Okabe, Suzuha, and Mayuri race back to the street vender who informs them that a man came in and requested for a badge like the one they brought in earlier to be made, however all he can really say was that he was “barrel” shaped. Even then though, considering that this is a story about time travel Okabe just time leaps to the point when the man would have arrived.
And finds none other than Hashida making the request, and after being caught by him he explains that he was going to have a replica made and pass himself off as her father, it would have been a lie but he at least wanted to give her some closure. With that he also has some bad news, Suzuha’s time machine can only go backwards, a thought that haunts Okabe as Suzuha later tells him how grateful she is for everything that’s happened, aside from that however she doesn’t really have any problems with it.
With the time machine fixed they then start deciding on how to do things and Okabe and Kurisu even bring her her bike to take with her, and during all of this Mayuri has been able to figure out the hunch she had about Hashida and Suzuha. Putting what the street vender told them, the name of the time machine itself (Future Gadget 204, 2nd Edition Ver.2.31), and a few of the other things that point to it to come to the conclusion that Hashida is her father. And so after a heartfelt moment between them Suzuha sets upon heading back to 1975, intending to show up with an IBM 5100 not long after she left. However no matter how long they wait the Divergence Meter doesn’t change and a Suzuha now in her fifties never arrives, instead Mr Braun does with a letter addressed to him for this day.
And from him they also learn that she had tragically taken her life ten years ago, with the contents of the letter telling them how she had any chance of obtaining an IBM 5100 torn away from her, that upon arriving in 1975 she found herself being unable to remember anything and that as of writing the letter she had only recently regained her memories. Which because of she found herself cursing her selfeshness by stopping in 2010 and above all that she had spent 25 years living her life, making her wish for Okabe to go back and prevent himself from stopping her earlier. And regretting his actions for this Okabe sends a D-Mail to do this, even as Mayuri calls out to stop him.
Following this Okabe finds himself nearby Mr Braun as he’s closing the store for the day and decides to ask him about Hashida Suzu, and while it unfortunately turns out that Suzuha had still died, he tells him the story of how they were neighbours and that when his house had burned down she had taken him in. Telling him of how everyone should try to help each other, other than that he also has the Divergence Meter, for which the number has changed but not past the 1% mark. Leading him to fear for Mayuri once more and rush back to the lab, and when he finds her safe and sound, he wonders whether Suzuha succeeded as Kurisu is nowhere to be seen.
Considering that the connection between Hashida and Suzuha was something that I had initially seen ahead quite few episodes back I initially found this episode kind of lack luster. But after that I still think it turned out to be pretty good, ultimately Suzuha’s story has been settled and Okabe doesn’t recognise te consequences that have come with saving Mayuri.
First off while I didn’t exactly find Hashida being Suzuha’s father to be all that much of a surprise, I still thought that it made for a nice point in the episode and even in the series so far. And it was actually kind of ironic to see that Hashida before this had been revealed was intending to have a copy of the badge made to pass himself off as her father, not knowing that in the end it wouldn’t have been the lie he thought it was. It really makes me wonder whether the future Hashida who carried through with this without being caught would have intentionally passed on this replica to create a loop of sorts, where the badge’s origin is just a headache. However Mayuri’s idea says otherwise and I’m kind of more interested in what kind of ‘3D’ woman Hashida would have fallen for. All that aside though, seeing the reunion (if you could call it that) between them made for a nice heartwarming point in the episode.
With this Suzuha’s story also feels as if its drawn to a close, there’s still the potential for her to show up and hang around in 2010 for a while again by switching to a different world line, but ultimately the issue about finding her father and the one about being a time traveller have both been settled. She’s done what she needed to do and moved onto her main mission. So while I wouldn’t really mind if she did come back somehow, I think this may be the last we’ll see of her for a while, as cool as her character is there just really isn’t any reason to have her around at this point. However as sad as that is it really gives what happened to her a lot more of an impact, on the first loop she had any chance of succeeding in her gambit of acquiring an IBM 5100 taken away and in the second the fatalism came into play again and it’s still unknown whether she really succeeded or not. On a side note however as sad as this was, I liked how we were able to get to know the lover of CRT TVs, Mr Braun a little better. He’s been around since the first episode and before this he was little more than the grumpy landlord who does more than shake his fists angrily when his tenants piss him off.
Another thing about this episode was the apparent cost of saving Mayuri that Okabe doesn’t appear to have noticed yet, Suzuha’s fate was something that I initially would have added to it as well but it really comes down to fatalism again, no matter what as soon as she went to 1975 in the current world line she would die some 25 years later. So it really came across as a separate matter, however it still looks as if someone else has been sacrificed at the cost of saving her, Kurisu. To put it simply there just wasn’t really a normal vibe to the whole lab when Okabe came back, so I’m starting to wonder if something has happened to her, there just has to have been a reason for why everyone but her was there. It would be as if he had unintentionally traded her life for Mayuri’s, which also brings me to another question that I had asked earlier. At which point would Okabe accept the conditions it would take to save her? Mayuri may take top priority for him but all his friends are also pretty important to him, so in short would he accept a flawed ending or keep trying for that near impossible happy ending instead?