That’s Hell you’re walking into.
The twentieth episode of Fate Apocrypha opens with Caules, Fiore, Sieg, Jeanne, and Astolfo heading off to fight. Gordes has apparently softened up to the point where the other homunculi don’t feel bothered staying with him, so he’s holding down the fort. But Seig states that win or lose he probably won’t be coming back, so he has to bid his kin goodbye and they wish him victory.
The Black Faction has basically rented out and reserved an entire airport in preparation for their plan of dispersing, with the Servants basically dealing with the others while the Masters sneak in after Rider breaks the defenses with Sieg. Chiron bids Fiore farewell since they’ll be fighting separately and she uses a Command Seal so he’ll be able to fight with no regrets. Jeanne, in contrast, tries to tell Sieg not to transform but he’s being stubborn and not picking up the clues that are dropped by her and Rider.
On the Hanging Gardens, Shakespeare continues to chew the scenery with Shirou before he uses a Command Seal to force him not to write a tragedy for his story (which would end up rewriting reality to carry it out). He does admit that he would’ve slipped a few road bumps or two before going along with since he has no choice. Then Shirou begins the ritual by entering the Holy Grail while Semiramis gets called out by Shakespeare to admit her true feelings.
Of course, before she can kill him over it, they come under attack by a legion of planes being used as a distraction. She intends to deploy their Servants, but Atalanta goes off to kill Jeanne while Achilles deals with Chiron. That leaves Karna as the last line of defense while she deals with Astolfo.
The fighting begins with Achilles cutting through the planes to get to Chiron until he gets his ride shot down. In contrast, Atalanta gets all of her shots deflected by Ruler since she’s got higher stats and has to fight up-close to get anything done.
The episode then ends with a vision of Shirou, like all the other versions with his name, walking through what could only pass as his version Hell. The difference is he manages to reach a flowering field that’s Heaven’s Feel. There he meets what appears to be Justeaze Einzbern and gets to wish for the materialization of all human souls.
So, we’ve reached the final stretch. There’s not much to be said there, it’s the beginning of the end. Shirou’s plan to save humanity with the Greater Grail is to materialize their souls, which is something you’d need lore info to fully understand… or wait until its explained next episode or two.
Shakespeare basically made me laugh and was pretty much the dividing line between the start of the episode and the second half. He was unashamedly going to stir up trouble, yet both Shirou and Semiramis both knew him well enough to intervene. Yet he still managed to get a dig in with his whole “love” speech.
Atalanta… well, we all knew what she was going to do. She wants Jeanne dead and gone, but its an uphill battle. Jeanne just has better stats because she’s an actual Ruler Servant, but if that pelt she was holding was indication, I suspect that she has a trump card.
Then there’s Chiron, who is basically a realist. He doesn’t think that a method of saving humanity without sacrificing others is possible, pointing out that many people dreamed of doing so but couldn’t and ended up paying the price for it in death. However, he probably drew the proper conclusion after the hinting that Achilles gave him.
Anyway, next episode is looking to be action-packed at least. Now how about we get back with Mordred…