I mean, we'll only get see how much things have actually developed in Ep19. And Ep18 did make a big fuzz about how it's all about starting over from zero. But in a practical sense it just seems to just be resetting the protagonist's accumulated despair and now he'll get back to his modus operandi of trying -> dying -> learning. Plenty of space to improve the conversations he had before the trip back to the mansion.
Maybe I would have been happier with the series pulling its punches if the protagonist had actually earned his return of sanity. But instead Rem's cheesy pep talk scene (doves and godrays, 50% off!) clashed really hard with the much more self-aware first half dedicated to Subaru's self-deconstruction. It even kinda made light of his issues considering how gradually he fell deeper and deeper into despair versus how quickly and easily he seemingly recovered. And the crucial turning point of the scene, her "here's why I like you anyway " list that basically just contained Subaru doing the generic hero thing and then a bunch of his superficial physical traits, rang really hollow considering Subaru's rant was centered around how shitty and empty he feels as a person.
And I don't know much about Japanese, but I'm pretty sure aishiteru is "from the bottom of my heart, with every fiber of my being"-levels of a strong declaration of love. I was completely willing to dismiss her dreams of the future as cute daydreams of a crush she was having on the protagonist, but after dropping the aishiteru bomb it felt really difficult to swallow that she had developed those feelings in the short (and not that intimate) time they've had together. Especially considering she only remembers a fraction of what the audience and Subaru went through with her. Rem's crush seems about as healthy than Subaru's crush on Emilia, but that one the show is self-aware about and criticizes whereas this one was being played completely straight?
Idk, felt weird to me. Episode was surprisingly fun to watch considering it was only people standing and talking, but in hindsight it was kinda weak. Here's hoping the next eps show me how wrong I am.
All that said, props for firmly putting Rem into the Nakama Zone instead of starting some harem BS.