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3 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 1 reply · +5 points

I'll be leaving a longer comment later, but one line here I could not resist reacting to:

"V srry yvxr V’z ba gur rqtr bs n pyvss naq Wbuna (NYY BS LBH) pna’g jnvg gb chfu zr bss."

3 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 0 replies · +6 points

This episode seems almost tailor made to STRESS. VIEWERS. OUT.

As of last episode, it had been over 20 episodes since we'd last seen Johan in person. He was pretty terrifying then, and the dread associated with his presence has only grown since. Then suddenly he appears and...doesn't seem to be doing anything? He's just chilling? A weird but overall not suspicious guy? Except that we KNOW that Edmund Ferrer died in a suspicious way, and we know that Johan has manipulated people like that before. And we know that Johan is capable of ferreting out information that no one seems to know, or be sharing - we saw the same thing with the serial killer Gillen was interviewing a few episodes back. It's his exact MO.

All of our experience is screaming that Johan is plotting something, almost definitely plotting something terrible, but he isn't doing anything. Which becomes terrifying in itself.

3 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 0 replies · +5 points


This is a bit of a change of pace! This is only the second episode where Tenma doesn't appear at all, and the first one that opens with people that blatantly have no connection to him or Johan. Karl and Lotte are both sweethearts even if Lotte can a bit overbearing, and are shockingly normal. Karl's backstory and attempts to connect with Schuwald seem like they belong in a completely different story. It's also a classic example of suspense - you spend all of the episode wondering what this is going to have to do with the rest of the story, and then Johan waltzes in.

5 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 1 reply · +6 points

oooh the plot thickens

If Rudy is correct about Mrs. Kempf, this will mark the 3rd caregiver killed in association with Johan (the initial couple that adopted him and Nina, Nina's adopted parents, and now Mrs. Kempf) and the 3rd known murder committed on Johan's behalf by another person (again, the Fortners, the councilman from a few episodes ago, and Mrs. Kempf), and that's not even including the deaths around him that we simply don't have a direct confirmation for yet.

Rudy marks an interesting perspective - he's the only person we've met since Eisler Memorial that has known Tenma pre-Johan, and it also shows us that Tenma hasn't always been as morally upright as he seems to be now. His realization that Tenma wasn't judging him because he was also cheating is priceless. He's also unique for another reason - he knows of Johan's existence but is otherwise (so far) completely untouched by his actions. That puts him in a very small group.

5 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 0 replies · +5 points

Thought I posted this and didn't! Oh well.

The episode where we figure out what Nina's been up to! And despite giving us what initially appears to be a lighter and easier episode, the final conversation between Nina and Mr. Rosso asks again the harsh question that we've already seen several people ask Tenma: is she really prepared to take a life? The difference here is the compassion that Mr. Rosso shows to Nina while discussing it, and that's the part that makes her cry on the train.

The dynamic between Nina and Mr. Rosso is also reversed compared to most of the people Tenma has run into. Tenma is up front about his goals, even when it would behoove him to keep his mouth shut for a bit. Instead, Nina and Mr. Rosso are both aware of each other's secrets - that Mr. Rosso was a hitman and that Nina is looking for training - but choose not to speak about it, until now.

7 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 1 reply · +7 points

WELL. Here we are.

Back in episode 1, we had a quick interaction with the family of a Turkish man that died after Tenma switched operations. It's been over 10 years since then, but we're back in Western Germany again; Tenma started in Dusseldorf, way up in NW Germany, while Nina grew up in Heidelberg, only a little south of Frankfurt. This time period was ripe for neo-Nazi movements; the late 1980s and 1990s saw a major influx of Turkish economic immigrants into Western Germany, and then the 1994 collapse of E. Germany added a new group of (ostensibly) impoverished Germans, also looking for jobs in the west. Pretty much as classic a foundation for neo-Nazism as you could ask for.

Into that void steps the Baby and his associates. They want Johan to come lead them, but it's unclear if they actually know anything about him outside of stories and his connection to Nina. The Johan that we've met (...twice) doesn't seem to care racial purity at all, but we know so little about his thoughts that it's impossible to determine how he feels about anything.

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7 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 0 replies · +3 points

Lunge and Eva are a fascinating duo. They're both so fixated on something related to Tenma that they refuse to step back and consider their own impact on their lives. All Lunge cares about is solving cases, and nothing for the people involved - and now, that leads to an enormous misstep that ends up costing the department the ability to pursue the case. He's left only with the case no one expects to be solved, the case that it's not worth re-assigning someone else to.

Eva, because of her similar inability to recognize her culpability in her life, finally considers reaching out to someone with no ulterior motives, and it's not even that it "backfires" - she jumps to the conclusion that she was lied to, and decides to burn everything to the ground. Which has the simultaneous of robbing her gardener of something he loved and was proud of, and also abruptly costing him a job. She's incredibly vindictive, and she, like Lunge but for emotional reasons rather than the thrill of solving a puzzle, knows exactly where to hit people.

They're an interesting combo, for sure.

7 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 0 replies · +5 points

This is a nice one-off episode. We get a reminder of why Tenma was so beloved by his patients in Heidelburg, and we also get a few scenes of Dieter either smoothing things over or making things VASTLY MORE COMPLICATED for Tenma. How much Dieter is aware of Tenma's background is unclear (since he probably missed everything that Hartmann said when Tenma took him to the emergency room, and Hartmann is a liar anyway), but if he does know, it's clear by this episode that he doesn't care. Petra and Schumann are as adorable as they are grumpy.

Thematically, this episode also brings us back to Tenma's core contradiction: he's a doctor who saves people, but he's sworn to kill someone. We got a break from it for a few episodes with Tenma patching people up left and right, but given the option to stay in a small country village, doing the work he loves and protected by the villagers, he can't give up his mission. How is he going to reconcile that in the future?

7 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 0 replies · +6 points

"Anyway, Tenma probably stands out in a mostly-white culture just enough that ANY encounter with the police is a bad idea, just in case they remember "that case about the Japanese doctor who killed those people in Heidelberg." Especially if he's caught practicing medicine."

We've already got a strong pattern of this: Tenma avoids the police, but that goes straight out the window if there's someone in need of medical care, even if it makes him a more obvious target. Episode 10 with the terrorists: Tenma helps them (WITH A STAPLER) and nearly takes them back to the hospital to get full treatment. Last episode he was only willing to leave Dieter in the ER once he'd been assured that a nurse was looking after him, and he came back asap. Here, he's in the middle of surgery when the policeman walks in, and he doesn't even react.

8 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Monster'... · 1 reply · +5 points

Hey, terrible history nerd high five! Authoritarians, they're just the worst. I can also go on and ON about the consequences of Britain's abrupt withdrawals from their former colonies; many of them as bloody as Uganda's.

Hannah Arendt is a good one to read in these cases. She also spoke against laying the charge of "monster" at men's feet; if they are "monsters", it frees us from from the work of understanding how they were created. After all, they're monsters, right? They're not like us.