We’re back! After an off season, we’ll finally be able to see the conclusion of the Holy Grail War.
Last season ended off at a point of a new beginning. The first phase of the war had completed where the masters and servants were introduced. There were only very minor casualties, but by the end, we see that this is no place for children. Shirou’s ideals came back to bite him in the butt as Saber was taken away, while Rin and Archer go off on their own, leaving Shirou all alone.
Being left alone, Shirou reflects on the ideal that he lives by. Even if he was a young, impressionable kid, hearing Kiritsugu’s words really resonated with him. Being a first hand witness to all of the pain and destruction that occurred in the past, he’d rather take action to ensure that it never happens again. He may have faltered here, but he still truly believes that he has to fight in order to see his dream realized.
Meanwhile, Caster is enjoying herself, playing with her new servant Saber. The once proud and noble Saber is reduced to a mere plaything. I’d say that Shirou was really the only one who saw her as a woman, rather than a knight, but here we have Caster dressing her up in a feminine and vulnerable way. Her body is no longer guarded by her armor and she’s left exposed and degraded.
Caster and Souichirou have an interesting relationship. While he didn’t care to stop Caster’s previous actions, he seems a little annoyed that she would make a move without consulting him first. Given how much power she has accumulated, and the fact that she betrayed her first master, it’s odd that she fears upsetting Souichirou.
Rin continues to have these dream sequences of Archer’s past. It seems like he bears a lot of resemblance to Shirou. He fought for his ideal, in which he believed were for the good of humanity, only to have been used to constantly fight and bring destruction to the world. Always fighting for someone else’s ideals led to a never ending cycle of pain and suffering. This is probably the main reason why he was so hard on Shirou back in the first season. Being a victim of the same philosophy, he wants to spare him the suffering that has yet to come.
They decide to quickly confront Caster, seeing how she is an immediate threat to them. Archer was able to overpower her in the past, but he decided to let her go, seeing how it would benefit him in the long run. It isn’t a huge shock when he suddenly betrays Rin in the middle of the battle. He has been disgruntled for a while now, not agreeing with Rin’s strategies and approach to the war. He has always seemed to have some ulterior motive, and given his strength, there is more than meets the eye in his alliance with Caster.
Rin is crushed by the sudden betrayal. She had been raised her whole life to prepare for this war, and her servant deems her unworthy. It’s almost a pathetic way to leave the war. Had she been killed in battle, it’d be more honorable than being disqualified because your servant doesn’t feel like serving you any longer.
Now both her and Shirou are left in a similar position. Servantless, but not ready to give up on the war. He comforts her after coming to her rescue. She’s left feeling insecure, that everything is her fault. Shirou assures her while things may not have gone according to plan, her heart was in the right place. It’s only a minor setback, and as long as they’re still living they can continue to fight for it.
Shirou also comes out and confesses to Rin with a straight face. He has definitely come a long way since the beginning. While he’s still not the strongest one out there, Rin can at least rely on him a little.
Overall, quite a lot happened this episode. There were more hints towards that locket that Rin had given Shirou, as well as unlocking more of Archer’s memories. While there wasn’t a ton of action, we do set up for the future battles. Now that Rin and Shirou are without their Servants, they’ll need time to prepare to match up to the other masters. In the meantime hopefully the other pairs will get some air time.
You can watch Fate Stay Night (2014) Episode 13 on Crunchyroll