The End of Honor
Risei Kotomine talks with a man in a wheelchair, who is revealed to be Kayneth. Risei thanks him for his help, and Kayneth plays it cool. He’s all like, no probs dude, happy to help on behalf of the Mages Association. Now about that deal we made…
Sola clings to a fence, watching the departing Servants happily – her bond with Diarmuid will be complete once she receives her final command spell. Wait, how does that work? Saber killed Caster, and Kiritsugu killed Rinnosuke. There’s like no amount of rules-lawyering that gives them credit for the victory. Suddenly – SMACK! She falls to the ground, but her right arm is still on the fence? Oh shit, Maiya just cut her arm off, preventing her from using any of her Command Spells to summon Lancer! Sola starts to freak out, but Maiya knocks her out before she could make a scene, then makes sure to mangle the hand via judiciously applied bullets.
Sola-Ui realizes that her obsession with Diarmuid might have gotten a little out of hand.
Kirei leaves Kariya in front of a door. He knows that it’s a betrayal of the original arrangement (that is, help Tokiomi win), but he feels excitement from this.
You’re a real bro, Kirei. Truly, you make Amon grateful.
Inside the church, we see what the dealings were. Risei acknowledges that Lancer was instrumental in fighting Caster. Kayneth presses the issue – that he gets a Command Spell. Risei takes a dig at him, saying that while Lancer’s role was important, he’s not quite sure that Kayneth even counts as a Master at this point. After all, Sola-Ui is the one who 1. owns the current command spells and 2. provides the mana to keep Lancer in this world. Kayneth shrugs it off, saying the Master Servant pact was between him and Diarmuid, and that of the two, his is the name registered as a Mater. Risei shrugs, then begins the transfer, which apparently works by Communion as Risei tells Kayneth to drink of his blood. There is some power aura going around, and Kayneth lifts his hand, observing with glee the singular Command Spell inscribed upon the back of his hand. Man, the custody battle’s gonna be hella awkward.
Kayneth shot the Father! Using a gun! Oh Kayneth, even you see that muggles do it better. I guess this is to prevent others from getting a Command Spell?
What was that about your pride as a mage again?
Cut to Lancer finding a pool of Sola’s blood. Then cut to Kayneth raging at him like he’s a misbehaving puppy. He calls Lancer useless and pathetic, unable to even do the very simple job of protecting a single woman. Lancer apologizes profusely through this, trying to explain that since the pact was between him and Kayneth, he couldn’t sense Sola’s presence. Kayneth doesn’t accept this though, saying that because of this, Lancer should have tried harder and been more careful. His thoughts then turn more accusatory, and he accuses Diarmuid of purposefully letting Sola get closer to him, failing just like he did in his legend, that for all his vaunted honor and chivalry, one look at his boss’s wife and BAM adultery time.
Okay, seriously, Kayneth? Did you miss the part where Grainne laid a freaking geas on Diarmuid to compel him to elope?
I cannot wait for the point where this dog bites back.
This crosses a line for Diarmuid, and he tries to get his newfound Master to stop, but Kayneth raises up his pimp hand. He continues to scold Diarmuid, disdainful of how the Servant apparently still feels like he has pride left to wound. Not only Diarmuid’s pride was worth nothing back in his myth, Kayneth says, but it’s worth nothing now, as he can do nothing against Kayneth’s Command Spell.
Wow, Kayneth, you’re such a dick. I mean, yeah, I get that it’s your wife who’s been kidnapped with her arm cut off, but raging at your Servant and insulting him way past the point of motivational criticism isn’t exactly conducive here. Also, did you like not pick up an encyclopedia before summoning Diarmuid? Seriously, it was literally not his fault. The fae gave him the love spot, and Grainne laid a geas on him. Not exactly his fault here.
Anyways, Lancer detects something something before the tirade can go on. It’s Saber and Iri driving in. Iri notes that there used to be a magic barrier here as she and Saber step out, and then Lancer steps out to meet them. Sola’s gone, he says, and asks if they know where she is.
Saber says she doesn’t. She then draws her sword, stating she is here to finish their duel.
