Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 17 – Execution

In the seventeenth episode of Death Note, L prepares one last test for Misa and Light. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 

Trigger Warning: For homophobia


Another Option

I HONESTLY DIDN’T CONSIDER THIS AT ALL. Granted, there’s no way I could have know that a Death Note can be “loaned” or “rented.” I’m pretty sure that mid-episode card explaining this concept first appeared in “Execution.” Perhaps it did not! Regardless, it helps me understand Light’s confusing behavior in the previous episode. Holy shit, the man is too clever. Terrifyingly so! His plan is brilliant because it allows him to be genuinely innocent. That means every moment since he relinquished the Death Note has been truthful, at least from that one perspective. Light doesn’t believe he’s Kira because, in essence, he’s not. That was someone else, under control of the Death Note.

However, we all know it doesn’t actually work that way. While Rem is off having another group use the Death Note in Light’s absence, I think it’s pretty obvious that at some point, Light will regain ownership of it again. His memories will pour back into him, and this “genuine” behavior will be nothing more than a really convincing act.

The Execution

But that “act” is a HORROR SHOW. I found it riveting that even while being aware of who Misa and Light really were, I still believed the threat leveled at both of them. Hell, I even guessed that Soichiro was just trying to goad a reaction out of his son and Misa. BUT THAT DIDN’T EXACTLY MAKE THE EXPERIENCE EASY TO WATCH. Part of that was because of the atmosphere. At that point in the episode, Soichiro, Misa, and Light were locked up for FIFTY DAYS. Fifty!!! Soichiro was disheveled and distressed, and L finally gives him the means to test his son’s allegiance once and for all. That has to be the reason why he would willingly volunteer for a set-up that could have easily resulted in his death. He says as much after the “execution,” claiming that he knew deep down that Light wasn’t Kira.

Yet the “execution” still remains one of the most tense moments thus far. Look, y’all, this show constantly escalates, and that makes it very easy for me to believe that pretty much anything can happen. Did I think that Death Note would actually kill off Light this early? Honestly, no. The thought entered my mind, but it didn’t seem that plausible. So why did I react to the execution sequence as I did? As I said, the setting and the emotional landscape of the episode helped to elevate the tension. I knew that this was an emotional journey for Soichiro. He exiled himself for fifty days, and he was just about to prove one way or another that his son was innocent. And yet, I imagine that there was still a creeping doubt within him, and that doubt reminded him that he might actually die if he was wrong.

I just really, really love the way all three of those characters are framed in that sequence. Death Note’s animation style isn’t the most thrilling thing I’ve ever seen, but my god, the execution scene is SO GREAT. The show frames the characters’ faces in close-ups, and it adds intensity to the action. We can see the beads of sweat, we can see the wrinkles in their faces as they experience terror and disbelief. And then, seconds later, a gunshot rings out, and the shot pulls away to a distant view of the car. I LOVE IT. It’s very noir, perhaps deliberately so.


For the most part, though, I spend my time focusing on the labyrinthine plot. Seriously, this story is complicated, but I’m finding it enjoyable. “Execution” feels like the start of a new chapter within Death Note, one that introduces the Yotsuba Group while also giving us the Death Note-less Light. I don’t know when Rem will bring back the Death Note and “re-activate” Light, nor do I know what Ryuk is up to. But L’s case is almost hopelessly complex at this point. They have evidence that Misa sent the tapes to the police, but she appears to be otherwise innocent of the crime she committed. (I did love that this inspired L to theorize that maybe Misa was controlled by someone else. HE’S SO CLOSE.) I don’t think she’ll play a big part in the story from here on out.

As for Light? Well, he’s now handcuffed to L. FOR TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY. (Major BOOOOO to that weird-ass line where Misa calls them gross because boys shouldn’t be handcuffed together? Yuck.) It’s… ridiculous. Actually, so is the casual reveal that L had an ENTIRE SKYSCRAPER built just for them in the last few months. What? Why? Who? How? Where? HOW CAN YOU JUST INTRODUCE THIS AT THE LAST SECOND? At the very least, I’m intrigued by the idea of Light continuing to act as an investigator because a new possibility just struck me:

What if, while analyzing the evidence, Light discovers proof that he’s Kira? WHAT IF THIS HAPPENS?


The video for “Execution” 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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