Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 6 – Unraveling

In the sixth episode of Death Note, L reveals his face and name to the Japanese police, and Light takes terrifying measures to ensure his safety. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.


The Unraveling

I adore the writing for this entire episode, but the first half of it really sticks out to me as a goddamn spectacle. I’m totally fascinated by the “reveal” of L, both because he isn’t quite what the Japanese police officers expect, and because it helps to humanize him. He is not a god or a superhero. He’s just a really smart guy, perhaps even the same age as Light. But Death Note takes this a step further, deliberately giving us a parallel between these two characters. They’re not just smart.

They both don’t want to lose.

And while we get an invigorating look at the way L – now known as Ryuzuki – thinks about this case, we’re given flashes of Light’s examination of the facts, too. This signifies to me that Death Note is ultimately going to be about the mental cat-and-mouse game between L and Light. And what a game that is! Just in this episode alone, we watch as L assembles a wide range of data to pinpoint the motives and methods of Kira the serial killer, and IT’S INCREDIBLE. Granted, he’s missing a couple HUGE details, but then, “Unraveling” brilliantly switches perspective to show that Light is doing the same thing as L: ruminating on the details. The context is entirely different, though. He’s trying to determine whether or not he’s left a runaway thread to be unraveled by someone else.

As thrilling as this writing is, I’m also appreciative of the fact that, for a brief moment, I got to see what L was really like. He doesn’t have the safety of anonymity anymore, but he also doesn’t have the pretense of it. He takes a lot of sugar with his coffee/tea. He perches on chairs, barefoot, much like he is a bird. And when he speaks to the Japanese officers, he’s not condescending. Forceful and direct, maybe, but I got the sense that he was glad that they were there to help him. HE ACTUALLY SMILED. (That was my single favorite moment in the whole episode.)

I’m so excited.

The Unraveler

The second half of “Unraveling,” however, is a tense and terrifying demonstration of Light’s more manipulative and creepy tendencies. Look, I was already nervous when Light volunteered to take his father’s spare clothing to him at the precinct. NO. HE WOULD GET TOO CLOSE TO THE CASE. But Light views his coincidental meeting with Shoko Maki, Ray Penber’s fiancée, as providence. It’s a sign. It’s destiny. Why?

Because she’s the only person who figured out that Kira can kill in ways other than a heart attack.

Now, I initially wondered why she’d be so open to speaking to an absolute stranger, but I suspect it was out of a desperation to get someone to help her. When Light comes upon her at the reception desk, she’s frustrated. She can’t just leave a message; she needs to lay out her case in person. And then, the lead investigator’s son is next to her. She hears how he helped on a case before; she sees how trustworthy he appears to the people who work at the precinct. In her mind, she’s found a way in. Look, I don’t blame her! I think it was perfectly reasonable for her to find a way in through Light.

Unfortunately, Light uses his general interest in the Kira case to get Shoko to spill what she knows. TO THE VERY MAN SHE IS LOOKING FOR. It felt like I was watching a horror movie, y’all. How many of you thought that Light was going to kill Shoko once they got to that crosswalk? I was convinced of it. Regardless, she’s dead. It’s going to happen, one way or another. What truly frightens me about this situation, though, is that Light interprets it as some sort of godly sign of destiny. In his view, the universe delivered to him the one person who figured out that he can kill however he wants. It’s fate, and now, he’s going to get rid of her in order to protect himself.

L was right about Light. He’s been gradually getting used to killing people who aren’t evil at all. When will he drop the pretense of only killing criminals? He’s definitely not making the world a better place anymore. Christ, y’all, this show is escalating so quickly! How the hell are there more than thirty episodes left???

The video for “Unraveling” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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