What was happening in the last episode of Steins;Gate, anyway? I guess we didn’t see much of what actually happened – most of the episode took place in a lame duck timeline. Well, by that logic, the entire show up to Feyris’s fateful phonecall took place in a lame duck timeline, and we have only seen part of one episode of things actually happening. It reminds me of a certain science fiction RPG (named in the comments to prevent spoilers) where you spend several hours on a planet doing quests and helping people and whatnot, and then you watch as it’s destroyed and you are like, what was the point of any of that. I guess the dead timelines are preserved as artifacts in Hououin’s mind, so he could learn from his mistakes, if he were the sort of person to do that. I don’t really think he is, but he might surprise me in episode 11 of Steins;Gate.
The D-mail is plenty, Hououin is just being greedy.
I’m a little impressed by how they’re moving forward on the “physical time travel” issue. After all, “you” are just a piece of information, so if you can send information back in time, you can send yourself back in time too. I’ll be interested to see how they get around the 36-byte limitation. Hopefully they will devise some packetization scheme combined with rapid D-mailing. If they claim that they can, through some special technique, compress human identity and memory down to 36 bytes, I will facepalm so hard I will break my nose. 2^288 different possible people is a lot of different possible people, but I’m pretty sure there’s more different possible people than that. I guess there’s always the lossy compression route: to paraphrase The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’d just have to program him to say “I’m Hououin Kyoma” and “The Organization is spying on me!” and “Where’s the Dr Pepper?” and who would know the difference?
We might be moving into a more serious, horror-type mode with the show now, corresponding to the season boundary. Today it was a fakeout, but tomorrow, who knows? It’s too bad Daru browses @chan instead of 4chan, or he would have been informed of the trap he walked into by a helpful Mon Calamari general. As it is, the lab is extremely vulnerable, although given how the lab members in general just blurt the details of their time machine out to everyone they meet I’m not sure it’s fair to pile all the blame on Daru.
They seemed to be foreshadowing the death of someone Hououin holds dear – maybe more than foreshadowing, he got a threatening email saying basically “we’re going to kill someone you hold dear”. Hopefully the studio doesn’t wimp out and kill someone tertiary, like Mr. Braun’s daughter. I’m worried they might, because otherwise, what was the point of that scene with her in this episode? In hindsight it seems like a classic example of setting a character up to knock them down. They should be bolder, because hey, they have a built in get-out-of-jail free card. There’s no need for your friends to stay dead if you have a time machine! Hououin was right to rush home when he got that email, but not to protect his friends – to protect the Phone Microwave. Losing that is the only mistake he can’t undo.