What’s the show? Steins;Gate 0, Episode 23.
So here we are—the season finale of the show that some months ago you said was “even better than the original Steins;Gate”, do you remember that? I can’t even remember what I said last week let alone ~months~ ago, cut me some slack, will ya?!
Well since you mention last week, here’s something you said then that’s worth repeating, and I quote: “Calling it now, this was my favourite episode of the season and no matter how good next week’s finale is nothing will be able to beat this one!” End quote. Listen, I say a lot of things in the heat of the moment and I’ve been known to engage in hyperbole on occasion…
Uh-huh, so regretting those words now, is this finale better than the previous episode? Actually you know what, no, it’s not, it’s ~as good~ as last week, that is to say it’s almost perfect—just in a different way than last week’s near-perfection.
Okay, so what’s so good about it? While last week was moody and contemplative, a fitting penultimate episode and almost like a eulogy—this week brings the high-energy and big drama and raised stakes. It’s also pretty damn complicated, which for this show is certainly saying something, I’m not saying I was ever confused at any point in this show but this is certainly not an episode you’d want to be distracted with other things while watching.
So what happens in the episode? You know what, I’m not going to go into a full beat-by-beat analysis of everything that happened in the episode. What I will do is highlight a couple of things I felt this episode did exceptionally well and was utterly delighted with. If you want a full synopsis of the episode I’m sure you can find it elsewhere!
Well that’s a smart idea, turn away half the people reading this to other sites, but whatever you’re the boss… I loved that Okabe didn’t rob Mayuri and Suzuha of their importance in the narrative and Mayuri’s newfound confidence in her ‘role’ in Okabe’s life. They got to do what they intended to do and did a fine job of it too—the scene where Steins;Gate 0 Mayuri is talking to original Steins;Gate Mayuri over the phone was exceptional and emotional in all the right ways. Likewise their resignation to whatever fate was about to befall them as they slipped through history with the time machine being out of fuel was kind of beautiful.
Wait, so Mayuri and Suzuha are lost in time? Come now… this is still Okabe’s story, he’s not going to let things end like that! Back in future time 2025 Okabe’s about to cheat his destiny by changing the “prophecy” that he dies that year by using the time machine to leave (and therefore technically not existing anymore) and with it he intends to track down Mayuri and Suzuha. And I’ll be honest, I don’t actually know if any of what Okabe was saying about being able to track them down made sense from a series technical continuity standpoint. I don’t remember the original Steins;Gate all that well, I loved it, it’s one of my top 10 anime of all time, but I’ve still only ever seen it once. Regardless of it though, I believed he would find them and as the time machine disappeared and the end credits started to roll I had a vague doubt about whether the show was going to leave things ~ambiguous~.
And does it? Of course not! The post-credit scene not only gives Okabe his “big-win” that he’s been searching for all this time but ends the series on a monumental high!
Well the show might not have left things ambiguous but this review certainly contains more mystery that it oughta. Listen, I may have talked up this show plenty throughout the season but I’m definitely no expert on the series—if you want expert reviews go to people like Irina who’ve actually played the Visual Novels this series is based on, they’re far more qualified to talk about the rich detail of this series! As for me, I can just tell you what I thought about the episode as a series finale, it was fantastic, I loved every minute of it and I’m more than satisfied with this conclusion!
Previous Steins;Gate 0 Reviews:
Episode 1 Review
Episode 2 Review
Episode 3 Review
Episode 4 Review
Episode 5 Review
Episode 6 Review
Episode 7 Review
Episode 8 Review
Episode 9 Review
Episode 10 Review
Episode 11 Review
Episode 12 Review
Episode 13 Review
Defying the Protagonist – Episode 14 Review
When Daru Met Yuki – Episode 15 Review
Truth Is A Mirror – Episode 16 Review
A Life Sentence – Episode 17 Review
Blowing Up The Gate – Episode 18 Review
The Definition Of Insanity – Episode 19 Review
Living On Sorrowed Time – Episode 20 Review
Making Up For Lost Time – Episode 21 Review
A Night To Remember – Episode 22 Review
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