Mark Watches ‘Steins;Gate’: Episode 11 – Dogma in Event Horizon

In the eleventh episode of Steins;Gate, a new theory might lead to time leaps; there might be a spy; THERE MIGHT BE A NIGHTMARE BREWING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steins;Gate.

I found “Dogma in Event Horizon” to be a lot more introspective than most of the previous episodes, but that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of character building here, and the team is all forced to re-think their next move. Do they really want to proceed toward sending memories back into their own minds?

Nevermind the logistical problems of that; we don’t actually get a sense of how this is going to work. Instead, as Kurisu develops her theory that human memory can be compressed and sent back in time, the show asks these characters to consider what they’re doing. Is it worth it? Is it more practical than the current D-mail method? I understood Okabe’s logic about why this might be less chaotic than the shifting world lines that we’re getting right now. Previously, these messages to the past would affect the universe in ways Okabe couldn’t predict. That’s not to say memory messages wouldn’t either; but they’d be sending knowledge—in the form of memories—to a person who could then choose to act on it or not. It adds at least another layer of consideration to the process. Granted, there’s no way to assure that a person won’t act irrationally or thoughtlessly with the new information that they’re getting, but it’s possible, right? 

Except then Mayuri BREAKS MY FUCKING HEART like she does ALL THE FUCKING TIME. As I mentioned in the video for this episode, I loved her conversation with Okabe because it provided a simplified explanation of the implications of these memory time leaps. And then Mayuri points out sad it would be if only one person retained the memories of an interaction. She filters the entire theory through her relationship with Okabe, and the idea that if she sent her memory back, Okabe would not remember talking to her is too far. And it seems like such a quiet moment, one that further builds the relationship between these two, but I also think it’s a powerful condemnation of what these kids are doing. Hell, Okabe is ALREADY GOING THROUGH THIS. He has memories that no one else has, and it has already started wearing on him. What if it gets worse? What if someone else has a memory that he does not? Is he going to be okay with that?

LET’S MOVE ON TO MOEKA, BECAUSE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. I don’t get it, y’all. My current working theory is that she is the only other person besides Okabe who can remember past world lines and she’s desperate to control the ability to move through them or alter time for some personal reason. Why else would she want the IBN 5100 so badly, right? And here, she knows that if she keeps herself close to Okabe, she can gain access to their time traveling ability for… something. I don’t know. Look, I am fully aware that I’m grasping at straws here, y’all, but I don’t know what else to say. SHE CONFUSED ME SO MUCH. 

Actually, I should also state that her scene wasn’t the most confusing one in the episode. I’d place it third, right behind Suzuha’s perplexing utterance to Okabe, naming Kurisu as a spy for SERN. I have zero theories on this, aside from believing that it’s not true. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to me, but neither does Suzuha’s comment! Why would she say that? I know she’s got a mysterious element to her character, too, but what does that even MEAN? Why would should know that? Why would she wait until that moment to say anything???

What’s fascinating about it, though, is that the act leads to Kurisu and Okabe having one of their most personal and intimate scenes in the series so far. His confrontation of her is buried in teasing her for posting on @channel, but that bleeds into her FINALLY telling Okabe about her past, her father, and her reluctance this entire time to pursuing time travel. Y’all, this was rooted in the VERY BEGINNING OF THE SHOW. No wonder that she rejected time travel IMMEDIATELY AFTER WITNESSING IT. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe it; she knew that her love of science, her thirst for experimentation, was what caused the rift between herself and her scientist father. It’s such a heartbreaking story because her father should have been proud of her! He raised a daughter that questioned the world, that sought out answers to those questions, who desired so fully to understand the universe around her. Wouldn’t you want someone exactly like that as a scientist yourself? Isn’t that the dream? Instead, Kurisu’s father RESENTED her, so much so that he let his hurt pride CUT HIS OWN DAUGHTER OFF. I just???? Why? Why does this show hurt me so much??? Because I’m so torn myself. This is a huge reveal, one that re-contextualizes Kurisu in a brilliant way, but it also pushes these two characters to use the PhoneWave further. It’s admirable that Okabe wants to help his friend—and he genuinely seems to want to!—but oh my god, what if you screw up time even further??? What if in trying to fix this relationship, the team complicates the world lines in a way that’s unsalvageable? 

OH, BUT LET’S JUST GET TO THE WORST THING HERE. Oh my god, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT MESSAGE? WHY SEND A DECAPITATED DOLL HEAD WITH BLOOD TO OKABE? Why that image? Who is convinced that Okabe knows too much? Oh god, is it really SERN? Am I wrong about Kurisu? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING ON THIS SHOW?

The video for “Dogma in Event Horizon” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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