The episode opens with a shot of a busy city covered with people and wires. Wires play a key role here since the series has the theme of technology and being connected. We then cut to Chisa Yomoda leading against a wall, clearly out of breath. In front of her, we can see a dark shadow with red splatters inside - we can take this to signify the blood splatters of her death. As the scene progresses, we see a group of women poining and lauging at her, possibly saying something about the toxisity some women have towards other women. As the camera draws away from Chisa's face, we can see the full landscape. She is in an allyway, but she is now alone. The busy city has cleared up and what remains are splatters of red on the ground and on the sides of buildings.
Once again we cut to a shot of overhead power-lines. There is a slight red tint on one of the wires. Could this represent blood? Maybe. We then see a young woman with an olderman. The two appear to be laughing then the man grabs here into a bearhug. Then we get a single shot of Chisa's shoes, showing us that she is watching. As the man tightens his grip, the woman says 'Stop it' but the man simply replys with 'Why?' and she continues to struggle to get away from him. We then hear the line, 'What's the problem? Don't play hard to get!' This demonstrates how some men treat women and keep persisting, saying that they are 'play hard to get' while she is visibly uncomfortable. 'Let'g go some place happy,' we hear him say before it cuts to Chisa taking her glasses off and looking into the camera, directly towards the viewer. She is acknowledging that we are watching her about to take her own life, while most likely having a blank expression on our faces, like it means nothing. Her pupils are dilated. At the moment of death, one's eyes will slightly dilate. Another reason for dilation is happiness and content. Perhaps she is happy to finally break free from the world. The hair bobble she had seemingly removed itself and her hair is flowing in the wind. The camera zooms out and we see that she is holding herself between two buildings with her glasses in her right hand. The fact that she is still holding her glasses leads me to believe that she can now see everything clearly and has a new perspective on life. We then see her lips up-close as she says something which the viewer cannot hear. She may be speaking to herself of a person she things she will see once she dies.
Text then appears on the screen saying, 'I don't need to stay in a place like this,' and then we see Chisa let go of the other building. Her skirt rips on a wire. I take this to be a nod to the previous scene of a woman being harrassed; the ripping of the skirt could represent rape or other assult. We then watch as Chisa falls.
When she hits the ground, puddles splash and bottles smash and we see the two people from before kissing, until they stop and look to the direction of the crash. Then we can see Chisa's body underneath a sign surrounded by a puddle of blood. We hear people in the background saying that they had nothing to do with it, as if they are worried people will think they killed her. We also hear the same women who were mocking Chisa say, 'This is horrible!' To me, this entertains the thought that people won't take you seriously until it's too late. The final part of the scene is Chisa's school bag on the top of the building.
We then cut to the shadows of power-lines with red splatters inside. As we get a better view of the landscape, we see that it is a neighborhood where all the shadows are covered in red splatters. The art-style is very minimal since most things are black and white with the exception of the red splatteres and green smudges on bushes. Soon enough it cuts to an overhead power-line.
'If you stay in a place like this, you might not be able to connect,' reads some text which appears on screen.
We then see a young girl open a door and step out, this is Lain Iwakura. She is wearing a school uniform which tells us she is quite young (she's 14). The way she walks down the steps also hint towards her being young as she walks with her arms at a small acute angle. There is a shot of her walking down the street we saw before, still coated in red splatted shadows. Surely enough, Lain's shadow also had red inside of it. In fact, it is redder than other shadows.
It then cuts to Lain stood near the door on a crowded train. We get a close up of her small pupils while the shadows of wired cover her face. 'It's so loud,' we hear her say, 'Won't you please be quite?' After she says that, it is revealed that, in fact, nobody was talking.
Next we see a bunch of school girls walking past a green landscape full of trees and bushes. As they walk into school, we can see that their shadows do not have red splatters. Neither does Lain anymore. Now, any normal person would credit this to a shift in art-style, but I'm going deep into this. Lain does not have red splatteres in her shadow anymore because she is surround by people, people who she can connect and have relationships with. She is no longer feeling what Chisa did: loneliness. As we see Lain look down towards her own shadow, it is now filled with what appear to be clouds. This tells us that there is something inside of her. As the camera pans out, we see a statue of a man in the background - he is looking directly at Lain. She is being watched.
