It is November 7, 1998, and we are in the Shadow Gallery. Evey asks V if he’s “going to do something.” V answers, cryptically, that the chaos is “progressing splendidly” without him—for now, he’s just watching. Unconvinced, Evey repeats her question, demanding to know what V plans to do next. V agrees to show Evey.
In this scene, we see tension between Evey and V. We’ve seen them disagree over the role of violence in anarchism before, and here Evey is desperate for information—she doesn’t want to be kept in the dark about V’s plans for destroying Norsefire.
As V leads Evey to the Fate Computer, Evey asks V why he insists on expressing himself in such cryptic ways. V answers that he’s giving Evey knowledge, which is like air—he must teach Evey to breathe it. Evey is infuriated by this answer. V shows Evey the Fate Computer and explains that in Norsefire, bureaucracy is reality: thus, by changing the information in Fate, he will change reality. With this, he leads Evey away from the computer, to a new room.
Instead of explaining himself in plain English, V continues to speak in riddles, allusion, and poetry. By this point we’re used to this, but we can still sympathize with Evey’s anger and frustration. She wants to take action against Norsefire, and suddenly finds that V won’t tell her how to do so, at least not explicitly.
In the new room of the Shadow Gallery, V shows Evey a huge wall of televisions. These televisions, V explains, continue to show surveillance footage of everywhere in London, despite the fact that the government’s surveillance footage has been blacked out for days. Alluding to Dante’s Inferno, V explains that the television represents an inverted hill: when he and Evey climb to the bottom of this hill, they’ll be able to see for miles.
For not the first time in the graphic novel, we’re reminded that V’s methods parallel those of the Leader himself—just as Susan uses surveillance to control his people, V uses surveillance to cause riots and manipulate his enemies. It’s not clear if V’s methods are justified by his anarchistic goals—Moore leaves this up to us to decide.
V leads Evey to another room: there, he shows her chemicals, instruction books, and other tools for making explosives and drugs. Next, he takes her to the “rose room,” where V grows roses for the men he’s planning to kill. Evey asks V if there’s a rose for the Leader. V says that he’s growing this rose elsewhere.
The irony of Evey’s frustration with V is that V is explaining himself clearly, even if Evey can’t understand him. It’s clear to us, watching V lead Evey through the Shadow Gallery, that V wants Evey to inherit his role soon. This is why he’s showing her the tools and weapons available to her.
V leads Evey down a staircase into the lower rooms of the Shadow Gallery. He gives her a small parcel, and after Evey takes it, V explains that it contains gelignite, a powerful explosive. Evey is shocked, saying that she won’t kill anyone on V’s behalf. V doesn’t respond, but says that anarchy has two faces: one of creation, one of destruction.
Evey still refuses to kill anyone on behalf of the ideals of freedom. By making one of his protagonists violent and the other non-violent, Moore allows us to decide between the two viewpoints.
V leads Evey into the lowest room of the Shadow Gallery. There, Evey finds a beautiful, old-fashioned train on train tracks, which stretch down a tunnel, far into the distance. V instructs Evey to place the gelignite inside the train. Inside, Evey finds some beautiful lilies. She asks V what the train is for, but V doesn’t answer.
We can guess what the train is for, since V has already said that he’s growing flowers for Susan’s death. Nevertheless, Evey continues to remain in the dark about the details and the scope of V’s plan.
V leads Evey back up the stairs. Evey protests that V speaks to her in “crossword puzzles.” She demands of V, “What are you trying to tell me?” V doesn’t answer, but we see, in close-up, the title of one of V’s books: Farewell, My Lovely.
As we end the chapter, we’re given a fairly unambiguous signal of V’s plans: V will die, and Evey will inherit his home and equipment.