This episode’s MVP.
The thirteenth episode of Fate Apocrypha opens outside of the Hanging Gardens, with Sieg being lectured by Astolfo about returning to the battlefield after all the effort they went through to free him from it in the first place. Understandable, given the Servant ended up getting staked for it and shoved into a basement. But Sieg explains that he returned because he wanted to save the other homunculi, but Rider’s Master comes in while sporting a rather crazed smile that says otherwise.
Back with the other Servants, Shirou basically announces his intention to save all humanity and refuses to back down, so he’ll get rid of anyone in his way, while Jeanne calls him out by stating that he’s trying to force it onto humanity. She understands why he’d want salvation for everyone, being of the same faith, but that’s not his right. Still, he has all the Command Seals of the Red Masters, making the Red Faction Servants his now, and that puts him into a really good place to make the attempt regardless of what she thinks.
With Sieg and Rider, the latter’s Master has basically gone off the deep-end and tries to make Astolfo suffer by first pinning Sieg down with a spell and then ordering Astolfo with a Command Seal to kill him. Astolfo resists as best he can with help from one of his Noble Phantasms until she tries to double down on the order. Then Mordred just pops up and cuts off her head, solving one problem but leaving Astolfo without a Master, so Sieg takes over using his Command Seals.
Back with Shirou, he continues to pilfer Servants by convincing Avicebron into switching sides, meaning Chiron and Jeanne are pretty screwed until Mordred pops in again and makes it clear she and Sisigou aren’t on Shirou’s side by helping Chiron and Jeanne escape. As the episode comes to an end, Sieg goes to negotiate with Yggdmillennia over the fate of the rest of the homunculi as Roche also ditches the Black Faction to join Avicebron.
At this point the Red and Black factions have both collapsed into a mess. Mordred, who was just throwing her weight around and breaking up the plans of both sides, is pretty much willing to go to bat against everyone else. And with her Master backing her its clear they’ve got a real shot at it.
Sieg continues to steal the spotlight by literally taking the place of a Master and using that to bargain with his former creator. After all, he has tasted the freedom to choose and he wants the same for the others like him, as short as their lives may be. And because of the betrayals Jack and Avicebron, the loss of Berserker, Saber, and Lancer, as well as the loss of the Grail and the death of Darnic, they’re really not in a position to try and go against that.
So, I’m looking forward to the next episode.