It’s one of those episodes. It’s one of those episodes where people just stand around and talk. And the best part is how smug people will get if you complain about it. Ohmygod, god forbid people have deep and interesting discussions in our animus, right?! Yeah, sure. Bring on the deep and interesting discussions. Well…? I’m waiting… yep, still waiting.
Of course, I didn’t think Gilgamesh and our heroes were going to fight or anything. It’s not time for that yet. It never seems to be time for any sort of thrilling excitement or palpable tension, but… let’s move on. Shinji briefly tries to recruit Rin to his side, but he’s even more one-dimensional than Caster and the dead loli on the ground so…
Wow, is she really dead already? If she actually stays dead, she pretty much contributed nothing to this series. This series. I don’t care about her rich backstory. As far as Fate Something or Other is concerned, she came, she saw, she disappeared for months, then she bit the dust. Whoo.
Now here comes the great big discussion… y’see, Shirou just keeps trying to be a hero and shit. Like what the fuck is up with that!
Just look at the guy’s face. It’s like the story wants to convince us that his need to help others is borderline obsessive.
Preach it, Galt. Show these anime do-gooders a thing or two!
But honestly, I can’t muster a damn. Why? Because altruism just isn’t some bizarre concept. If anything, people like Rin and Archer are the weirdos. Helping others is just instinctive. Even rats will stop pressing a lever for food when they realize that pressing that same lever will hurt other rats. Even human babies feel the need to help and share with other babies, and their brains are hardly developed enough to form complex thoughts such as, “I’m only helping others because, ultimately, it benefits me, therefore altruism is just an illusion!” Yeah, ain’t no baby thinking that. If you ask me, selfishness seems to arise from complex thought. It’s instinctive to help others. Perhaps Shirou leaps headfirst into danger because he just feels it in his bones.
On the other hand, it seems like you’d really have to do a bunch of mental gymnastics to justify not helping others.
But this is, like, a character study or something, so we need some great, meaningful event to “justify” Shirou’s heroism. Like he just can’t be heroic. He really needs this profound event in his childhood. During some big fire, I guess he ignored people who were in need.
Now that he’s a sole survivor or some shit, he feels the burden to help as many people as you can. So he can feel the same emotion his foster father felt or something. Whatever. Spin it however you want.
So what does it come down to? Shirou won’t know true happiness because he is always thinking of others? Hell, let’s grant that he — like many of us — are hardwired to be altruistic. So you’re nothing more than a machine. That’s Rin’s own words, by the way. She argues that Shirou’s just being a machine. So what’s the trade-off? You only have humanity if you can rationalize selfishness? You’re only an individualism if you care about your happiness above all else? Is that really worth it? Is that really having humanity?
What is true happiness anyway? Who can honestly be happy knowing that others died when we could have done something about it? You can’t tell me the first responders would be happier just doing nothing. I mean, it’s just ludicrous. Are we honestly having this discussion? Sure, this shit isn’t black and white. I’m certainly not going to suddenly give up all my possessions just so I can donate whatever meager fortunes I have in order to save some random strangers on the other side of the planet. But just because I don’t feel the great moral compulsion to do such a thing — and these are arguably supererogatory acts anyway — it doesn’t follow that I would also ignore someone right in front of me. And that’s why this scene — fulls of tears and exasperation! — doesn’t move me. Of course Shirou helped the loli. She was right there!
But right, right… Shirou’s ideals are supposed to betray him, thereby turning him into Archer. Uh-huh. ‘Cause cynicism is really idealism’s fault. Oh well.
Anyway, that’s enough of that. Let’s now talk about how strong Gilgamesh is–… haha, no, let’s not.
Afterwards, Lancer pops his head back into the story. Like a lot of the characters in this rich tapestry of a narrative, Lancer’s presence in the past few weeks — or months — has been about as significant as a fart. But here he is! So love him!
And all of a sudden, Shirou’s all like, “You can help us all you want, but don’t you even think of being Rin’s friend!”
I mean, he can’t honestly think Rin would go for some random Servant, does he? So logically, he shouldn’t even threatened by that. By process of elimination, dude is literally making sure that other dudes don’t befriend Rin. Now that’s weird.
But oh my god, the tsuntsun girl is just melting into a puddle of weird faces, and there’s nothing she can do about it. We’ve taken this headstrong girl, and found her true weakness and it’s anything that has to do with the matters of the — dokidokiko — kororo — dokidoki — ZOMGTHISISSODELICIOUS. Yeah okay.
Elsewhere, Archer and punching dude — I’m sure at one point I still remembered his name — talk about stuff. Motivations and stuff. Aims and stuff. Like, if I could just pay attention, the story would blow me away with its nuances and subtlety, but because I’m literally falling asleep right now, it’s just my loss. Whoops. At least they’re not walking in circles?
Then our heroes and Lancer talk about stuff. Gotta discuss what’s about to happen. Gotta make sure we know what our plan is. These are very deep plans, such as… Lancer might have to fight three people. And can Rin and Shirou really overcome Caster? STAY TUNED
Then they talk about more stuff with Archer. He hasn’t talked to them in a while. We should see them talk. About how feisty Rin is.
They have their weapons drawn, but we’re not ready to fight yet!
O-…oh! They’re going to fight–
lol nah let’s talk about that pendant MEANINGFUL MOMENT YO
THEN FLYING SPERM CELLS TO SIGNIFY THE END OF THE EPISODE THE END