The Promised Neverland – Ep. 5

Just to make this 100% official: I am going to be covering The Promise Neverland in its entirety. Yes, I’m still not blown away by it but darn it, it’s still quite good. Anyway…

Has Ray become my favorite character? I’m feeling inclined to say so. He’s certainly the most interesting; a real wild card whose motivations and actions will greatly affect the outcome of the story. Just when you think Norman played him like a fiddle, Ray actually outdoes him, completing admitting he’s the traitor while also claiming to be an ally. Turns out he volunteered to spy for Isabella six years ago so that he can gain the information and resources needed to escape. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, he is willing to cooperate with Norman as a double agent. 

At least that’s what Ray tells Norman. Unless you’re far into the manga and already know what Ray’s game is, I think it’s best that we take whatever the boy says with more than a grain of salt. To be frank, I’m surprised he’s even willing to to plot an escape with some of his friends. Surely the pragmatist in him would opt for the promise of adulthood. For a brief scene, Neverland does have you thinking he is going to backstab Norman only to then show him keep his end of the bargain and gives false info to Isabella. Maybe he does value freedom over security or maybe he is convinced that Isabella isn’t a fool and will betray him once his utility wears off. The only way to truly know where he stands is to watch more of the show.

One thing is for sure: Ray aims to get the results he desires. The most obvious indication is his counter ultimatum to Norman. Yes, he agrees to Norman’s terms but only if his friend agrees to deceive Emma and gives up on saving everyone with Don and Gilda possibly being the exceptions. There’s some very alarming subtext to consider as well. Ray having an idea on how to destroy the trackers now makes a lot of sense though the implication is that he must’ve experimented on a lot of his fellow livestock (presumably the ones who got shipped out) to collect the data he needed. There’s also Ray supposedly plotting for Emma and Norman to learn the truth by leaving Conny’s stuffed bunny behind. Perhaps it was a necessary move but to make Conny a martyr for the escape plan still feels rather heartless to me. For that matter, does Ray even feeling anything at all for his actions? Emma clearly cares about everyone in general and Norman cares about Emma but what does Ray care about?

Right now, Emma is willing to believe all is good and that Ray is on her and Norman’s side. Her befuddlement at Ray’s blunt confession is very amusing to watch too. At the same time, it’s clear that Ray can’t quite shrug off her suspicions entirely. While Emma believes Ray that he wants to save everyone now, she knows for a fact that it’s out of character for him. Furthermore, she catches on very quickly about the human experimentation Ray must’ve done in order to find a way to destroy the trackers. She accepts it for what it is but her facial expressions and body language still suggests that she isn’t happy about it. Ray and Norman might be skilled enough in outsmarting Emma but it’s clear that things might not bode well if either of them get on her bad side.

The only characters who don’t seem to have much to do here is Don and Gilda. Hell, they’re not not even present when Ray confesses his duplicity, seemingly learning the information secondhand at a later point in time. Perhaps that’s to be expected. They’re not main character tier the same way Emma, Norman, and Ray are. Still, would it kill Neverland to make them appear less expendable? When Emma deduces Isabella has a secret door in her office and Ray advises against investigating it, you just know that Don would still check it out and drag Gilda along with him. The fact that Don desperately wants to save Conny (Good job, Norman!) makes his fate seem even more impending.

Then again, maybe the person who opens the door at the end isn’t Isabella. It could just be Ray saving them before they truly do get caught. Another possibility could be Krone who might let Don and Gilda off the hook after finding out some vital intel about her superior…or maybe it is just Isabella and those two are doomed.

Thanks for reading!

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