Were it so easy…
Is Norman truly dead? The simplest interpretation would be to believe that he is but in any horror or even thriller story, a death is only confirmed when you can see the body. It seems rather deliberate that The Promised Neverland cuts right as Norman waits in a room for the demons to arrive. Maybe the show is trying to spare us the details of how the demons kill humans but the thing is that we already know those details thanks to Conny and Krone’s deaths. There is a small possibility that there’s more in store for Norman. After all, we still don’t know what kind of adulthood boys are offered. Maybe Norman found out? Then again, if he did, he’d probably take death instead.
…No one spoil if they reveal what truly happened to Norman in Episode 11…
For now, I praise the people making Neverland for actually leaving Norman’s arc on that kind of a note. I was half unsure that they’d commit to such a development as main characters often get to enjoy the thickest of plot armor. And Neverland has generally felt suspenseful but it feels more so now that Norman is effectively cut out of the picture. Even if no one ends up dying by the end of this arc, it’s clear that this journey is still not without its consequences.
Actually seeing Norman say his goodbyes to everyone worked emotionally too. Not so much with all the orphans though. As I briefly mentioned last episode review, we barely know these couple dozen of toddlers by name and their connection with Norman was generalized to simple big brother, little siblings. What sells the finality instead is Norman’s bond with Emma and Ray. Emma trying one last ditch effort to save Norman is hard enough to sit through but what really got me was seeing Ray get teary eyed. Not Ray has ever come across as heartless but this is him at his most human. As calculating and secretive as he may be, it seems he truly saw Norman as a friend.
I figured Emma and Ray would eventually bounce back and resume planning their escape. To not do so would leave Norman’s sacrifice in vain. It does look like they’re pushing things, however. The two mourn and it’s only until the eve of Ray’s shipment do they finally start conspiring again. Maybe that was the plan all along. I’m sure their grief is genuine for a certain period of time but if all Isabella saw them do for weeks is mourn than she would be off their backs. Whatever the case may be, you still have to wonder what new plan could possibly be made. They now know that there is still an exit but it’s within demon territory so it doesn’t seem terribly viable. For all I know, there’s probably some other way the characters have come up with.
The last thing I want to bring up is Isabella’s interactions with the main trio. Throughout this episode, it appears that she thinks she still knows the minds of her children when in actuality, she’s beginning to understand them less. She praises Norman for giving up when really, Norman took one for the team. She dismisses Emma and Ray as two kids in pain for rejecting the system but now, those two are more determined than ever to rebel. There is also the part where she tries to convince Emma to become a Mama. It’s deplorable enough to outright tell the girl to give up on escaping but expecting her to re-embrace the system is really dense. Come to think of it, Emma is practically an antithesis to Isabella. Like her “mother”, all Emma truly seeks is to give all the children at the orphanage a happy life. Unlike her “mother” however, Emma isn’t content with living a lie.
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