When Lain looks up to see the other girls, they disappear into black scribbles. The screen goes white then we see Lain squinting into the distance.
'Everybody, hurry.' Reads the text on the screen.
We then see Lain setting her bag on her desk and sitting down while a girl cried in the background. When she turns around, we find that it is Juri who is crying while two other girls comfort her. 'It's just a stupid prank,' Arisu assures. As all this occurs, it cuts back to Lain who is looking blankly at the whole ordeal, as if she doesn't feel a thing. When Lain pulls out her books, her friend Arisu comes over to her, asking her if she also received an email. It is revealed that her classmates have been recieving emails from Chisa. Lain says that she is not very good with computers, to which Arisu tells her that she should check her emails at least once a day. This tells us about the reliance we have on technology and how we need it in our modern world. While the viewers have caught on that Juri is crying because of the email, Lain asks why she is doing so, as if she is oblivious to what's going on in the minds of others. When told that it was because of the emial from Chisa, Lains asks who Chisa is, to which Reika, another friend of Lain, tells her that the teacher told everybody, showing that Lain doesn't pay attention to what others say and so is oblivious to what's going on around her. She isn't part of the human collective subcontious.
The next scene is that of a teacher writing C code on the blackboard, further drawing connections between the series and technology. When we see the whole class, we see that Lain is the only colourful one. Lazy artwork? Maybe. Showing that Lain is the only one we should be focused on, also maybe. We also see that while everyone else is writing, Lain is looking directly at the blackboard. As we see the code through her eyes, it grows blury until it disappears. Lain drops her pen and looks at her hand. Her finger tips split and the room is filled while white smoke/steam/spirits.
'What's it like when you die?'
'It hurts lol,' we read.
The next scene cuts to power-lines and a sky with a slight yellow tint to it as oppose the the previous white. This tells us that it's the evening. We see Lain walking home in the red-filled-shadows. When it cuts to a front view of her, she had power-lines behind her.
When Lain gets into the house, she looks through a window to see nobody in the living room. She then enters her room which has a futon (a Japanese-style bed), teddybears in the window and a desk. She looks at her desk which is covered with teddybears and childish animal stationary before sitting on her bed and looking over to her computer. Please keep in mind that from now on I will be refering to computers as navis. She walks over to her navi (which resembles the 20th Anniversary Macintosh) and sits on her chair. She looks blankly into the monitor with one striking difference - her pupils are dilated. This is the first time we have seen her like this and it's while she is looking at her navi. As she powers her navi on, we see that it is running Communication OS.
When she checks her email, the opening line is 'Hello, how are you?' The screen goes black and then we see more of the email. 'Lain, I walked home with you just once. Do you remember?'
'I've only given up my body,'
'By doing this, I can explain to you that I am still alive.'
'I wanted to let you know this, Lain, so I sent this email to you.'
'Do you understand? It's okay if you can't right now.' This is also telling us that Lain does not understand what's going on around her, yet.
'You will all understand soon. Everyone will'
Lain then asks Chisa why she died, and she got the response of, 'Rumor at school has it that this is a prank mail, but I want you to know that it isn't, Lain.' Here we can see Chisa acknowledging current events, proving that she can still see what's going on in the living world; perhaps this is why she was holding her glasses. Once again, Lain asked why she died. This time, Chisa replied,
'There is a God'
The camera zooms into to the word 'God' signifying that the concept of a God will play a big part.
The following scene shows us a flickering CRT TV showing the news while a family eats their dinner. At the table there is Lain, Mika (her older sister) and Miho (her mother). While Lain does have a father, he is not present at the dinner table, telling us he is distant from the rest of the family. Mika is the first to leave the table, stating that ate lunch late and is finished. When Lain tells Miho about the email, all she does is continue to eat her rice and not respond.
Next we see Lain sitting in her room late at night on her bed while her navi flickers in the background. She is wearing a bear suit, further leading me to believe she is child-like. The angle then changes to a front-facing view where we can see Lain looking blankly at us with her teddy bears in the background - in the window and behind her futon.
