In the eleventh episode of Monster, I can’t. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Trigger Warning: For child abuse.
Oh. Oh, so this show is not what I thought it was about at all, is it?
I commented this during the video, but this episode does a fantastic job reminding us how little Dr. Tenma has to go on and how ill-prepared he is for what he’s discovering. Well, not everything; I think you can see Burkhardt’s training present in this episode, but aside from that? Dr. Tenma has virtually no information on Johan. He’s also not really great at the whole fugitive thing? Why the fuck does he keep using his actual name, the same name that’s plastered across newspapers in Germany? DUDE, COME ON.
Anyway, it was smart for him to seek out the Liebert’s original home in East Germany, since that was likely to help find some sort of clue to unravel the past. But that thread goes to such an unexpected place, y’all, and I’m still reeling from how “511 Kinderheim” opens the show’s mythology to something even more fucked up.
We knew that the twins crossed a border and came from somewhere, but this new storyline confuses things further than me. I figured that, given the name, the entire episode would focus on the orphanage that Johan was in before the Lieberts adopted him and Anna. So yeah, I was shocked when Dr. Tenma made it to the building and IT WAS ABANDONED, and his one possible thread was immediately worthless. Just like that, he was back at the beginning with no information and nowhere else to turn.
OR SO I THOUGHT. You know, at least Tenma is persistent, and he goes about this without a whole lot of shame for what he’s doing. He’ll ask pretty much anyone questions, including random passersby, which is how he manages to locate Hartmann. And lord, I thought I knew what was happening, that Hartmann was a kind man who devoted his life to children without parents, and I BOUGHT HIS DAMN MANIPULATION SO WELL. LIKE!!!! What the fuck, y’all??? And given that I absolutely believe that Hartmann has been abusing the child—Dieter—that is under his care, I have to wonder: Is anything he said about 511 Kinderheim even true? I think that the other orphanage director verifies a lot of it, but… lord, what happened there? What incident occurred? Why does he know Johan’s name so well, and why did he have the response he did?
On top of that, I’m so, so terrified by the change we watch come over Hartmann as soon as Dr. Tenma left. Again, I bought his act, and I truly believe what we saw was a performance. Hartmann acted a bit frail because he wanted Tenma to see a specific version of himself, one that would be incompatible with the idea that he is an abuser. ABUSERS DO THIS, I KNOW IT BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN HURT BY THEM. I bet that Dieter—and probably other kids in Hartmann’s past—was the only one to see the real Hartmann. Oh my god, THE SCENE WHERE DR. TENMA TRIES TO HELP DIETER ON THE STREET. The look Dieter gave Tenma! Him running away! HIM HOLDING ON TO DR. TENMA WHEN TENMA TRIED TO LEAVE. Y’all, this is ruining me; it all fits. Dieter felt safer with Dr. Tenma, even if he didn’t fully understand why. And what was all that nonsense about how “dark” the world is? Is that part of how Hartmann abuses Dieter??? WHAT IS THIS SHOW DOING.
I’m much more willing to trust the director of the other orphanage that Dr. Tenma meets because the signs are there that she is caring. That scene where she comforts one of the children felt like a direct contrast to the “intimate” scene we got between Hartmann and Dieter. I’m also just as interested in what she says. I believe she corroborates most of what we heard from Hartmann, that 511 Kinderheim was run by the Ministry of the Interior and was a FUCKED UP place to grow up if you had the misfortune of being placed there. But this episode’s final line ejected my soul into the stratosphere because EXPERIMENTS???? They did experiments at 511 Kinderheim??? What fucking kind??? And look, Anna and Johan were separated as kids, and they went to two very different orphanages. Does that imply that Johan’s experience there shaped him into who he is? Or was this something born from an earlier incident? I DON’T KNOW. Oh my god, why do I watch things so slowly, I NEED THE NEXT EPISODE.
The video for “Kinderheim 511” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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