In the fifty-ninth episode of Monster, WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster.
Trigger Warning: For trauma, PTSD, addiction.
Well, I was sort of close to the truth about Martin? I mean, I can’t give myself too much credit here, but I did get a sense that the murder of Martin’s girlfriend played a huge part in motivating his behavior with Eva. However, “The Man Who Saw the Devil” reveals (IN THE CREEPIEST SEQUENCE IMAGINABLE) just how much Martin’s own problems come from being a bystander to the trauma and tragedy of addiction. Which doesn’t discount or negate his misogyny; I think that’s still definitely a part of who he is.
Take the opening scene, for example! I’d wanted to know how Martin knew to seek out Dr. Tenma, and that’s answered when we find out that Tenma has tracked down Eva to Frankfurt AND to Martin himself. There, in the diner where Martin has most of his meals, Tenma confronts Martin about what Eva has been forced to do. It’s a natural conclusion for Tenma to make. Why else would she have been swept away to this place? Why would she be with these people, and why would she have a bodyguard like Martin? However, Martin’s reaction to Tenma is very similar to his reaction to the man on the train. He lashes out in a terrible violence, and he does so out of a misguided sense that he is “protecting” a woman. In this case, it’s Eva. In the past? His girlfriend. His mother. All women who struggled with the challenges of addiction. That’s not to deny that Martin wasn’t treated well, or that he shouldn’t be angry or frustrated or upset.
In short: Martin is a deeply flawed, deeply traumatized individual. And that is exactly what that young man exploits in the end. Y’all, what a strange path to that point. So, I was right in my guess that Eva was hired to point out Johan, but that’s where me being correct about anything ends. Because I am so lost. Sort of? I have a theory—one I voiced in the video—but let me build up to that. I adore how Monster can make me re-think a character by sticking them with another one. There’s that second scene in the diner with Tenma and Martin. And once they started talking about Eva, I realized that both these characters had a thing for protecting a woman who barely, if ever, treated them well. Martin was ordered to assassinate Eva, who actually BEGGED Martin to do the deed while she was in a drunken stupor. But he didn’t. He spared her life and I’m assuming this is what leads to the massive shoot-out. Whatever organization this is, they’re not going to be pleased that Martin didn’t do as he was told.
And so, that’s how Martin comes to speak to Tenma again. He thinks Eva will be just a previous job, until Tenma triggers a memory he has of Eva saying she’ll most likely be killed. His “bad habit” kicks in, he makes a last-second decision, and he saves Eva’s life. Because of this, “The Man Who Saw the Devil” branches off in a horrifying direction, one I’m still struggling to understand. I thought it was strange that Eva said that Martin should go to one of the parties, to see the ramifications of what she had done. How was identifying Johan a bad thing? The man with the glasses introduced Johan to a younger gentleman, and… that’s it. So, when Martin followed that man back to his hotel, I didn’t know what to expect. Like, I didn’t think Johan would be there and would explain everything to this stranger.
I can’t help but think back to “Execution” and the terrible death of Richard Braun. As the unnamed man began to taunt Martin, I felt the same sort of cruel, exploitative manipulation was unfolding before me. Someone, this man knew exactly what to say to not just upset Martin, but to incapacitate him. As Martin left that hotel room, he was so deeply triggered that he drifted away in a haze, unable to look Johan in the face. How? How was that man able to do that? My theory is that Johan trained him how to pull that off, which… fuck, what a disturbing thought. But why? Why go through all of this? Is Johan screwing with people just for the fun of it???
Y’all, this show continues to be super, super fucked up.
The video for “The Man Who Saw the Devil” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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