Episodes 6-8 were a roller-coaster of fun and sadness that have kept me gripped to the edge of my seat. Episode to episode the plot development has been strong and the reactions of Okabe have been believable and heartbreaking.
In Episode 6, the characters continued their search for information regarding Kagari. Moeka explains to Okabe that there is another group searching for Kagari. Then, during a party at the lab, Maho’s connection to AI Kurisu fails. The scene perfectly mirrors the first season where Mayushi’s watch fails. And then we get the kicker of armed men running into the lab.
Episode 7 begins with the armed men at the lab, but then deviates from the expected. Nobody gets shot or kidnapped. Instead, Braum shows up and helps Suzuha fight off the armed men. When Okabe confronts Braum about his connection to SERN, Braum admits the connection but says that he was not involved in the attack. During the course of the episode, we see Amane nursing a damaged arm – the same arm that Suzuha had kicked of one of the attackers. But we don’t get a lot of time to focus on the reveal, because Okabe gets a call from Amadeus that switches the timelines.
And then the biggest twist of the season. In the new timeline, Kurisu is still alive. Episode 8 picks up here with a focus on the new timeline. We learn that in the new timeline, Okabe never sent the final message back in time to kill Kurisu and blames himself for the death of Mayushi. Daru and Kurisu quickly realize that Okabe is acting differently and likely returned here from a different timeline.
Though Okabe from the new timeline had destroyed his phone microwave, Kurisu had built a new one. Kurisu creates a message to send back in time which would send Okabe back home. In a beautiful final moment, Kurisu kisses Okabe and sends the message back in time. The message – “don’t come in” – causes Kurisu to enter the lab slightly too late with her declaration of love, thereby allowing Okabe to send the message that kills her.
Episode 6 is where the show really started to pick up speed. The pacing has been amazing, with reveal after reveal. There have been callbacks to the original series as well as new directions for the characters. It was fun to watch Braum working with Okabe and exciting to see a possible darker side to Amane. The speed of the reveals give the show room to tie things back together in a way I am looking forward to immensely.
One of the best things about this season is that it does not spend a long time keeping its characters ignorant. Okabe confronts Braum almost immediately after the attack and has a frank discussion with him. Kurisu and Daru figure out that Okabe is from another timeline after a single interaction and confront him, continuously pushing the plot forward.
Unfortunately, the transition to the world where Mayushi is dead lacked a bit of a punch. Okabe had been constantly grieving for the loss of Kurisu in the other world. So much so that the loss of Mayushi in this world lacks the emotional impact.