Upon checking out other people’s writings on this episode of The Promised Neverland, a common point of criticism I saw was in regards to Krone’s characterization, decrying it as too goofy. I’m inclined to agree. While watching this episode or, really, just any scene with Krone, I often found myself chuckling and in a horror/thriller series such as this, that’s unlikely to be the intended reaction.
On one hand, the way Krone is so animated and constantly talks to herself nicely contrasts Isabella’s calm and collected demeanor. On the other hand, maybe tone it down just a bit so the viewer can take her more seriously? And I hate to say this as I think Nao Fujita is simply doing her job as per the direction but her hammy performance as Krone hasn’t helped much either. There is still a degree of tension felt whenever she interacts with the kids but I owe that feeling more to other aspects of the direction. The timing of the music, the camera panning, the dramatic close-ups. Those are really what salvages Krone’s scenes from feeling too comedic. I’ve heard the manga does a much better job making this character more foreboding and if that is the case, I wish that attribute was better retained here.
In terms of writing though, I’ve really enjoyed how Krone is a separate threat in of itself. As one might expect, the kids accept Krone’s proposition and cooperate with her. The risk of getting exposed to Isabella is too great and while everyone is more willing to trust Ray, it’s true that Krone could counter him should the boy double cross. On top of that, she does provide valuable information on the trackers, the nature of the caretakers, and the outside world, even backing such claims with some evidence. This isn’t to say the team is happy about the arrangement though. Should Krone eventually find enough dirt on them, it’s game over. And for all we know, that could very well be her plan all along.
Curiously, Emma is the one who takes the biggest issue with Krone. At the start of the episode, the Sister reveals she was an orphan like everyone else and became a caretaker when the demons offered her the choice. It’s a life of servitude and any chance of escape is shot down thanks to a deadly monitoring chip that all caretakers get implanted in their chests. However, it’s also the life Krone chose to live and she appears more than happy to at least live it to its fullest. This of course does not sit well for Emma. From an ethical standpoint, it’s deplorable that a fellow orphan would willingly conform to such an awful system, let alone find fulfillment out of it. You could even say that it’s direct contrast to Emma’s character, a girl who desires to be free and share such freedom with everyone.
As preposterous as it is seeing five preteens methodically plan an elaborate escape, Neverland has at least established that their intelligence can only go so far. In this episode, you see that in effect when Norman and Emma ask Krone about the trackers, just to confirm what the team has already suspected. Unfortunately for them, Krone correctly deduces from their body language that they already knew where the devices are on their bodies. Krone lets it slide since the alliance is shaky anyway but this event still bodes ill for the kids as it puts their ability outsmart the adults in question.
I’m left with a couple of questions by the end of the episode. What was the favor Emma asked of Don and Gilda around the 7 and a half minute mark? Is Krone referring to Minerva when she consults Emma and Norman if they know about “Him”? How does Ray’s Polaroid camera help with disabling the trackers? What dirt on Isabella did Ray plant for Krone to find? What is the deal with Phil?
No, seriously. What is the deal with Phil? Aside from the fact that he’s the one toddler I now know by name, some of his scenes are extremely coincidental. First, there was him helping Emma find Minerva’s Morse Code. Now, he just so happens to stumble upon Krone searching for the info Ray planted. There were also some choice shots and dialogue not too long ago where Emma was afraid Phil might be the traitor. What could this show possibly have in store with this character?
As for the cliffhanger of the week, I’m assuming the letter is informing Krone that she’s being transferred out. Isabella probably had something to do with it. I mean if Ray is about to get removed from the picture than why not Krone as well? Frankly, it was odd for Isabella to keep her subordinate around despite catching onto her schemes three episodes ago. If Krone really is getting relocated as suspected, then the clock isn’t just ticking for the kids but also for her as well.
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