Fate/Zero travels no faster than its current gradual pace, however, it seems the slow journey has led it to a destination – an inevitable death of a servant, as well as a revelation for an already confused Saber.
Rider arrives at an impasse – a bridge where at one end stands an arrogant man in flashy gilded armor, and the other, himself. Now of course with such a situation, one of them will not make it through – and while Rider indeed is strong and thundering, it seems he’s aware of his own impeding doom as implied by his notions and gestures. Rider is doubting his ability to defeat Gilgamesh – and unfortunately for him, his prediction is correct enough that he could pass as an oracle, one who sees a desolate future for himself.
He’s not entirely convinced of his death, yet he looks as if expecting that versus success – and even with the realization that his life may not last much longer, he sustains his personality to the end.
Gilgamesh shows a surprising amount of respect for Rider compared to anyone else he interacts with – the two kings exchange a drink, and once that’s up, they enter their unavoidable contention. Rider summons his noble phantasm, a reality marble which takes within both feuding parties, as well as the frail Waver-kun who accompanies his friend, the King of Conquerors, then manifests an aggregate of thousands of individuals prepared to engage in war.
Seeing men lined up near infinitely in rows, led by another like a giant in size, burning with conviction, one would have thought for a second that this fellow might put up a tough challenge for Gilgamesh, if nothing else – yet he does not. Rider’s army literally falls so effortlessly as Gilgamesh removes a blade from his collection of many, then utilizes it to somehow divide the realm of Rider’s reality marble – forming a grand chasm in the center which continually expands, engulfing the bulk of Rider’s army till the reality marble fails to even serve much a purpose.
His chariot was lost earlier against Saber, and now his entire clan was thrashed with ease – and to this, it appears Rider has only become more so aware of what he will face, as does Waver, who attempts to deny it in dismay. Preparing for his final onslaught, Rider asks his former master Waver if he’d be willing to serve under him – and Waver agrees in a fantastically fujoshi friendly moment. Rider tells Waver of a single important task to follow through on – to watch his king, and then relay the tale far and wide.
And with that decided, Rider charges forward on his steed – all the while, Gilgamesh begins materializing the blades of his unlimited armory. Swords pour down one-by-one, a hailstorm of slaughter which Rider first manages to parry and defend against – yet before long, his companion is struck, his horse is done, however as Rider topples over with it, he stands once more and rages forward. On foot, a stream of knives continue to fall, with a few even piercing him up and down – yet he powers onward with an incomprehensible might till actually about to thrust his blade down.
Not even a second short, but less, and it’s not enough – Rider, only a blink from having at least touched Gilgamesh with his blade, fails to do so as Gilgamesh, remaining in his calm stance, called for chains to escape his own personal nether realm – and these links of metal hold back Rider, just an inch from having at the very least scratched his seemingly invincible, and apparently untouchable, enemy.
The result at this point is already understood, Gilgamesh brings an end to Rider – and the most noteworthy facet of this entire fight has to be that Rider wasn’t able to do much whatsoever, defeated so easily, contrary to expectation. Yet it’s not entirely a sad ordeal – a very interesting aspect is that Gilgamesh treats this victory of his differently than most, he exhibits a somewhat humble attitude, and to the lone Waver who stands attempting to hold back his tears, Gilgamesh approaches inquisitively.
Waver is asked by Gilgamesh if he intends to make a challenge so as to avenge his king – yet Waver straightforwardly admits if he did such a thing, he’d die without question, thereby going against the last order left to him by Rider. Gilgamesh responds briefly before disappearing – commending Waver’s splendid loyalty, and telling him to uphold it.
While indeed, Rider wasn’t able to do much physically, one can see how he did have a significant impact – somehow generating at least a partial essence of respect from Gilgamesh, which is quite an accomplishment in itself, and then ultimately having conquered his own master, albeit through emotions over force, a conqueror to the end.
As this all occurred, Saber was out engaging against Berserker – a knight who seems to match, if not surpass her in general combat capabilities, and one whom she learns to have been one of her own comrades in the past, Lancelot. It must be mentioned however that in this man’s maddened state, he appears far more reminiscent of Caster – rather than any roundtable hero.
Nonetheless, such is the scenario – Saber is squared against an opponent whom she’s not only troubled, yet perhaps a bit afraid to fight as well, fearful from the confusion surrounding the reason of why she must clash with a former friend to begin with. Although either way, she’s of course going to be victorious as per her main character status.
Once the conclusion comes, as does a meeting of Kiritsugu and Kirei within a stage for what will be a grand battle – yet with that, then one has to wonder if Berserker will perhaps join the protagonist legion, and instead of fight against Saber, with her, not that he will survive even if he did such.
With a few episodes remaining, all which is left to see is tragedy – Kiritsugu will have not accomplished anything meaningful, Saber will simply go on as we know from Fate/Stay Night, and similarly, Gilgamesh will survive till then as well. That being the case, ideally, the route still faced will deliver the heaviest action to be encountered – a flaming spectacle of blades and blood which will mark the destruction of the city as foretold.