In the twenty-third episode of Monster, someone from Tenma’s past reveals a disturbing new twist. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of alcoholism, stalking
It’s of note that this episode centers on a set of photographs that Eva Heinemann possesses with Johan in them, and yet, we don’t actually see them by the end of “Eva’s Confession.” They’re almost immaterial to the point of this story, which follows the destructive path that Eva is on ever since she chose to dump Dr. Tenma at the beginning of the show. Like, I know she’s a mess, but I truly did not expect her to end up in jail for public drunkenness. That’s where this episode STARTS! And then we learn that she’s living out of a hotel, that she hasn’t paid for said hotel in a long time, and that she ran out of all the money she inherited when her father was murdered.
I have some pity for Eva, even if she isn’t necessarily portrayed as a sympathetic character all the time. I know that comes from having been an alcoholic myself a long time ago, and one aspect of it that I see in her is how your decision-making is easily warped whenever you are craving another drink. Or when the buzz is wearing off and the shame is creeping back in. Because I get the sense that Eva does not like herself very much, but she masks that in an arrogant performance, one that is finally not working at all on the men she meets. Well, not entirely, that is. One of the tools that Eva uses is manipulation, but she’s lost access on top of that. So when we see her trying to hit on one of her previous partners, her whole technique is stale and transparent to him. She’s stuck in a complicated spiral of self-hatred and bad luck, which doesn’t mean that we should ignore her cruelty or bad decision making. It’s just that it all has a context.
So yeah, I pity her. It’s not easy to be trapped in a spiral like this, and I say this as I’m coming up on my 18-year anniversary of being sober. Time hasn’t really lessened the intensity of those memories, and I can recall very easily what it was like to be stuck in that specific rut of loathing and alcohol. So what can she do? Well, it’s precisely this situation that Roberto takes advantage of. Y’all, I don’t believe a word of what he told Eva in this episode. I don’t think he hung out with and drank with her the night of her arrest; I think he followed her, knowing her connection to Tenma and Johan, stole her bag, discovered the missing photos, and then stalked her again in order to get more information out of Eva. He was just manipulated her and exploiting her alcoholism to get what he wanted. Of course, that also makes me deeply curious as to what those photos show. At best, it’s just… Johan in the hospital, right? That’s the only way Johan could have been in Eva’s life, right?
Of course, I say that and must immediately acknowledge that Eva’s titular confession COMPLETELY THREW ME. Because this was not the only time that Johan and Eva crossed paths. Through a flashback that reveals a completely different perspective on “The Night of Execution,” Eva reveals that she stalked Dr. Tenma to try to convince him once again to be with her. And look, I really think it’s possible to say that she misses Tenma and also that her attachment to him is one-sided and horrifically toxic. It is!!! She imagines elements of their relationship that simply are not there, like Dr. Tenma’s desire to talk to her. He doesn’t want anything to do with her! He has a completely different focus in his life, and there’s truly nothing she could say to him that would convince him to date her again. That’s not even addressing how badly she hurt him or the fact that she’s never tried to make amends either.
It’s because of her unnerving obsession with Dr. Tenma that she chases after Tenma, who is in turn chasing after Junkers. I thought this was all going to lead to her being a witness to the execution of Junkers, which would have at least allowed her to testify that Johan was real and that Dr. Tenma didn’t kill anyone. Instead… lord. I now totally appreciate the fact that the show took so long to show us Johan again. His appearance in this episode is fucking chilling, and I immediately felt so damn uncomfortable once he came into view of Eva. What does he know of her? Why didn’t he say anything to her? Did he know that she posed no threat to him? AGGGHHHH, that whole sequence was unnerving as hell!!! She saw Johan just after he executed someone!
So why the fuck is Roberto going to kill her? Did she give up the photos? How could any of this possibly help him in tracking Johan down? I don’t understand his motivations! I don’t understand how there are still fifty episodes left!!! WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING TO ME.
The video for “Eva’s Confession” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– The paperback edition of my debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now OUT! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.