There have been a few new scenes that were not in the visual novel before this point. They were pretty impressive and I talked them up when they appeared. Rin vs Illya made it into my Top 7 Type-Moon Moments for 2014. There was the much improved fight in episode ten. But overall this were minor tweaks and visual improvements. They were more signs of a good adaptation as opposed to clear indicators that this would be something more than the original. But I held out hope that this season would give us something more than that and did it ever. If nothing else it did hear a bit of grumbling about what they were going to do with this season. It seemed like they were over half way done with the story but still had a little less than half the series to go. What could they do other than the worst case scenario of dragging things out to fill in the time?
This episode is almost entirely new material. It is not radically different scenes. It is not totally going off in a new direction. Stray Servant was not introduced and Zouken Matou summoned True Assassin in the middle of Unlimited Blade Works. But everything here is either important scenes that happened off-screen or answered questions the fanbase always wondered about but were never fully answered in the visual novel. It is enough that I will have to change my Themes of Fate/Stay Night panel now that we have seen Caster’s original master.
If nothing else convinced visual novel purists that this was worth watching it would be this episode. It also makes anyone watching wonder what is coming next.