This week’s episode of Promised Neverland should have been prefaced by Murphy’s Law. That is, ‘anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’. So before jumping into this review, open a new tab for YouTube, search for ‘Michael Scott screaming NO’. Now that that’s playing in the background, join me in shouting into the void as we look at the utter mess our sweet hopeful escapees have gotten themselves into this time. Trust me, it’s pretty bad.
Sister Krone has been given a promotion to be the Mother at another farm. However, as is always the case in this show, if something is too good, it’s definitely not true. Sister Krone spends her last moments remembering her life and wishing the quintet all the best in their escape plans. Spurred on by her victory over Sister Krone, Mother is on the warpath, and shows the children what exactly she is capable of doing to ensure they never escape.
Grandmother: Standing at the gates wearing a conservative black dress, Grandmother reminded me of the ghost in Woman in Black, and she’s just as horrifying. The apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree as she’s even more ruthless and conspiratorial than Mother/ Isabella. It’ll be interesting to dig through their past in later episodes, but for now I can only hope her visit is a short one at the farm.
Ray Gets the Boot: The scene where Ray is ‘fired’ from being Mother’s spy is a major turning point in not only the episode or the series. As the viewer we always knew that Mother had her suspicions about the children, but we always thought the children were one step ahead of her. This scene proved that not only was Mother fully aware of everything going on, but she could have easily squashed them at any point in time. With this scene is proved exactly what a formidable foe she is.
Best Foot Forward: I physically winced when Mother broke Emma’s leg. It was such a horrifying scene heightened by that blood-curdling scream Emma let out. I definitely applaud Sumire Morohoshi for her VA work!
Themes & Trivia
Red Flowers: The vampire flowers of The Promised Neverland really caught my attention this week. As many readers will know, flowers have their own ‘language’ where certain flowers communicate sentiments such as love and friendship. The flowers in The Promised Neverland aren’t real but typically red flowers connate passion, desire, and courage.
Trapped Again: In last week’s review I talked about how the series creates a sense of surveillance and entrapment. This week it took it to a new level. Sister Krone’s death was made even more poignant by the overlay of bars across her dead body – even in death she can still never escape the confines of the farm.
I mentioned in last week’s review that I felt a bit of sympathy for Sister Krone, and I have to say her death scene was incredibly tragic. The flashbacks to her training as a Mother, her face changing from bright and youthful to worn and hollow told the story of a woman whose spirit had been broken. Emma was angry at Sister Krone for being like them but only thinking of herself, but Sister Krone is a woman who was shown the insurmountable odds she would face if she did try to fight back, whereas the children are very unaware of what difficulties they would face in the outside world. The difference between them, Sister Krone and the children, is ignorance, and in this case, ignorance sparks hope.
It was this ignorance that gave the children the strength to believe they could trick Mother. But over the course of this episode, each child came face to face with crushing reality. From Ray being outwitted, to Emma’s leg being broken and, finally, Norman’s shipment date being set. Each child has come face to face with the limits of their capabilities. While they are far stronger and smarter than average children, and in some cases, even adults. The fact remains they are still children facing an age-old system.
Has The Time Come?
The children seem well and truly backed into a corner after the events of this episode. Mother has not only broken their spirit but she’s about to take out one of the three big thinkers of the group – Norman. With his number up, he’ll no doubt be in a quandary. Should he save himself and escape, leaving Emma and the other children behind, or die a martyr? This conflict is exactly what mother planned for, so she’ll be sitting at the sidelines watching the children sink into despair. I can only hope that someone has a trump card hidden up their sleeve.
While we wait, make sure to check out the MANGA.TOKYO team’s other episodic reviews for Winter 2019! You can find the full list of them over here.
The Promised Neverland
Winter 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast