Not the best Fate/Zero episode in recent memory, but the beginning of one character’s ascension to pure evil has finally started and next episode will finally show us the origins of Kiritsugu Emiya. This episode in essence passed the baton to the upcoming flashback episode.
I honestly felt nothing towards Tokiomi’s death other than “Wow, are you that stupid?”. Give a shady guy your will entrusting your adorable loli daughter to him, and give him a knife and then turn your back to him. The result should be quite obvious. Now Kotomine has begun his decent into pure evil, along with Gilgamesh as his new servant. The conversation with Irisviel and Maiya was a little sad, but somewhat predictable that Irisviel is a vessel for the Holy Grail (the new OP even shows her spewing out black liquid, which I assume is..ahem).
But the bigger picture this week is the (now presumably defunct) alliance with Tokiomi and Kiritsugu. With Tokiomi out, and with Irisviel and Maiya not knowing what had happened this leaves Kiritsugu in a sticky situation. Kotomine has had an eerily obsessive interest in Kiritsugu as he proclaims that both of them are two sides of the same coin. While both seek out evil, in Kiritsugu’s case he’ll use whatever evils of the world to eliminate said evil while Kotomine seeks out evil because he has nothing else for him. Kotomine, now with Gilgamesh, is going to definitely seek out Saber and company first but that leaves the question of what to do with Rider as only Kotomine knows of the location of Waver and Rider. Will there be a temporary truce to eliminate Rider (oh please, kill Berserker first..)? With the mentioning of “four more servants”, this proves that Kariya is still alive and probably plotting some sort of strategy. I don’t know the specifics as I’ve only read Fate/stay night and not the F/Z novel (so I know how F/Z ends, but not how it gets there) but my guess is that the two sides form a short alliance and take out Berserker and figure out what to do with Rider.
Overall, the pacing in this episode ranged from extremely fast to mind numbing slow, and while this show has done both it’s never really done both in the same episode. From what I’ve heard, the episode cut out some key dialogue which should pop up on the BD release much like what happened with Saber/Rider/Gilgamesh talk episode.
PS: Just listen to Church on the Hill (from F/SN), It still sends shivers down my spine.
Score: 3.5/5 (lowest score so far)