My thoughts on the fifth episode of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season.
This episode was spent delivering on a lot of setups from the prior one. Watching Lancer actually be effective and a real threat was a nice change of pace compared to how Saber shrugged off Gae Bolg early on in season 1 and his first fight with Archer, while awesome in its own right, never went beyond exchanging blows. All in all, pretty great fight scene with an explosive conclusion (really though? The church is still standing after that?).
As for Rin and Shirou vs Caster and Souichirou – I felt there was a bit left to be desired on the part of the melee combatants (Not you Rin). We hardly saw Souichirou exhausting Shirou’s blades outside of the direct dialogue implying that it was happening and the scene as a whole felt more focused on Rin and Caster. On that point, it felt like a weird decision to do a recap of sorts after Shirou is knocked to the ground and Caster takes her first hit off screen. I can’t complain as I’m glad we got to see both fights but the technique used to do so was maybe a bit awkward.
Enter Archer who finishes off Caster with a very Gilgamesh-esc ‘trace-on’. The shot under Caster’s hood before it comes of entirely as she rushes to Souichirou’s aid was a classic way to shed a bit of light on her humanity as a character before she sacrifices herself for him. The departure is quick but her parting words were quite nice, especially when juxtaposed to Souichirou’s own dialogue at the beginning of the episode.
Hopefully Saber is back in action next week and we get to see back to back episodes of beautiful fight scenes (not that it matters – these characters could all sit down for tea for a 1-hour special canonical episode and I’d still watch the hell out of it).