Fate/Zero’s night of strategems certainly did not disappoint – as result of the events transpiring last episode, this one arrives packed with all manner of battle from servant on servant to master versus master.
Everyone is now well acquainted with the fact Caster has gone mad – or rather, he’s been so from the start. His murders are entirely of no relation to the Holy Grail Wars, instead they’re merely a personal thirst for blood in order to satisfy his sadistic fetishes which his master happens to also share. Since his encounter with Saber and mistakenly believing her to be Jeanne’d Arc, Caster has dropped interest in all else – rampantly abducting children at the expense of exposing himself, murdering them without any purpose save for enticing Saber’s angered attention.
As this is clearly an issue, Kirei’s father, the judge of the Holy War, calls for the cooperative elimination of Caster – offering in exchange, an invaluable command seal. These allow for a master to forcibly bring their servant to complete an action foolproof and without fail – that is unless their servant finds them physically unable, such as for example, meeting death. Of course however, these unshakable commands are priceless to every master – more specifically, to a master who may have had to waste one of only few available, Melloi.
A fifth presence was sensed as Kotomine made the announcement, and that implies Lancer to indeed still be alive – however whether or not that is truly the case, or if his master survived alongside him is unclear.
Before going further into the thicket of plot about to beautifully bombard viewers from all directions, we’re shown a comical moment of master and servant between Waver and a mister “King of Conquerors, Iskander-san” respectively. The so-called “King of Conquerors” receives a package, though we’re never shown its contents – more importantly however, this king of ours is seen sporting a silly shirt, flexing his muscles in pride and appreciation towards the cotton article of clothing.
For what purpose would a king bring himself to wear such a ridiculous dress up?
Iskander states he desires to enjoy the outside world – and as he’s seen with Saber, this can be accomplished if one dresses to fit the part. And just for the record, he believes the shirt to be fitting for a king – with his physique, none would really want to argue otherwise.
Waver halts Iskander as he’s about to embark into the modern world – bringing to attention a problem which must be fixed before venturing outside, Iskander has no pants. In exchange for leggings which will actually fit his size, Waver demands Iskander defeat a servant. And as such did Waver enter another contract with this King unwavering in determination and eager to overcome any obstacle in his quest for trousers.
Returning to conflict found elsewhere, the cowardly character of Kiritsugu addresses his harem of females.
Initially does he insist Saber refrain from fighting against Caster in favor of executing another dastardly attack upon unsuspecting others. Saber clearly resents this – though hasn’t much a choice against her master. It is interesting to note, Maiya and Irisviel appear to withhold their ideals when a disagreement occurs. Another item intriguing to keep in mind, Saber’s arm remains afflicted by the effects of Lancer’s Noble Phantasm from several episodes back – meaning she’s still limited to only a single arm for combat, also indicating Lancer to surely still be alive.
Kiritsugu takes a breather outside – quite surprisingly contrary to his facade of indifference on the outside, he now openly admits and even appears to be totally terrified of the man who is Kotomine Kirei. And with good reason, if one recalls the previous episode, Kirei was ready in wait at the location of Kiritsugu’s scheming, fearlessly coming forward in hopes of a brawl, only to be met with Kiritsugu’s cowering minion, Maiya.
Returning to the meeting room, Kiritsugu has his harem prepare for the next distasteful strategy. They’re however interrupted with the uninvited arrival of a serial killer surrounding himself with a group of children hostages. Caster has come and Saber quickly sets out to ensure his defeat – meanwhile, Maiya escapes with Irisviel, and the despicable trash named Kiritsugu remains alone within the home in wait of a certain guest.
Outside, Saber finds herself at a disadvantage when faced with Caster’s relentless assaults – unable to counter Caster’s tentacles which have her locked up in manners only appropriate in hentai. Though luckily she receives aide from an unexpected yet unsurprising advocate, Lancer. In all honesty, this battle between servants is nowhere near as fascinating as the one which just erupts elsewhere amongst masters. Melloi appears with a vial in hand and a spell spoken from mouth – literally blasting down a wall from the Einzbern mansion.
We had previously thought little of this professor, yet now as he arrives with confidence high and prepared to duel to the fullest without a fear, it’s quite clear he’s a total badass – something which Fate/Zero seems to have plenty of.
As Melloi stands tall, overlooking the empty corridors – a spree of bullets come fired at him, yet foolishly would one think these feeble projectiles could penetrate his mastery of magic. Only briefly does the contention continue on before it’s abruptly ended by the closing sequence – however for the short duration we see, Melloi is clearly superior to Kiritsugu, yet unfortunately not when it comes to petty tricks.
Kiritsugu makes use of reality marbles to dash around and hide, ultimately prompting the final sccene of the episode to be Kiritsugu arrogantly aiming his Thompson Contender at Melloi.
Melloi will with certainty not die from a mere bullet – his character would not have been brought back from a nearly unavoidable death only to die immediately thereafter. Not only this, the episode made emphasis at the beginning of a spherical silver object which we then learn to be of Malloi’s possession. This silver acts as an extension of himself – directing every motion of it through magic, and it’s definitely a blob of fluid to be feared. It is what allows for Melloi to deflect any attacks towards him thus far, as well as other useful tricks such as reconnaissance and quick travel.
This sphere would also not have received so much screentime if it would fall so pathetically to a slab of lead, Thompson Contender or not. And of course for us to be sure of our foreshadowing, we’re desperately hoping to see the events of next episode take place.