Mark Watches ‘Monster’: Episode 62 – A Pleasant Dinner Table

In the sixty-second episode of Monster, Tenma seeks out Capek, only to make a connection with someone else who has a similarly shocking secret. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Monster. 

Trigger Warning: For death of children, suicide, racism, trauma, manipulation

HOLY FUCK, THIS SHOW JUST KEEPS GETTING MORE MESSED UP. I’m once again inclined to point out that narrative parallels are being used again, but this time, Tenma is pushed in a direction I didn’t expect. Over the course of Monster, we’ve watched Tenma struggle with guilt. If he had not chosen to operate on Johan and had instead saved the mayor, as he was ordered to, none of this would have been set in motion. He has felt personally responsible for what Johan has done because he saved him. Thus, Tenma has set out on this sprawling, complex, and nightmarish journey to try and kill Johan, to stop this one individual from causing so much suffering.

Enter Milan Kolasch, the man who saved Tenma after he is struck by a car while fleeing from the police. I’ve learned from this show that there are no real coincidences, so once Milan revealed that he was hiding Tenma in the old Turkish district of Frankfurt, I figured that Milan tied into the story in some way. I was TRULY not ready for that, y’all. Initially, I thought that Milan was helping Tenma because Tenma helped so many people on that day when The Baby tried to set fire to the entire Turkish district. And while that does play a part in this, the truth is that there was a reason Milan was so close to the hotel where Peter Capek was staying. 

Hidden truths. Secretive government agents. Trauma. Brainwashing. Y’all, it’s ALL there. But buried in Milan’s past is a decision, one he thought was the right one at the time: Milan was the person who snuck Capek into Frankfurt. They were childhood friends, and Milan is undeniably a good person. His intentions were pure, but he had no idea what he had actually done: let the devil into Frankfurt. And like Tenma, Milan felt responsible for the horrors that Capek unleashed onto the world. That history is so damn disturbing, and it’s clear that Franz Bonaparta may have trained multiple people to become agents of his fucked-up brainwashing program. In Capek’s case, it ended with the suicide of practically EVERY child who was attending his readings. 

What the fuck, y’all? Why? Why pursue a program like this? What is the end goal? Human cruelty through children, or is there a greater aim? Is Johan the “perfect” result of that program? Perhaps they all want to learn from him. It’s a very real possibility. But even if I don’t get how every detail fits together, Milan’s story is clear. He lost his son to Capek. All the people in his found family? Each of them lost a loved one because of Capek’s racist persecution of them. He is evil down to the core of his being, and if it turns out that he really did just want children to suffer, I’ll believe it. 

But that brings me back to an earlier point I brought up: This plot genuinely surprised me. Up until now, Tenma has been constantly challenged by the very thing his mission requires of him: to kill another human being. He didn’t even kill Roberto, though I don’t deny that it was a huge leap for Tenma to actually pull the trigger in that episode. He’s met so many people along the way, many whom have shown him the importance of life. So, can Tenma actually kill someone to prevent further death? Can he use his hands to harm rather than help? Over and over again, we’ve seen Tenma’s interactions with others prove the latter: He always chooses to help. 

Yet now he’s met someone who is on a similar mission: to murder a person who has caused an untold number of deaths. What does Tenma learn from this? That it is understandable that he wants to pursue this? That there’s a deeply moral reason for his mission? Or does he latch on to the futility of it all, given that Milan is killed by security when he tries to assassinate Capek? Is it a pointless plan that will only end in the suffering of others? I’m still not sure, and I think the coming episodes will give me a better sense of how Milan influenced Tenma. Milan certainly influenced someone else, though unknowingly. Because of that assassination attempt, Capek’s face was on television, and Nina saw it. CONFIRMATION THAT CAPEK WAS THE MAN IN THAT CAR. So now what? Capek is most likely not going to just tell Nina the truth, right? UGH, THERE ARE STILL SO MANY MOVING PIECES. I’m not ready!!!

The video for “A Pleasant Dinner Table” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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