In the seventh episode of Monster, Nina has an epiphany. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of trauma/PTSD
My running theory at this point is that Nina’s amnesia was caused by the trauma of the murder of both the Lieberts and her attempted murder of Johan. I know that reveal happens later in the episode, but I wanted to start with this because it’s helping me grasp the bizarre history of these twins. I’m calling her Nina for now because that’s who this character is at the moment, and I’m not even sure “Anna” is her real name either. Plus, it represents who she is: she is Nina Fortner, and she had a happy and “normal” life with the Fortners. If her admission is true—and I have no reason to believe otherwise—then Johan is the one responsible for the trauma wrought upon Nina. Based on her tearful response to Dr. Tenma, it’s also clear that she wanted her brother dead, that she thought the world would be better without him.
Prior to this admission, though, “House of Tragedy” slowly unravels the life that Nina had. Well, it’s a very sudden bout of destruction, but it takes a while for Nina to begin to come to terms with it. It seems very much the case that Nina’s mind goes into shock upon seeing the Fortners dead, as it’s Dr. Tenma who has the more emotional reaction in the Fortner home. Which I get! Dr. Tenma is also dealing with trauma, but he’s coming at this from such a different angle. I’d actually argue that what the doctor struggles with is guilt. It’s easy to see that in the scene where Nina asks him why he saved Johan, but it’s also there as he places a cigarette in Maurer’s mouth. How many people at this point have indirectly died because of the decisions that Dr. Tenma has made? The surgeons and the director at Eisler all died because Johan grossly misinterpreted a private admission in a moment of pain. And now, Maurer is dead, collateral damage because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everyone who gets even remotely involved in this nightmare seems to end up dead! And in Nina’s case, she’s been re-traumatized and some of her memories have come flooding back.
Let’s talk about those, too, because the first half of them make no sense to me. So, if I recall this correctly, she said that she and Johan crossed a “border” and then found the Lieberts? I don’t know how literally I should interpret this either. Am I meant to believe that they both came from some place outside of Germany? Did she mean the “border” between East and West Germany, implying that this problem didn’t happen UNTIL the Lieberts crossed over? Ah! I don’t know how significant any of this is. Even while describing the murder of the Lieberts, Nina skips over a LOT of things. Did she always know her twin brother was like this or was this side of him a sudden development? Why was Johan so willing to let his sister shoot him in the head???
And then there are the detectives from the next town over from Heidelberg. I suspected something was off with them, but only slightly. Y’all, BLESS the way this episode slowly and then VERY RAPIDLY reveals all the details that make Dr. Tenma doubt who he is in a car with. Even though the end of this episode confirms that the detectives ARE real and from the precinct they said they’re from, it still doesn’t answer many of the legitimate questions that Dr. Tenma had. We know the phone line was cut, so WHO FUCKING CALLED THE POLICE? Why didn’t the detectives practice any standard procedure at the crime scene??? They didn’t secure it or anything, nor did they call for back-up. They just grabbed Nina and Dr. Tenma, and obviously, they knew who Dr. Tenma was. How??? Is there someone else who has been following this case? Oh my god, I don’t get it! Who were those guys??? Are they hiding something underneath their legitimate roles as detectives??? AND WHAT IS INSPECTOR LUNGE GOING TO DO WITH TENMA’S TIE??? Oh, that’s not good either.
This is escalating so much faster than I could have ever expected, y’all. LORD.
The video for “House of Tragedy” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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