Mark Watches ‘Monster’: Episode 28 – Just One Case

In the twenty-eighth episode of Monster, I WAS TRULY NOT READY FOR THIS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster. 

Trigger Warning: For discussion of extreme manipulation, alcoholism

HI. WHAT THE FUCK. I honestly cannot believe this is happening, and the fact that someone has pieced this all together in episode 28 of 74 has left me IMMENSELY worried. I’ll talk about that towards the end because… holy shit. Richard found clarity. The previous episode gave us a portrait of a man who had been, for many years, ruled by chaos. The shooting death of a suspect had contributed to his spiral into alcoholism, and he ended up losing his job, his wife, his daughter, and pretty much any source of stability he had once had. We don’t know all the work he’s done in the ensuing years, but there’s a suggestion that he has worked very hard to stay sober and has been in therapy for quite some time. His rapport with his therapist speaks to that. (Though having dinner with his therapist seems like a lot? Maybe it’s a cultural difference, but while I like my own therapist a great deal, I can’t imagine going out to a casual dinner with her.)

Yet his recovery is not exact. It is not perfect. He still struggles, and he still has to deal with all the lingering effects of what happened to him. Which I appreciate! I know I’ve discussed this many times on Mark Watches and Mark Reads before, but too often, mental illness is treated as something easily cured. Same with alcoholism. But Monster isn’t doing that at all. Richard has made immense strides to become a better person and to trust the work he’s done with his therapist. That doesn’t mean he gets access to his family again; it doesn’t mean his job is handed back. It does mean that every day involves conscious choices to be a good person, or to respect one’s self, or to respect others. 

After being let go by Schuwald, I understood why Richard couldn’t quite let things go himself. Look, Richard’s therapist is totally spot-on: Richard clearly projects a lot onto his cases, and then, when he is inevitably frustrated by what he’s working on, he finds other outlets for that frustration. Here, though, years from drinking, Richard has found new coping mechanisms. He’s absolutely frustrated that Farren’s suicide was never “solved,” and it bothers him that Schuwald doesn’t care about it anymore. But this time, as Richard goes through old case files and scrapbooks that he kept, he’s a different person. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to make sense of the past: the progression of time.

Y’all, just watch the video to witness me completely not catch the clues given to me, and then lose my entire shit as Richard visits surviving family and friends of all the murder victims, only to discover that ALL FOUR CASES WERE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO SCHUWALD. Even then, it didn’t make sense to me. All four murders had completely different contexts; they were committed at times that didn’t match up; the methods of murder seemed random. One accountant didn’t even work for Schuwald! The president of that one company was a rival, but friendly in private. It took Richard—now experiencing the clarity he did not have for a long time—remembering a key detail from the killer he murdered to piece this all together.

We’re brought once again to the concept of evil. Not just any old evil, but pure evil. And that’s really the central question of a lot of this, isn’t it? Is Johan evil, or is something else going on here? Does that concept even truly exist in this world? Richard believes it does, and it’s how he manages to piece together all these disparate cases. What’s the central theme of them all?

TO ISOLATE SCHUWALD. Well, to an extent, and the one thing that makes no sense to me is Karl. Why would Johan want to bring Karl close to his biological father if, in every other respect, Johan has systematically murdered anyone else who was close to Schuwald? I have to repeat myself, but what sick fucking game is Johan playing at this point? Because I can’t see even the tiniest thread of a explanation in all of this. Why Schuwald? Why this man at this time? How did Schuwald even come onto Johan’s radar? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?

This episode was electrifying, y’all. What a stellar payoff to everything set up in the previous three episodes. WHERE IS TENMA, BY THE WAY??? He hasn’t been around in four whole episodes!!!

The video for “Just One Case” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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