I really like the storytelling methods that Fate Zero employs, which was evident in this episode. The 2-parter on Kiritsugu’s past did feel a little out-of-place, but now that we’re back to the present, it was a good move by them to touch on the respective Masters/Servants since after the river battle some of them haven’t gotten much screen time at all. Since there isn’t much action going on for most of the episode, they’ve used the opportunity to fill up the gaps concerning Rider/Waver; Berserker/Kariya and even Maiya/Iri.
At first I thought this was going to be a dialogue heavy episode since the story is being told on 3 different fronts, but even then some action managed to sneak in. Consider me impressed. There was yet another casualty in the Holy Grail war in that process, more on that later.
Starting with Kariya, apparently he is still well (maybe not) and alive after the healing received from Kirei earlier. While many including myself thought he was more or less out of the race due to the injuries he had sustained, it seems like Zouken thinks otherwise. This portion was quite disturbing to watch, especially when Zouken fed Kariya a worm which contained Sakura’s life essence to buff him up. So it seems that he still has one last fight in him, but we all know who the final two will be. Even then, let us not forget that the story and identity of Berserker isn’t known yet, so that will make for another full episode devoted to the them. My predictions will be that the both of them will be next before Rider/Waver.
Speaking of those two, they also have not been seen since the battle at the river. Turns out that Rider overextended and used his own mana reserves instead of tapping into Waver’s. During their conversation, there was an interesting revelation about Rider’s character. In particular, the regret that he led his men to death while searching for something that never existed, and that he did not want the same thing to happen with Waver and the Holy Grail respectively. Despite being the “king” that he is, and the values that he holds in that regard in comparison to Saber’s, he isn’t completely devoid of compassion towards his comrades, be it his former men or Waver. Rider has always been a more interesting Heroic Spirit to watch compared to some, he could certainly use a spin-off or something.
Still, the bulk of the episode revolves around the Saber team. Iri also had an interesting revelation as well – that she never really understood Kiritsugu and his ideals all along and merely played along with it. Then again she is a homunculus to begin with, so what can I really say? Honestly I feel that to have made it this far is something remarkable considering her true purpose in the Holy Grail war. Her wish to end conflicts is admirable too, except that it is a little bit naive. What would the world be like without strife? Ironic as it is, life wouldn’t be called life without struggles and conflicts, it is a vicious cycle my friends.
The biggest revelation of them all however, is the history and background of Maiya, or the lack thereof. For someone who has aided Kiritsugu and is always seen around his side, she finally gets the screen time that she rightfully deserves, except that this also happens to be the last for her. I really did not expect this, since I thought she would live through after her talk with Iri and that she wouldn’t just die like that. Now when I look back at it, when she said “I do not expect to survive”, that was a very strong foreshadowing statement.
The final scene with Kiritsugu in tears, is yet another strong scene. As we know, Kiritsugu is a man with nerves of steel and a heart as cold as ice, yet to see him tearing up after witnessing Maiya’s last moments is something that also surprised me, as he seemed to be back to his “old self” as Maiya stated when he had his parting words with Iri. What I got out of this was that perhaps Maiya had been around Kiritsugu for a much longer time, somewhat similar to the relationship he had with Natalia. Then again, Iri isn’t exactly a human being to begin with so maybe he isn’t as moved by his emotions as compared to Maiya, who is arguably closer to Kiritsugu.
I know that I have omitted some parts, such as Avalon being returned to Kiritsugu and the first usage of his command seal, well here it is then! I really wonder what next week’s episode is about, since it will have to focus on either Berserker or Rider, or even possibly both. Not that I’ll have to wait though!
- What in the world are these?
- What in the world is Saber doing out there in the middle of nowhere?
- Guns don’t quite work on Heroic Spirits.
- Saber riding a bike to chase up to Rider’s Gordius Wheel? Not so legit.