Moral of the episode: Daggers don’t make a good gift.
True moral of the episode: Man proposes, heaven disposes.
Note: Apologies for the delay, I was up writing this last night but I felt sleepy and had to push this back a little more than I wanted to.
Finally, things are starting to settle down after an epic battle, followed by an emotional death and a clash of ideals. While this episode is tame on the action department, I would say that this episode actually marks a significant milestone in the story development because the final boss has now been officially revealed.
Since the early stages of S1 (or the first half), signs have been building up and pointing towards the “awakening” of Kirei. More specifically the darker and more sinister side to Kirei that he is subconsciously (or not) suppressing. We all know that something along the lines of this would happen sooner or later, but there are three very important events that served as a catalyst to speed up the whole process.
- The death of his father
So I forgot that the church guy was Kirei’s dad. The fact his father died, is a form of release and maybe relief to Kirei. Why? His father (in my interpretation), served as a form of guidance and possibly even moral support. Assuming that his father was a man of good faith, unlike himself, his death comes as a sign of freedom to Kirei – that he no longer has to follow closely in the footsteps of his father.
- Devil’s advocate
Every human, even Kirei himself has some form of a desire. And what does the devil do in this case? Consciously remind him of his inner thoughts and course of action to take. We’ve seen many a times where Archer and Kirei have a one-to-one talk on Kirei’s own emotional well-being and such. What Archer was trying to do was to constantly tempt Kirei because he sees a lot of hidden room for “growth” in him – ultimately for Archer’s own amusement and because Tokiomi is such a bore.
- The death of Tokiomi
Simply put, when Tokiomi died, it serves as reaffirmation that “justifies” the path Kirei is about to undertake. Having to kill your master, albeit in an ironic manner is as good as stepping over the line of no return. Be very afraid, Kiritsugu!
Ah Tokiomi, that’s not a very nice way to lose the war like that isn’t it? He may have everything planned out and accounted for, but ultimately he did not foresee the events that are transpiring under his own nose – the betrayal of his apprentice. Perhaps he thought Kirei was too emotionless or loyal to even entertain the thought of Kirei back-stabbing him, literally. His death flags were so obviously raised this episode, if last episode’s preview isn’t enough of an indicator. Leaving his “last” words for Rin along with his spell book; Archer and Kirei conspiring yet again; leaving his will and a dagger as a farewell gift, maybe they should have pulled it off where he would mysteriously survive, wouldn’t that be the most epic troll ever? Being stabbed was merely a setback!
People would say he was a very boring and down-to-earth character to watch, which is true. Tokiomi lived his life as a mage; pursued his ideals as a mage; died a mage. Well, that’s about it. The thing though is that he is a very straightforward, easy-to-read kind of character but more importantly, someone who isn’t necessarily bad even though he plays the role of an antagonist. Sending Sakura off to the Matou house was a questionable move, but looking at his farewell scene with Rin and his face off against Kariya a couple of episodes ago, who is to say Tokiomi was a bad guy compared to the likes of Kayneth or Ryounsuke?
Another interesting revelation is that Iri is the grail herself, along with the fact that Avalon is the artifact that is barely holding her up despite its healing powers. And that is the actual reason why Saber doesn’t have Avalon despite it being a more logical choice for her to wield it (after all she was undefeated in battle until she lost it). Why she told that to Maiya though is up for speculation, and my guess is that she probably wants Maiya to continue to look after Kiritsugu after she is gone.
An episode that was heavy on dialogue, things are starting to shape up and set the stage for the final showdown. It is very fascinating to see the “Kiritsugu vs Kirei” affair going on amidst everything that is going on. Kiritsugu is afraid of Kirei for a reason, because the man to fear is a man who is mysterious; emotionless because it means he is unpredictable and also does not have a vulnerability unlike other Master/Servant combo. And now Kirei has arguably the most powerful Servant at his side also, it is very telling at this point who the final two will be but even then every episode before that will still be something that is no less than a masterpiece (when compared to the average Joe series).
- Loved how Saber is so easily bribed – Kiritsugu I cannot condone the ways of your- *ooh shinies*
- My loli Rin can’t turn out to be this tsundere!
- F/SN viewers should be familiar with this view.
- Squatting (ok fine she was kneeling on a knee) Saber looks..refreshing.