In the fifty-seventh episode of Monster, Nina revisits her past. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Trigger Warning: For trauma, PTSD
I feel like this gave me more of the timeline of Nina and Johan, but I’m still left with a million questions. But “That Night” works as a fantastic follow-up to “The Never-Ending Journey,” especially since it focuses almost entirely on Nina’s attempt to finding meaning in her memories. Being in Prague has unlocked so much for her, and yet? She still doesn’t have answers.
This episode opens at the beginning: we see the night that the Lieberts were murdered, and I’m still left wondering: Did Johan kill them? Or did that mysterious visitor kill them? There’s just enough doubt sown to make me consider another explanation. Why did Johan ask Nina to kill him? And why did Johan say that a “monster” came to take them away? If Johan murdered his adopted parents, why not murder the monster, too? Was that visitor Franz Bonaparta??? Because clearly he is deeply tied to the experiments at the Red Rose Mansion and the rise of Johan. So… maybe???
But what’s interesting about this is that Nina’s memories provide the audience with scenes where Johan is… nice? Like, that’s the only way I know how to say it. Johan appears kind and protective of his sister, even if the acorn flashback might have a more unnerving underbelly to it. Did Johan consciously know he was always going to turn into a monster? Which is why he said everything “belonged” to Nina? Perhaps I don’t quite understand Johan. What if he fought his transformation into a monster?
SEE? I JUST HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. How did they escape Prague? Why were they alone when they made their attempt to cross into Germany? At least I have some answers here, though they come from Tenma’s scene with General Wolf, who was last mentioned AGES ago by Hartmann. He did say that Wolf was the key to Johan, and now we know why: Wolf was the man who found Johan and Nina and ALSO GAVE JOHAN HIS NAME. Up to that point, he and Nina were nameless, no doubt because of what was going on in the Red Rose Mansion. I also think Wolf is correct in assuming that by naming Johan, he “unlocked” something in the boy. Johan, as a name, appeared in so many of Bonaparta’s picture books, and Monster is indeed about buried trauma. But there’s also been a repeating motif of the power of names, one Wolf understands as he dies, terrified that no one will remember who he really was. What if naming that boy unearthed something Johan had been fighting? And what if this is the reason for Johan’s arson at the Red Rose Mansion? God, what if he hasn’t been trying to eliminate his past, but expose it? Because those 46 bodies would never have been found if he hadn’t torched the place.
AND THEN THERE’S LIPSKY. (Whose name I spelled wrong in the last review.) As far as we know, he’s the only survivor of the readings at the Red Rose Mansion. The trauma of those readings have guided Lipsky’s life, so much so that he recreates many of the stories of Bonaparta as an unconscious means of expressing his inner fears. Even when he crafts the story that’s clearly based on Nina, he can’t even think of a happy ending. Why? Because he can’t believe in them for himself. It is unfathomable to him to have good things happen in his life. And yet, for the three months or so that Dieter and Nina stay with Lipsky, he has happiness. It’s why he is so immediately depressed once they leave; those two people showed him another way to live. And yeah, it’s real sad! I imagine Lipsky has led an isolated life, in part because he has always believed he was unworthy of love after failing to impress Franz Bonaparta.
So, yes, it kind of makes perfect sense that this was caused by LIPSKY’S FATHER. But the question remains: Did Lipsky know Bonaparta was his dad, or did Lunge just surprise him with that fact?
I NEED TO KNOW.
The video for “That Night” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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