Shirou dreams about becoming Rammus, then wakes up in a cold sweat. Okay. I don’t know what he’s so concerned about. Rammus is a great solo queue champion.
— Shirou has made great strides in his training sessions with Saber. He’s not exactly elated, however, because he’s only finding success by been copying Archer’s technique. Or is Archer copying him?! Woaoaohaohoaha. Yeah, you can see the twist from a mile away. I’d say good try, but maybe the anime wanted us to find out about the twist early. That’s the only explanation for all those blatant clues in last week’s episode.
— Saber seems rather offended that Shirou has decided to copy Archer’s stance instead of her’s. I guess I just don’t see what the big deal is. If she wanted him to learn from her, maybe she should’ve given him more explicit instructions.
— No, Shirou, no! Dual-wielding can only lead to the dark side! The Gary Stu side!
— At school, Shinji just sits there and giggles creepily in Shirou’s direction all class long. Sweet.
— Then during lunch, everyone huddles around the doorway and gawks at a frustrated, impatient-looking Rin. She’s obviously waiting for the protagonist to show his wholesome face, but man, the kids in this universe are weirdos. Don’t you guys have anything better to do? Oh wait, this is anime so it’s normal to treat certain students as if they’re idols.
— O-oh my god! The school’s idol was really waiting for the plain and unassuming male lead all along! Gaaaassp!
— Shirou’s so clueless, he had no idea that she had even wanted to lunch with him. Ugh, that dense idiot! Oh, how I would love for Rin-sama to simply eat in the same room as me!!!@!
— Rin assures Shirou that she’s used a Command Seal to forbid Archer from ever attacking him again. Considering how important Command Seals are, she must really, really like our bland hero.
— Rin and Shirou proceed to discuss a couple of topics, namely how her magic works and Shinji’s role in the Holy Grail War. I’ve said enough about the exposition in this series. however, so I’ll just leave it at that. If these two ever say anything interesting, I’ll let you know.
— Thankfully, the conversation is rudely interrupted when a Bounded Field activates. I guess seeing Rin and Shirou together was the straw that broke his creepy back. So to retaliate, he decides to try and turn his classmates into lifeless husks? Well then, that certainly is the appropriate response.
— Everything will be solved if they can just stop Shinji. They might even save their precious classmates! But of course, it’s never quite that simple. Shirou and Rin will also have to contend with an army of skeletal-looking golems. Our hero is thus forced to use one of his Command Seals.
— The characters repeatedly remind us that there’s a Servant on their floor, so you guys better not forget that.
— The door to Shinji’s room, however, suddenly open, and an unseen assailant attacks the creepy kid. Considering the way Shinji reacts — “Hey, what’s the big deal? How are you able to move?” — this must be someone that no one “suspects.” But we’re not idiots, so we know who to suspect. There’s only one possible candidate, and it’s that suspicious-looking teacher from a few episodes ago. Not only that, he must be Caster’s Master. I don’t really know why the show is being so coy with Kazuki’s identity. They’ve dropped obvious hints over and over that he’s a Master, so it’s just kind of silly to turn around and pretend like this week’s reveal is even remotely a twist. Hell, one of the first things we learned about him is that he’s different in the way that he moves and breathes. C’mon.
— For some reason, Caster disguises herself as Rider, goes through the motions of attacking Saber, then strokes her opponent on the cheek. Okay then.
— This week’s action isn’t that great, because our characters aren’t really doing much. At first, I thought the setting was to blame. After all, it’s kind of hard to do battle in the hallways of the school. You’re sort of cramped, huh? But remember when Rin attacked Shirou a few episodes ago? They were also running through these same hallways, but the action there was rather well-choreographed. I guess they can’t do much the skeletal warriors in this week’s episode, since skeletons aren’t exactly strike me as the most nimble foes. But I still expected more.
— And just like that, Rider is dead. It was kind of cool in a gruesome way to see her neck uncoil right in front of us, but man, her character’s fate was rather anticlimactic, wasn’t it? We barely even got to see her do anything.
— She was one of the cooler-looking servants too, and it’s not because she’s a scantily-clad lady with chains and a blindfold. She just had more personality than the other Servants. Berserker just looks like a guy on steroids, Saber is a generic knight, caster is a generic mage, so on and so forth. Archer gets to be a little different, because, well… you know who he is. And oh yeah, Lancer almost completely slipped my mind! But he’s not interesting-looking either.
— But with Rider’s death, the Bounded Field disappears so… maybe it was a good thing she died.
— For some reason, Shinji won’t tell our heroes who attacked him. I mean, it’s obvious to us who attacked him, but c’mon, why is he keeping his lips sealed about this?
— Conveniently enough, their classmates are still alive. It’s not that I want to kill a bunch of kids off or anything, but it just feels like the anime is pulling its punches. Rin told Shirou that she wanted him to take the Holy Grail War seriously. But when the anime had the chance to really drive home just how terrible this conflict can and will become, it allows every single student to survive. Hey, that’s cool, too. We don’t need to kill everyone. But I can’t really take you seriously if the only victims are the ones not related to our heroes in any way, i.e. Caster murdering random people.
— Nevertheless, right before the episode ends, Shirou tells Rin that he’s used to seeing dead bodies. Oh my~