The nature of the witch is revealed and it…doesn’t make any sense. It’s revealed that the town select’s a young girl to act as the town witch. In exchange for food and shelter, the girl is cast out and essentially becomes the town scapegoat, receiving the blame for all of the misfortune that befalls the town.
I have no idea why they do this. What’s the endgame? Even if there is an endgame, the fact that the town knows about it renders the whole thing moot. If it were some kind of conspiracy by the town officials, it may have been able to work. The people wouldn’t know any better and even choosing different girls to pick up the mantle would make sense to keep the legend alive, sort of a “Dread Pirate Roberts” situation. Instead, everyone is well aware of the process, so going along with it is stupid.
We also learn that one such girl was Sofia’s sister. Of course, when the sister died, the Earl came to Sofia and managed to tempt her into bringing about an akuma.
Said akuma brings truth to the legend of the witch by turning all of the townspeople into akuma themselves. This would have been an interesting reveal, but it is hinted that she wanted this from the beginning, for some reason? As much as the episode emphasizes the tragic nature of her fate, this seems to undercut that.
While Goz is distraught, Kanda just does what he does and starts killing all of the akuma. I did find it weird that he was slicing them one at a time. It seems like it would have been a lot quicker if he had just summoned the sword demons from the beginning. The idea that it would have been anti-climactic would be valid, but he manages to dispatch them in quick order either way, so it just eats up run time.
One interesting thing does happen during the final fight. The witch tries to gaslight Kanda, but is foiled fairly quickly. This in and of itself isn’t much, but it does add some mystery to Kanda as we learn that he does have some objective tied to a mysterious flower. I’m not sure whether to make a “Beauty and the Beast” or “Dark Tower” reference. It wasn’t a lot of character development, but it did plant a seed (get it? Seed, because it’s a flower) of sorts.
We also discover that Kanda is happier than he lets on. When he finally does reach his destination, the other exorcist states that his grumpiness is something of an act.
While Kanda does get some character development, it doesn’t come until very late in the game. The setup with the witch could have been effective, but the way things are set up, it just raises too many questions. This wasn’t one of the show’s stronger arcs, though it wasn’t entirely without merit.