At the site of the fallen highrise hotel building, workers find a mysterious sphere made of mercury, and upon touching it their leader is compelled to request that it be transported elsewhere. After which Risei puts the temporary rule in place, offering an additional Command Seal to the one who defeats the unrestrained Caster.
Elsewhere at this point though, it turns out that Rider has discovered the joys of ordering things by mail, picking up the idea of wearing modern-day clothes after he saw Saber in a suit. The flaw in this plan however was that he had forgotten about buying a pair of pants, which Waver only agrees to buy for him once he beats at least one enemy Servant. Something Rider intends to keep him to. In contrast to this however, things at the Einzbern Castle are quite tense as Kiritsugu goes over his defences and the matter of defeating Caster, for which his choice of doing nothing about the latter clashes with Saber. But even then he ignores everything she says and plainly tells Irisviel the faults of doing so, suspecting that Risei is corrupt in backing Tokiomi.
After this though, Kiritsugu’s steel resolve is shown to be wavering as he confides his wish to just abandon the war to Irisviel, reasoning that they could take Ilya by force if need be and run, also fearing what will happen when he and Kirei finally meet. But instead Irisviel reminds him that he couldn’t forgive himself if he ran, but just as she attempts to further console him something enters the castle’s Boundary Field. Revealed to be none other than Caster whose come to lure Saber out, threatening to kill the hostages he had brought along. But upon reaching him she’s met with a massacre, as the sole surviving child is directed to her only to explode into just another one of the demons Caster has summoned with his Noble Phantasm, Prelati’s Spellbook. And so freeing herself with a Prana Burst, Saber swears to defeat him.
Back in the castle Kiritsugu entrusts Maiya leading Irisviel to safety while he holds things there, fearing that someone will attempt to take advantage of Saber fighting in the forest, a suspicion that proves to be true as someone else enters the Boundary Field. In the forest at this point Saber isn’t faring all that well as her injury leaves her unable to vanquish all of Caster’s demons, finding that those she cuts down respawn just as quickly, but just as all hope appears to be lost for her help arrives from an unlikely source, Lancer. Who takes it upon himself to serve as her left arm until they can settle their duel.However while their Servants may have stricken up an alliance things aren’t so for their Masters, with Kayneth cutting his way into the castle with his Mystic Code, Volumen Hydragyrum.
Only to be met with multiple claymore mines, causing him to take a less honourable approach, wasting little time in closing in and attacking Kiritsugu. But just before he can strike, Kiritsugu uses the magecraft of the Emiya family to alter his body’s sense of time, Time Alter: Double Accel to speed up his body’s processes, and knowing that Volumen Hydragyrum must locate its targets through vibrations, follows it up with the opposite, Time Alter: Triple Stagnate to slow down his heart. And even as the world attempts to force his body’s sense of time back into place, Kiritsugu ambushes Kayneth, spraying him with his Calico M960 before loading a bullet into his Thompson Contender.
Kind of a letdown in some aspects but still a good episode orverall, either way I must admit that I’ve really been looking forward to this moment, where we not only see Lancer prove so far that just about every Type-Moon rendition of Irish heroes/Lancers are bros, but also Kiritsugu’s showdown with Kayneth. And alongside all this some more fairly fun scenes between Rider and Waver.
Whose story in a stark contrast to those of the others is still fairly lighthearted and sheltered so far, even though Waver is still acting seriously in regards to the Holy Grail War trying to restrain Rider a bit, they’re still living fairly carefree lives unrelated to the events at hand. Where in this episode we saw of all things Rider discovering that he can get things delivered to their frontdoor, even having the packages shipped to his true name (the delivery guy’s face is priceless), and that if he were to get some modern clothes he’d be able to wander about town as he wishes. Without at least looking like some guy who got separated from a bunch of ancient greek costume enthusiasts. That said the interesting thing about this was that it was something that you would expect Alexander the Great to do, they may have given him a beard and made him huge (or at least Darius was taller), but at least his way of adopting new customs has remained.
Most of all however this really felt like Kiritsugu’s episode, not only did we get to see him take action but there were also a few points that really said a lot for him, be it the way he regards Saber and her glorified sense of justice or even the way that those cracks we saw in his resolve of steel have started to open up further. Where in this episode the point that he’s actually having to force himself to keep going was really nailed, he may seem to hold an unyielding disdainful attitude but the moment he was alone with Irisviel he just wanted to take her, rescue Ilya and run. And even when she consoled him it really only seemed like a temporary fix, the weight pressuring him to do that is still bearing down on him and sooner of later he will break. Secondly to that there was even the exchange, or lack there of, between him and Saber, in which fitting in with what Saber said about him in Stay Night, he talked but his words were in no way directed at her, and in no way was he even going to comprehend what she was saying to him either.
Next to that of course was the fight between Kiritsugu and Kayneth, the point that pretty much best represents the hands on approach that the Masters in this war are taking in comparison to those in Stay Night. Where for the most part they mostly just sat back and let their Servants do all the work with a few exceptions here and there, so they didn’t really take an entirely active role in the war. However Kiritsugu’s battle with Kayneth directly shifts away from that as we have the Masters fighting Master to Master with the intent of eliminating the other. Aside from that it was also a battle between Magi, something we haven really seen much of aside from things like the clash between Touko and Alba in Kara no Kyoukai, so because of this it was interesting enough to simply see a battle fought with magecraft. Allowing us to see things like Kayneth’s Volumen Hydragyrum, and Kiritsugu’s time manipulation abilities, as well as in the next episode his custom Thompson Contender.