It then cuts to Yasuo (her father) observing a new computer part he received. The camera then shows us the view from behind him; he has 6 monitors 5 visible PCs and I assume there is one under his desk since he is inserting the computer part into it. While he is still under the desk, he somehow knows Lain is in the room. Perhaps, like Chisa, he can see Lain even when he is not physically looking at her. He states that it is unusual for her to be in his room leading me to believe that she never really shows any interest in her father's hobby. When she finally speaks, she asks for a new navi, to which Yasuo says 'Finally caught the bug, huh?' comparing an interest in navis to a virus. As he swiches on his navis, his glasses glow with the reflection of the monitors. We then receive the worlds...
'You know Lain,'
'Whether it's in the real world or in the Wired,'
'People connect to each other, and that's how societies function.'
The Wired is comparable to the Internet, which in 1998 was a new concept to many. He states that societies function through connection, so please drop back to the line 'If you stay in a place like this, you might not be able to connect.' Perhaps the real world is not good enough for connections to some people, so they go to the Wired instead to create a whole new life for themselves. Maybe Chisa killed herself because she didn't want to be in a place where she couldn't connect. We the find out that Lain's mother does not understand why there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the Wired. Lain says that she is not scared, to which her father asks why she brought up her navi. Lain tells him that she wants to see a friend - telling us that while she is dead to our world, Chisa is very much still alive in the Wired.
The next scene shows Lain on the train again in the same place, only this time the trains is drawn to a sudden stops and everyone is thrown out of their places. It is revealed that the trains has been stopped due to an accident. When Lain gets back into her spot, she reaches out to touch the window when she is taken aback by the sight of blood dripping from the wires.
The episode then cuts to Lain stood still in the middle of a busy road as people walk past her, then to her stood at the bottom of a tall case of stairs, then to her school, then her home. She then closes her eyes and smiles a bit until her eyes shoot open and she is stood on the street of her home as a white fog gathers behind her. When she lifts her head up, she is stood on by the side of a traintrack. She sees a girl in school uniform walk under the beam and towards the tracks. A train is coming in the disance but the girl walks toward the trakcs. Lain calls out at her to stop but she doesn't. We then see a close up of the girl's face; her faces is flashing between a smile of joy and a scream of horror. Finally the train goes past Lain and hits the girl at top-speed while Lain is in a ball next to it. I believe that the girl who ran in front of the train was Chisa Yomoda and she wanted to show Lain how to close the world and open the next.
Then the scene cuts to Lain's school book, now covered in tears. Her teacher calls out her name. This would lead me to believe that everything was a dream, there is a different teacher and the subject has changed from IT to English. However it is completely within my realm of imagination that Lain was simply dreaming while the class switched. As she tries to concentrate on the blackboard, the writing goes blury once again until all that's left is,
'Hurry and come to the Wired.'
The writing on the blackboard then switches to the text in the email from Chisa with the same message. This means that Chisa is definatly trying to get Lain to give up her physical body and join her in the Wired.
We then see Lain walking home, only this time the splatters are blue and red. This may show that she is sad or depressed since those are emotions often associated with the colour blue. It can also show that her usual shyness is clashing with the Wired. Then when we get a side view of her, we see Chisa walk past her. Lain looks back to see if she is still there and she is stood in front of her holding her school bag in front of her.
'Where are you?'
The only response Lain gets is a smile before Chisa fades into blue rings.
The episode opens with the same busy street as was shown in episode one, with a voice which says,
'What are you afraid of?'
'Just try it for a little bit.' Given the happenings of he last episode in this place, it can be assumed that the voice is Chisa urgining somebody to commit suicide and exist in the Wired.
Seconds later, we are thrown into a nightclub and see people dancing and sitting at tables. Text covers the screen saying,
'I don't come here because I want to.' We then see a man hunched over a table and a woman wearing a gas mask; this woman is Mika. She pulls out a piece of paper from her bra and places it on the table. The man tosses her a scrunched up piece of paper, it is unclear what this is, but I assume it is either the rubbish from the last delivery or some kind of payment. She places the paper in her bra and walks away. Some more text flows the screen,
'10,000 yen?! What a rip-off!'
