My thoughts on the seventh episode of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) 2nd Season.
I think what transpired this episode is pretty fitting given the title of the episode – “Idealism’s end (The Answer)”. I think we’ve had a good deal of action for a long time now so I felt it was a proper approach to step back for an episode and answer a few questions on top of providing a philosophical dialogue.
To me, the plight of the ‘hero of justice’ that is explored throughout the series has never been about whether it is objectively right or not to save the greatest number of people regardless of the cost but rather how well can one uphold one’s own ideals. We see this struggle in Shirou (non-Archer) this episode in his retort – he takes up arms against Archer because he believes he will never regret his decision and never become disillusioned with his task. And maybe he’s right – maybe this is the iteration of Shirou that can hold to his ideals without ever looking back however Archer is far too gone to care about this possibility.
One thing I will say about this episode is that it gets pretty convoluted and confusing when concerning ‘Guardians’ and the ‘Counter Force’ because nowhere else in the show have these concepts been addressed (so far) and the show treats them in this episode like they have. I don’t expect the show to bend a knee to those who haven’t played through the visual novels or those who haven’t explored other franchises within the Nasu-verse however It is something to be pointed out that this approach will perplex some viewers. I think a bit more light will be shed on the events of the past (Archer’s past… our future…) such as why Shirou looked so young when he made his contract with the Counter Force and so on.
It looks like things will pick up again next week now that Shirou’s fight has started and with Lancer out of the way (poor bastard) things on Rin’s end are bound to get ugly in the meantime.