It's now been five days since the satellite which punctuated Steins;Gate's opening instalment came crashing down - I'm actually rather glad the series saw fit to remind me of it too since I'd kind of forgotten about the whole thing up to that point.
Anyhow, while the early portion of this episode also sees Kurisu glared at intently by Amane yet again, the real focus of the Future Gadget Lab is to finally perform some further experimentation on their rudimentary time machine... although there's something even more pressing to do before that of course, that being figuring out a name for these e-mails which are sent to the past. In the end, and after much debate, they settle on the name "D-mail" - I'm glad we got that sorted, anyhow.
From here, the gang (and Kurisu in particular) begin to pin down the exactitudes of how this microwave-cum-time machine works in sending these "d-mails", and come the end of the episode it's established how to control how far back in time a message is sent as well as the limitations of the system in terms of the quantity of data in can send. Meanwhile, Moeka Kiryuu returns to the picture, with her irritating habit of communicating via text message coming to the fore as she checks out, and then asks to borrow, the IBM 5100 currently in Okarin's session via a visit to the lab that sees everyone else casually leak the news of their time machine to said visitor, leaving Okarin with no choice but to invite her to become a lab member herself.
Actual major plot progress might remain slow-going in Steins;Gate even though we're now a quarter of the way into the series, but somehow it continues to get away with this by sporting some great character dynamics that add sufficient humour for such tardiness to be forgiven. To be honest, at times I think we might even be best served with a spin-off series that just locks Okarin, Daru, Makise and Mayuri in a room together for comic effect, such is the way that this quarter bounce off one another. Still, despite those momentary thoughts there is still a deeper, darker plot hiding away within the series, and its one that continues to hold lots of promise. Even I have to admit though that it's probably time for some of this promise to start showing through to move the series up a gear sooner rather than later.