Mark Watches ‘Monster’: Episode 2 – Downfall

In the second episode of Monster, I am frightened of what y’all have gotten me to watch. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of trauma

What the fuck, y’all???

I still have no idea what the focus of this show will be beyond Dr. Tenma. I don’t know why it’s called Monster. Is it all contemporary? A psychological thriller? Is there a genre twist coming that I don’t know about? WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THE LIEBERT TWINS??? 

Help me.


Look, I expected some backlash, and with this episode’s title? I braced myself. This wasn’t going to end well for Dr. Tenma, but THIS WAS SO MUCH WORSE THAN I ANTICIPATED. The immediate reaction from the staff after Tenma got out of the operating room was understandable. I get that this is a team effort, too, but I also wonder why this hospital is perfectly fine with the strange hierarchy of surgeons. Yes, Dr. Tenma is immensely talented, but over the course of this episode, no one ever seems to mention that the other surgeons weren’t good enough. Why isn’t the director upset that Dr. Oppenheim and Dr. Boyer (I think that’s their names?) failed to save the mayor? No, everything lands on Dr. Tenma, but it was obvious by the end of the episode that they valued Tenma solely as an object to be utilized for their own gain. Neither surgeon cared that Tenma saved Johan’s life! They only cared that he didn’t help them.

Still, I thought that Dr. Tenma would get a professional slap on the wrist. You know, a warning? Or maybe he would be pulled off other cases and patients? And for a moment at that hospital party, I thought that this was the case! Director Heinemann didn’t appear that upset, and he was willing to let it all go. BUT THEN DR. TENMA IS REPLACED RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. That alone was like the biggest professional slap in the face I could imagine. He was demoted and told PUBLICLY at a PARTY. As if that wasn’t enough, Director Heinemann assures Dr. Tenma that he will be effectively trapped in this nightmare for as long as possible because he will not write a letter of recommendation if he tries to leave. It is a monstrous act, one that Heinemann confirms is a way to kill Dr. Tenma’s ambition. 

The downfall wasn’t over, though. One thing this episode does successfully is convey the rigid political system that exists within this hospital. Those in power are devoted to keeping themselves there, and those who defy the director’s orders? They’re blacklisted, ostracized, and, in this specific case, dumped. Because Eva wasn’t really interested in Tenma as a person. It’s a completely different form of dehumanization than what Oppenheim and Boyer subjected him to, but it’s related. Tenma is only as good as what he can offer others, and once he isn’t a tool or a pawn? Then he’s worthless to others.

We see this same sort of objectification in the treatment of the Liebert twins, both from the hospital and the detective assigned to the Liebert murder. Neither party cares that Anna is deeply traumatized by the experience of watching her family brutalized. The detective wants to stick her in front of her brother, who she watched get SHOT, just to see if that’ll make her react. Which is… so deeply fucked up? At least her doctors know that. But the director has no interest in caring for either children; he sees them as a means of gaining publicity, of turning to the media to build up sympathy, but not for the kids! No, it’s all to rise the profile of Eisler. 

This was fucked up enough. It truly was. And here’s where I think there is something really terrifying in this show that hasn’t quite revealed itself. Like, it’s possible that there’s some supernatural shit going on here. Tenma says it would be better if Heinemann was dead, and at the end of the episode, Eva finds her father dead. It’s intercut with scenes of nurse finding Dr. Oppenheim and Dr. Boyer dead. And this is a wild development, but I cannot get one image out of my head: a tearful Johan, his hand outstretched, staring at where his sister used to be. HI, WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT??? And why is Anna walking around the hospital, asking to be killed??? What the fuck are y’all making me watch????

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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