This season, Beneath the Tangles will be offering dual posts each week for The Promised Neverland, one for viewers who are new to the series and one for those who have read the manga. This post is for beginners and will only include spoilers up to the episode being discussed. We ask that you avoid any spoilers from the manga if you comment below. If you would like to discuss spoilers and other content from the manga, please read thathilomgirl’s posts for the series. TWWK is absent today, so our newest writer, The Varangian, will be taking over blogging duties!
It was all a clever ruse!
Of course, I didn’t buy for a second that Emma and Ray had been completely broken by Norman’s loss. For one, I doubt he’s dead. For another, it’s too late in the series for new protagonists, so the ones we’ve got left have to do something. And apparently, doing something in this case means burn it with fire.
Naturally I approve.
But while I was sure that Emma and Ray’s scheming had not actually ground to a halt, what I didn’t see coming was the brazen extent of Emma’s planning – or the suicidal craziness of Ray’s. Their independently-laid plans in this episode certainly exemplify their differing approaches brought to logical extremes. Ray is doggedly focused on the necessity of cruel sacrifice, to the point of self-immolation. Emma is supremely confident in her determination to save everyone, to the point of bringing everyone into the plan. While Ray plots self-destruction in isolation, Emma acts the part of the general, marshaling every resource and every pair of hands to the cause, all while feigning utter defeat. Of course it is Norman who bridges the gap between them, even (perhaps) from beyond the grave. Ray needs Norman’s kindness. Emma needs his strategy. They both need his balance and mediation. I’m pretty sure that, one day, they’ll have it back again.
In the meantime, what have they got? A handful of kids, some backpacks, some bed sheets, a concrete wall, and two fewer ears than they started the night with. And speaking of the kids, I’m with Ray on his question – is that really everybody? Given the big crowd shots we’ve seen, it looks like the bunch that are making the escape couldn’t be everyone in the house. For one, I didn’t see any babies. Possibly I’ve missed something? Well, they missed Phil anyway. SOMEbody didn’t get the memo. Or he did, and this crazy plan just got crazier with the addition of using a four-year-old to distract the deranged villainess while the whole place burns to the ground. Given the absolute madness of everything else that’s happened, I suppose Phil the Decoy isn’t the least probable idea. We’ll see how THAT plays out.
I must admit slight incredulity that the escape is actually happening. What could possibly happen beyond the confines of the House? At this point the House feels like it is the show. It’s as if these kids have burned the script and are about to break out of the TV. Like our heroes, we the audience have been trapped in a concrete box purporting to be the whole world, and at some unconscious level I seem to have accepted the illusion. I can’t imagine what’s outside the box. It feels like we’re approaching a genre shift, from highly contained suspenseful scheming to free-ranging survival horror. I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next, which is where I’ve been at the end of every episode, and that is a good place to be.
The Promised Neverland can be streamed on Crunchyroll.