Quite a fitting episode for Mother’s Day even though it was sad…
Surprisingly, Natalia took him in as her son after he escaped from the island that got decimated by an outbreak of “Dead Apostles.” From there, she simply used Kiritsugu’s ability to her advantage. This is interesting since it influences Kiritsugu to become an “emotionless killing machine,” thus strengthen his ideal of killing one to save many. Also, the creation of the mystic code that he used on Archibald gets explained in the beginning, although we knew some details about it in the first season.
However, that wasn’t the thing that caught my attention, but the remarks she said several moments before the plane got shot down. When she mentions that he can kill people without any thought like a machine, it shows that he hasn’t gotten over the event that caused his trauma. In fact, the towns getting slaughtered by people like his father had worsen the situation since it reminded him of all the people he couldn’t save. His ideals and inability to convey any feeling after the incident feels like a Shakespearian tragedy. He can kill one or a group of people to save many just to have another bunch killed by another individual. He simply learned the wrong lesson that could haunt him for the rest of his life.
As for this tragedy, it’s foolish to think that this mission will be a piece of cake since she didn’t realize that the magus had killer bees inside his body. Not only that, she didn’t have a parachute packed into her supplies to allow her escape. However, I think Urobuchi intended on having her stay on the plane to reveal the flaws of Kiritsugu’s beliefs as shown with his decision to shoot down the plane. For most people, they would just allow her land the plane because of their close relationship. On the other hand, he simply pulled the trigger without any hesitation to sacrifice her and prevent another outbreak. Although her death is not as emotional, I still felt the impact since she is his mentor. Still, it’s surprising that he didn’t cry specifically over the death of her, but Shirley instead. I understand since she was his crush and it’s devastating to have two people that he loves gets taken away from him. At least Natalia died happy and knows that her foster son is not a failure.
From the two episodes, the back story shows a lot why he took the actions in the first few episodes in the second season. While this doesn’t change my feelings towards his character, I felt sympathetic towards him for all the despair he went through. His broken philosophy is not doing any good for him and only leading him to the path of destruction. Hopefully, the grail has an answer in redeeming himself from all the terrible acts he committed.