The best remaining Master and Servant pair
The fifteenth episode of Fate Apocrypha open in the Hanging Gardens. It’ll be a few days before Ruler can come in with the remaining Servants to kick their teeth in, so they’ve got some breathing room. Achilles then decides this is the perfect time to start getting some answers and demands to know what happened to their Masters.
Shirou reveals that they’re alive in a room in the gardens, but they got poisoned and are basically just empty shells now. Karna calls them out, but Atalanta decides that since her Master was weak enough to fall for it she’ll throw in with Shirou. And, with a few more sweet words, the rest fall in line too since it’ll give them the chance to follow their wishes. Achilles just wants to be a hero again, Atalanta just wants all children to be loved (though both Shirou and Semiramis note that the Grail can’t pull that off completely), and Karna only wants fight Siegfried again.
Then Shirou gets to tell them his plan to save humanity off-screen, while Gordes laughs at the very notion of such a wish until Mordred tells him to shut up. However, they do note that if there is such a way then the grail could make it a reality, which is a problem if that wish is harmful to mankind. Like if it pulled an Fate/Zero and killed every other person.
Since the Black Faction are short on Servants, Kairi and Mordred agree to work with Yggdmillennia until they get rid of Shirou and Semiramis. However, Chiron has some concerns about his Master being fit to lead Yggdmillennia since she doesn’t really have the guts to kill someone. Caules then reveals some of her backstory that backs that theory up, so Chiron basically tells him to look after his sister once he’s gone.
Kairi gets his additional Command Seal from Jeanne, before she tops off Sieg with two of them and warns him not to burn away that last Command Seal since it’ll probably screw him over. When its evident he doesn’t have a sense of self-worth, she has Astolfo babysit him. However, her warning that there are no such things are a free miracle stir memories in Kairi.
His family made a deal with a devil to thrive in the Far East as magus, but that deal came with a price. Not only is he sterile, but his magic crest can’t be transferred to anyone else or it generates a poison that will kill them. And he only learned this after an adoptive child he took in died in the process, leading to his current mindset and lifestyle. That being said, he still intends to take the Grail while the other factions are fighting to fix that little problem.
Back with Gordes, he’s basically forced to confront the fact that the homunculi are dying and has his heel-face turn by starting to treat them. While also explaining that the Black Faction (or at least he) only wanted to see a fight between magic and Servants. Now everything has gone to Chaos.
Back with Red Faction, Shakespeare basically comes out when asked that he knew Shirou’s plan from the start. He doesn’t care whether or not the man is sane, but he’ll put his best effort to make it come true. Why? Because it’s interesting.
There was no action in this episode, which I would normally consider a sin in an action-oriented series, but I liked everything I got.
Chiron’s opinion that Fiore was unsuitable for being a leader was unexpected, but he gave plausible reasons for it. She’s too humane, when magus are usually amoral. That’s especially evident with Fiore agreeing to the deal with a handshake rather than a Self-Binding Geass scroll, which meant that if Kairi really did go back on his word she’d be screwed, and how she broke down after her pet dog was used in a ritual (from what I gather a spirit was shoved into it and so it died horrifically).
Kairi’s backstory likewise shows why he’s the way he is. He takes things easy because he’s already lost everything, but he has a chance to at least correct it with the Grail. It also explains why he has such a good relationship with Mordred, who could never get the fatherly attention of Arthur yet receives it with him.
Gordes finally has some level of character development as well. He finally admits that maybe he’s the one who drove Siegfried to suicide before developing some level of human decency and helping the creations he’s spawned. He’s also got an inferiority complex to the Einzbern and wants to catch up to them some day, so that explains the ambition.
As for Jeanne… she wants Sieg. They are pushing that pairing so hard it’s not funny. She even broods over the fact that she’s not certain of the emotions she’s feeling.
Overall, I liked the episode but there’s still a lot left unknown: what Shirou’s plan is, what happened to Jack, and so on. Looking forward to those answers in the future.