It has taken 8 episodes but I finally found myself emotionally invested in an episode of Steins;Gate 0. Whether this continues, I’m not sure, but this was by far the best episode this series has given us.
It seems almost ironic that my favourite episode of Steins;Gate 0 so far is this one which actually doesn’t really progress any of the plot points from 0 at all and is almost entirely caught up in reuniting Okabe with Kurisu and ultimately making Okabe face the choice all over again of whether to sacrifice Kurisu for Mayuri or not. And while we’ve seen this heartbreaking choices made once before, Okabe is now having to make it off the back of living the reality without Kurisu and that is a fairly unpleasant experience for him, and for the viewers who were probably doing mental cartwheels at the return of our sassy red-headed science geek.
There were several key scenes that really lifted this episode outside of Okabe’s original reuniting with Kurisu. The first is his encounter with Daru where we see Daru for the first time really get angry at Okabe, for fairly understandable reasons given the context of the time line. We also get the grave visit which was superbly, if predictably, done. But by far my favourite moment came when Kurisu’s passing comment about how they met triggered something in Okabe. Perhaps planting a seed that would later (or earlier in terms of the original series) see him figuring out the loophole that would allow her to survive. I quite enjoyed that moment.
We then of course got the parting kiss between the pair and this scene looks great but they really didn’t let it stand on its own suddenly blasting us with the score and removing any kind of subtlety from the emotion of the moment. It kind of took away from what should have been a fairly anticipated moment between the pair.
However, we now have the problem of whether or not Okabe actually returned to the previous world line or ended up somewhere else again. We also still don’t really know what’s going on with anything in the world line we were originally in with this series. None of the other characters or plot points had even a moment’s attention this week so everything just kind of got put on hold. So while I really did enjoy this reunion episode, I have to say it leaves me wondering how the next episode can possibly hold up.
- Episode 7: Leaping To Conclusions is Fun
- Episode 6: And Round and Round We Go
- Episodes 4 + 5: It’s Never Over
- Episode 3: Kurisu and Okabe Still Have It
- Episode 2: Okabe Reacts
- Steins;Gate 0 First Impressions
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