In the thirty-first episode of Monster, Tenma makes preparations. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Oh no, THIS CAN’T END WELL.
Gillen and Reichwein
There are essentially two stories unfolding here, even if they’re both dealing with the subject of Johan. Tonally, they’re so different, too, and it took me until I was writing this review to figure out what I think is going on with Tenma. I’ll get to that in a second, as I wanted to start with the case that Dr. Gillen and Dr. Reichwein are attempting to build against Johan. I kinda perfectly made the comment in the previous review that no one thus far had been able to produce actionable evidence against Johan. I appreciated, though, that Dr. Reichwein wasn’t really focusing on that. Instead, after hearing Tenma’s story, his reassurance is completely different: he wanted Tenma to know that he was no longer alone. Sitting with that thought now, I’m realizing just how profound that is. Dr. Reichwein knew that this experience had to have been an incredibly lonely one for Tenma. It’s not just being a fugitive, but having everyone judge him as a serial killer on sight. Throughout it all, no one believed him either, aside from some characters who are now dead and a CHILD. And what’s more isolating than not being believed, especially about something this huge?
I also appreciated that Dr. Reichwein helped out with the logistical challenge that Tenma was facing: he had nowhere to stay! So now he’s got a hiding place, at least for the moment, and Dieter has some stability. Well… okay, I can’t really say that, can I? Knowing the ending? So maybe this stability has already fallen apart, but I still wanted to point out how dope this was.
The other major thing that’s happening involves another surprise appearance. Seriously, there are so many secondary and tertiary characters at this point that I need to just accept that anyone living could make a re-appearance on this show. Despite that I expected him to return at some point, I was still very surprised to see Inspector Lunge. I assume that the stories surrounding Braun are what brought Lunge in? Either way, his questioning of Dr. Gillen was agonizing to watch. (Not as bad as the end of the previous episode, but still tense.) Was Lunge here to implicate other people in this crime? Because that’s what I became worried about as I watched Lunge hone in on Dr. Gillen: What if he wanted to arrest Dr. Gillen on aiding and abetting charges, or something like that? And what if putting that pressure on someone else would help him get closer to Tenma??? Right??? It makes a lot of sense!
I expected Lunge to turn up the heat in his relentless pursuit of Tenma. I did not expect Dr. Gillen to flip the script, to start talking about Lunge’s inherent bias and inability to be a perfectly objective judge, and then GET LUNGE TO ADMIT THAT MAYBE HE’S WRONG? I was genuinely shocked! He hasn’t outright admitted it, but the fact that he’s now left it open as a possibility feels huge. Even though Dr. Gillen doesn’t really know Lunge that well, it’s clear he knows him enough to be aware of what a massive change this is. I think that’s why he’s willing to take Lunge to Munich with him; he believes he has cracked through that obsessive exterior.
The real question is, though: Is Lunge actually going to change his mind?
I remarked on video that Dr. Tenma looked extra fucked up this episode, and I couldn’t initially figure out why his mood was so off. It took two things later in the episode for me to start to piece together what we actually saw here. My theory is that after Dr. Tenma rescues Dr. Reichwein, he learns that Jovan has, more or less, started living a “normal” life. I’m still reeling from how simply Tenma puts it: this is the first time he’s seen Johan in broad daylight. It’s so normal. He’s out living amongst other people, not hiding in the shadows. And I get why this weirds Tenma out! Everything he’s experienced with Johan or seen Johan do or heard about is… well, it’s fucking dark and evil and terrible and messed up. And yet, here he is, strolling alongside one of the richest men in Germany, and he’s doing it all out in the open.
Which leads me to the other thing I think is going on: Tenma is so muted or sad in this episode because he’s quietly grappling with the reality that he may have to kill Johan real soon. I attribute this epiphany of mine to the scene of him buying a sniper rifle, as well as Dieter’s tearful plea to Reichwein to stop Tenma. In both those scenes, the show establishes that Tenma might actually be crossing a threshold he has only previous spoken about. But did anyone actually believe he’d do it? Well, now I’m starting to. A sniper rife??? A SNIPER RIFLE. Oh my god, is he actually going to attempt it? Will he be able to overcome his own very real fear that he’ll become a murderer himself? That’s stopped him before, but what about NOW?
The video for “In Broad Daylight” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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