Where Freedom Lies.
So, in last week's review, I said that we were now set-up for a battle between Mordred (Saber of Red) and Chiron (Archer of Black), which despite being a totally random match-up, is at least a potentially compelling one, given that they're the two most sympathetic Servants in the cast by quite a wide margin. Similarly, I said we were set-up for a battle with Sisigou on one side, and Fiore and Caules on the other, which is -- less compelling, but never mind.
Well, that's over and done with literally four minutes into the episode. Including the theme song. So, um, congrats on wasting the only thing even remotely interesting about this episode, I suppose. If the episode had built to any more interesting showdowns (because that's really the only thing this show has going for it), I might have found this episode halfway enjoyable, but it doesn't. It doesn't really do anything.
With the Black Faction and Jack the Ripper both retreating, Sisigou and Mordred set out for Trifas, while Shirou commands Semiramis (Assassin of Red) to take the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to Trifas to wage an all out assault. At Trifas, the Black Faction prepares to receive them, with Vlad (Lancer of Black) taking charge of the defense, while Avicebron (Caster of Black) prepares to field Spartacus (Berserker of Red) against his former allies.
I'm serious when I say this episode doesn't do anything. After the brief battle at the beginning ends, it is literally fifteen minutes of nothing.
You can almost hear the show patting itself on the back, and kindly giving us a breather episode after what it clearly believes were some heart-pumping action sequences, even though we're seven episodes in and very, very little has actually happened in this godforsaken show. So, we're given character moments between characters we don't care about; ominous 'and now everyone shall meet for the battle' moments for battles we're not invested in apart from our desire to actually see something, anything happen; and somber thematic moments for a story that has all the depth of a child's paddling pool.
(Hey, Fate/Apocrypha, here's a hint: You can't throw twelve-year-old-girl-in-a-thong Jack the Ripper at me one moment and somberly pontificate on the nature of work and fulfilling one's life's purpose the next. A better show probably could, but you were apparently written by an idiot and look like you're animated in crayon, so you can't.)
There's honestly nothing to even say about this episode, because literally nothing happens in it. Every scene is stretched to breaking point, with characters reiterating the same ideas over and over again, to desperately try to fill the twenty minutes. I'd say 'well, at least we should get some fighting next episode,' but I thought that last week, and look where that fleeting optimism got us.
So instead I'll say that at least the next episode will bring us one step closer to the end, and freedom from the torment that is this show.