'The going price is only around 4,000!' It can be assumed at this point that these are the thoughts of the man. If I wanted to I could say that this is refering to capitalism, and I have said it so now I'm waffling. Yet more text,
'We call it Accela,'
'It's not exactly a drug, but you have to jump through the same kind of hoops to get it.' This says that Accela is clearly hard to come across, so it is most likely illegal. From this, we can take a guess that more seedy activities occur at Cyberia. The man open the paper to reveal a white, glowing seed-shaped pill. When we get a close-up of it, we can see that there is a granade-shapped object inside omitting blue light (it looks like what Agent Smith put inside of Neo). The man takes a razor blade and slices open the pod. It should be noted that his pupils are fully dilated - he is clearly happy to have his hands on this addictive 'not-drug'. He observes the inside-object and we can see that it is black with red rings and blue light and spikey. He puts it into his mouth and swallows it with a swig of his drink.
We then see through his eyes as everything around him goes blurry and blue. He is throffing at this mouth and his eyes are shakey.
Once again we see through his eyes as he watches the people dance. Time slows down and his face is now one of terror. We get a look at his eyes which now have beams of light going inwards. I take this to mean he is really taking in everything around him and seeing everything in a new light. He glares over at the table where Arisu, Juri and Reika are sat. He quickly looks over to a person falling onto the floor and a woman walking away from him - who we can assume pushed him. When this woman turns around, we see that it is Lain; she appears to be angry. When we see the man again, he is weakly stumbling away from his table. Then we see the message,
'Hurry, come to me' Now, I am going to be looking at this through the eyes of a person who hasn't already watch SEL multiple times. For this reason, I will say that the voice he heard was Lain since he was looking at her for a while, even seeing repeats of her speaking, then he walked to where I can assume is her direction. However, to go deeper into this, who else tells people to come to her? Chisa Yomoda. Perhaps she is speaking through Lain. But that's just a theory, a game theory.
We then see the familiar site of overhead-power lines from Lain's street. Then we see Lain in her bedroom speaking to her navi. She says that she doesn't have any mail and that she doesn't understand why. This could be commenting on how people expect others to talk to them and reply to their posts - this series does a great job of predicting the future. Mika is stood at the door and says,
'I though somebody was here.' When asked who she thought was with Lain, she responded with,
'Your imaginary friend.' Mika is refering to Chisa in this quote, and highlighs how to everyone else, Chisa is dead and that is the end of it, that she couldn't possibly be talking to Lain through her navi. Lain is then told that she will be late again, indicating that she has already been late for school because she was sat at her navi. We get a shot of Lain's stuffed animals before she walks to school.
While walking, she stops to look at a man in a suit who is stood behind a pole watching her. She clutches her fist and simply walks past the man, until she stops again, this time when she is beside him to get a look at his face: he has blue eyes and a beard. She then runs away from him.
Just outside of her school, she is greated by Juri, Arisu and Reika. Reika speaks up and says,
'See? It couldn't have been her!' Juri disagrees, Lain is confused. Arisu tells them both to cut it out and that she feels sorry for Lain. Juri persist in thinking that it was Lain. Lain then asks Juri if she has received any more mail from Chisa, to which she says that she hasn't. Arisu asks Lain if she got the prank mail too, Lain says that she was just curious. Reika seemingly switches her thoughts and asks Lain what she was doing last night, but Arisu persists that it wasn't Lain. When Lain asks what they are talking about, Reika says that there was a girl at Cyberia who looked just like her. Just as Lain began explaining what she was doing the past night, Arisu told her not to worry about it and that they know it wasn't her. Then we learn that the girl they saw at Cyberia wore wild clothes and was chewing people out left and right, and that the two are complete opposites. Juri then has the idea to take Lain with them on their next night out to Cyberia. The three then tell her that maybe she would liven up a bit if she joined them. No response is seen from Lain before it cuts to the next scene.
Since Lain had no clue what they were talking about, it can be assumed that maybe it wasn't her as we know her. Maybe it was just another version of her...
The next scene tells us a little more about Accela. Enjoy a list of facts about the famous 'not-a-drug':
It is a smart supplement
It uses nano-mechanisms to oscillate at a specific frequency in the body, which triggers a specific hormone
This hormone affects the consumer's sence of time and their mind.
This makes it feel like they are accelerated
The workings of the brain itself are altered too; its operational capacity is multiplied by 2-12. This means that for a while, the taker can do more things and retain more information
The nano-mechanism is destroed by digective juices within 24 hours, but it is unknown how long its effects last
All this being said, it can be deducted that Accela is a performace enhancement drug for the mind/the brain's steroids. This would explain the name of it since when taken, the taker will feel more than human. Eccelerated.
