With the Moeka’s gun pointed at Okabe, Suzuha returns and informs them that the lifter downstairs is on, and so using one of the gadgets as a distraction Okabe and Kurisu activate the time leap machine with himself as the test subject. The last thing he sees is Kurisu being shot in the right shoulder.
Following this we’re given a few more details about the sort of relationship that Okabe and Mayuri have, that the hostage and mad scientist part of it came about after her grandmother had died, and feeling as if he was going to lose her he clung onto her and declared it. After this Okabe finds himself three hours before when they activated the time leap machine, around the time when he was about to go shopping with Kurisu, and without giving any details he cancels the party and takes off, determined to find Mayuri before it’s too late.
However she isn’t answering her phone so the only way he can find her is by predicting the things she would have done before, and during this search Kurisu having recognised him to be the recipient of a time leap calls him and asks him to tell her everything later. While he may have been able to warn her, Hashida, and Daru however, by the time he finds Mayuri there isn’t much time left. But anyway he sincerely asks her to trust him and takes her hand. However once he arrives at the train station remembers how the trains had been stopped by a bomb threat and is approached by one of SERN’s agents, they then manage to get away only to be confronted by more agents and in the resulting struggle Mayuri is run down by Moeka.
Unable to give up Okabe then escapes and resets the time leap machine, this time taking the time to make up an excuse for why the party is postponed and calling Ruka to ask her to tell Mayuri to stay at the shrine until he gets there. And when he does calmly tells her about the party and asks her to come with him. With trains out of the question Okabe intends to take the subway, but as they make their way he picks out a car with a suspicious driver in the distance.
In the end they eventually arrive at the subway station and after dismissing a message from Kurisu they wait for it to arrive. Once again the watch Mayuri’s watch stops working and as she still holds his hand, she asks him to explain everything to her after all of this. They also intend to hold the party later, however Nae calls out in the distance and accidentally trips, sending Mayuri off the platform as the subway arrives.
This episode may have been the obvious result after what happened in the last one but I still found it a little hard to watch, it wasn’t just that we saw Mayuri die two more times in this episode but how we were able to learn about the nature and sincerity of her relationship with Okabe. It really makes all his attempts to save her from what appears to be fate being a jerk all the more heart wrenching.
To put it simply it really just puts all those heart to heart moments between them and the whole Maddo Scientist and hostage relationship they have into perspective. That it all and possibly a;sp the way that Okabe acts now is all the result of him reaching out when he felt as if he was going to lose her. Also managing to further show how close they are at the same time. Aside from that I also liked how we were able to learn a bit more about Mayuri through this as well as it not only managed to show where her Stardust Shakehand originated from and that the grave she was shown standing before in the first episode had been her grandmothers. Pretty much showing us the meaning behind this habit of hers and what she could still be toubled by as well.
Along with that I’m also starting to get the impression that perhaps Mayuri can’t be “saved”, that no matter what she’s supposed to die on that night at eight (close enough) when her watch just so happens to stop. As while the first two times may have been at Moeka’s hands, intentional or not, the third happened for an entirely unrelated reason. Nae had just so happened to spot them and ran to meet them, and even though the question needs to be asked of why a protective father like Mr Braun would even allow his daughter to be running around at that time of night, it really did just seem to be an act of fate. Something that would happen no matter what Okabe did or how many times he went back to reverse it. Which given his state of mind is also something I’m kind of worried about, he seems adamant to save her no matter what but in order to do this what cost will he have to pay? Would he still be content if he managed to save Mayuri at the cost of all his other friends? Either way I hope that this part of the story gets dragged out.
While it may just be due to his panicked state, I’m also kind of disappointed to see that Okabe isn’t taking advantage of the one thing he has over Moeka and SERN’s agents, that as far as they know he doesn’t know about them or that they’re coming. As at the moment all he’s doing is running ahead without a plan like an idiot, pretty much running into their hands each time. It may take him a few loops but what he really needs to do is calm down and at least plan things out, aside from being a bit more cautious he now knows where Mayuri will be and that trains aren’t an option. It’s not much but unarmed it’s all he really has against them if he intends to do things on his own. So lets just hope he can do this, let alone asking help from the likes of Kurisu, Hashida, or Suzuha instead. The latter, part-time warrior looking as if she would actually be pretty useful in this sort of situation. As a side note of all of this I’d also have to say that I think it’s kind of ironic the way things have turned out, the mysterious agents Okabe talked about before may have been imaginary but now they’re quite real.
Finally however I’m not really sure what to think about the use of the time leap, on one hand it’s offering Okabe another attempt to fix things and save Mayuri, but on the other hand it’s essentially accepting that SERN wins in this worldline. That in the end with each loop all they’re doing is accepting defeat before attempting to fix things, as even though Okabe managed to “escape” from it the worldline that it took place in still exists, that not only Mayuri but also Kurisu and likely Suzuha (especially after she burst in) and Hashida would have also died there. Now I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, it’s a story about time travel and if things were really left like this it would make for a depressing story, but given the way they’ve established the way these things work, for some reason it just doesn’t sit well with me.