This was a bit of a slower episode, but also one of the most anticipated ones.
They managed to escape Gilgamesh’s wrath and returned to their safe house to prepare for the final battle. They basically mourn their fallen comrade, Archer, and reaffirm their values that the grail must be destroyed. This is the calm before the storm as it’s probably this may be the last time all three of them can sit around together.
While they all entered the war wanting to win the Grail, neither of them really hold any sort of attachment to it. Shirou only wants to do what’s good for the people, and Rin only wanted to win for her pride. Neither of them had any real wish in mind, so rather than fighting for their own selfish wishes, they’re fighting to save the world. Saber is the only one who desired to make a wish, but times have changed for her.
The three attempt to make a plan to stop the almighty Gilgamesh. While Gilgamesh does not have the same swordsmanship as Saber, he has an arsenal of weapons designed to slay heroes and gods. Shirou doesn’t believe that anyone else can match up to him but himself. Shirou as he currently stands is no match, but if he can unlock his future self’s potential, then he has a chance. By unlocking the power to create a reality marble, he can replicate copies of Gilgamesh’s arsenal and have better close combat skills as well.
They plan on transferring Rin’s magic crest so Shirou can produce a reality marble like Archer. This was technically an adult scene in the visual novel, but all future adaptations had toned the scene down. I guess it wasn’t really necessary, aside from pleasing fans, and would also feel a bit out of place in such a setting.
From the process, Shirou is able to unlock Rin’s memories. He saw her father’s death, and her broken mother. Rin’s childhood wasn’t easy. Basically losing both parents at such a young age, she lived in that huge family house all alone. She seemed to have found some comfort in school though. Seeing an idiotic Shirou constantly attempt the high jump, no matter how many times he failed. It was just something little like that which made her days. Watching from afar, and just admiring his determination.
Rin’s a bit embarrassed about having to show her past to Shirou. At this point, I can’t tell if Shirou is trolling her, or if he’s genuinely that much of an air head with how blunt he is at times.
At the end, Saber takes one last look at her present home. In the last war, she was driven by her wish to be fulfilled, that she never really took the time to enjoy what the “future” was like. She was completely broken by the end of the previous war, having to destroy the Grail that she had fought so hard for. After seeing Shirou and Archer’s battle, she has learned that she has to live without regrets. What happened in the past is done, and can’t be changed. All she can do now is fight for the people who are currently by her side. This was a nice to see from her. From knowing how Fate/Zero ended, Saber was still torn up over her failures, but here she seems to have found her peace.
While it was a slower episode overall, we set up for the finale. They have made their final preparations, and everyone has accepted the route they must take. Gilgamesh has summoned the grail and calls for it to purge humanity at the end. In the preview, it seems like Assassin still remains, which may cause a hindrance to their plans.
You can watch Fate Stay Night UBW Episode 22 on Crunchyroll