The pace is certainly picking up as we dive into the mid way point of this season of Fate Stay Night.
Souichirou is an empty man. He doesn’t carry any emotions, and is indifferent to just about everything. He never really found a purpose or had any desires in life aside from just surviving. Yet, he was able to find something to strive towards. To help Caster achieve her goal which gives him the sense of being a human, finally having more of a goal to work towards.
Shirou and Rin are facing an uphill battle against Caster and Souichirou. Shirou has no where near the physical abilities that Souichirou does, and Rin’s magical abilities are no match for Caster’s seemingly endless supply of mana. They failed to separate the two as well, making it difficult to exploit their weaknesses.
On the outside, Archer and Lancer square off against each other. Archer has some strong words that rub Lancer the wrong way. As a man who strongly believes in honor, Archer spits on that belief saying it’s all meaningless as victory is the only thing that matters at the end of the day. Archer also seems to be fully aware of all of the servant’s true identities, even before they reveal it themselves.
Lancer definitely proves that he is to be feared with his Gae Bolg, but Archer’s mystery gives him the upper hand. Despite being an Archer class servant, his fighting style doesn’t resemble an archer whatsoever. He’s capable of creating pretty much any weaponry that he desires. He manages to block the majority of Lancer’s noble phantasm with his shield. After rewatching the UBW movie, I was impressed with ufotable’s adaptation of this fight. It definitely made Lancer seem more on par with the other servants as Archer was barely fazed by his ultimate attack.
In the end, Archer had something planned all along. He was waiting for Caster’s surveillance to fall and severing ties with Rin was the best way of infiltrating Caster’s crew. Knowing Shirou and Rin, by keeping them alive, he knew that they would definitely come back and create an opportunity for him to accomplish his goal.
Rin is outmatched in terms of magical abilities against Caster. She’s running out of ammo since she has to rely on her jewels to cast her magic, but she always has something up her sleeve. By getting Shirou to distract Souichirou, she can abuse Caster’s lack of physical strength. She always had Assassin or Souichirou covering that for her, but now that they’re away from the temple, and Souichirou is distracted, Rin can make her move.
As things are looking grim for Rin, Archer appears and betrays his master once again. I guess it’s only fitting for Medea to be deceived and used once again. Archer managed to sever his ties with his former master, and take out Caster all thanks to her.
At least in this lifetime, Caster was able to find a man that she was willing to serve. Souichirou had no desires of his own but to grant her wish, and Caster had no desires aside from serving him. By having no ulterior motives, there was no way for Souichirou to manipulate or deceive Caster like the men of her lore. They both meet their end here, as without the other, their lives are meaningless.
Archer finally reveals his true goal, his reason for wanting to be summoned is just to kill Shirou. We’ve seen throughout the series the similarities between the two. Simple nods towards their personalities, their weaponry, their techniques, and both of them having Rin’s pendant. We also know from glimpses of Archer’s past that he held onto his ideals to the point where he was forsaken by them, and how harsh he is on Shirou for still believing in his. I think at this point, it’s safe to draw the connection between the two, that Shirou and Archer are one and the same. He’s tried to dissuade him from his beliefs, but had no luck. By killing himself, he can put an end to all of the pain and suffering that has yet to come.
Things are moving quickly now as we’ve had three servants eliminated in the last three episodes. Rider, Berserker, Caster, and I assume Assassin are all out of the running now. The only remaining ones are Lancer, Gilgamesh, Archer and Saber.
You can watch Fate Stay Night UBW Episode 17 on Crunchyroll