Dammit Saber, can you fight like a proper soldier for just one second? Although in her defense, she does note that at this point, pretty much all of the Servants are off recuperating, so there’s little chance of being interrupted. Plus at this point, Saber just regained used of her Noble Phantasm, while Lancer lost one of his, which indicates that she is at least thinking about these things and isn’t doing a Honor Before Reason.
This was the silver lining to the dark cloud that was Lancer’s day thus far. He readies his spear with a smile, saying her fighting spirit is the only thing that can calm his heart.
They begin with gusto, and very quickly Lancer notes that even though Saber just got her Noble Phantasm back, she’s still not as quick and strong as before. He then notices that she is still not using her left hand in attempt to make the duel as close to how they left their previous fight as possible.
God dammit Saber.
Although admittedly, she has quite the strong arm too, if she’s one-handing a 2-3 kg longsword while decked out in armor. And I have to admit she is being quite the bro here. Diarmuid agrees, saying he is glad to have met her. If nothing else, he knows that with her, he can have a good old honorable fight.
Once more into the fray, to the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Kayneth watches from the sidelines, complaining about why Lancer doesn’t just up and finish Saber already….and then there is a clinking sound.
Look around you, Kayneth. Where are you? You’re in an abandoned warehouse, with the mage your mage could spell like. Look down.
What’s that on the ground? It’s a bullet. Look up.
Look up. I HAVE YOUR WIFE.
Kayneth is about to piss himself, and Kiri tosses a scroll at him. Kayneth picks it up and sees that it’s a Self-Geis Scroll – which I presume is some kind of magically binding contract. Sure enough, he reads them to himself, and the conditions are interspersed by scenes of Lancer and Saber’s fight. We see that Emiya has signed it already, and that it’s a magically binding contract that forbids him from employing any and all means from personally harming Kayneth or Sola. And it’s detailed too – it’s binding upon the soul, not just the body, so he couldn’t, say, set off a suicide bomb with the two of them in the vicinity. It’s also powered by the Emiya family crest, so as long as the crest exists and the Emiyas are recognized as mage, the contract will remain in effect.
Can’t kill me…ownage rights to the Willy Wonka factory…must kill…Albus Dumbledore?
Saber and Lancer has weapons at each others’ throats. Although I’d have to give the advantage to Lancer here. Saber’s already at her maximum reach, but Lancer still has a third of his spear left. If she wants to continue to stab him, she’d have to move right into his spear, but if he wants to stab her, he just needs to back away a little and poke.
They acknowledge the point, and slowly disengage in preparation for the next round when suddenly…
Saber is surprised at this turn of events, and then we see what the conditions were for Kayneth. Yeah, anyone with two brain cells could have guessed it was an order to withdraw from the Grail Wars. The method, on the other hand…
oh. oh lancer. oh my heart. and your heart. but also my heart because it just broke just like yours did. oh diarmuid, you poor sweet child of summer. you deserved better than this.
In exchange for his and Sola’s lives, Kayneth is to use his last Command Spell to make Lancer commit suicide. And as Lancer begins to disintegrate, he looks back upon the Masters and delivers one last dying monolog of rage. He rages at Kiritsugu and Kayneth, at how their ambitions have sullied what was supposed to be an honorable duel between knights. He rages at how all he ever wanted was to serve honorably in this life, to find redemption for what happened between him, Grainne, and Fionn by fighting for his new Master and either winning for him or dying trying, but Kiritsugu would go so far to win that he would trample upon Lancer’s last wish, and Kayneth would go so far to save his own life that he went along with it. He rages at Sola, for being the second time he’s been screwed over by an unfaithful woman. He rages at Saber, for the dishonorable way her Master ended their duel. He rages at how, to the mages, Servants are nothing but pieces for their game, and with his last breath he curses them. May whatever wish the Grail grants them be terrible and backfire horribly.
Fucking… what the fucking fuck… who the fuck fucked this fucking… how did you two fucking fucks… FUCK!
