Having decided to have a proper talk with his father for the first time, Kirei returns to the church only to find Risei’s lifeless body lying lifelessly in a pool of his own blood, taken aback that by his father’s death but rather that even so he still doesn’t really feel a thing.
When he reports this to Tokiomi he is both disgusted and outraged that someone would murder a priest, while Archer takes some interest in Kirei’s overall reaction to it. At the future Emiya household at this point, Irisviel attempts to restore part of her strength when Maiya arrives with the offer of an alliance from Tokiomi, putting them at unease from the involvement Kirei would have. Following this Tokiomi makes his way to where Rin and Aoi are staying to pass an important message to his daughter, passing on what would be his last piece of advice for her before he goes on to meet Irisviel at the church to negotiate an alliance. The terms being accepted that their alliance will simply be a ceasefire of sorts and that Kirei will cease any involvement in the Holy Grail War.
Following this Irisviel and Maiya pass on a motorcycle to Saber but as soon as she takes off, Irisviel immediately grows noticeably weaker, explaining that after the events of the Third War where the vessel was destroyed Acht decided to use a homunculus as the vessel instead, Irisviel. And that to hold back the effects Kiritsugu had implanted Saber’s third Noble Phantasm, Avalon within her, however the effects can only occur when Saber is near. Having been dismissed, Kirei sets about packing up his belongings when Archer appears in his study, who he confides in that while he desperately seeks answers to the questions that have plagued him his whole life he fears for what these would do to him, revealing that he doesn’t intend to drop out at all and showing him the gift that his father left him. To this Archer reveals that this would make him an enemy Servant, but instead Kirei sets about telling him a secret about the Holy Grail War, that in order for the grail to fully take form all seven Servants must die, and that this is the very reason why Tokiomi has been reluctant to use his Command Seals. Seeming to take Archer by surprise at how amusing Tokiomi could be as they begin conspiring their betrayal.
After this he goes to meet Tokiomi once more where he passes on his will, designating Rin as the Tohsaka head and Kirei as her guardian in the event of his death, and bestowing upon him the Azoth dagger. A sign that his training is complete and a gift for being the ideal student, however the instant he turns his back Kirei drives it into him, revealing that he never intended to leave in the first place. Archer appearing to ridicule his late Master and waste little time in making a contract with Kirei.
A little bit dull compared to the action and emotion of last week but at the same time to say it wasn’t as interesting would be a lie. With the darker aspects to the Holy Grail War being revealed, Kirei and Archer executing their betrayal, and Rin’s last memories of her father being presented from the other side it was probably more so.
We’ve known from Fate/Stay Night from the start that Tokiomi was never going to make it through the war, his only real appearance coming from a single memory that Rin has of the last time that she ever saw her father before she enters the fifth Holy Grail War. A pretty important scene for a prequel regardless of how minor as we know it has to happen and the effect it must have had on her. That said given how old she was Rin’s memories of it were bound to be a little obscured, at the time she didn’t exactly know that it would be the last time she saw him or what was going through his head, with just that being depicted. The sheer act of him even making the effort to give her such advice, and to pass on his will to Kirei gives the impression that he knew his fate wasn’t as certain as he first believed it was after Risei’s death.
Let alone he never would have suspected just how close his murderer would be either, up until the point where Kirei put a dagger in his back he would have regarded him as the perfect student and would have trusted him utterly, he even seemed pretty proud to have even had him as a student. In a way it actually makes his death rather shocking, the one who he trusted the most quite literally stabbed him in the back and had been conspiring with his Servant, both seeming to corrupt the other. As a Master he had acted perfectly, summoning the strongest known Servant, maintaining a certain level of of control over him by treating him as a superior, securing himself in a solid position and removing himself from any danger, but his single mistake was that he trusted Kotomine Kirei.
The irony of how Kirei killed Tokiomi is also worth noting, at the end of the Fate route Shirou would use that very same dagger to kill Kirei.
Aside from all this one of the interesting parts about this episode was how it pulled the Holy Grail War out of the shadows and revealed some of its more darker aspects, that Irisviel is the grail’s vessel and that while the years have hidden its true intent the Holy Grail War remains the same in purpose, the Heaven’s Feel ritual. Underneath the battle royal sort of feeling where seven Masters summon Servants to justfully compete for it, it is still in truth a ritual where Heroic Spirits are only summoned to be sacrificed, the idea of the war itself and offer of a wish is just a pretense in order to fool them into placing a noose around their necks. It may not have been much but at the same time it near entirely changes the nature of the war and makes it a lot more calculating and sinister than it once was, Lancer managed to describe it perfectly in his last moments.
In all after this episode it feels as if the stage for the final act of the story has now been set with the most dangerous team making their entrance, details once hidden are now known and there’s only one direction that the story can take at this point with Kirei now stepping onto it, complete chaos and despair. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will all carry out.