Fairy Tail: Final Season
Episode 309

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 309 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?

The fight between Gray and Natsu may get top billing this week, but it's really the least important part of the episode. In part this is because we've frankly seen it coming – the two have always been at loggerheads, and epic or not, this is in some ways just the latest in their series of stalemate spats. What's more important here is their motivations: Natsu is fighting Gray because he's keeping Natsu from reaching Zeref, who he wants to kill in retaliation for what he thinks is Lucy's death. Gray, meanwhile, is transferring his grief over Juvia's presumed death into blame for Natsu, who he unquestioningly believes to be E.N.D. after being told so by one of the Twelve. (While that is true, it seems a bit gullible of Gray to just believe what the enemy tells him.) In other words, neither of them truly want to kill the other – Gray wants to kill E.N.D. and Natsu wants to kill Zeref, but here they are, fighting to the death anyway.

As it turns out, the death that matters is one they never see coming. Makarov, in a final attempt to give his guild and his children the advantage, casts Fairy Law, knowing full well that it will kill him. That is the catalyst for what will happen next and the moment of true import this week. It makes everything else just seem like petty squabbles.

Makarov's death stands to affect everyone differently, as we begin to see here. It may be the saddest for Mavis, at least in some ways, as witnessing the death of the infant she named is a terribly real reminder of the fact that the world has moved on without her, and nothing drives that home quite like Laxus, the grandson of that infant, comforting her. It's a moment that almost makes it seem like Mavis is less a person and more an heirloom for the Dreyar family – now that Makarov has died, Laxus inherits her care. Not that he isn't sad, too, but he's able to hold strong because he needs to, a burden that Erza doesn't carry. In her we see the most overt signs of grief, from her sword clattering to the ground to her bow of deep respect for the man who was the only father she ever knew. In a sign of how much she cares about the family she has left, she then rushes off to find Gray and Natsu – her younger brothers, for all intents and purposes – to let them know.

She can't have been thrilled to find them in an all-out battle to the death, but she's just the wake-up call they need. It doesn't matter who they are or why they're fighting – at the end of the day, when Erza comes between them in tears, it's time to put away the grudges and find out what's wrong. Or at least find out whose ass she's about to kick, because Erza in tears rarely bodes well for the bad guys. More than that, it's an important statement about Fairy Tail as a close-knit family, which is what Makarov tells them is truly important with his last words. Yes, sometimes you get mad at your family and want to yell at them (or turn them into barbecue), but at the end of the day, they're who you have, and that bond is more important than grudges. Gray and Natsu were fighting because of their feelings for other guildmates. It takes the loss of the most important one to make them remember who really needs to be taken down.

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Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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