I think, in retrospect, one of the more heartwrenching things about this is how utterly right it proved Kayneth. All his pride as Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, First Spear of the Knights of the Fianna, literally did mean nothing compared to the Command Spell. Lancer was doing quite well in his duel, until Kayneth snapped his fingers and everything went to hell. The good guys lost. The assholes won.
And then, while everyone is stunned, another chorus of shots ring out, riddling Kayneth and Sola with bullets.
Holy crap Kiri, you pulled a “I can’t kill you, but Maiya can”.
Kayneth is in good enough condition to asks for a mercy kill, but Kiri shrugs, saying his hands are tied. Saber gives it to him, then walks off, saying that now she sees Kiritsugu for the vile man he truly is. She regrets being taken in by Iri’s support for Kiritsugu’s dreams and no longer believes he can save anyone.
Iri’s pretty pissed at him too, and this is super jarring considering she’s been super supportive and worshipful. She tells him with the most delicate little murderface going on that he owes Saber an explanation.
Guess who’s sleeping on the couch tonight…
Kiri is also taken aback until he realizes that this is actually the first time she’s seen him fight. He then explains that if you kill a Master, Servants can still link up with another Master before they expire, so he had to kill both Master and Servant simultaneously.
Iri is not satisfied. Talk to Saber, not to me, she says.
Kiri shrugs, replying that there’s no use explaining something like that to someone who thinks there are right and wrong ways to fight. And then he goes on his War Is Hell rant.
“See, just like so – just like you said, Iri. This great Heroic Spirit dares to think that the battlefield is better than hell. What a joke! No matter in what era, the battlefield has always been a veritable hell.
In the battlefield, there is no place for hope. What lies there is only cold despair and a sin called victory, built on the pain of the defeated. All those people who met there have wholeheartedly admitted the evil and foolishness of this act called ‘war’. As long as people don’t repent and don’t regard it as the most evil taboo, then hell would endlessly reappear in the world.
However, humans did not realize that truth no matter how high they staked their mountains of corpses. That’s because in no matter what era the courageous and fearless great heroes have always bedazzled the eyes of the multitude with their splendid heroic legends. Because of the wistful actions of those idiots and their refusal to admit that bloodshed is by itself evil, the essence of humans has stayed on the same spot since the Stone Age!”
Ok, Kiri, you are a fucking fucktard.
You cannot tell me there is no such thing as justified violence. You cannot tell me that defending yourself against someone trying to invade your home and kill your loved ones and steal your property is somehow shameful. You cannot tell me there is any fucking moral equivalency between the victim and the perpetrator. The Americans at Saratoga disagree with you. As do the Spartans at Thermopylae. The Mexican cadets at Chapultepec. The Sioux at the Black Hills. The Chinese at Nanjing and Shanghai. The Polish at Wizna. The Jews at the Warsaw Ghetto. The Russians at Stalingrad. World War II, you fucking shithead, the most classically unambiguous good vs evil war in the history of ever. No such thing as a just war? You do realize that it takes two to fight? Even if one side is the most evil, wicked, genocidal bunch of assholes, that means there is the other side who is being victimized by said assholes. You going to say that blood shed by these guys in the course of defending themselves still constitutes something evil in and of itself? So what, then, it’s morally superior to be a victim than defend yourself?
Fuck that noise.
I begrudgingly admit, Kiri, that you are at least partially right. There will always be evil in the world. There will always be those who use violence for ill. But Jesus do you not have the cause-effect relationship or the problem-weight right. First off, as demonstrated above, violence is not inherently evil in and of itself. Second, people are not violent because Heroes dazzle others in a spectacular display of the Truffaut effect. A few of them, yes, but more are violent because they are assholes to begin with, and most others are violent because they are being preyed upon by the assholes, and in real life, the most pragmatic (since you’re all about pragmatism,Kiri) way to stop that is to retaliate violently. Third, what exactly is the problem with heroes who use violence to save others, exactly? For a supposed analytical guy, you’re sure sucking at doing the very basic math of, say, Hua Mulan kills a couple thousand Huns vs the tens if not hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians killed or raped or sold into slavery if she didn’t kill them, therefore killing the Huns is good. Heck, you do it all the time, and I don’t think you should loathe yourself for it. Or look at the hero you just sent to an ignominous end. How many people do you think Diarmuid Ua Duibhne saved during his own life to earn his reputation before that thing with Grainne? Not to mention here, where he not only didn’t kill anyone who didn’t deserve it, but he sacrificed his own chance at victory to save thousands of civilians.
