Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace note
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace note ?
Once again, an episode of Case Files has exactly zero action, and it's not a problem in the slightest. That's because the episode collects a myriad of moving pieces into one gradually-cohering picture, setting up the big reveal in what should be the series' finale next week. The ability of the series to balance its disparate elements in a neatly organized fashion has been its most impressive aspect.
In the process, it also pulls out some startling twists. The biggest is the conclusion that the severed heads, both now and seven years ago, weren't necessarily dead. By keeping them alive, presumably in some kind of magical stasis, the murderer can use the head's Mystic Eyes. This completely upends any kind of traditional murder-mystery logic, but a twist like that is well in line with how the Nasuverse works. It's unclear exactly what this tells Waver about the culprit, but presumably we'll find out next episode. The other big twist is the presumption that the Servant Hephastion actually isn't Hephastion, but a fake that's imitating that individual. We haven't seen a Servant passing itself off as another in any Fate animation, so I'm now curious to see how that's possible. I'm also curious to see how the ley lines extending through Japan and that amulet Trisha was wearing will factor into the puzzle. Given the way this episode ends, I'm guessing that we won't have to wait long once the next episode starts.
There are also several other interesting things going on. The episode found a way to work in some mild fan service by showing Luvia in the bath, though suddenly switching to her back view as she stood up in the tub made for a jarring transition. In that same scene, Waver posted a (presumed) charm outside the phone booth which included the word “tsaphah,” which is a Hebrew root word with meanings involving keeping watch. (I could not pin down exact meanings for the other two words used, hitnera and anaoris, but they also seem to be associated with Jewish mysticism.) That seems quite appropriate for a charm against spying. Flat and Svin are finally back in the picture, being transported by Kairi for some task that's “perfect” for them, though I can't imagine what it will have to do with this case. (On that note, the observation that moving cars have mystical connotations is also interesting.) Waver's appeal to Olga Marie shows yet again why there's so much to like about this version of Waver, but the following discussion about afterimages, and the way the camera lingered on Gray during that conversation, was also a neat touch; that's basically what Gray seems to be, an afterimage of Arturia. Melvin is also starting to grow on me, with his explanation of his motivations to Gray proving that he's nowhere near as thoughtless as he might seem.
On the whole, Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files just keeps being its normal entertaining self.
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