Mark Watches ‘Death Note’: Episode 10 – Doubt

In the tenth episode of Death Note, L becomes more aggressive and bold in his attempts to profile Light. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Death Note. 

My god, this show is RIDICULOUS.


It’s fascinating to me that this hollow friendship plays out between L and Light as both characters spar with one another entirely through logic, reason, and public behavior. The fact that L challenges Light to a tennis match is significant as a storytelling device and as a means for L to further consider who Light really is. I’m enamored with the way that internal narration is placed so prominently in the show, and that tennis match is a great example of that. On the surface, the top two college freshman play tennis with one another to a growing audience. The action of the scene is both external and internal, though what matters to the story most? It’s the internal thoughts of Light and L.

Their outward actions are hollow; they’re playing because it is a means to an end. For L, it’s a chance to force Light into doubting every action of his. What will expose his true thoughts? Will anything he does be viewed as evidence that he is Kira? We watch him run through every possible reaction he might have because he has to. Y’all, it’s such a brilliant idea for L to be around Light like this, and I’m interested to see if Light might slip up. Is he really prepared for everything L will throw at him?

Perhaps he is, and perhaps his hyper-awareness will work in his favor. I don’t know yet. There’s that new variable I need to factor in, but I’ll get there. My point is that both these men are so aware of their own intentions and complicated plans that we end up getting layered dialogue from them. Everything is imbued with meaning, even if they don’t want it to be, and each act they take is another chance for them to get ahead of the other. That shocking moment where L openly admits that he suspects Light of being Kira is an example of that. It allows L to control the conversation, and it allows him to control whether or not Light meets anyone else on the task force.

The Test

So L tests Light. Relentlessly. Sometimes, his endgame confused me, and I wasn’t always sure why he was doing certain things. But I’m okay not understanding parts of this because L interprets things much differently than I do. My guess is that L is trying, repeatedly, to upset Light somehow, to jar him enough that he lets slip something. He wants Light to be careless, and that’s why he lies about there being a fourth part to the “message” that Kira sent. Will Light arrogantly correct L? He doesn’t, and if L still suspects Light, then he knows that Light is incredibly thoughtful and patient given the different ways L has tried to goad Light into a confession of sorts.

As dangerous (and HEART-POUNDING) as this is, I get why L is doing it. Even if he has Light investigate himself, it only means that he’ll eventually lead them straight to him anyway. It’ll happen either through his fantastic deductive work, or Light will give away something to the team. But does that mean that L will have to introduce Light to the other officers on the task force? That seems like a bad idea, but this situation does mean that L can still protect the identities of the police officers working on the case.

Heart Attack

Sort of. In an utterly UNFAIR coincidence, Soichiro has a heart attack. WHAT IF LIGHT HAD PLANNED TO KILL HIS DAD AT RANDOM??? Thankfully, that’s not what happened, but the scene is still tense and surreal. I guess I just didn’t expect L to be so blatant and open around Light, and I’m gonna have to get used to it. It’s a perfect tactic because it keeps Light on edge, constantly having to adapt to the situation in order to protect his identity. Like the tennis scene at the open of “Doubt,” Light is forced to play out a hollow performance for his father, pontificating about his promises to “execute” Kira. As L notes, it’s a particularly corny bit for Light, who isn’t prone to that kind of affection ever. So does it mean he’s more or less suspicious?

The same goes for Light’s suggestion to give him a way to prove his innocence by locking him up for a month. It’s an extreme measure for someone to take, which could prove that he’s desperate to prove that he’s really who he says he is. Or is it just an attempt by the killer to deflect any more suspicion?

IT’S NEVER-ENDING, Y’ALL. Which is why the final scene of “Doubt” thrills me. Who sent those tapes and that letter to the news station? We didn’t see either L or Light do it, so is it some mysterious third party? This is exciting because chaos will force both characters to take drastic measures to either pursue the killer or hide their identity. THIS IS SO ENTERTAINING.

The video for “Doubt” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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