And, so, as promised, SHUT THE FUCK UP KIRITSUGU YOU ARE FUCKING WRONG YOU FUCKING FUCKTARD BECAUSE DIARMUID UA FUCKING DUIBHNE. The only thing stopping me from being part of your hatedom and ragequitting your show like I’ve done for that godawful series Revolution is that unlike the libtards, the existence of a reality-warping epic artifact means that as long as you get your hands on it, you really don’t need to care about practicality.
Iri calms down a little, asking if Kiritsugu’s standoffishness against Saber is really just because he seems to hate all Heroic Spirits for inciting the public to Not Do That Really Cool Thing Called War. Kiritusug merely replies that being a warrior for justice the way Saber and some of the more “noble” Servants are won’t save world. Presumably he’s going to wish for world peace once he gets the Grail, but this can only happen if he actually gets his hands on the Grail, and the importance of this goal is such that he must necessarily murder every mofo in his way as efficiently as possible, without being choosy about his methods. Saber protests that committing evil to stop evil still makes you evil, but Kiri shrugs it off. Like the Operative from Serenity, he will take on all the evil and all the sins of humanity to create paradise, even if there is no place for him there. He walks off, leaving Saber and Iri to contemplate.
Bullet Action Jesus!
It’s daytime…and Iri faints.
I know my problem with the end theme now. It’s a little too calm and smooth for a series involving the battle royale of seven of the most revered heroes of humanity’s history and legends and the inevitable tragedies that occurs within. And the end animation is almost exclusively about Iri and Kiri. Contrasted with the previous, where the vocals have more emotion, and the ending is pretty much all about the Servants, opening with Gil’s chess set, and ending with a series of artworks depicting the Servants in their life, all of which are based on actual classical depictions.
Seriously look at this. Beautiful, it is.
Saber’s is “How Mordred was Slain by Arthur, and How by Him Arthur was Hurt to the Death”, by Arthur Rackham.
Rider’s is “The Entry of Alexander into Babylon”, by Charles le Brun.
Archer’s is the statue of Gilgamesh at the University of Sydney.
Lancer’s is a statue called “The Tree of Love”.
Caster’s is “The Execution of Gilles de Rais”.
Assassin’s is from an artistic rendition of Hassan-i Sabbah
Berzerker’s…well, Berzerker’s is actually pretty revealing, so I’ll be putting it on once his identity is revealed in the series proper. But yeah, anime renditions of classical artworks for the win.
Anyways, I’ve already covered the thing with Kiritsugu’s philosophy. But I want to call out attention to another things this series does well – it makes everyone seem like people. And just like people, they’re not all good or all bad, but rather run through all combinations of good/bad people do good/bad things for good/bad reasons. Just look at the antags for this episode, Team Kayneth-Sola-Diarmuid.
Supplementary materials say that Kayneth and Sola were an arranged marriage, and while he loved her, she was less than enthused about the whole deal. So it’s very easy to understand why she’d fall right for the strapping dashing knight who leapt through time, even without his love spot helping it along. And yes, the whole “give me your command spells or I’ll break your fingers” thing was pretty evil, but it is still understandable why she does it. And with Kayneth, again, his berating of Lancer is way over the line, but given that he’s been noticing Sola giving Lancer the goo-goo eyes, it’s again understandable why he’d be so mean to the guy. And even though ordering Lancer to kill himself was a cruel thing, it must be remembered that he did it pretty much only for Sola, and despite all the things she did to him, he still cares about her and wants to save her.
Kayneth and Sola. Proving my belief that the worst thing isn’t evil people doing evil, but normal people doing evil things for good reasons.
Pity about the multiple rounds of dakka to the chest.
And pity about Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, who retains his crown of “Most Heroic Character Thus Far In This Series.”
Until next ep.