Monster – episode 65

October 17, 2005 on 8:31 pm | In Monster | Comments Off on Monster – episode 65

“Johan’s footprints”

What an episode! Tenma, Eva and Nina! It’s like Monster Heaven!

There’s a surprising amount of material packed into this episode.

Inevitably, Tenma moves on from his home with the people who knew Milan; Nina meets Peter Capek with the fire of a caged monster in her eyes; The Devil’s Apprentice visits Johan’s house, to find that he isn’t there – but that someone else is.

With a series with as many sprawling characters as Monster boasts, it is easy to go many episodes at a time without seeing key figures; Lunge, for instance, has not been seen for about ten episodes now. In a positive way, this creates anticipation of seeing Tenma and company “in action” – regardless of how mundane that action may be – but conversely it’s potentially a test of the viewers’ patience.

I would not say that any of these recent episodes of Monster have been “filler”, a word I despise, as all of them have served the major plot in some way, no matter how small.
With this episode, the small revelations have proven to be the pebble that started an avalanche. There is so much to process from all of this that it’s amazing that they managed to fit it all in.

Eva is one of those classic characters that people love to hate. This episode shows a really intriguing side of her: without hesitation, she fires her gun at the Devil’s Apprentice. She does not possess the intent to kill, but it took a lot of working up for Tenma to even consider pulling the trigger on his gun.

The thing about Eva is that she has fashioned a life for herself in which she has nothing to lose but her life. This is entirely her fault; unlike other people who have had their lives touched by Johan, hers has largely been a matter of choice. For this reason she became the detestable woman that we saw in earlier episodes. The death of Martin gave her something to fight for. Tenma himself would say that vengeance is not something that should be sought, but now Eva has purpose she might be able to get herself back on track. She’s the sort of character capable of doing anything to get her way.

Not getting his own way is the Devil’s Apprentice, whose real purpose is to reflect others: through him we can see both Eva’s ability to understand a situation if she sees the need, and Johan’s multiplicity. The Kinderheim 511 scenes were some of Monster‘s more ambiguous moments; was the Apprentice sending his comrades to their deaths, or was he genuinely making them see if the coast was clear? Either way, it is known for certain that the Apprentice was hand-picked. We may now never know why.
These scenes were incredibly well done, seeing this new, genuine side of Eva (she could have been all talk, no gun), and also exposing Tenma to more moral dilemmas.

Finally, I see what the Baby said about Nina more than forty episodes ago: she can be truly frightening. All of the shots of her meeting Capek were infused with rage, and provide small insight into her recent struggle with just who the Monster is, and how he was formed.
So, how did Nina come to be slightly more well adjusted than Johan? Seeing as how well Johan knows Nina, does that mean that she, too, understands him? The commodities of monstrosity are apt cause for discussion …

This is not one of the more tense episodes of Monster, but it is one of the best since episode 38. That’s not to say that there have not been many excellent episodes since then – Martin’s “film noir” arc was particularly well done – but Monster’s almost cooking with enough gas to take us home for episode 74.

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