There’s flashbacks in this episode
The first few minutes of the episode was a chase scene. It’s ridiculously pretty. Saber uses a combination of her advanced Riding ability, her Rank A Mana Burst, Invisible Air, and her ability to make armor out of Mana power-up the motorcycle; this allows her to accomplish the task of keeping up with Rider’s chariot. [Kiritsugu also modified the motorcycle.]
Saber manages to catch up, in fact, she’s set up perfectly for an ambush. However, since she does hold valor and honor dear, she gives Rider a fair warning before striking. Ending the chase, and ruining the ambush. Saber learns that Rider does not have Irisviel.
Elsewhere, Kiritsugu interrogates the actual heir of the Matou family, Byakukya. By deduction, he concludes that only they would be capable of kidnapping Irisviel. It’s somewhat ironic how his ability to interrogate is bolstered by his attributed objectivity, while he’s interrogating for an entirely subjective reason. Kiritsugu learns that Kirei has Irisviel.
Kariya used two of his command spells in the pursuit of kidnapping Irisviel; One to command Berserker to kidnap Irisviel, and to let Saber escape, and the other to transform. Normally, a command spell wouldn’t be needed, but, as Berserker, he lost his sanity. Kirei gives him two command spells to make up for the lost ones. They appear to be collaborating together; Kirei also seems to be much more assertive. The illusion was made possible by Berserker’s Noble Phantasm. Berserker’s true identity is Lancelot of the Lake; a person who was extremely close to King Arthur, as well as one of the few who knew of her true gender. The scene really exemplifies Kirei’s maleficent nature with his facial expression. Kariya is told to meet Kirei again at midnight, to receive his wish. Kariya leaves, and Kirei senses Zouken Matou in the vicinity.
Waver comments on Rider’s philosophy. He wasn’t the ruler that conquered for the sole sake of wealth, but rather, he sought to conquer their souls without degrading, or destroying them. Rider leads the charge and attacks; Saber counters with Excalibur.
Zouken converses with Kirei. Kirei questions him on his intentions; he proclaims his curiosity. Zouken’s undecided as to whether he’s more interested in winning, or tormenting Kariya. Kirei, a person who was fiercely loyal to the church, retaliates in anger. However, Zouken escapes “unharmed”. Zouken’s hatred towards Kariya could be a pure, blatant hatred, or it could be due to Kariya denouncing and “leaving” the family. But, his ending quote seems to hint towards the former, rather than the latter.
Saber’s Excalibur repelled Rider’s charge. He loses his chariot, so Waver requests for him to use his Ionian Hetaroi, one last time. But, Rider states his reluctance in doing so, ironic given his former speech. Saber, rather than continuing the battle, retreats. She’s more focused on finding Irisviel over eliminating an opponent. Essentially the opposite of an objective Kiritsugu.
To attain his wish, he shows up at the church at midnight. Kariya spots Tokiomi sitting in the front row, he approaches him. After a brief speech, he realizes that Tokiomi is dead. Awestruck and confused, he’s met with more flashbacks, until suddenly, Aoi appears. She approaches the body.
“Are you satisfied, Kariya-kun? Now the Matou are sure to win the Holy Grail…Why? Was taking Sakura from me not enough? Of all the things you could’ve done, you killed him in front of me? Why?”
Somewhat paralyzed by her loyal nature, and the situation at hand, she begins a tirade. What began as a cry of mourning turned into a volatile phrase that made Kariya’s loose hold on sanity collapse.
Clouded by her emotions, Aoi essentially declares that Kariya never loved anybody. It’s essentially the worst thing that she could have said, by saying that he never loved her, there would still be Sakura, by saying that he never loved Sakura, there would still be her. But by saying that he didn’t love anybody, it essentially drives him insane. In his mind, he put up with incessant shit for the sole reason of trying to “protect” Sakura. He was in love with Aoi, he would have done anything for her, but the shared feelings collapsed after Aoi married Tokiomi. He essentially kills her enraged, which subsequently results in him going mad afterwords.
This “bad play” of sorts was set up my Kirei. Previous to this, he hasn’t done anything to display his malignant nature. His feelings are compared to wine, he tried something new, he did what Rider would have done, he conquered the “enemy” without killing the enemy. In his case, Kariya is mentally unstable, his motivations appear to be somewhat destitute, he’s on the verge of killing himself. Kariya notes that he likes the new taste of the wine, or the initiation of actual sadistic acts.
On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts
Fate/Zero does drama right, and inadvertently, horror. There’s often the discussion of the “correct” music to play during dramatic scenes, in Clannad’s case, it was with extremely memorable and effective songs, in Another’s case, it was with cliche, horror music. The former succeeded while the latter failed miserably; Fate on the other hand, embraced silence. There wasn’t a memorable OST playing, but rather, a dramatic, deafening silence that afflicted the viewer with trepidation as to what would occur next. It worked extremely well.
But as to the episode, I liked it. Not as much dialogue as I’d like, but still, really enjoyable.