I don’t think I’ve ever had a show so frequently end episodes with me staring slack-jawed at my screen, quietly whispering expletives to myself, as The Promised Neverland. I may need to check my math on it, but I’m pretty sure that’s right. At the very least, it’s in the top 5!

Yeah, for those of you who haven’t watched the episode yet, that was quite an end stinger. You should go watch it in fact. Go now. Cause Crow and I are going to straight-up spoil everything. But before we get to that, how are you Crow? Enjoying your week? Some stuff happened.

Hi, Irina! Nice to review with you again! Well, for the moment, the USA remains intact, so I’m calling this a good week. We also have a professional response to COVID shaping up! Better late than never, I say. I could say a lot else, but I’m going to relish the positives like the excellent Bernie memes

I’m in bold, and glad you warned about spoilers. I’m still shaking my head over those last shots…

The Promised Neverland has a way of keeping you all tense and worried even when everything’s going great. Maybe especially when everything’s going great.

I was worried about our two little demon friends. Would they have to suffer as well? But they still seemed perfectly lovely and completely skilled. The ambush I’d been dreading since the start never really came. In fact, they were out of the woods (literally and figuratively) before I knew with nary an incident. 

They even had some time to reminisce… You know, Norman has been mentioned in every episode of the season. Every single one. There is no way his role is done. I’m not saying he’ll come back necessarily, he may be gone for good, but maybe he left other clues behind that will become pivotal. Or maybe he will come back. You just don’t insist on reminding your audience about a character like that for no reason. What do you think?

I think I thoroughly enjoy how this show keeps me guessing. I’ll go out on a limb and say we’ll see Norman again, in the flesh and alive. But I’m giving that about a 65% chance. There’s a 1% chance he was a demon all along from a demon family who wanted to liberate the kids and sent one of their own to lead the way. Because I have no idea what this show’s going to pull!

I am glad we can still feel his influence.

Like I said, the kids were out and on their way without any trouble. Emma even got some jewelry from Mujika so wins all around. And then we got a little reveal between Sonju and Mujika. And I know we were supposed to be kind of shocked but at the same time, none of this was new information. 

We know demons love the taste of humans so much they literally wage an enormous war that greatly diminished both sides to the point that they had to resort to the promise to avoid mutually assured destruction. Obviously, they wanna eat humans… If anything, it’s impressive that Sonju held out that far.     

This said, even though I didn’t find his speech particularly shocking, there was something in the delivery and animation that still made it chilling. 

What struck me was how blase he was. He might have been talking about how much he prefer grass-fed beef to beef raised on commercial feeds. ( he was…) He seemed to think that his god frowned on eating domesticated humans. But wild humans you have to hunt? Chow down! 

The distinction was also so alien to me that it just felt right for the story. Sonju is not just a tall human. He’s a demon, and demons think differently than I do.

But I don’t think Mujika bought into his idea. I think meeting Emma, Ray, and the rest changed her. Or at least changed her perspective on humans. 

I dunno… Pigs are very very smart and quite emotional. But… bacon… I think it’s the same for the demons. Humans are nice and all, but… brains…

I guess I must have misread the map, or at least misjudged the distances. I thought that B06-32 was like across the country. I figured they might get there towards the end of the season. I was all ready for a road adventure. But nope, they got there apparently by evening. And even travelling over completely opened terrain, the kids didn’t encounter anyone. Just like Sonju had told them. (For reasons I cannot explain, I keep wanting to call him Skold…)

And for a second there it looked like the show was about to drop another bomb on us.

How infinitely cruel would it have been if there was just nothing there. Like whatever was supposed to be there got destroyed long ago. Or we never even find out, there’s just nothing. But like I said before, the secret to the Promised Neverland’s sustained emotional tightrope is to not be stingy on the hope. You gotta make sure people got some hope if you want to yank it away from them!

That’s what I was thinking, too. This episode carefully, bit by bit, gave the kids serious hope. They were even thinking about the future again! And then… Well, we’ll get to that, I’m sure!

