Mark Watches ‘Monster’: Episode 41 – The Ghost of 511

In the forty-first episode of Monster, Grimmer tries to get the old director of Kinderheim 511 to tell him the truth. Intrigued? Then it’s time fo Mark to watch Monster.

Trigger Warning: For brief mention of child abuse


THIS EPISODE WAS A LOT. A whole lot! And yet again, Monster was able to craft a compelling and frightening narrative WITHOUT A SINGLE MAIN CHARACTER ON THE SCREEN. Not one!!! Instead, “The Ghost of 511” focuses entirely on Grimmer and Petrov, and IT TRULY FUCKED ME UP. Part of that is because of the narrative sleight of hand that unfolds here. Because of what I’d seen on the show back when Dieter was first introduced, I believed a very specific narrative was unfolding. Actually… there are multiple “tricks” here, because I can’t ignore that, like Grimmer, I believed that Petrov’s “grandkids” were just two boys. I COMPLETELY FELL FOR THAT, TOO.

On top of that, Grimmer is definitely hiding something. What that something is continues to perplex me, y’all, and I don’t even have a working theory. Initially, I thought that perhaps Grimmer was a survivor of Kinderheim 511, but he’s too old; he’d have to be the same age as Johan, and he’s clearly not. But the intensity by which Grimmer pursues Petrov and this story is rooted in something significant. Is Grimmer dedicated to uprooting instances of wrongdoing? Is there something specific in this case that deserves the focus he’s given it? I don’t know, but my instinct is telling me that there’s more to this. 

That’s also partially because so much is not at all what it seems on Monster, and I’m trying to prepare myself for an inevitable twist. Because holy shit, this episode packs TWO huge emotional punches, the first being Petrov’s “grandchildren.” Again: I made an assumption. We’d already seen a previous teacher of Kinderheim 511 repeat the same offenses on another child: Dieter. So once Grimmer realized that Petrov was running a new orphanage, OF COURSE HE ASSUMED THE WORST. I certainly did! The man was trying to repeat those terrible “personality correction” experiments on a whole new group of kids, and he sought out orphans who were from difficult backgrounds, too. That made it easier for him to get away with it, right? Only now I see how easy it was for me to see this narrative unfolding on screen. I bought right into it. Petrov had to be evil because he’d already been evil.

Except… holy shit. Y’all. What if he told the truth in this episode? What if the “experiment” at Kinderheim 511 was exactly what he said it was, and what if it was to help “create” kids who were happy? Obviously, I’m still missing a lot of information, and hopefully all the data that Petrov granted Grimmer will fill in the gaps. Because once again, I have to question what I do know. What if Kinderheim 511 wasn’t a breeding ground for child abuse and experimentation? Or what if that experimentation had a positive intent? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW ANYMORE. It’s possible, I guess!

I just have so many questions, y’all. Who the hell was that woman? It looked like Nina, but why would she murder Petrov and his assistant, Anna? It doesn’t make sense to me. What’s the motive here? Was someone furious that Petrov told the truth? Are they related to the men who tried to kill Grimmer (or at least apprehend him) earlier? And what about that mindfuck of a reveal that Petrov WASN’T trying to repeat the disastrous experiment that ended Kinderheim 511??? He was actually using LOVE as a basis for helping these young boys experience happiness? My god, that whole line about how using love was a new idea??? (I’m paraphrasing badly.) And it was the introduction of Johan that made the program turn south? So it was working before he arrived? Who the hell was responsible for Johan being invited to Kinderheim 511, then?


The video for “The Ghost of 511” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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