In the thirtieth episode of Monster, I can’t breathe. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Trigger Warning: For mentions of suicide and alcoholism
Hey, fuck this show, I CAN BARELY BELIEVE WHAT JUST UNFOLDED. I really enjoyed that “Decision” focused entirely on Dr. Reichwein’s point of view from beginning to end; that made this such a compelling story. The audience knows things that Reichwein and Dr. Gillen do not, and these things only exacerbate the tragedy unfolding on screen. But the things we recognize as a tragedy are what make Gillen and Reichwein think that something is deeply wrong here. Braun was about to see his daughter for the first time in ages; he seemed to have a healthy grip on himself and was adjusting so well to therapy that Dr. Reichwein thought he was healthier than he’d ever been. So why had he suddenly relapsed? Why at that point in his life?
But we know that something much more terrible and insidious has happened, that Jovan manipulated Braun into drinking and made it look like Braun had committed suicide. He did this most DEFINITELY because Braun figured out the truth, and I’m sure it’s also part of his fucked up game that he plays with everyone around him. Thus, the audience is given a story that automatically has tension: if Johan came for Braun and eliminated him, how long will it be before Johan comes for Dr. Gillen and Dr. Reichwein? Is he watching them as he watched Braun, waiting for the right time to strike and take him out?
That made Dr. Reichwein’s investigation of Braun’s death a billion times more tense! Y’all, he knew something was off, but even then, he doesn’t quite get the confirmation he needed. The bit with the bottle of whiskey was certainly a huge clue, but was that enough? It was enough for Reichwein, sure; combined with all the other evidence he had on Johan, this had to have been overwhelming. But at the same time, no one has ever been able to collect enough ACTIONABLE evidence. Johan is still free, he’s still terrorizing people all over Germany, and none of these people aside from Dr. Tenma have ever really discussed what they’d do with Johan if they actually caught. And hell, we’re still left with the big question: Can Dr. Tenma actually kill Johan if he gets the chance? (Of note, though, is the fact that he does fire that gun he bought. Finally!!!)
While this is all happening, though, I was trapped. I FELT RIGHT INTO IT. I still can’t believe I didn’t figure this shit out. Oh my god, the open window. The unlocked door. HOW MANY TIMES HAD ROBERTO COME INSIDE? Was he spying on Dr. Reichwein so that he could pretend to be that woman’s husband? That’s where my mind went, but now I’m thinking… WHAT IF HE’S NOT FAKING. Look, Roberto definitely hired those two men to try and murder Dr. Reichman, so I feel the obvious solution here is that Roberto will do anything to protect Johan. However, does that mean this episode’s implication is that Johan and Roberto are working a lot closer together than I ever realized? Is Johan directing him to do these things, or is he operating independently of Johan? HOW AWARE OF HIM IS JOHAN?
At the end of the day, though, I’ll always remember this specific episode of Monster because of those last five minutes. They are agonizing. Brilliant. Heart-stopping. I knew something was wrong when they wouldn’t show Hesse’s face, and when it panned up to Roberto, I thought my soul would be forever ejected from my corporeal body. FOREVER. It is so astounding to me that this show built up Roberto as they did because the pay-off here is monumental. I couldn’t fucking breathe as soon as Roberto made that reference to Johan and Dr. Reichwein put two-and-two together. A nightmare, y’all, AN UNENDING NIGHTMARE. The look on Roberto’s face is of murderous certainty here, because he knows that Dr. Reichwein is trapped, and he knows that he has the advantage. But this is also a show that disposes of characters quite rapidly; I know for certain that pretty much no one is safe here. No one! So I thought this was it; Dr. Reichwein would be executed because he got too close.
EXCEPT THEN DR. TENMA SAVES HIM AND OF COURSE THIS IS WHERE THE EPISODE ENDS BECAUSE IT’S UNFAIR TO SPECIFICALLY ME. Finally! These two plots are colliding, and yes, it gave me a fright, but I’m so excited to see where this is going to go. AHHHHHHHH WILL TENMA SEE DR. GILLEN TOO???
The video for “Decision” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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