Fate/stay night – 21
With the appearance of the golden servant, Shirou pushes Saber back because he wants her to run away. He rushes forward, but before he can even reach their enemy, he gets shot right through his abdomen. Saber’s eyes widen as she watches Shirou collapse on the ground. She attacks the person she refers to as Archer, but his multitude of swords block her every swing. The golden servant dons his armor and opens the Gate of Babylon, bringing forth even more of his weapons. One of them is a chained scythe – he uses it to pierce through Saber’s arm and hit her neck. The servant tells Saber that he is the heroic king of the ancient kingdom of Uruk: Gilgamesh. The arrogant king doesn’t think that Saber can defeat him, but she says that she won’t know until she tries. Saber powers up her Noble Phantasm, so Gilgamesh pulls out a special sword and does the same. Excalibur clashes with Enuma Elish equally at first, but Gilgamesh soon gains the upper hand.
When the smoke clears, an injured Shirou sees Saber lying in a pool of her own blood. Saber calls out to Shirou, but she can’t tell where he is – her eyes have gone lifeless from the attack. With Gilgamesh laughing in the background, Saber admits to Shirou that she’s lost and that she wants him to run away. Shirou has no plans to do that; after struggling back onto his feet, he creates Caliburn and faces Gilgamesh. However, the Servant recognizes the sword and pulls out his own. One quick slash cuts Shirou’s replica in half and sends him flying back. Saber hears Shirou land behind her and start to gurgle in pain. She tries to get Gilgamesh to stop, but he wants her to promise to become his thing first. The ever resilient Shirou tells her not to answer and stands up yet again. Saber tries to make him realize that it’s futile – if he were to die, she’d… Regaining his focus, Shirou says that he doesn’t want anything other than Saber because he loves her. That’s why he can’t hand her over.
Gilgamesh decides to use Enuma Elish again, this time on Shirou. In response, Shirou activates his image powers and remembers Archer’s words about his strongest form. With that in mind, Shirou creates a pillar of light in front of him that surprises even Gilgamesh. What emerges from the light is a bright triangularly shaped object. Saber regains her vision and recognizes what it is. She rushes to Shirou’s side and passes him her sword. Together, the two of them place it into the glowing sheath just as Gilgamesh fires his Enuma Elish. The sheath protects them and reflects the attack back at him. Though Gilgamesh does not appear to be hurt too badly, he scoffs and disappears. With the battle over, Shirou collapses into Saber’s arms. She’s finally realized that Shirou was her sheath.
In his dreams, Shirou has another vision of Saber’s past where she is fighting an armored female foe. This person asks Saber why she won’t hand over the throne and her response is that this person is not qualified to be the king. Saber then slashes and stabs her opponent, but she herself takes a hit to the gut. The other person says “Father” and her helmet falls off – her face is the same as Saber’s. The vision switches to a scene of a mortally wounded Saber in the sunset and then what appears to be a monument or grave. Shirou wakes up and finds himself fully healed. He and Saber know that Gilgamesh will appear again. With Saber’s past fresh on his mind, Shirou wonders about Saber wanting to change the past through the Grail. She decides to make him something to eat, but her attempt at slicing involves holding the knife with both hands as if it were a sword and slamming it down on the vegetables. Shirou guides Saber through peeling and cutting while holding her from behind.
But with the dream still on his mind, Shirou asks Saber to stop thinking about trying to redo the selection of the king. He tells her about how he saw her dream and how she had fought to the death. He feels that she’s already accomplished her oath and that she’s done enough. After obtaining the Holy Grail, he wants her to stay here and smile for herself – he wants the two of them to stay together. Saber leaves his arms and walks back to her room. Shirou chases after her, and, unable to hold back, he grabs Saber and hugs her. Saber says that Shirou is being unfair since he knows her past from entering her mind many times. She thinks that he should already know her answer. But Shirou likes Saber so much that he can’t let go of her. Nearly in tears, Saber says that she can’t have freedom until she completes her responsibilities. During a moment of silence, Shirou leans in and kisses her, despite her gentle resistance.
The next morning, Shirou leaves the house and remembers what happened during the rest of the night. Saber had stepped away from him after the kiss. Sometime later, they were both in his room and she had told him that she had recovered her mana. She was ready to fight as his Servant. On this day, Shirou heads to the church again looking for Kotomine. No one appears to be inside, but Shirou soon detects something and starts to hear a young child crying. He stumbles through the grounds and into the church’s basement where he finds several corpses. Kotomine surprises him from behind, causing Shirou to turn around and take a step back. That’s enough room for Lancer to jump in between the two of them and stab Shirou in the chest.
Saber and Shirou vs. Gilgamesh! Excalibur vs. Enuma Elish! The use of Avalon! Saber and Shirou kissing!
All of that was more than enough to get me excited and keep me excited through the episode. Gilgamesh was quite powerful, but Shirou’s cockroach-like resilience help him around until he and Saber finally used Avalon. The look on Gilgamesh’s face was priceless. So, the fighting scenes were superbly done, and the romantic moments were touching, thanks in part to their use of music during the kiss scene. I had been looking forward to this episode so much because of last week’s preview and I certainly was not disappointed.
And if you thought Shirou had taken enough of a beating from Gilgamesh, by the end of the episode he has another weapon stuck in his chest – Lancer’s. It’s been a long long time since we’ve seen him, but he’s still in the war, as is Gilgamesh. He appears to be Kotomine’s Servant, but the clues would indicate that Gilgamesh is also Kotomine’s Servant. We should be able to find out more next week. And keep in mind, the end is only three episodes away!