Once again we see Lain sat at her desk while the teacher writes on the blackboard. Lain once again appears to be the only person not taking notes. Instead, she pulls out her handi-navi (also known as a phone) from her desk. She appears to be shocked that she has received a message during class. The message in question is from Arisu telling Lain that they are gonna have fun at Cyberia. She looks over to Arisu who is still typing. This scene could be a nod to students prefering to be on their phones and other technology instead of paying attention in class. Remember what I said about predicting the future? This is perfection in its purist form. Lain messages her back by saying that she will pass the going tonight. Text appears on the screen saying,
'Everybody is connected.' We can assume that this is refering to the fact that even while on other sides of the room, not physically interacting with each other, Arisu and Lain still connected with one another though their handi-navis, by association saying that we don't need to be physically with each other to be connected, and that we should join Chisa in the Wired.
While walking down the empty hallway of her school, Lain stops to look at a figure stood in the shadows. When she sees who it is, her pupils dilate. When I first say the figures face, they appeared to be the man from Cyberia. However when the figure became clearer, it was wearing Lain's school uniform. When it got closer, light shadows walked out from the walls and Lain saw the terrofied face of the girl she saw get killed by a train. All of this leads to to believe that the figure is Chisa. A few seconds later, she walked straight through a weeping Lain.
The next sceen sees Lain walking home from school (with a guest appearance of more wires!) and seeing a delivery van outside of her house. The delivery asks Lain if it is her house and she opens the gate for him to start unloading. Lain signs for the packages and he says that what's inside is so cool and that he wishes he had one. We are told that Lain didn't know what was in the boxes, so the man tells her that it is a top-of-the-line navi. We learn that with that type of navi, one can moved freely in the Wired. Lain reveals that she doesn't know anything about navis or homebrew, which the man uses, to which the man says that she will get it soon enough.
Next we see Lain in her bedroom looking at the boxes, with a shot of her teddy bears. Seconds later, she is in her pajamas and laying on her futon. She is disturbed by a sounds so she goes downstairs to investigate. Upon walking down the stairs, she sees her mother and father kissing - her pupils are dilated while watching. This tells us that Lain enjoys seeing people have meaningful relationships with each other. However, this may not be the case as when we see Yasuo's face, his eyes are open. Usually when somebody in kisses a loved one, their eyes are closed and they are enjoying the moment. This leads me to believe that he does not have any strong feelings towards Miho at all. To go futher, perhaps they are only staying together to uphold the family dynamic. To futher prove this, when Miho turns around, her pupils are not dilated at all. When Yasuo sees his daughter, he asks her if her new navi has arived, showing that he is interested. Miho is not however, and she tells Lain to 'get that mess cleaned up,' and 'it's all in the way.' This tells us that while Yasuo has embraced the new technology, his wife is less enthusiastic; this shows that they do have disagreements on things.
When Yasuo tells Lain that he'll set up her new navi after dinner, Lain pushes for him to do it now. When asks why she is in such a hurry, she gives no reply. Yasuo simply says her name and that he'll do it. The saying of her name leads me to think that he is both impressed that she has a new found interest in his hobby and that he is confused about where it came from.
We then hear him telling Lain that she cannot use a children's navi forever. I would like to believe that this is a poke at Apple for having computers which are easy for beginners to use, but are too watered down for enthusists to use. She is told that she will need a powerful system which will mature alongside her relationships with people. Lain's new navi runs Copland, a scrapped Apple project. As the cherry on top, the company which made the OS is called Tachibana, a sort of orange. At this point, the connections with Apple are apparent. As Yasuo leaves the room, he tells Lain that the navi is hers. We see the screen and it says,
'Welecome, Copland Enterprise OS.... Lain.' That spelling mistake was intentional since that is how it is spelt in the anime. You may have noticed that Lain never told the navi her name, all she said to it was 'Hello, navi.' I see this as a way of expressing how computers seemingly know more about us than we could every imagine.
When Yasuo opens the door to leave, Mika is stood looking into the room. When asked if something is wrong, she just walks away. From my point of view, it would seem that Mika is jealous of the attention Lain is getting off of their father and of her new navi. Since Mika works at Cyberia, we can assume she has an interest in the tech scene, since that seems to be the main demographic for a lot of visitors.
