Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 25 – Silence

In the twenty-fifth (and somehow, not final) episode of Death Note, I was wrong. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note.

I think L knew he was going to die.

There are a number of atypical things within “Silence.” The opening images and flashes make no sense and seem unconnected to anything until we see Watari. Even then, I didn’t have anything close to an understanding of what I was watching. Why show us this before the title card? Why did the episode progress so slowly at points? What was with the eerie musical cues or the baffling scene on the roof or the scene on the stairs? What the fuck was happening?

L was preparing to die.

I suspect he put everything together as soon as Misa started killing again. (There’s so much religious imagery in this episode, but check Misa’s scenes again. THEY ARE SO INTENSE, AND I LOVE IT.) It was too coincidental for the murders to start up again as soon as Misa left the compound, and sometimes, the simplest answer is the answer. But there’s a silence throughout this episode, one that is both literal and metaphorical. The thing is… I won’t ever know what went through L’s head. I won’t know if he figured it all out. I can only guess. L is dead, and there is a silence left in his wake.

I believe that there’s enough evidence to suggest that he did put it all together and that the final test he devised was just to definitively prove what he suspected. Why do I say that? Well, let’s talk about the roof scene. It’s certainly a strange moment, though L has always been an introspective person. But he seems detached, more so than usual. His words are frustratingly cryptic. Was he accusing Light of lying his whole life because he’d figured out who Light was? Or was he talking about himself? I think both explanations work because it’s meant to have a dual meaning. We all know that Light has been lying consistently for the duration of this show, but how long has L been lying, too? We don’t know his name. We don’t know where he came from. He deliberately shielded himself from everyone else, so much so that you could argue that only Watari really knew L.

In the end, we don’t even get his name.

So what about the scene on the stairs? Look, as an ex-Catholic, that whole scene basically SET ME ON FIRE. (Emotionally, that is.) The imagery of someone asking for atonement while washing their feet? IT’S SERIOUSLY TOO MUCH. Had L not only figured out Light’s identity, but realized that Light was positioning himself as some type of god? Was he asking for mercy? To be spared? Now, that’s a pretty literal interpretation of the scene, and I think an argument could be made that L was actually just apologizing for suspecting Light the whole time. Perhaps, and I think you can easily see the layers in this. I get the sense that the show wanted us to question what we saw.

But look, y’all. Light announced at the end of the previous episode that he was going to kill L, and I still didn’t believe him. You can’t, I thought. He’s the other main character. He has to last until the finale because… that’s just how stories work? Obviously, not all stories do, and what’s so frightening (and exciting) about this twist is that Death Note now has a future that’s completely unknown. L’s death is sudden and shocking and the whole sequence almost feels like it comes out of nowhere. Part of that is because Rem acted so quickly to save Misa and sacrifice themselves in the process. Like, in just a matter of a minute or two, Watari, L, and Rem are dead. THAT’S IT. GONE. Light has taken out every person in his way, and at this point, there’s no one left to stop him.

So why the bells? Why did L hear them on top of the roof? The flashes we got during the opening showed us a young L, crying as he stood outside a church with Watari. My only guess is that that was the day L’s parents died. Why else would Watari have been as close to L this whole time? He has been a father figure to him throughout the show. Perhaps this is further support of my theory: L knew his time was limited, and his mind took him back to a day that changed who he was. It took him back to the sound of the bells ringing, and it reminded him of his mortality.

I seriously can’t believe that L is dead. I can’t believe that Light now has his path clear, and there’s (seemingly) no one to stop him. I can’t believe it, yet I have to.

What the hell is wrong with this show.

The video for “Silence” 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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