This was confusing. First, we get a recap episode sort of out of nowhere and then we have to wait an extra day for the next episode. The Promised Neverland is playing games with my timeline. 

Also, tonight was a rough anime night. FUNimation was down for a while there so I couldn’t even watch episode 6, then I noticed that AniList is down as well. It’s not like I need AniList or anything, but I’m itching to add on the episodes I just watched. Talk about first-world problems.

Let’s get some perspective here, how are you Crow?

Well, we’re having our second snow event of the week. My snow blower broke last week and the part just came in. So, this weekend I get to see if I can remember how to use a wrench! AniList is still down, and I actually watched this episode on Hulu because I didn’t know FUNimation was back on line. 

Yep; first world problems. I’ll take them over what the poor folks in Texas are putting up with this week!

I’ll be in bold; there will be spoilers.

So we finally get a chance to catch up with Norman. For the kids, it’s been a very long time and for us viewers, we’ve been waiting for 2 weeks. That’s like forever! 

At first, I thought that something was off. Norman was just too calm about everything. I guess it’s not as big a surprise for him since he didn’t think they were all dead but still. And then I thought that maybe I was being paranoid. Norman was always kind of like that. Introverted and tranquil. He would show immense joy with a quiet smile. 

But then he started explaining that he was sent to a research facility after the farm. From sacrificial lamb to lab rat. All things considered, Norman is actually being really resilient. Good job Norman.

The episode did a fine job of presenting a compelling case both for the goals Emma wanted to explore, and the plan Norman, Barbara, Cislo, and Vincent came up with. I’ll hold off saying more until we talk about that part of the episode. But I thought it was really well done.

A few random notes from the beginning of the episode. I think BakaRay is super fun to say.

That’s in my notes, too! I think BakaRay should be a thing.

Also, the labs are called Lambda. And my crazy conspiracy theory nut brain started thinking that lambda is usually used to symbolize the decay constant. And here we have Norman talking about how demons can’t “maintain”. Can’t you see people??? It’s all coming together!

I immediately thought of Half Life’s Lambda Complex. Man, that was a fun game to play. 

Same reference. The decay constant is used to calculate half-life! Yay, Math!

I’m still wondering about the demons’ evolutionary paths. I say “paths” because I’m not convinced they’re all the same. 

Oh yeah, demons can’t maintain. They need to eat humans or they revert back into beasts, I guess. Talk about “you are what you eat” to the extreme. Although from what we saw of those poor demon kids, they didn’t seem to be reverting so much as dying. 

There’s a lot of iffy things about this theory and to the credit of The Promised Neverland, they do address the biggest plot hole in the episode.

I did like how Emma and Ray both brought up Sonju and Mujika as counter examples. That’s why I’m wondering if there are multiple evolutionary paths, or if something else is going on?

But first, Norman announces that he will exterminate demonkind. Isn’t it weird how quickly we go to genocide as a solution?

It was almost sweet how quickly the other kids jumped on board. Gilda even said she was relieved because it would mean the burden on Emma would be lessened. The kids’ hearts were in the right place, but genocide is still genocide, isn’t it?

What follows is a slightly too long conversation between Ray and Emma. Emma is uncomfortable with the plan and what I liked is that her reasons don’t really make sense. On the surface, she really should want all demons dead. But she doesn’t because wiping out an entire species is a very heavy action that will change her soul forever. But she can’t quite explain it. She talks about demons having families and thoughts and dreams. But the thoughts and dreams will disappear if they lose their intelligence and possibly even the family bonds. It’s a circular argument. 

That scene was the emotional heart of the episode. Emma was so authentic. She and Ray trust each other so much, she was willing to expose her unorganized thoughts so he could help her figure out what she wanted to do. I like Ray’s methodical approach, and I really liked how he was there for Emma in this episode. 

What they decided to do felt like it fit perfectly: They didn’t know! So they would bring Norman into the conversation.

I have to say, Barabara is a bit too unsubtle for me. She doesn’t fit in. There have been a lot of very villainous characters in The Promised Neverland, but they were always a bit more measured and layered. She might have just been wearing a sign that said “Both Sides Are Bad.”

I can’t disagree. She was over the top. Her gnawing on demon leg meat was particularly unsubtle! 

That said, I can’t argue with their experience. I am not advocating for genocide, but those four went through something that Cislo said was worse than hell. That’s going to leave scars and damage. And anger.

And what had happened to Vincent’s head? The poor guy had sutures on both sides, front, and back. Man, those guys have been through some stuff!

I am actually quite curious about Norman’s reaction to Emma’s reticence. I’m not sure we’ll ever find out, as the episode seem to take a different direction towards the end. Still, I think there is a small chance that Norman could listen and I’m curious to find out. 

I thought it was telling how Cislo asked how Norman used to be, and when Emma responded that he was warm and smiled all the time, Cislo, Barbara, and Vincent were amazed. The Norman they knew was a cold genius. 

Still, I think you’re right. Whatever has happened to Norman, he loved and trusted Emma and Ray. He would respond to them. He might be too far gone, and as you said, that last bit could throw us in an entirely different direction. 

But did you notice that the characters are back to the point where we can have a robust talk about their motivations? In a good way, parts of this episode felt more like the first season. 

But I’m really curious to know more about what Norman was talking bout at the end.

Revious Episode Reviews

5 thoughts

  1. I was expecting Norman to come back as an antagonist, so I’m not that surprised. I just think the set-up is probably the most straightforward I could have thought of, and it’s a tad disappointing.

    As for the demons: the two we met cited “religious reasons”; Norman’s statement at the end seems to imply they’re either unique or the non-regressive kinds are very rare, but what then does “religious” mean? To me, religion (as opposed to spirituality) implies a community with community practices. Not sure the show does, too, or maybe the translation was a little off? I’m re-orienting myself a little here.

    In any case, I note they’re bringing up religion more often in this second season, when I felt what they set up in season 1 and by showing us the town felt more like class divisions.

    I feel there’s something lost in the rush from the source material, but who knows? In any case, I barely care after this episode. I didn’t like it much (with the conversation between Emma and Ray being a notable exception), and given the current social climate, I’m not really in the mood for dealing with extremists. Here’s something: if you’re trying to explore a difficult issue, don’t make your antagonists extremists. You’re usually going to fixate on one not-that-interesting element. I mean, Emma’s psychological state right now is very interesting, but I’m sort of afraid that show’s about to pull a plot-twist that makes things a lot more straightforward, so that we dodge the issue. I hope it doesn’t.

  2. As glad as I was ti see Norman back, this episode moved us from long Norman speech to long talk between Ray and Emma, and then to the final conversation with Norman’s new crew. As interesting as the possibilities were watching thus wasn’t particularly interesting though I am curious to know what Norman will do next.

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