Last episode on Fate/Zero, Waver and Rider went and busted up Caster’s safehouse, Lancer began his death spiral toward his fated doom (a woman), and Kotomine began making ominous noises toward Tohsaka. (Although to be fair, there aren’t many noises Kotomine makes that aren’t ominous.) Are we, perhaps, nearing a decisive battle? I’ve thought that before, of course. And we still have a couple weeks before the end of the season, when you’d normally expect a decisive battle to take place. So Lancer probably lives out the episode, as does Tohsaka. Caster really should get around to dying, though. He was declared persona non grata what, like four episodes ago now, right? Ok, Caster and his master die, everybody else survives, I’m calling it. Let’s see how I did in episode 10 of Fate/Zero.
…thirty minutes pass…
Go, Magic Heart Crystal Rin! Defeat the forces of evil and protect your friends!
OK well, nobody could have predicted that the relentlessly grim and occasionally gory survival game show Fate/Zero would suddenly turn into Little Rin’s Big Adventure. At least I didn’t predict a decisive battle where everybody died.
So that was something a little different than what we’ve seen thus far. It was a breath of fresh air, I guess. A reminder not to take things too seriously just because they’re life and death survival games. We got to see more of Rin, at least. She was my favorite character from Fate/Stay Night, and I had figured that they were just going to get her out of the way in the first episode and we’d be done with her. But no, we see her formative experiences, her love for her father, her tendency to get in a little over her head. Of course, the Rin I know wouldn’t have been screaming for help when she messed with forces beyond her understanding. At eight years old (she was eighteen in F/SN, so that minus ten), Rin hasn’t fully developed her sense of pride yet. Or maybe that was a response to losing her father and being forced to shoulder the full weight of the Tohsaka lineage?
I guess when I calculated that none of the players in the Holy Grail War would care enough to bother stopping Caster from murdering children, I didn’t account for Rin. She was so effective in Fate/Stay Night at foiling Caster’s plans, I should have been able to deduce that she had practiced on this Caster. I guess the issue was that I couldn’t imagine an eight year old girl being able to face down a Servant, no matter how elevated a bloodline she came from. I mean, even to do as much as she did, to be able to destroy a trinket given to a weak mage by a weak summoning of a weak instantiation of a weak Servant class, kind of strains believability. What the hell kind of Caster can you call yourself if a child can break your toys?
As far as actual progress in the Holy Grail War goes, all we got was the appearance of Kariya. It seems he’s actively hunting Caster too. It makes sense that Berserker’s Master would be eager to get an extra Command Spell, since Berserker is notoriously hard to control. He should have taken Tohsaka’s wife and child hostage when he had the chance, though. I know, he has, like, feelings toward them or whatever, but you don’t win the Holy Grail War with feelings. Unless those feelings are the BURNING PASSION to keep getting up over and over even after Archer Gold slashes you open and leaves you to die, I guess. Or the MURDEROUS RAGE that fuel’s Berserker’s mighty powers, I guess. Although, Berserker never wins the Holy Grail War, so I guess that actually proves my point.