Posted by Lenlo on 22 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Steins;Gate 0

Welcome to Steins;Gate 0, this week with the most “final” middle of a series episode ever. We have drama, we have guns, we even have probable time skips! Lets jump in.

This was an overall solid episode. It tried to wrap up, or tie together, a lot of plot threads and resolve character arcs before jumping into its second half. None of the drama really felt forced, though I do think Maho’s bathroom scene shouldn’t have been played for comedy. In general it was just a solid wrap before things start to get crazy. I say start to because episode 12 is when the original Steins;Gate really kicked into gear, so I expect White Fox to be going for a similar pace here. Now, on to specifics!

First up, Daru. I gotta say I wasn’t expecting Daru to be the “trusted source”. I figured if it was him they wouldn’t have needed to worry with lockers or this secrecy, or that Daru would have told Okabe at some point. Its nice to see he has a life and work outside the main cast though. Helps establish him as his own character more. We also get to see that Daru isn’t just a useless sidekick character. Dude had a safe house, prepared escape routes and security measures in place because he knew how dangerous what they were doing was. Really raises his credibility and makes it more believable that he will one day, with Okabe, actually make the time machine Suzuha uses. Its like we are seeing flashes of what he apparently becomes. Really though its just nice to see Daru when he isn’t perving on everyone.

Sadly for Daru and Okabe though, they got found out, by both Americans and Russians. They are showing up more and more, so I expect the second half of the series to really start ramping up their involvement. They are the main antagonists at this point, and Okabe has no desire to do time travel again, so they are what will move the plot forward. I am a bit confused as to why the Russians didn’t kidnap Okabe or try to recover the laptop themselves though. I get why they wouldn’t want the Americans to get it, but they seem to be being more reactionary than proactive at this point. Still if Steins;Gate 0 really plays up this “caught in a war between spy agencies”, things could get crazy interesting for our crew. Looking forward to how this shakes out.

Speaking of America, I am just going to say I called it on Reyes. We see Yuki once again has an injury corresponding to the DARPA agents, but at this point its just to obvious. Its blatantly being thrown out there, I can’t help but think its a red herring. Sure Steins;Gate 0 does the same thing with Reyes and her hand beneath the covers. But its either that, or Steins;Gate 0 is playing the long con with making Yuki to obvious so that we don’t suspect her. Hiding her in plain sight so to speak. Still doesn’t explain how she inevitably ends up with Daru at the end, since Suzuha is her daughter, but its possible I suppose. I think it far more likely its Reyes though, as every scene she has been in has put her in… suspicious angels.

Next up Maho and Okabe, the saddest ship to never set sail. I figured Okabe would have to break the news to Maho, bring her in. I didn’t expect her to take it so well though. Sure well is subjective, she had some issues, but just believing time travel outright? Kurisu required the line about a personalized fork. I suppose Maho had seen enough of Okabe up to this point to know something was up though. It was interesting seeing how they both handled the events though. With Okabe standing strong in the face of danger, where old him would have folded, while Maho panics. Our favorite mad scientist is looking pretty bad-ass right now I would say. Maho better be careful, she might give in and ask him out at this rate. Really though my only complaint this episode with them was how Mahos bathroom scene was handled. Shouldn’t have been a comedy scene, after that trauma.

Finally, the “ending”. Boy that feels pretty final huh? Laptop destroyed, Maho and Leskinen sent home, Amadeus off his phone. And yet, this is only episode 11 of 24. So where do we go from here? I have two ideas. First, time-skip. We jump to Okabe heading to America, joining Leskinen and Maho’s university. American soil, less friends around to help, we focus on them 3 and Amadeus and Reyes. Could be interesting and I love both Leskinen and Maho so I am all for it. Second option, we jump World Lines. Problem with this one, it could go literally anywhere. We could head back to Kurisu being alive. Or maybe Maho and Leskinen didn’t leave yet. Or maybe America got the laptop. We have absolutely no idea. Personally, with Okabe hating time travel now, I would prefer the time-skip. We have to get to 2036 somehow after all.

So all in all, like I said, solid episode. Everything just sort of… worked. It wasn’t mind blowing, there were no big revelations really or any big fireworks. It was just the end/work through of character arcs. Okabe has, sort of, overcome his grief somewhat. Hes ready to move on with his life. What happens next, time-skip or World Line jump, determines what happens now because we all know Okabe won’t be the catalyst. Hes content now, as much as he can be at any right. Heck, he delivered my favorite line of the episode as a sort of final farewell with “How many times have I said goodbye to you?”. This line right here? This is the episode for me in a nutshell. It wrapped up the entire character arc for him, as he finally says goodbye and accepts her death. It, quite simply, worked.

And can I just say, as I finish up, my god these episode names are getting weird. Still no idea where these come from.

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