Text version and links:
This video contains music by:
1. Merzbow – 1930
The rest is from the Serial Experiments Lain OST.
As Serial Experiments Lain moves through its second act, for the most part the show is much easier to follow. So long as the viewer has a solid foothold on all the things that the series has presented us with up until this point, the plot progression is actually fairly direct. Even the artbook ceases to provide hint-like flavor text on the side.
In this episode, Lain uses her dissociative identities as a sort of tool in dealing with Taro, whom she strings along to get more information about the Knights and why they’re after her. She also continues to struggle with the questions of who she is and whether or not there is another her in the Wired, but makes no real progress on this front. While Lain gets some great scenes in this episode, as her series-long characterization really comes into its own, she doesn’t ultimately make much progress for the plot.
One interesting thing of note is that Lain shows us how the music played in the Cyberia club somehow makes it a stronger waypoint between the Wired and physical worlds. This explains finally how Lain appeared in this place as her Wired persona before she ever had full access to the Wired, which may give cause to rethink some of what we’ve known about her from before. The voices in the Wired tell us that Lain has existed for as long as the Wired has.
Aside from Lain’s part, this episode features frequent cut-aways to pseudo-historical documentary pieces that seem to be explaining the creation of the Wired in its most primal form. They also introduce us to the man who first turned it on, who immediately killed himself and took on a Wired identity, and appears before Lain at the end of the episode. I’ll save my musings on the Wired’s existence for the coming episodes where it is really commented on.
Again, the series has gotten pretty direct at this point, so there’s not much to analyze per say. I was kind of surprised actually when the God of the Wired stated up front that Lain had originally existed within the Wired and that her physical self was the one which had been created second, because the rest of the episode was only building to that idea. However, that doesn’t meant there’s nothing here worth a closer look.
Lain’s last conversation with her father gives us some possible insight as to WHY her original Wired self might’ve created a human version, and set her up with a fake family and existence. It seems like her Wired self may have wanted to know the loneliness of being diconnected, and created a version of herself that not only wasn’t connected to the hivemind of the internet, but had difficulty even communicating with people on the most basic level. However, once she came to the realization that even without being directly wired into everyone else on Earth, everyone is still inherently connected no matter what, her physical self started on the path to matching up again with her Wired self. This is just my theory for the time being and it may change in the coming episodes, but it seems like the best way of explaining the things that Lain’s father says.
Also in this episode, Lain tracks down all of the Knights, whom we also learn are indeed meant to reference the Knights Templar, whom you’ve probably heard of from the Da Vinci Code or Assassin’s Creed, and puts their names out in public, leading the men in black to hunt them all down. With Lain’s opposition neutralized, and her connection to the Wired reaching its final stage, Serial Experiments Lain moves into its third and final act, whereupon we hope to find whatever answers are left.
Oh. Lain has a recap episode.
I seriously had no idea.
In fairness, it’s only the first ten minutes.
And it’s in the form of a rad music video thing.
The rest of the episode has some okay scenes.
Lain fully exists in both worlds and manipulates them.
She erases everyone’s memories of the Alice incident,
which I thought had already happened? Maybe she went
back in time or something? I’m not sure what happened there.
Most of it is long shots and abstract dialog, tho.
So that’s about all I’ll say for it.