Damn it! I wanted her to stay!
The fifth episode of Fate Extra: Last Encore has aired, and so I’ve come to give my review.
The episode opens with a scene from 999 years ago, where we see Archer shooting a Master with an arrow laced with poison from a Yew Tree. Sakura is trying to treat it when Dan Blackmore finds the Master in question. He supposedly cures the poisoning out of chivalry and their Servants do battle properly , whereupon Archer and Dan Blackmore lose and thus suffer death via deletion.
Yet, both were revived at some point after their deletion. They got a second chance. Only, Dan didn’t come back properly and instead resorted to doing underhanded attacks and traps that completely contrasted his previous nature. Now, all he cared about was victory.
We then cut back to Rani, Saber, and Hakuno as they have breakfast in the forest. He’s still a little shaken by how many years it’s been, but Saber manages to calm him down enough for him to think more rationally about everything. Then they begin the strategy meeting and establish that Dan can never ascend no matter how Masters he kills, despite being the Floor Master, because his death was registered and so it will never take him to the next floor.
Rani also drops that his Servant is Robin Hood, a servant who specializes in guerrilla warfare and has two Noble Phantasm, though he can’t use both at once. One allows for camouflage, while the other makes impurities in the target’s body explode. Namely poison. So if Rani hadn’t come around when she did, Saber would have died very violently.
Saber decides to play bait in dealing with Robin Hood while Hakuno and Rani go deal with Dan. Like Rin, Rani has a sweet motorbike and carries Hakuno to the battlefield while the Servants engage in battle. Before they exchange blows Saber calls Robin Hood out on committing such slaughters despite having pride in his chivalrous thefts (the whole rob from the rich thing).
Rani, meanwhile, gives exposition on the Moon Cell and how it invited humans to study them and record their behaviors, but was unable to understand any of it. So it discarded humans and their emotions to the bottom floor, where all that hatred began to build up until it became a world of the dead. Those dead can be seen as ghosts wandering around SE. RA. PH.
Saber continues to dodge the arrows of the invisible Archer and questions him on allowing Dan to continue the slaughtering. Archer only states that he’s driven to not lose again, even if he has nothing to gain from it. Saber calls him out to use his Yew Bow Noble Phantasm and she’d strike him down, rather than prolong things.
Back with Hakuno, things get bloody as the best girl of the show gets sniped despite having a barrier in place ahead of them. She’s still alive, but tells Hakuno not to come out since he’s using her as bait to lure him out for the kill. Hakuno is forced to face the ghosts of the dead telling him to go since that was the point of all of this, but Hakuno tells them to screw off and activates Dead Face. It gives him enough strength and speed that he can kick up a dust storm and move fast enough to get Rani out of harm’s way.
Archer realizes that he saw through Dan’s trap after an explosion is kicked up, so he tries to kill Saber with his Yew Bow. Saber deflects the shot though and keeps her word about striking him down the moment he unleashed it. Turns out she has been bleeding herself out the entire time to keep the poison from building up inside of her, while using one of her abilities that allows her to basically revive herself up to three times as long as her body is intact. Archer is basically done for, so he opts to stop fighting and send Saber off while he relocates to a grave marking where the true Dan Blackmore laid and passes on.
As for the vengeful ghost that was currently acting as a sniper, Dead Face Hakuno snipes him instead after realizing he was hiding in the castle. As he lays dying once more, the ringing of the bells reminds him of his late wife. And so he passes on as well for the second time now as the Ladder descends.
They have two minutes before the Floor collapses with the death of the Floor Master, and Hakuno wants to go get Rani. But Saber stops him and points out that Rani never once said she wanted to ascend. She decided to remain with the dead and bids them farewell, with a final warning that Dead Face will some day cover up his true self.
Rin tries to cheer them up on the elevator by saying that Rani got what she wanted in seeing the final star ascend as the episode ends.
Nnnhhh… Ow. My heart. I feel so upset, but it was a good episode.
The scene with Dan Blackmore in the beginning is similar to that of the game when it came to his death. He showed in his final moments how wise he was and how he encouraged the player to walk ahead, holding his head up even if he is on the losing end. To find a reason as a victor. Now he came back and exists only as a veteran warrior obsessed with victory, a mockery of who he once was.
Archer is left going along with it out of mercy to the old him right up to the very end. It was so touching, yet so sad that all you can do is accept that these two had essentially swapped positions due to everything that’s happened. He at least wanted to keep Dan’s spirit alive at the very final moments.
As for Rani… I wanted her to live. I was breathless when she got sniped, and the fact that she chose to die really hurt me. I think that so much could have been done with her character along with Rin. Hell, her Decoy ability practically gave Hakuno an easy way to win by setting off the traps to lure Dan into a sniping position.
But… it made sense. She didn’t want to leave the dead unmourned. So she chose to stay with them to the very end and Saber makes him respect that wish.
As for Hakuno. He’s starting to pick up on what’s going on thanks to her. He’s pulling himself from the mass of hatred that serves as his power source and establishing the things he wants rather than what they want. Even so, I do like how Hakuno managed to realizes that Dan Blackmore was using the ringing of the bells to cover up his true position, taking into account he was a sniper who has lived for a thousand years and a memory of the death from one of the ghosts to understand.
Overall, I liked the episode a lot and hope to see where it leads in this new Grail War.