“311045” Recap – The Promised Neverland

By: Dylan Hysen

 

Dylan Hysen, Andy Potter, April Collins, & Steve Zec recap Episode 6 of The Promised Neverland, “311045”.

 

2 Comments

  1. Jay February 18, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Dylan, I’d disagree in the aspect of Norman being the “saintly, male figure” in the story. If we’re being honest, outside of making sure Emma survives and is happy, we don’t know Norman’s motivations. All his plans or goals seems to be rooted in his feelings for Emma and his idolizing of her and her ideals.

    Norman has on more than one occasion shown himself to be amoral. Just like Ray, Norman wanted to abandon everyone in episode 1 but Emma’s refusal to do so is what informs his presumed escape plan. Norman admits to Ray that he was going to use Ray and not out him as the traitor and leave them behind but changed his mind after consulting Emma.

    Scenes such as in episode 5, where Norman lies to Don & Gilda; Ray gets visibly upset with him. Ray seems to have sense of morality that Norman hasn’t expressed thus far, even Norman’s admittance of his selfishness in worrying about his own life in episode 1 compared to Emma probably shows he has a low value of himself or at least he holds Emma on above others and her ideals become his.

    In a vacuum, Norman has been shown to be both a liar and a manipulator. The only difference is, we sympathize with their plight. His actions would be taken as those of a villain or at least an antihero if they weren’t dealing with human-eating demons and adults readying them for the dinner plate. His life circumstances and feelings towards the main character are what allow the audience to sympathize with Norman even though he’s perceived to be actively lying in someway to every character in the show.

    If anything, I think the subversion is that for all of Norman’s intelligence, he seems to lack ideals of some kind that isn’t directly related to Emma or her hopes/wishes. Also, we’ve focused mainly on Norman in terms of on-screen planning and scheming so far. While we know Emma is involved, most of her stuff has been handled off-screen. We believe that Norman’s ideals reflect Emma’s and removing Norman would force Emma into a more prominent on-screen presence in terms of planning. It seems that Emma’s function has been to provide small tidbits of information tangentially related to the plot as well as a mirror for Norman to bounce ideas off of.

    Eliminating Ray also stays too close to genre norms, the traitor amongst us or the selfish character who grows a heart is common in both horror & thriller genres. Especially in horror shows, the character who wronged the protagonist(s) usually has a climax in their character arc which leads to an act of selflessness enabling the main cast to escape or one up the story’s threat/antagonist.

    I think the only true subversion would be to remove Emma from the story. She’s what we believe to be the main protagonist and the influential leader of the jailbreak. Symbolism shows us how important she is as well, there’s motifs throughout the show suggesting to Emma’s importance. There’s the obvious, surface elements to take away (her unique character design or her color pallet being the brightest of all the characters, her shonen personality) but the show also sets Emma up to be the linchpin of the show.

    In the very imagine that’s the thumbnail for this episode. The scene where the main 3 amend with Don & Gilda is where the show uses its medium to get the point across. Outside of the moon, the only light in the scene comes from Emma’s lantern. It’s a subtle yet still on the nose example of symbolism to Emma’s importance to the group & story. Outside of Norman, whose in tow, following Emma’s lead, everyone else is separated in darkness dealing with their own issues. It’s when Emma meets up with them and the light of her lantern attracts them all to one another which allows them work through their problems. Even Ray carries a lantern but his flame is out compared to Emma’s (which could be its own symbolism or foreshadowing) but that’s just why I think there’s enough genre history and/or enough flags to put both Norman & Ray in danger. That’s just how I see it but I’d love to see if there’s a different angle to it I’m not seeing.

     
    • Dylan Hysen February 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Definitely some good points here. I wasn’t even trying to personally characterize Norman when I said that, I just think it’s what the show is presenting on the surface. Clearly there’s more depth to it as you alluded to, but he presents as a goody two shoes dignified type, his white hair contributes to the saintly appearance, etc. Emma dying would clearly be the biggest shock but Norman would be too since he’s been so integral to the show thus far and is, again at least on the surface, a major driver of the moral presenting heroes in this screwed up world.

       

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