Last episode on Fate/Zero, Caster Blue had been running wild murdering ordinary citizens without obtaining the proper permits, so the Church decided to call all the Masters and Servants in to cooperate in taking him down. I guess they’ll have to form some sort of truce, but I’m not sure the Church has thought this through all the way. Even assuming the Masters are willing to follow the orders of the Church and temporarily put the game on hold (and they might not be – Kotomine has already been cheating, and in Fate/Stay Night I remember the sanctity of the Church being violated on a few occasions), there are some serious incentive issues. If I’m part of the posse hunting down Caster Blue, my goal is not to kill him as fast as possible – it’s to avoid taking damage during the chase, avoid revealing too much about my capabilities during the chase, and be in a good position to kill the others at the end of the chase. In some ways this is the same problem that the Holy Grail War has as a whole, that it’s safer to let the others fight and then clean up the victory afterward, but with only one legal target it’s much harder to see an opportunity to kill a rival and take it. We’ll see if the Church can manage to run a successful hunt despite these problems in episode 7 of Fate/Zero.
…thirty minutes pass…
OK, maybe I was premature in declaring the lecturer guy dead.
They’re offering a free command spell to the one who defeats Caster. That at least gives them some incentive to try to kill him, although if you’re a Servant you might not be especially eager to give your Master an extra chance to override your will. Plus, since it’s a winner-take-all reward, it doesn’t give them any incentive to work together. Saber is willing to cooperate because she’s a goody-two-shoes, and Lancer is willing to cooperate because he is flirting with Saber, but we can see that Kiritsugu and the lecturer guy aren’t. Despite the truce that was declared, they’re still trying to kill one another. And we can see that the new demands have made little impact on the Waver/Rider duo, who are more concerned about who wears the pants in their relationship than acquiring additional power. Now that the lecturer is not dead, I can go back to thinking Waver is kind of a dumbass who doesn’t treat the Holy Grail War with the gravity it deserves.
I’m enjoying the lecturer’s return. He fights with an angry floating ball of quicksilver, which is a neat visual effect, sort of reminds me of the villain from Terminator 2. And it’s cool to watch this confident, self-assured mage ripping up the castle chasing down Kiritsugu, who has nothing but a huge arsenal of guns and the ability to control time. (Sort of reminds me of Homura from Madoka Magica). Of course, we know how this is going to end. Kiritsugu kills mages for a living. Precisely because the lecturer is so well-trained, Kiritsugu will know all his tricks. A less experienced mage like Waver might try something creative. A crazy mage like Ryuunosuke or Kariya might try something crazy. A mage with an unorthodox background like Kotomine might try something unorthodox. But he should have a pretty good idea of how to kill mages like the lecturer, and if it comes to it Tohsaka as well.
I guess there is the question of, how did the lecturer survive the bombing? The building he was in didn’t. Was he hiding inside that ball of quicksilver? If so he must have been hiding his Lancer in it too. Or maybe a bomb or two isn’t enough to kill a Servant. It wouldn’t have been enough to kill Berserker, but he’s a special case. Servants are tough, but you can damage them even with ordinary human martial arts, if you’re skilled enough. We saw that in Fate/Stay Night, the Unlimited Blade Works path, facing down Caster. Maybe the wards held long enough for Lancer to escape out a window or something.