The chapter opens in the Shadow Gallery. Evey is arguing with V, claiming that killing Bishop Lilliman was “wrong.” V points out that Evey was the one who wanted to “make a deal”—V didn’t force her to involve herself in anything.
Evey objects to V’s violent methods. This is a common debate in the anarchist community: is violence justified in enacting meaningful change? V clearly thinks that violence is justified by its ends—killing those who kill and persecute. Evey doesn’t agree, and she feels personally responsible for Lilliman’s death.
In the London neighborhood of Knightsbridge, Derek Almond stays up late, working on the V case. As he works, Rosemary Almond enters the room dressed in her nightgown. She tries to apologize for angering her husband earlier that day—in response, Derek angrily slaps her and tells her that he’s not going to have sex with her. Rosemary sobs.
Almond’s brutality to Rosemary, we sense, is completely uncontroversial in Norsefire society. Because of the brutality and bigotry of the government itself, husbands are just following the status quo in feeling entitled to hit their wives.
In the Shadow Gallery, V sits at a piano, playing. Evey enters his room and apologizes for lashing out at him. She admits that she’s been feeling guilty for her role in killing Bishop Lilliman, and says once more that she won’t kill another person—not even for V.
For the time being, Evey finds ways to convince herself that she’ll always do the right thing—she still wants to see things in black and white, because the alternative is much scarier.
We jump ahead to Plaistow, at 9:17pm, in a modest apartment. A woman hangs up her coat and goes to bed. She has vivid flashbacks to a scene of a mysterious, silhouetted figure emerging from a massive fire. As the woman prepares for bed, she notices a rose on her couch.
We recognize that the woman in the apartment is going to die—the rose is a symbol of V’s aggression. And yet we’re given more of a window into the woman’s thoughts and feelings than we were in the case of either Lilliman or Prothero. This woman may be awaiting the same fate as her two predecessors, and yet she’s not of the same stripe.
Back in the Shadow Gallery, V sits, reading The Magic Faraway Tree. The passage he reads is about a land called “The Land of Do As You Please.” While the two characters, Jo and Silky, enjoy this place, they also recognize that need to move on to somewhere new. After a few moments, V puts his book away and leaves the Shadow Gallery.
The Land of Do As You Please will reappear several times in the graphic novel. For now, it’s important to note that V is reading to Evey, the way a father reads to a small child before bedtime. V has truly taken on the role of a concerned father, and Evey has fallen willingly into the role of his child.
At the Nose, Dominic and Mr. Finch stay up late, working and discussing the V Case. Dominic has invented a clever theory: Lewis Prothero worked in Larkhill Camp as a young man, and, after going insane, kept talking about “Room Five.” From this, Dominic hypothesizes that V was a prisoner in Room Five (the Roman numeral V) of the camp. Finch thinks Dominic is onto something—Bishop Lilliman was at Larkhill, too. Using computer records, he researches the surviving people who worked at Larkhill, noting that most are dead.
It’s a testament to Dominic’s quick thinking that he recognizes the connection between V’s victims. At the same time, it’s rather surprising that nobody has noted a link between the victims of Larkhill before: one might think that, with all the computer power in Norsefire, a computer would have noticed that every guard in the concentration camp was dying.
In Plaiston, the mysterious woman is sleeping in her bed, when suddenly she wakes up. Addressing a shadowy figure, she asks if she’s going to be killed. The figure answers that she is. We see that the figure is V, dressed in his usual cloak and mask. The woman buries her head in her hands and whispers, “Thank God.”
Even at the end of the chapter, we don’t know anything about the woman whom V is planning to kill, other than the fact that she’s clearly feeling guilty for whatever she did (presumably at Larkhill Camp). Somehow, this is all we need to know about her: her guilt tells us that she’s notably different from Prothero and Lilliman.