The Last Command Spell & Fate/Zero

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The Last Command Spell & Fate/Zero are episodes 24 and 25 respectively of the action, adventure, comedy,

drama, tragedy, battle royale, Japanese anime series Fate/Zero.  They aired on June 16 and June 23, 2012 respectively, and are the conclusion to the series.  

Plot

As Kiritsugu and Kirei engage in an intense duel, Saber shares a last conversation with Berserker before he dies by her hand. As Kiritsugu and Kirei both prepare to deliver the finishing blow to the other, a black ooze pouring from the Grail crashes through the ceiling and covers them. Kiritsugu finds himself in an illusory world where the Grail, taking the form of Iri, tells him he is worthy of using it to make a wish, making Kiritsugu the winner of the war. However, Kiritsugu is shocked to find that the Grail has been corrupted, and watches it deconstruct his belief in killing the few for the sake of the many and being told that no one can save the world and end conflict without killing off all of humanity. The Grail attempts to convince Kiritsugu to make his true desire come true by assuming the forms of both Iri and Illya and promising he will be together with them again at the cost of everyone else's deaths. However, Kiritsugu rejects the Grail, declaring that he will not sacrifice the rest of humanity for the sake of his personal happiness. For this, he is cursed by the Grail, shortening his lifespan. Back outside, Kirei scolds Kiritsugu for refusing the Grail and wasting the wish. Kirei pleads with Kiritsugu to give the wish to him so that he may find the meaning of his existence, but Kiritsugu shoots him. Saber soon arrives at the Grail's stage and encounters Archer, who demands that she surrender and devote herself to him as his wife. Kiritsugu appears in the middle of their exchange and, to the horror of both Servants, uses his two remaining Command Spells to force Saber to destroy the Grail with Excalibur, effectively killing Iri.   

The theater is demolished after Saber destroys the Grail, but Kiritsugu is shocked to see the Grail's black ooze pour down from the sky and flood the city, destroying everything it touches and engulfing Archer. Kariya is seen leaving his basement to finally reunite Sakura with Rin, but in reality, he collapses down the stairs and is consumed by the crest worms below, leading Sakura to accept her fate. Kirei awakens to see that the Grail has resurrected him and granted Archer a mortal body. Seeing that his wish of destruction and tragedy has come true, Kirei laughs hysterically at his own lack of humanity, but he seeks to fully understand his desire for more, and Archer agrees to follows him. In the aftermath of the destruction of the Grail, Kirei briefly notices Kiritsugu desperately searching for survivors in the burning rubble, and becoming overjoyed to find a young boy named Shirou still alive.  The next day, Waver asks Glen and Martha to let him stay with them a while longer as he earns money to travel around the world and find his own path. After presiding over Tokiomi's funeral, Kirei meets Rin and her mother Aoi, who has survived but suffered severe brain damage and does not comprehend that her husband is dead and Sakura is gone. Kirei gives Rin the Azoth dagger and relishes in her grief. Saber, having become a Heroic Spirit again, relives her final moments on the battlefield during her life and remembers Lancelot's final words to her as he expressed his regret over having betrayed her and falling in love with Guinevere. Saber grieves that she does not understand anyone and weeps for having seemingly failed as a king, promising to win the Grail in the next war for their sake. A voiceover by Kiritsugu reveals that he attempted to return to the Einzberns many times, but Jubstacheit von Einzbern, the head of the family, refused to open the forest's barrier since Kiritsugu did not return with the Grail, and thus he never saw Illya again. Instead, he decides to live in Fuyuki City and adopt Shirou. Five years later, Kiritsugu tells Shirou one summer night how he once wished to be a hero. Shirou promises his father that he will fulfill that dream for him, and Kiritsugu, due to the Grail's influence, quietly passes away, reminiscing about the time when Shirley asked him what he wanted to grow up to be and concluding he still wants to be a hero. 

Why They Rock

  1. These episodes have the best action scenes and action pairs of the entire series.  From Kiritsugu Emiya vs. Kirei Kotomine, to Saber vs. Berserker, to Rider vs. Gilgamesh.  
  2. The greatest animation quality of the entire series.  
  3. Several insightful and well foreshadowed plot twists are dropped, which all of a sudden puts the whole series into retrospect and everything makes sense.  The biggest two are the true evil nature of the Holy Grail, and the true identity of Berserker, much to Saber's dismay.  
  4. These episodes are known for being incredibly sad and tragic, especially if you're a fan of the charater Saber.  
  5. This episode shows both Rider's and Gilgamesh's Noble Phantasms, Ioinoi Hetairoi and Ea, respectively, being used on each other.  Rider's has beens hown before, but not on a worthy Servant like Gilgamesh, and Gilgamesh's has never been shown.