Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 22 – Guidance

In the twenty-second episode of Death Note, the team sets up an elaborate trap for Higuchi. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 


A Pause

While I figured that L would remain highly suspicious of Misa after she handed them the third Kira, I did not think he’d stop the arrest of Higuchi. Once again, he leaps ahead of everyone – including Light – and proposes a trap. Why? Well, “Guidance” tracks the complicated method that L devises to get Higuchi to reveal how he kills. Note that at this point, they have a recorded confession from their suspect, and they could easily nab him! But L has a greater plan in mind, and it’s BRILLIANT. What if Higuchi never revealed how he murdered? What if his power passed back to Light or Misa and L was right back at the start again?

An Exercise in Deduction

I just want to talk about how goddamn entertaining it is every time L forces Light into one of those awkward logic puzzles. How satisfying was it to watch L ask Light to consider the implications of him being Kira? I MEAN, HE GENUINELY DOESN’T REMEMBER WHAT HE’S DONE AND IT’S JUST SO RIDICULOUSLY TENSE.

Just wanted to point out how much fun that tiny scene was. I LOVED IT.

The Trap

Yet that scene has a point: it leads Light to the same conclusion as L. Yes, they might catch an iteration of Kira, but the team’s job is to stop Kira. How can they do that if Kira’s power can seemingly be passed from one person to the next? Not just that, but Light deduces that a person must willingly give up that power. It’s about choice, and that’s a key understanding that they’d not reached prior to this point.

Thus, L devises a trap for Higuchi. Once again, there’s a quiet little commentary on mass media here, since L utilizes Sakura TV to goad Higuchi into action. This show has to exist and be untrustworthy and ridiculous in order for the plan to work, no? Well, it’s not just that, of course. There are a lot of variables at work here, and the biggest one is Matsuda’s participation. I figured that after the events of “Matsuda,” he’d want to prove himself to the team. Still, what a frightening prospect! Matsuda is well aware of the risk he’s taking by being a part of this, but IT DOESN’T EXACTLY MAKE ME FEEL BETTER.

SO! Matsuda goes on Sakura TV, says he’ll reveal the true identity of Kira (all while making references that only Higuchi will pick up on), and hopefully, that will make Higuchi unknowingly reveal the Death Note. Now, Death Note is regularly a tense show, but I do like to analyze why that is. I think that “Guidance” is so suspenseful because the audience is anticipating one of two things: failure or success. Either option presents a thrilling direction for the story. Look, I kept thinking that EVERYTHING was going to go wrong. When Light called the Yotsuba men, I was certain they’d spoil the plan. Then I thought that Higuchi wouldn’t actually go through with murdering Matsuda. And then, as each piece fell into place, the tension got worse because WHAT IF HE ACTUALLY REVEALS HOW HE KILLS? How is Misa going to react to that?

It’s electrifying, and I could barely believe how quickly this episode went by. At this point, something could still derail the plan, and I’m TERRIFIED by that thought. What if Misa does something to protect herself? We know that Higuchi stuffed the Death Note into his suitcase, as well as a gun. Plus, Rem hasn’t done anything yet, and he’s still a variable I have to consider. Is Higuchi desperate enough to rush into that office and sift through the employee records to find Matsuda’s “name”? IS HE REALLY GOING TO DO THIS???

Oh god, what about Wedy??? She’s still following him, too. There are too many factors, y’all. This is too much!!!

The video for “Guidance” 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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