So B06-32 is a shelter. An amazing shelter. Underground and more or less impossible to find without the pen. It has sustainable power, electricity, heat, entertainment. It’s surprisingly clean and spacious and fully decked out.

Everyone comments that they could just live there. And no one says it but there is an underlying thought of “forever”. By the time Nat started playing the piano, I got an unrestrained sense of dread. 

Yeah, talk about too good to be true!

But I was quickly distracted. Look over here Irina, a secret door. And it’s just a room. Useful even. Can be secret storage or a panic room if push comes to shove, it even leads to a secret passage. So they have an escape route, they’ll never be completely cornered. That’s good…right..? Sure escape routes are also secret entrances that could be used by someone else but I’m just overthinking things…. Right?

I wonder if it’s significant that the door opened when they pressed the C key on the piano?

Like, is that a panic room, or an entryway? The “too good to be true” veneer started to wear a little thin at this point!

It’s no use though, by the time they all finally got to enjoy a nice warm bath. (That really must have been heaven). Rossi made sure we couldn’t ignore the obvious anymore. The kids made it there really easily…way too easily. And if we want the season to continue, they can’t just stay there, doing nothing. I mean they could, I am 100% onboard for a drastic tonal change into a light-hearted SoL about shelter life. But we all kind of know that won’t happen.

I was still trying to delude myself. Saying stuff like, they still need to rescue the other kids. That could be their inciting element. There doesn’t need to be anything wrong with this place. What did you think, Crow?

I think the payphone was terrifying. It’s perfectly ordinary. We used to see them around everywhere. But why the heck was such a thing there? Who put it there? Why did William Minerva have to abandon the place and leave it to whoever came next? How did he know there were there to call at that moment? I mean, I doubt he periodically calls to check in!

And poor Anna and Yvette! They seemed more than a little unnerved to find the giant “HELP!” written on the wall in that empty bedroom. Who needs help? Who did they expect to read their sign?

If that wasn’t enough… How in the world did someone build a gigantic underground super secret sanctuary and not attract any demon attention? 

The payphone was terrifying… I still don’t know why. I guess the concept of a telephone grid and quarters in this universe is just so mundane that it’s uncanny.

As Neverland has been doing lately, it didn’t just end on one cliffhanger, it threw everything at us then was all like, I’m outta here suckas. 

So first, it seems there might be some housekeeping to do in B06-32 after all. That’s never fun. And Emma gets a call from the mysterious William Minerva they’ve all been blindly trusting for no real reason. That’s the thing about the hope the Promised Neverland offers. You should never look too closely at it.

Forget about the warning not the stare into the Abyss. It’s got nothing on this show!

5 thoughts

  1. Well, I find Neverland entertaining, but it’s pretty much all intellectual for me, a bit like a crossword puzzle. So I find those cliffhangers more irritating than suspenseful. Now I have to wait another week, but it’s not really interesting enough to last me that long. This is one of those episodes that shows me without a doubt that I’d enjoy Neverland more if I binged it. (So why don’t I? Watching habits; that’s why. Silly me.)

    Also, if this was a JRPG, Norman would come back as the antagonist for most of the game, and then join the party before the final stretch of the game, where we’d learn what he knew, and why he couldn’t reveal it before.

    And Sonju’s basically a conservative hunter-gatherer, who thinks all those new fangled farming stuff corrupts society. I like that. What I don’t like is they emphasised his demon aspects as he revealed that. I mean, they’re drawing a parallel in the opening and with the hunting lessons last episode, but stylistically Emma’s a tragic hero while Sonju’s a monster. The show’s just not very good with that.

    *****Pigs are very very smart and quite emotional. But… bacon…*****

    That’s Silver Spoon in a nutshell. And why I didn’t watch the second season.

    1. I don’t disagree with you on the inconsistency of the message. I’m assuming that since it’s still a show for children (or teenagers) some of the concepts are going to get watered down a little and simplified. So Emma good, Demons scary.
      I’m watching reZero this season as well so it sort of makes the really streamlined characterization seem more subtle by comparison. I also think I might prefer it as a binge but I do find the cliffhanger interesting enough to hold my interest until next episode!

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