I think it’s long past time we dived back into this show so we can wrap it up. We do, after all, only have two episodes left. Yeah, let’s finish this bad boy.
Credit to this episode, for as wafer thin as the plot has been, this does try to tie up loose ends. The Men in Black receive their compensation shortly after realizing that they had been manipulated the whole time. Considering that they were in the employ of villains, you can guess what their final fate is. It just makes you wonder why anyone agrees to be hired on by nefarious people, they always double cross you; it’s simple common sense.
The whole “multiple Lains” plot point gets handwaved away by saying that they were never really there, it was just other people’s memories or personalities manifesting or something. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, though that’s not surprising given that it’s “Serial Experiments Lain” we’re talking about here.
This episode follows the almost standard format where the first half of the episode is wasted on pseudo-philosophical techno-babble and exposition that doesn’t really explain anything. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?
Once the plot kicks in, things do become a bit more engaging. The sequence with the MiB is rather unnerving, though it pales in comparison to what Alice goes through when she enters what’s left of Lain’s house.
The place is ransacked, there’s (I guess) paint all over the place and the whole building is blanketed by a Silent Hill-esque fog. Lain’s sister, who is still nigh catatonic doesn’t help matters with her soft spoken “beep”ing.
When Alice does find Lain, she finally breaks down and comes to the conclusion that Lain hates her, as she is the only one who still remembers everything that’s happened. Lain clarifies that it is because Alice has been, and always will be, her friend that she left Alice alone. She explains that they were friends without needing to become connected the way she did to everyone else. Not surprisngly, Alice has no clue what Lain is talking about, but tries to reach her, pointing out that they are both alive and that the real world is, well, real.
It’s actually a pretty touching scene, even with the huge gap of time between now and when I watched the previous episode, I still felt some level of empathy. Probably not as much as I would’ve had I watched them closer together, but still.
Masami arrives and concludes that there is a bug in Alice’s “programming” that is preventing her from connecting. As he decides to give her a “thorough debugging” (yes, the line is just as creepy it sounds), Lain steps in and pretty much destroys his world view with simple logic. It was kind of awesome seeing her so casually deliver the armor piercing questions that negated everything that Masami believed and stood for.
Masami manifests in the real world as some sort of deformed monster. Alice freaks the hell out, but Lain remains calm and manages to best the beast with little trouble. That would seemingly wrap everything up, but there is still one episode left that acts as the final denouement for this bizarre show. Will the viewers questions be answered? Will Lain’s sister snap out of her funk? We’ll have to wait until next time to find out.