“The Holy Grail War”
With everything reaching a fever pitch, this week’s episode was a nice reminder that in any iteration of a Fate show, no one is safe from getting killed. It’s been a while since the days of Fate/Zero where the darker tone really brought that fact to life, but I thought this week’s episode did a great job at setting the stage for next week’s finale.
Starting with Jeanne, boy was I happy that the story kept her mental breakdown short. Seeing how she hasn’t had all that much time devoted to her past, it would take some pretty big leaps for someone not versed Jeanne’s history to truly understand why everything that Gilles and Shakespeare broke her to the point that it did (me included). Luckily, our boy Sieg managed to show up just in-time to knock some sense into her while also demonstrating that he’s been hiding some real emotion inside that homunculus body of his. That said, I never thought that we were going to see Jeanne disappear this week. As a fairly important character that’s prominently featured in the opening and the ending, I thought there’d be some pretty powerful plot armor protecting her. Then again, I never thought we’d see her wield a sword (and if we’re being truly honest, she didn’t really wield it in a normal fashion), so I probably should have realized something bad was coming when she handed her flag to Gilles. By the end of things though, I’m glad she had an opportunity to show us that she was more than just this character who was constantly chasing after Shirou and fawning over Sieg. As the Ruler of this Holy Greater War, she stayed committed to her cause all the while kicking some ass right up to the end. (Also, I loved how Gilles manned up in the end and truly showed his commitment to the woman he loved.)
Moving over to Sieg and Shirou, goddamn was that a beautiful fight or what. As the two biggest players left in the game, watching the two duke it out was one of the best things I could have received this Christmas. With both of them opting to go head-to-head instead of falling back on magic, it was great to see them swinging and slashing as they tried to one up the other. Add in Sieg’s fantastic angry face and you could say that I was in a state of pure joy as the battle played out.
Overall, not too shabby for a pre-finale episode am I right? With the story leaving us on a giant cliffhanger and good number of servants still alive, I can’t wait to see how the story closes things out next week. Besides the Greater Holy Grail War, we still have to address Sieg’s lack of command seals (how is he still here and how is he still Astolfo’s master?) as well as just what the heck is going to happen with the giant Hanging Garden that’s still floating in the sky. In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week where we’ll hopefully get answers to all of our questions. See you then!