After asking her navi if she has mail, Lain hears her handi-navi ringing from her school blazer pocket. When she takes a look, it's a message from Arisu saying,
'Lain, where are you? Everyone's waiting! You've got to come!' Lain looks over to her navi before text appears on the screen,
'Why won't you come quickly?' Because this appeared after Lain looked at her navi, I assume that this is Chisa calling out to her from the Wired, trying to pull her in instead of going with her friends. This shows how technology tends to make us opt out from going to social gathering to stay home on the Wired ourselves.
Then next scene is a busy street again with Arisu's voice giving Lain direction. When Lain is inside of the building, voices shouts out to her,
'You're blocking the stairs.'
The first person to speak was a young boy named Taro and then a young girl named Myu-Myu. Taro speaks up once more to tell Lain that if she hangs around the stairs for too long she will get spotted by the Info-guard Center right away.
Next we see the main part of Cyberia with gleaming lights and loud techno music. Arisu asks Lain what took her so long, to which Reika said that it's past her bedtime. Juri asks her if she has anything better to wear on a night out, so Arisu says that they will pick something out for her next time. So far, I can see that Arisu is Lain's closest friends since she always tries to stick up for her, Reika is the taunting 'mother-figure' of the group and Juri is the childish one who questions everything. As the 4 are walking, we see a close up of the man who we saw take Accela. Reika brings up the fact that the girl from the other night could'nt have been Lain since they didn't dress or act the same. Lain seems to be quite miserable as she asks if the girl really looked like her, as if she was debating whether it could have been her. This thought it cut short as the disco ball gets shattered by a bullet. People are shown running away while the 4 friends stay in the same place, seemingly protecting each other. This lasts a few seconds until Juri tried to run but falls over. This could be indicating that maybe their relationship with Juri isn't too strong and that she is willing to get up and leave them (that or she just has common sense). Lain sees blood trailing across the floor. It then cuts to a man breathing heavily while holding a gun with 2 people laying in front of him. While Arisu and Reika have taken Juri to the other side of the room, Lain is stood alone. This may show the feeling of loneliness Lain experiences, or maybe that she is too naive to see the real danger since she is still a child at heart. Reika asks what's wrong with her in a worried but annoyed tone (mother of the group) and Arisu tells her to take care of Juri as she runs over to Lain. This shows once again that Lain and Arisu's bond is stronger than anyone else's.
When the man looks at Lain, he asks what she's looking at. At this point, Arisu is holding Lain telling her that she needs to get out of there, but Lain just stands still. After being told to go away by the man, a spotlight goes directly over Lain and Arisu. When he gets a clearer look at Lain's face, he is scared and shocked. He exclames,
'Why are you making me do this?!'
'What right do you have?!'
'I just wanted to clear my head, that's all!'
'I don't know anything about it! Leave me out of it!'
'You're that scattered god's--'
'I don't want anything to do with it! Nothing!'
'The Wired can't be allowed to interfere with the real world!'
'I don't want anything to do with it!'
'Who the hell are you?!'
From what the man has said, I can deduct that through taking Accela, he has seen the darkest parts of the Wired, and a scattered God. Since we are keeping with the idea of commentating through the eyes of a person who has never watched Lain before, I will say that this scattered God is Chisa, who the man can see through Lain (it's not, but it's a passable theory). When he says that he wants nothing to do with it, he is quite clearly saying that he wants out from the Wired, whatever he has seen while on Accela has completely turned him off from it.
After his speech, Lain walks closer to him while he is pointing his gun at her head. Arisu is in the background, visibly worried about her friend. After walking close to him, Lain says,
'Wherever you go, everybody is connected.' This sound like the sort of thing Chisa would say. After hearing Lain's words and realising that there's no ways out of the Wired, he points his gun into his mouth and pulls the trigger, killing him instantly. All the while Lain just stands and watches and blood splatters all over head deadpan face. Her pupils are dilated which indicate that she must be happy to see the man dead, whether that be for some sick need or because now she knows other people are safe now. To go futher, I can say that maybe she is glad that he has found and escape from the Wired. The episode ends with Lain looking over 3 dead bodies laying on the floor.