Not even yoursel–… wait…
— Rintaro wakes up to find himself in a hospital. According to his friends, he had collapsed at a party along with Nakase. It’s odd that it’s just those two. Is this implying that Nakase might have the potential to tap into the Reading Steiner ability?
— We also learned that someone had broken into Maho’s room, and there was even a gas explosion in an office. Feels like we missed a lot while we were away.
— So this is Nakase. She kinda looks like Chie from Persona 4…
— The doctor blames Nakase’s collapse on a bout of encephalitis, but that seems too convenient. I like how casual she is about it, too. Nothing to worry about, she says. I’d be freaking the fuck out if my doctor told me I had encephalitis. Any -itis, really.
— Nakase speaks of a vivid dream. She had seen a world where Mayuri was dead. That sounds like a perfect world to me. I kid, I kid. In all seriousness, it sure sounds like she has a bit of the Reading Steiner ability, too. I wonder if Rintaro is gonna tell her all about the world lines and such. Wouldn’t hurt to have an ally… if we can trust her.
— I know Amadeus is bad news, but if we can’t have Kurisu, we should have the next best thing. But according to Maho, they’re still trying to restore the AI’s functionality. Boo. I’m only saying this because I’m already kinda annoyed with Mayuri’s voice in the background. I want her to hush and let the adults talk.
— Russia’s back at it.
— Mayuri: “All we have here is fried chicken and bananas.” Must have been a wild party.
— Oh, I had forgotten that Moeka’s personality in the real world is totally different from what she’s like on LINE. She and Rintaro are standing in front of each other, but like in the original series, she still prefers to communicate through texts. This must be what it’s like to try and talk to a teenager.
— As Rintaro stares at Mayuri, he tells the audience that he’s determined to save this world without using the time machine. Lame. What about Kurisu? Looks like we’re still far from reviving the mad scientist. This Rintaro is too content to compromise.
— Rintaro gets Maho to room with Faris for the time being. I feel like Faris is just a convenient plot device. Need a place to store a time machine? Don’t worry, she’ll help out! Need to room a friend for a while? Faris won’t mind! Must be nice to have such a rich friend on hand.
— As for Kagari, not much has changed on her end.
— The only issue right now is that Suzuha wants to speak to Rintaro privately. Considering how the Russia thing is back in full gear, she must be freaking the fuck out.
— As soon as Rintaro gets onto the roof, Suzuha wants to know if the world line has changed. When he dances around the question, she pulls a gun on him. Welp.
— Suzuha wants to drag Rintaro back to July 28th, but he continues to whine that there’s nothing he can do. She finally fires a shot that barely misses him. She wants to show him that she means business, but honestly, it’s a tough situation.
— Let’s be practical for a second. Suzuha clearly doesn’t know what it feels like to be in his position. Dealing with Rintaro must be frustrating, and she feels absolutely powerless. She just sits around and does nothing all day. At the same time, however, she doesn’t know what it feels like to fail over and over and accomplish nothing. He saves one girl, and the other one dies. He saves the other one, and the first girl dies. This Rintaro insists over and over that the future cannot be altered, and to be fair, he has no evidence to suggest otherwise. We have the benefit of episode 24 of the first season. As a result, we know that there’s a happy ending. The guy doesn’t know jack shit. All he has is his evidence, and he can only work with what he’s got. Yeah, WW3 is bad, but unlike Suzuha, he hasn’t lived it. So yeah, what if they do make things even worse? It’s a legit question. Unless he has some bullshit ability to quickly comb through 14 million possible futures for the one possible path that leads to the Steins Gate, a.k.a. the true end? What can Rintaro really do but truly believe that it’s hopeless?
— Since Rintaro tried over and over to save Mayuri, we might naturally wonder why he’d throw in the towel on Kurisu. Hell, I wondered that. But if she’s really his true love, maybe Rintaro just can’t bear the thought of seeing her die more than he already has. Maybe it would hurt even more to see Kurisu die as many times as he has seen Mayuri die.
— But screw practicality! Let’s now look at the situation from a hero’s point-of-view! No matter how hopeless it seems, if there’s even a glimmer of hope that you might succeed, why would you ever, ever give up? Yeah, I don’t want to make things worse… but I can’t abide by any future in which Kurisu doesn’t exist! Well, easy for me to say. I don’t get to be the hero. I just get to sit on my ass and pick apart every single thing Rintaro says and does. I dunno, man, I dunno. 80% of me wants to slap the guy and tell him to keep fighting. 20% of me understands that he’s going through some tough shit.
— Anyways, Daru eventually shows up and talks Suzuha down from the edge of the proverbial cliff. As she breaks down and cries, this allows Rintaro to leave quietly.
— It’s so hard to take Daru seriously with that voice. He sounds like Barney trying to be a weeb.
— Our hero will continue on with his compromise: he’ll try and prevent WW3, but gosh darn it, he still won’t use the time machine. We’ll see, dude. We’ll see. He goes and has another conversation with Yuugo, who tips him off about DURPA. Yeah, more shadowy organizations. As Rintaro thinks about the situation even more, a new Kurisu appears. This time, an imaginary Kurisu emerges from our hero’s brain, and he bounces ideas off of her. In reality, Rintaro’s just talking to himself, but hey, whatever gets him through the day. He eventually realizes what we’ve long suspected: Kurisu’s time-traveling theories are still located in Amadeus’s memories, and that’s what DURPA (or whoever it may be) are after.
— We also cut to Suzuha and Daru having a nice father-daughter conversation. They don’t discuss anything we don’t already know. Daru still believes that Hououin Kyouma will return to them one day. Suzuha continues to be worried about the future, but she will apologize for nearly killing Rintaro just earlier. We also learn that all her attempts to refuel her time machine has failed. She really is short on time. If she runs out of juice in the middle of a jump, she might end up being lost forever. But compared to WW3, Suzuha wonders if it’ll even be all that bad. Yeesh, everyone is slowly succumbing to a defeatist attitude. I hope something changes soon.
— The next day, Rintaro pays Maho a visit. He’s only left her for a day, and the short scientist has already turned one of Faris’s room into a mess. Is this supposed to be moe? A smart but sloppy genius girl?
— Anyways, our hero tells Maho about his theory — his theory concerning DURPA and what might be locked away in Amadeus’s memories. He wants to know if Kurisu had left behind any sort of notes or data that shadowy organizations might wanna target. Maho says no, but after Rintaro leaves, she turns on a laptop that clearly used to belong to her former friend. Yo, what’s up with that? Maho can’t be trusted now? Or maybe she doesn’t think she can trust Rintaro? Either way, if Steins;Gate 0 is like the first season, then we’re probably near a bad ending before we can hop back on another (hopefully more fruitful) route.