With Sern on Okabe and gang’s trail, Okabe tries to figure out just how they found him out. Was it a mole in their group? Was it Daru doing stupid shit and connecting with Sern? And will there ever be a tuturu again? All three answers are below the cut to keep those few who have yet to view this from having it spoiled for them.
In order: Apparently so, yes, and maybe, but it won’t ever be the same.
The episode opens with a cut reminiscent of 2001, with Mayushi telling Okabe that their real selves aren’t the ones that we’re following… I think. Much like the viewership, this throws Okabe for a loop.
In this episode, the attention is lavished on Mayushi as if to concede to audience expectations and say “Fine! We’re going to dedicate an entire episode to her before killing her off! Happy now?” The first half of the episode is spent watching everyone just faff about, with Kurisu and Okabe going food shopping while discussing how important Mayushi is to have around. More jokes are made about Kurisu’s cooking ability and Okabe is seen coming closer and closer to a mental breakdown.
Meanwhile, Daru has spent time irresponsibly hacking into Sern’s network, setting the team up for a downfall. Soon after he boasts about doing so, a team of heavily armed men storms Okabe’s lab, including Moeka, who is seen sporting a form fitting leather suit. Before taking everyone in the lab hostage, she makes an example out of Mayushi, silencing her in what is effectively the turning point of the series from mood setting and ever increasing timeline changes into a cat and mouse game. Of course it was inevitable, but it was absolutely jarring to see Mayuri’s wide eyed optimistic stupidity vanish in the blink of an eye.
And thus, taken hostage by a rival organization, our heroes are left to an uncertain fate as the credits roll.
I can’t be the only one who thought “Called it!” when Mayushi got murdered. The clues as to what would happens to her were all crystal clear with everyone spouting lines that added up to “Gee, I’m so glad I have Mayushi around! She’s so cute and loveable and I hope that nobody betrays us and murders her!” But it served to juxtapose the entertaining, if somewhat forgettable, buildup of the episode, where everyone was sitting around enjoying themselves with various relaxing pastimes.
I can’t say I felt sad at Mayushi’s death, but she was a tolerable enough character not to feel glee over her death. She was just so unbelievably chipper throughout…
However, there were two things substantive (Boy I’ve used that word a lot lately) enough to warrant making this post more than mere cursory impressions and random dribble: Mayushi’s odd statement at the beginning, and Suzuha’s unwavering suspicion of Kurisu, add possible layers to a straight cat and mouse time travel series.
While being taken hostage shrugs some of the suspicion off of her, that might still be a red herring to keep Kurisu’s motivations mysterious. Well… ulterior motivations. I mean at this point, we all know that she’s sticking around for a piece of Okabe. The bit with Mayushi in the beginning casts doubt on the real course of the series of events in Steins;Gate… though that can also be a red herring. Or in Kurisu’s case, a red… headed… herring. I’ll be quiet now.
Yeah, pretty much the only thing of any discernable consequence that happened was Mayushi getting shot by Moeka, and the events leading up to it. It was a bit of a mixed episode as far as quality goes, but there’s no doubt that things won’t be the same again for Huouin and co.
Thus far, Steins;Gate is proving to be an interesting mix of humor and serious time travel mystery that’s been the most consistently entertaining show of the spring season. Keeping things at a good pace, it’s revealing everything bit by bit without rushing, while still maintaining interest through the fun character interactions between mad scientist Okabe and his crew of misfits, especially the belligerent sexual tension with Kurisu.
In short, it’s interesting, fun, a great series for all in search of a somewhat unique anime flavor. If this post seemed a little disjointed, that’s because it mirrors my current thought processes.