It has been a while since I last watched and covered The Promise Neverland. Long story short: March has simply not gone smoothly as far as blogging is concerned. Weekends are my big clutch to make progress on writing posts and stuff (some of which is good, to be fair) kept happening for the past two so progress has been tricky. I could’ve just banged out a Quickie like I have been doing for other shows but I really did want to give Neverland my utmost attention so, as risky as it was, I waited until I could get to writing a proper Episode Review. Better late than never as the saying goes.
Now, this episode is kind of a calm before the storm. The main plot is the kids figuring out how to Norman can avoid shipment which is dire in of itself but it does feel considerably less intense compared to wrenches Isabella threw at them last episode. Everyone does start off feeling down but they all soon get back on their feet in some way and resolve to keep their plans alive.
I particularly enjoyed seeing Norman muster the courage to face his seemingly inevitable fate. The camera “tracks” him as he walks down the hallway to get a glass of water for Emma but it’s positioned behind him, obscuring his face from the viewer. Silence and slow struggle to turn the facet and fill the glass instead informs us of the despair Norman is feeling at the moment. When we finally see his face, he instead exudes determination and resolve. Neverland in general has shown off some good direction but this scene especially stands out to me in that regard.
Truth be told, up until the big cliffhanger, things seem to be going too well. Norman is to disable his tracker and live incognito in the woods surrounding the orphanage. While disappearing, he explores what lies beyond the walls. On the assumption that he’d be the only one shipped in Norman’s place, Ray plans to injure himself so no shipment will occur anytime soon (and to be fair, I’m curious what exactly he would’ve done). Even as the plan is executed and you have a triumphant musical track play, I was more convinced that there had to be a catch.
And sure enough, there is one.
I can only imagine the kind of cliffhanger puns people were making after this episode aired but in all seriousness, it is quite the shocker to learn that the walls are surrounded by a deep ditch. It sounds so simple in hindsight but then again, the thought wouldn’t necessarily come to mind, either for the viewer or even the characters. The wall alone is already a foreboding obstacle to overcome. To me, this ending really sells the bleakness of the situation more than the previous episode. Isabella used force but at the end of the day, she is technically just one bad guy. Emma, Norman, and Ray still hoped to see what lies outside the walls and manage to bounce back. Finding out that the walls are practically cliffs effectively tears down everything the escape had planned for. I suppose it’s a good thing they investigated first but darn, I’m left wondering what other route they can possibly take.
If I really had to nitpick, it is odd that Isabella did not just tell the kids the truth about the walls. I mean, all she really needed to do was let Norman and Emma climb the walls and see for themselves how bleak their chances at escape truly are. It would certainly make a more convincing case that they’re better off accepting the lives they’ve been given. Perhaps she wanted to spare them the painful truth; let them live in ignorance and accept the fact that she has to play the bad guy from here on out. That might sound irrational but then again, this is Isabella I’m talking about. By default, she has one hell of way to care for her children.
- I would say it’s preposterous how Ray remembers seeing the demons when he was a baby but this is Ray we’re talking about. What else is new.
- To be frank, the part where all the toddlers freak out over Norman’s sudden “adoption” doesn’t land as emotionally as it should. We barely know any of these kids, let alone their relationship with Norman apart from he’s a big brother to them.
- Wasn’t expecting a new ending theme but I dig the song, more than the first one even.
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