Mark Watches ‘Monster’: Episode 33 – A Child’s View

In the thirty-third episode of Monster, I don’t even know what to say. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of manipulation, suicide, death of children, PTSD/trauma.

What the fuck. 

What the fuck.

Johan’s Games

I have repeatedly spoken about Johan’s M.O. as a game. It has seemed that way to me! Johan plays with people’s emotions, and he finds ways to take the experiences of people and turn them against them. It’s not simple manipulation because, as far as I can tell, Johan fucks with people purely for the delight of it all. I say that because I genuinely can’t ever figure out what his endgame is. Why does he do what he does? Because he had a messed up childhood? Maybe, but what is the goal his actions lead toward? I. DON’T. KNOW. 

“A Child’s View” takes this understanding I had and advances it, and I don’t know what to say. I really don’t. How do you provide commentary on something so chilling and disturbing and deeply fucked up? I suspected fairly early that these children were talking about Johan, and the confirmation comes with another gut punch: Johan is playing this game of chicken with children WHILE ALSO OPENLY TELLING THEM THAT DR. TENMA IS ABOUT TO ASSASSINATE HIM. What the fuck??? Why is he telling these kids that if they survive falling off a roof, they’ll be chosen? What is the reason for all this? I know that he’s obsessed with children, and I’m sure there’s a link between his behavior and the traumatic experience he went through as a child, but WHAT THE FUCK. 

Watching the young boy in this episode terrorize others… it’s a lot. It’s a lot to take in, and I can’t get over how big of an influence Johan has over the kids he works with. Children can easily idolize and emulate the adults in their life, and Johan knows this. He most likely did it himself. And this is what he does with them?

Look, I can’t get over that kid’s emotional breakdown on the roof when Dieter makes an impassioned plea for the importance of being alive. In that moment, there’s a stark contrast between Tenma and Johan, since they are both adults with impressionable children in their life. Look at what Dieter values because of Dr. Tenma! Tenma values human life, and this random kid absolutely does not. Humans are boring; humans are banal; humans are unimportant unless they’re part of this special group that Johan has assembled. (Well… has he assembled it? Are there multiple young kids waiting for more instructions for games from Johan?) 

It’s unconscionable. It’s not that I thought Johan wasn’t evil before, but what the fuck, y’all? CHILDREN ARE LITERALLY DYING BECAUSE OF HIM. He’s teaching them to de-value all life, including their own!!!

And then there’s that perplexing scene in the library. Y’all, what the fuck? What was that book that Johan picked up? Why did he have such an intense reaction to it? Something in that picture book triggered some awful trauma in him, and I’m going to guess it was linked to his experience at Kinderheim 511. Which made me think: Did Johan experience “games” at that orphanage like the ones he is enacting now? Is this just some terrible cycle of abuse? 

The Ceremony

Well, I feel like “A Child’s View” is setting up a huge moment in this series: Dr. Tenma has found his setting, the place where he can assassinate Johan. But what about the crowd? What about all the spectators and witnesses? And is Dr. Tenma going to actually go through with it? I also can’t stop thinking about Karl. At some point, is he going to learn the truth about his friend Johan? WHY DID JOHAN INSERT HIMSELF INTO SCHUWALD’S LIFE??? I still don’t get that!

I feel like all these various plots—Karl, Schuwald, Johan, Tenma, Dieter, Reichwein, Nina, Lotte—are all going to come together at this donation ceremony. 


The video for “A Child’s View” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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