「栄誉の果て」 (Eiyo no Hate)
“The End of Honor”
Well, looks like they’re really picking up the pace.
A master/servant pair eliminated two episodes in a row? And both were done in by Kiritsugu to boot. The circumstances surrounding this one are a little different, though. I found myself actually rooting for Lancer. The poor guy really has it tough. Regardless, even from these first few episodes, I think it’s safe to say that the second half of Fate/Zero has a decidedly darker tone. Unlike the first half, in which it felt like the contestants were just testing the waters, the second half has them doing all kinds of shocking and extreme things.
First we have Kayneth’s devious plan to gain the upper hand in terms of command spells. More technically though, I guess he just barely got back to level playing ground instead. I almost felt sorry for him given his cruel and painful death, were it not for his harsh words against Lancer (yet more reason to pity him). But of course, I suppose there was no way for him to know that Lancer wasn’t consciously seducing Sola-Ui. Things can get rather ugly when dealing with love gone sour after all. It felt like the real villain of the episode though, was Kiritsugu. I knew from the start that he was going to be an antihero, but they’re seriously pushing it to the max; making him look like a misguided villain with a twisted sense of justice. Actually, I’ll have to take that back since he obviously doesn’t believe in something as baseless as “justice”.
I feel like what Kiritsugu did was complete overkill. After forcing Kayneth to kill Lancer, was it really necessary to renege on his promise and have Kayneth and Sola-Ui gunned down? Also, I’m not sure if he was familiar with Lancer’s story or if the similarity between the events and history was pure coincidence, but he essentially caused the poor fellow to get betrayed by a master yet again. I admit the whole issue of “seducing” the master’s woman definitely played a part, but that still wasn’t Lancer’s fault. I’m almost tempted to say his dying words of rage were fairly justified. This whole Grail War business does seem to bring out the worse in people after all. When you consider Saber’s “conversation” with Kiritsugu at the end though, Lancer’s anger could just be taken as yet another exemple of the never ending cycle of hatred.
Speaking of Saber, the events of the episode have definitely left a strong impression in her mind of Kiritsugu. It really is a testament to how twisted the Grail War is, forcing honor-bound heroes to take part in such dishonorable tactics. And the worst part of it all is that Kiritsugu still refuses to acknowledge her. You’d think he’d have the courtesy to explain his reasoning to her face to face, especially after duping her into taking part of his dirty plans, but he still has to put up the charade of talking to Iri instead. From what he’s revealed of his plan, it looks like he’s certainly taking the approach that the ends justify the means, but if you ask me, the ends themselves are just silly. He of all people should understand best that trying to “save” mankind is just an absurd dream. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t happen. Shit happens, people suffer, and life goes on. There are some problems that even magic can’t solve.
In any case, it looks like things are only going to continue in a downward spiral. That preview is practically screaming death flags for Tokiomi.