Kyouma wasn’t being beaten up here. He was simply showing the thugs his new dance move, The Mad Scientisto. He describes it as Thriller meets The Matrix.
After being constantly baffled by the plot of the last two episodes, it sure was nice for Kurisu to explain the deal in the space of two expositionary dialogue filled minutes. Suzuha couldn’t get her hands on the IBM, so now Kyouma has to travel back in time using the Time Leap machine (the one that conserves his future memories but doesn’t change the world lines itself) to where every D-Mail that changed the world line happened and reverse them until he gets back into a world where the IBM is back in his hands again. Although now that I understand the plot, suddenly plot holes start to appear. If the world lines change, won’t it result in a world where Kyouma doesn’t have the Divergence Meter anymore? Although I suppose that could be explained away with it ending up in his hands had nothing to do with any of the D-Mails sent. Or, if Kyouma is going to leap back in time, he only can go back 48 hours. So how is he supposed to change all the D-Mails in such little time if he can’t go back to when they were created? Well, I guess changing Feyris didn’t require leaping back too far, just causing her to suddenly remember what the previous world line was like. Plus the world lines don’t change when he Time Leaps. Although does that mean that the reversed D-Mails no longer happened and he has to convince Feyris to kill her dad all over again?
Eurgh, time travel. I guess it’s less plot holes and more trying to wrap your head around the logic.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really like this episode. All the drama centred on Feyris, which is rather ruined when she sticks -nya at the end of her sentences. It’s hard to take a scene seriously when she’s effectively saying “My dad died meow”. Except when she took off her cat ears, where the nyas suddenly dried up. It was supposed to show how Feyris was taking off her mask and revealing her inner feelings and human side to Kyouma, but all I found myself thinking about during that scene was whether the cat ears were some kind of mind-controlling device that causes people to become irritating moeblobs. The whole scene felt like it was the Feyris Route Sex Scene from the game for the Feyris Fanclub to aim for (The Feyris fanclub consisting of Daru and Barrel Titor). Yes I know Steins;Gate is a sex-scene free game, but it still came off that way. Feyris is like Rukako in that they are outliers to the main cast, making it very difficult to care about them. Forcing this sudden drama with these characters does not work, unlike the dramatic scenes with Suzuha where they actually spent some time building up her character and her motivations. Since the next episode will almost certainly centre on Rukako, I dare say we’ll go through the same tired episode all over again.
Not that there weren’t little glimpses of Steins;Gate greatness in here. I loved the opening scene, where Steins;Gate seemed to be telling us “hey, it sure looks like everything is back to normal. You can stop worrying now, it looks like Mayushi is not going to die anymo-PSYCHE! Here comes
CERN SERN and Shining Finger again!“. I also really liked where they revealed Suzuha had managed to get her hands on an IBM, but promptly gave it away. When you remember the heartbreak scene where they received her “I failed” letter, the fact that she actually managed to get her hands on one but not realise the importance really stung.
Personally though, I’m waiting for the world line where Kurisu works for
CERN SERN and she is the one who storms into the room in a full body leather suit, delivers an evil Mad Scientist laugh, and shoots Mayushi. For pure OMG WTF NO WAI factor, there would be no better plot twist. Please do it Steins;Gate!