Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 20 – Makeshift

In the twentieth episode of Death Note, the team disagrees on how to take down the Yotsuba Seven. SEE, I GAVE THEM A CLEVER NAME. Anyway, if you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 

This episode feels like a set-up to a much bigger plot, which I’m not using as a criticism of “Makeshift.” This show has continually escalated the plot for nearly twenty episodes, so I think the “break” provided here works incredibly well. Even then, it’s not exactly a slow episode, and I think the first half of “Makeshift” is just as tense as anything else here. Where does that tension come from?

Not knowing what the hell the Yotsuba men are going to say about Kira and the Death Note.

And initially, most of the excitement here is derived from how openly these people talk about Kira and about murder. In an instant, Wedy’s bug-planting is worth it because THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT SUBTLE AT ALL! They have no reason to be. They’re in a secluded office, nineteen stories up, and they’ve murdered with impunity for weeks. They have no reason to suspect they’re being surveilled, and they have no reason to speak in code. So they talk. And talk. And talk. They talk about Kira murdering Hatori for trying to leave a meeting. They move on from that topic as if they’re discussing an employee who merely left the company. And then they plot the murder of multiple competitors as if there’s nothing odd about the meeting they’re having. It’s just business.

So I understood the shock on the faces of Matsuda, Soichiro, and Mr. Migo. They’d spent months trying to find Kira, and here are seven dudes who are OPENLY TALKING ABOUT COLLABORATING WITH KIRA. Not only that, but it’s confirmed that Kira’s powers enable them to kill people in a specific manner and at a specific time, as long as they have a face and a name. THEY GET SO MUCH INFORMATION IN AN INCREDIBLY LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME. So what the hell do you do with all that info? Short of actually killing anyone, these man plan the death of multiple people, which is surely enough to arrest them.

Yet this is where the main schism happens. L, unsurprisingly, wants to follow the option that allows his theories to be proven. That’s who he is. He’s nearly as averse to being impulsive as Light, so he doesn’t want to move ahead with an arrest UNLESS he can prove every bit of his hypothesis. In this case, that means letting people die, despite knowing that these men are going to use Kira to kill them. There is a tragic irony in the fact that Light finds this plan abhorrent because DUDE, YOU HAVE KILLED MORE PEOPLE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THIS DAMN SHOW. Yet Light, free of the Death Note, is just as moral as he was with it. It’s just that his morals have changed. Now, he finds the idea of the innocent dying to be blasphemous.

Like Matsuda in the previous episode (though much more masterfully), Light devises a con right on the spot, and it’s unreal. Through deduction and the process of elimination, he determines which member of the Group would be most susceptible to blackmail in order to become a spy. Y’all, that scene is SO GODDAMN INTENSE. The whole time, I kept worrying that at any moment, someone at that table would realize that Namikawa’s conversation was not what he said it was. But once again, Light is able to perfectly manipulate someone else. Even when he’s not in possession of the Death Note, he’s still creepy and controlling, which suggests to me that this is just part of his nature. The Death Note didn’t make him that way. It only pushed him further in that direction.

I don’t know if Light planned out his eventual return to Kira, either, but I was creeped out by L’s assertion that Light was qualified enough to take over as L if L died. Like… okay, first of all, WHY WOULD YOU VOCALIZE THAT. I don’t expect that the show will kill off L until at least the ending because he’s way too important to the character dynamic. But it’s still an unnerving suggestion because… gah, LIGHT IS KIRA, L. THE GUY YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS RIGHT THERE. Don’t put that in his head!!! I DON’T EVEN LIKE THINKING OF THE POSSIBILITY.

But perhaps even that is way for L to further push Light into eventually slipping up. The slower second half of this episode confused me because I couldn’t figure out what L’s intentions were. I understood why he’d want to pursue an investigation on his own terms, especially since he saw how obvious it was that the others disagreed with his methods. But L’s mind games never seem to end, and while I saw a purpose in him recruiting Misa to spy on the Yotsuba Group, I also had to wonder if that was part of another mindgame. Is he trying to separate Misa from Light to win Misa’s trust for some unknown reason? L knows that Light does not reciprocate the intense feelings that Misa has for him. So why exploit that? Why get Misa to dedicate herself to Light even more than she previously did?

It’s part of something, y’all. I KNOW IT.

The video for “Makeshift” 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.
This entry was posted in Death Note and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.