Steins Gate 11 – you know too much
June 16, 2011
Episode 11 of Steins;Gate introduces a new concept: the time leap. A time leap occurs when one pushes one’s current memory state back in time to a previous you. Presumably this avoids the problem of jellification, as instead of sending the entire mass of the human backwards in time, only the energy pattern (information) is sent. Seemingly it is Okabe’s discovery of the time leap that triggers another threatening message. This post speculates about who might be sending Okabe these threatening messages.
Assuming the timing of the email is relevant, Christina and Mayushii can be ruled out, they both share an alibi. An argument could be made for each that she has a motive, however. In Christina’s case it is mostly hearsay and guilt by association, as Suzuha has warned Okabe that Christina “works with SERN”. I would say such a relationship is possible; at the least her father is an experimental physicist with interest in time travel, so she might have had some passing association, or perhaps there is a misunderstanding based on her father’s activities, or perhaps Suzuha has information about future events. In Mayushii’s case, she sounds disturbed as she discusses time leaps with Okabe, essentially arguing that they should stop, or at least not go further. Really her position was a more gentle way of saying what the “threat” sent to Okabe said, “you know too much”.
Suzuha could have sent the message, but she doesn’t have a discernible motive. There are some who think that Suzuha has also been contacting Okabe using the name John Titor. She truly is an enigma, and thus likely to draw any number of crazy theories. In this case, whether or not she is also John Titor, John Titor does not seem to have a motive. In fact, up until now, John Titor has only attempted to encourage Okabe.
Moeka is a pretty good candidate for a few reasons. Although we don’t know of a motive, she certainly has opportunity, having Okabe’s number, being compulsive about taking photos with her cell phone, and having a mysterious interest in time travel that seemingly predated her first contact with Okabe. She also has a bizarre encounter with Okabe and Mayushii in this episode in which she asks if they have gotten rid of the time machine, and then acts alternately intense and numb when being told they can now send memories through time. In fact, if I were going to pick a suspect just on observed behavior, I would say Moeka wins it. Sending anonymous threatening emails sounds like something she does to all her ex-boyfriends. Aah, it’s all part of her stalker-ish charm.
There are two remaining candidate suspects. First, SERN, which seems to have hacked Okabe’s lab. First of all, Daru, :face palm: What the hell man? I almost added you to this list because an elite hacker should know better. If SERN has hacked the lab, they certainly could be said to be watching Okabe, as the first message said. Another character who has a potential connection to SERN, and just as much motivation to stop their research, whether he actually is associated with them or not is Christina’s father. As this episode revealed, he is very jealous (not jell-ish) of her progress, and specifically would not want her to succeed at time travel (seemingly his research specialty). She even describes him as “going insane .. even more than last time”, which is the best fit for the threatening photos (outside of Moeka-san).
At this point I’m leaning towards Cristina’s father (name subject to later discovery) as being the culprit sending the threatening messages to Okabe. This is especially because Okabe and Christina plan to travel to Aomori to meet with him. In fact, this episode even has me reconsidering some earlier tentative theories, particularly the identity of Christina’s killer. Suzuha has seemed like the most likely suspect, but we now have an individual with a tangible motive. In fact, there is still the possibility that Suzuha is working FOR Christina’s father, and was sent (into the past?) to prevent Christina from creating the time travel machine.
Personally I thought this was an excellent episode, which exemplified the strength of Steins;Gate. New information was dished out, but in such a way that multiple, conflicting theories can be formed. This is an excellent mystery-style show. Steins;Gate has been solid all season, and I am really looking forward to seeing what happens in the second course.