How he resists this cuteness, I cannot fathom.
Kirei and Kiritsugu engage in combat. Kiritsugu uses his Origin Bullet against Kirei, but since Kirei’s using his Command Spells as his mana source, rather than his own Magic Circuits, the bullet does not work against him. Saber and Berserker continue their fight; Saber’s still remains completely defensive. Her current actions in dealing with Berserker, are similar to her prior ones, that caused Berserker’s current mental state. Kiritsugu has the advantage at long range, while Kirei has the advantage in close range; but, Kiritsugu has Avalon, allowing him to quickly recover from blows. The Grail then erupts.
Saber kills Berserker, whether Kariya’s death is a byproduct or the cause of that, is unknown, but, they do both fall. Saber defeats Berserker, yet, she holds no joy in it. She’s usually the type of knight to fight win honor, and to win with honor. This fight would be seen as an “honorable” fight, but, it was caused by dishonorable means. If Saber wins the Grail, she can change the past, and her mistakes.
Kiritsugu converses with a supposed Irisviel inside the Grail. She tells Kiritsugu to make his wish, but, Kiritsugu senses something off. He learns that he’s talking to the Grail itself, rather than Irisviel; the Grail adapted a personality to communicate. The image of Irisviel represents the will of the Grail, the will to materialize; but in order to materialize, a wish is needed. He questions the Grail on the circumstances of granting his wish, how exactly does it occur.
His position shifts, he’s located to a hotel room with a television playing. He’s presented the scenario involving two ships holding humanity’s last survivors; three-hundred on one, and two-hundred on the other. When asked to choose, Kiritsugu goes for the “common sense” answer, he chooses the ship with three-hundred. The situation then escalates; after choosing the three-hundred, the ship with two-hundred demands for their ship to be fixed first. He contemplates about it for a second. Then brusquely, gunshots are heard outside the window, after opening the curtains, he discovers a sight of massacre. The action of killing the two-hundred rebelling people, to save the three-hundred would have conformed to his objective, save as much as possible nature. He then receives a phone call, and a spiral paradigm of similar scenarios ensue. He’s then outraged by the repeated event, three-hundred dying for two-hundred. However, the Grail posits this as the “true” way to accomplish his wish.
Kiritsugu is met with a peculiar dilemma. His wish would revolve around the elements of the presented picture. However, the Grail does it in a way that’s conforming, or similar to the nature of the person who makes the wish. Since Kiritsugu incessantly follows suit in his nature, the most logical way would be to kill the minority, to ensure the safety of the majority. A counterproductive and asinine method, since each subsequent action would result in a smaller group, which eventually deviates down to a handful. An extremely quixotic wish such as this, would require illogical magic, or in this case, the power of the Grail. But since the Grail grants the wish in such an inane way, it’s counterproductive. It’s ironic how similar Saber and Kiritsugu are. They’re both extremely idealistic, Saber with her notion of justice, and honor; and Kiritsugu with his wanting to save the world, his visage of being a hero. Saber was troubled with Lancelot’s scenario, feeling not only immense guilt, but a heavy regret over her actions; Kiritsugu on the other hand, was forced to embrace his nature in order to ultimately accomplish his goal. He killed his beloved father, then subsequently, his beloved mother figure, not out of love, or out of passion, but out of the necessity of following his nature. His nature that was so aptly and flagrantly presented by the Grail, the need to favor the majority, and sacrifice the minority. The Grail posits that the wish is granted in a way that makes sense to the maker of it. In this case, the wish would follow Kiritsugu’s nature. But, Kiritsugu wanted a miracle. An explicit miracle, out of character, nonconforming to him, a simple, non-sequitur wish. Unfortunately, for him, the Grail doesn’t work like that.
He’s then asked a final question. The theoretical test group has deteriorated from an initial 500, to three. He’s given the choice to save two of the three: Maiya, Irisviel, and Illya. He doesn’t seem to hesitate, and saves Irisviel and Illya, killing Maiya. He’s then granted the power of the Grail. Kiritsugu affirms to Illya that he loves her, then kills her. This results in Irisviel’s personality, or the Grail, enraging. After further dialogue, he kills Irisviel, denying the power of the grail.
Kiritsugu was proposed the wish of saving two members of his family, an idealistic wish. However, he chose the six billion denizens of Earth, over his own pleasure, his own happiness. It’s somewhat ironic how he set out on the Holy Grail War hoping to save the world with a quixotic wish. But when granted a theoretical wish, he has to kill the Grail in order to save the world, that he initially set out to save. Yet, this action, like many others before it goes on further characterize him. Until the very end, he was the “same” person that he was a kid. He was plagued with Shirley’s condition, which essentially created and melded his nature. His father’s subsequent death only hardened it, and Natalia’s death furthered it. When presented with the “solution”, he continues to follow suit with his nature, killing not only Maiya, but also Illya and Irisviel [figuratively].
After the destruction of the Grail, Kirei questions Kiritsugu on his denying of it. Kiritsugu essentially sacrificed everything that he had in order to make it this far, why he didn’t use the wish,
and how he withstood Illya’s cuteness perplexes Kirei. Kiritsugu apathetically affirms that the costs were not worth the result. Kirei then asks Kiritsugu to grant him the Grail instead. It has the ability to answer his every doubt, he pleads with Kiritsugu to not kill it. Kiritsugu shoots Kirei, affirming his perplexity towards his mindset.
Saber finds the Grail, along with Gilgamesh. She seeks the Grail in order to grant her own quixotic wishes. Gilgamesh shoots her down, but instead proposes marriage. Gilgamesh questions the dubious nature of the Grail, the omnipotence of it. Gilgamesh then states his intentions to torture Saber, til the point of her accepting his hand in marriage. Kiritsugu then appears, and speaks to Saber directly; he orders her to destroy the Grail. Against her will, and two command spells, she attacks the Grail with her Noble Phantasm.
On-going Thoughts: Concluding Thoughts
That was a ridiculously pretty and climatic episode, albeit minimal in dialogue, it was a really great episode. Curious to see how they’ll wrap it up, whether it’ll suffice.