Episode 22 of Steins Gate 0 just aired, and things are finally drawing to a close. Below, we’ll take a closer look at this week’s episode and speculate what the finale might have in store.
All Aboard the Plot Train!
We’ve complained a lot about this show’s pacing – rampant filler arcs left unchecked caused the later episodes to feel rushed, but no more so than this one. In the space of 23 minutes, the audience witnesses Okabe identify the people who keep destroying the time machine, find a way to reach the past undetected, and resolve his long-standing Kurisu/Amadeus hangups.
Needless to say, this all feels a bit cheap. At this point in a show, we as viewers know that any problem will be resolved within two episodes, simply because that’s all that’s left. In fact, episode 22 saw a seemingly impossible time paradox solved in a matter of seconds. Thanks to Daru, who hadn’t mentioned the new tech he’d invented once until the plot required it.
And End to Amadeus
Okabe has seen Kurisu die more times than he can count, but until now, he was still struggling to differentiate between her as a person, and Amadeus as a program. We witnessed him come to terms with her death just a few episodes ago, and in this, the second-last episode of the season, he says goodbye, permanently, to Amadeus as well.
This marks a new chapter in his life. For the first time, he’s able to pursue his goals without the spectre of a long-dead friend weighing him down. It sounds harsh, but the fate of the world is at stake, so this can only be a good thing. Of course, it’s all for nothing if he can’t find a way to reach Stein’s Gate…
To Be Continued…?
Let’s be honest – he’s going to reach Stein’s Gate. However, we wonder if doing so in the final episode of season two is the best idea, especially considering how rushed the previous episodes have felt. It’s possible that the studio are setting up a third season, or even just an OVA to help flesh out the story a bit more, but there are no official details on this, so we’re just speculating.
Here’s our prediction for next week’s episode: Okabe arrives in the past and prevents Kurisu’s laptop from falling into Russia’s hands. At the same time, Daru steals the data from Leskinen and deletes it, leaving him no way to create a time machine. Crisis averted – except now no one can travel through time, unless by D-Mail. This would alert SERN, though, so that’s out too. The world returns to how it was originally, and Okabe just lives his life over again. It’s a little bleak, but right now, it’s the most likely scenario. Be sure to come back next week to see if we were right!