask", and then Hilda gives her a kiss on the shoulder and tells her "welcome back" and walks off, with Ange in WTF mode.
Before I go on, yeah, Hilda either developed a thing for Ange or just sucks ass at conveying her relief another woman is okay without turning it into a lesbian groping session. Either way, that was weird as hell to watch.
We then cut to Tusk in the Paramail hangar, reminiscing how Jill promised how she was going to screw over Humanity 2.0 for her fellow Norma's sake, (and we see Tusk was kinda adorable as a kid), and he winds up chatting up Mei,mentioning he was considering sleeping in his Paramail since he's apparently not sure where to bed down, and he finds out Mei is basically as dedicated as he is to working on the Vilkiss. (and on that subject Mei takes a shine to him for doing regular upkeep in her place), and then we briefly cut to Jill's office and we get yet another reminder Embryo's a fucking asshole under all the charm.
Next morning, Jill gives Ange her orders: contact the DRAGONs about forming an alliance.
When we get back, Jill is like "why the surprise, I thought it over and it's a good idea", and then she spells out Mei made trackign beacons she secretly attached to Salia and the defectors Paramails, which returned to the Dawn Pillar, which means that is their strike target.
However, the catch is Jill wants the DRAGONs to serve as bait for a diversion op, with the DRAGONS taking the brunt of the assault so the Aurora can sneak in and deploy behind enemy lines and take out the Dawn Pillar while the DRAGONs keep their heavy artillery occupied, and Jill is like "that's the price of diversions" when confronted with the causalties this will place on the DRAGON forces, which means Jill still doesn't trust them and wants them to be meatshields, which is an admittedly rational but utterly coldblooded plan, and Jill also reveals she all "fuck Salia and the defectors, they made their choice, like hell I'll try getting them to reconsider", which is again rational yet coldblooded, and when Ange objects, Jill explains she's seeing everything in terms of pawns on a chessboard for Libertus, and her basically boils down to having the pawns and knights of the DRAGONs slapfight with the rooks, bishops, queens, and pawns of the enemy so they can put the enemy king in bloody checkmate, thought to be fair even Jill considers herself a pawn on the board.
Regardless, Jill reveals ultimately, she doesn't give a fuck about the DRAGONs despite their usefulness as a diversion/meatshield and wants Ange to land the killshot on Embryo.
Ange is like "fuck that coldblooded bullshit", and that's when Jill plays fucking dirty and shows Momoka bound and gagged on the screen behind her, and further reveals she's rigged it so Momoka will immediately be vented into the ocean, which, at their present depth, will instantly kill her via the water pressure. Even Jasmine is like "the fuck is wrong with you" in Jill's direction over that one, and as even Tusk is fucking horrified at this one, Jill is in total ruthless bitch mode as she tells Ange to cooperate or else.
.....before I go on, wow, Jill is basically the lovechild of The Baroness and Captain Ahab at this point.
Ange is like "do you even have a conscience?!", to which Jill is like "like I give a shit about anything expect watching you making Embryo's bleed out across the bricks". Ange whips out her pistol to this, and Jill disarms her and chokeholds her with the cyber arm. Tusk tries to stop her but he's punched across the room, and as Jill reveals she's gone full blown revenge crazy, Tusk activates a dead man switch he had stashed away as Ange spits on Jill in response to her demanding Ange help her.
As Jill about to beat the shit out of Ange with her free hand, that when she and everyone else start to gag on what appears to be sleeping gas, and Tusk tosses Ange a gas mask. We find out Vivian was in on it in the mess hall and dons her own mask. As Ange and Tusk leave, Jill tries and fails to get Tusk to do his duty as the Knight of Vilkiss (since he's now pledged himself to Ange), which has Jill pissed at Tusk as she whips out a knife as she tries to fight off the the gas' effects. Meanwhile, Tusk has the Aurora blow its ballast to surface so they can escape.Unfortunately, this gets the attention of Salia and the others, who have been reconning for the Aurora.
As Ange and crew are about to bail, Jill reveals she was hardcore enough to shank her own leg to keep awake (adrenaline is a hell of a stimulant), and as Ange tries to get Jill realizes she's having a serious He Who Fights Monsters problem, Jill has completely come unglued from her reason at this point.
It's then, as the Aurora surfaces, Ange tells Jill (as she whips out her own knife) if Jill wins in a knife fight, then Ange will do her bidding, telling Tusk and Momoka to haul ass with Vivian.
As the fight goes on, Jill's anger is clear: Ange is basically a mirror of Jill herself, so she should understand why they need to burn the entire fucking world to ashes no matter the cost, and it's pissing Jill off Ange isn't running off blind anger at humanity anymore. This leads to Ange getting the upper hand, knocking Jill ass over tea kettle, and as Jill is in despairing "why won't you see it my way" mode, we find out Ange really does want Tusk's sappy vision to come to pass.
Jasmine and Maggy pop in at that point, and Jasmine tells the defeated Jill to swallow her pride and admit it. Later, as Ange is about to take off, she tells Jasmine she'll get Libertus done, but her way, without being a soulless bastard sacrificing lives and using people in the process.
As Ange is abut to get either Tusk or Vivian to take a potshot at her to get the Vilkiss to enter super mode (it responds to combat as a sign to do this), that's when Salia and crew show up to save her the trouble, and as the end credits roll, Salia and Ange prepare to kick each others ass.
As the next episode preview begins, it seems Ange lost the fight and returns BACK to Misurugi, where we discover Embryo pulled strings and all of his defectees basically get to live cushy lives in exchange for being Vidkun Quislings, and Ange is not all that happy being bird in gilded cage again.
Before I end this, I have to say this episode has shown Ange's character has come full circle, and while the beginning was badly paced, the rest of the character development from episode three onward has changed Ange from a selfish bitch into an actual heroic figure, and based on that preview, she's come to accept that being a better person and remaining disgraced is preferable to having all the privilege she once had and being let off so long as she holds the whip against those like her, and hopefully, we'll get to see her call out Embryo (whose nice guy facade is starting to crack pretty bad) for all the bullshit he's pulled.