Having barely survived the events of the last episode, Kayneth finds himself dreaming of Lancer’s past, of how Diarmuid Ua Duibhne or Diarmuid of the love spot found himself bound to run off with Grainne. Who unfortunately happened to be his lord in life and the leader of the Fianna, Fionn mac Cumhail‘s bethroved. Fighting off their pursuers until he gave up, however the grudge he still bore resulted in Diarmuid’s death.
Waking only to find himself paralysed from the neck down with Sola at his side, explaining that while he’s lucky to even be alive he will never be able to perform Magecraft again, however even in this pitiful state a small chance to regain his former glory still exists. By using the Grail it should be possible to completely heal him, but to do this Sola makes it clear that she will need his Command Seals, and when he refuses she begins to snap his fingers one by one as a way of implying that if he won’t give them up, she will take his entire arm. Around this point in time at the Einzbern Castle, Maiya is recovering and when Saber suggests through Irisviel that they go after Caster, Kiritsugu sees through it and feels that she recently put too much faith in Lancer’s honour.
By now Sola has been able to get Kayneth to relinquish his Command Seals to her and is now faced with trying to get Lancer to work with her, something which proves to be harder than it would seem for her, as now filled with a sense of failure Lancer refuses to seek the Grail under anyone but Kayneth. Only being swayed by the possibility of being able to help Kayneth with the Grail, being reminded of Grainne and silently confessing that his wish is to live a life without the tragic outcome that befell him in life. On Waver and Rider’s side of things at this point, it turns out that Rider has exposed himself to the Mackenzies and much to Waver’s disbelief, they’ve welcomed him in with open arms. But it turns out that Rider being found by them came out of something fairly important beforehand, as by testing water samples from the river for signs of Magecraft, Waver believes that he can find Caster’s lair.
Despite the simple method he used to do this however, Rider is still impressed with his Master and how he would use a simple method to do something instead of being complex about it, and so he feels that they should take advantage of this find and charge in, that it’s his turn to do something. However when they arrive they’re met with a gruesome sight, Caster and his Master may not be there but the remains of their victims are, but as Rider attempts to cheer Waver up they find that they’re not alone, that they’re surrounded by multiple Assassins. And even though they fade back into the shadows they decide it’s best they leave, reducing the place to ashes as they depart. Following this though, Tokiomi and Kirei exchange information on Assassin’s previous encounter, with Tokiomi affirming that elegance is also required in battle while the seed of betrayel that Archer planted begins to grow in Kirei.
Yet another fairly solid episode to wind things down a bit after the previous one, we have further discord growing between Kayneth and Lancer as well as Sola making her move on the latter, the seed of betrayel beginning to sprout within Kirei, and we were finally able to see Waver and Rider again.
Aside from that it was also good to see that Maiya was recovering as well, Irisviel may have gotten off lightly thanks to Avalon Hax but in truth and Maiya really took the brunt of the beating that Kirei gave them without it, even with Irisviel there to heal her the beating she took was simply brutal. So at least seeing her on the road to recovery was nice enough. And as short as the segment for this camp was, it was also interesting to see that the already strained and deteriorated relationship between Kiritsugu and Saber is continuing to do just that as well, Saber taking his way of keeping his eyes on the prize as dishonourable and Kiritsugu feeling that she puts too much faith in honour, something he himself doesn’t trust and despises.
But anyway, Lancer’s background was a nice way to start the episode off, during Stay Night we got something somewhat similar for Saber through Shirou and to a lesser degree for Archer (5th War) through Rin during the Unlimited Blade Works route, and each and every time they’ve proven to be a nice way of further detailing the Servant’s themselves and their wish. All I can really say about it was that I was disappointed at how it glossed over the part about the Geis that Grainne placed on him, it just doesn’t exactly portray him in a nice light after he had toasted to Fionn and Grainne, but how it later led to how his wish was to simply serve dutifully and loyally without facing the same end he faced then made up for it nicely. Aside from that, at this point Sola seems to be nothing but manipulative, she not only forced the now paralysed Kayneth to give up his Command Seals but then she set about manipulating Lancer to work with her, stating that it would be for Kayneth’s sale when the truth appears to be quite different. So while he didn’t seem to entirely pick up on it, it seems that Lancer is set to go down a familiar path. Having E rank Luck must suck.
After that of course it was simply great to see Waver and Rider again, two characters who have seemed to be a little absent lately as things in the last couple of episodes mainly focused on what was happening at the Einzbern Castle. Where while we were further see their, in near complete contrast to the others, stress and carefree lives involving Rider being found out and getting to know the Mackenzies as Waver’s friend, Alex, even now sporting a pair of pants, they were also exposed to some of the darker aspects of the Holy Grail War as well. Seeming to shift away from that a bit by giving Waver his first taste of the horrors of the war. For which how we saw Rider attempt to put him at ease was nice as well, he both warned him not to look and when he did commended him for reacting the way he did when he did look. And despite how Waver takes all these little things as Rider making fun of him, there still seems to be some layer of friendship between them, as in truth we saw that some part of Rider is surely proud to have him as his Master. Last of all I also liked how we were able to see a much more simpler side to Magecraft as well, that it’s not all about creating an incredibly showy fireworks show to do battle with as well as the sort of Magecraft that the average Magus uses.