Herald Anime Club

The Herald Anime Club Meeting 97: The Promised Neverland, Episode 11

Meeting Date: 3/23/2019

Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!

Samantha Ferreira: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club! I’m Samantha, and this week, I’m joined by Matt Brown and Anthony Simpson.
Anthony Simpson: Evening
Matt Brown: howdy
Samantha Ferreira: Tonight, we’re talking up The Promised Neverland’s eleventh episode: Fire will cleanse all our sins! (or “Burn the house down! Burn them all!“)
Matt Brown: DIAF the episode
Anthony Simpson: I was going to say Episode 11 with respects to Talking Heads and Reservoir Dogs .
Samantha Ferreira: Hehe, that works too
God, this episode was just… wow

Matt Brown: Mr Pink’s revenge~
[for being called Mr Pink]
Things…happened. Perhaps this episode should be titled, “How All Parents Feel.”
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
Matt Brown: Or “let me stash all this lighter fluid where the kids can get to it, WCGW.”
Honestly there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense about the setting. The fact that there’s a library being the biggest one.
Anthony Simpson: In the words of Ron Burgundy “well, that escalated quickly”.
I don’t know if I have words to correctly describe this episode.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
I did not expect “I AM GOING TO LIGHT MYSELF ON FIRE” be a plot point.

Anthony Simpson: Neither did I.
I was thinking how the kids were going to escape with some form of destruction I didn’t think they will be trying to burn the house down.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. Likewise.
Matt Brown: Somebody saw one news report of what happened in Tunisia years ago and thought “that totally fits for my kids escaping monsters plot!”
Samantha Ferreira: Like… I thought it’d be smaller scale than arson
“Throw these molos into the woods of other farms” was also something I didn’t expect to hear
I also find it kind of interesting that the one kid stayed behind, basically to ensure that mama couldn’t follow
Matt Brown: I didn’t read it that way.
I think the kid was scared and sought her out. But who knows
It’s not really realistic (not that any of this is) to say “let’s give this 6 year-old or whatever his age is the linchpin job”
Anthony Simpson: My guess is he was supposed to go but forgot to go or got left behind.

Matt Brown: The other thing that’s weird to me is that Emma had to cut off her ear and the others didn’t. The timetable of what they’re doing doesn’t really explain that.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. Why is it just Ray and Emma who are being tracked, here?
She’d still have a dozen pings from the other trackers
Anthony Simpson: Yea, I mean I get why those two did what they did for the escape but the other kids still have their trackers unless they intend to cut their ears off as well or use the device. But if they are going to use the device why didn’t they use it once they go into the forest.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed, exactly. Like… I understand the burning hair and hot dogs – that makes sense. But the whole tracker point – something they’ve harped on for the entire season – was only in three kids?
Anthony Simpson: I do like the way things are going, despite the gripes. This has been straight-up compelling
Anthony Simpson: Yes it is Sam.
Matt Brown: They may not install trackers in all the kids, but it doesn’t make sense to only put it in 3 of them. I think they just didn’t anticipate that viewers would be interested in the logistics of how the device got used. You could say Emma was the diversion, so she had to, uh, manually disable her device so she wouldn’t lead Isabella to the others. But they don’t really get into it.
Anthony Simpson: We do know that some of the other kids have trackers not just the trio.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed
As far as I know, they all have trackers

Anthony Simpson: My guess is time constraints of running time in having all the trackers disabled.
Samantha Ferreira: Or
Just a thought
The candy box thing
What if they shorted all the devices?
Matt Brown: That’s what I thought we were discussing. :V
Samantha Ferreira: You noted that they don’t really get into it
But they did when they showed Ray’s device
The taser-thing
Matt Brown: While Emma distracted Isabella, the others used the device and got away. Ray lagged behind so his had to be manual, as well as Emma, and she had to perhaps go further, because it’s hard to be precise with something you can’t see
Anthony Simpson: Could be the case.
Samantha Ferreira: Bingo.
Matt Brown: What’s weird about this episode for me is that because things are now in motion, there’s really nothing to speculate about, so it’s like…yeah, stuff happened, and now we wait and see the result. :3

Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. Like… we’re finally seeing everything come to fruition, and it’s genuinely fascinating, but that whole “what if” is falling to the wayside until they’re out
Matt Brown: While this is going on, the main mystery to me is what happened to Norman.
Anthony Simpson: He’s either Demon food or he is in hiding.
Matt Brown: I think we established pretty convincingly that if he were demon food, we would’ve seen it. But who knows.
Anthony Simpson: Since this show goes on the they are dead when you see the body I am going to assume that he is in hiding.
Matt Brown: yeah, what you said
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
He didn’t die onscreen, he’s not dead
Matt Brown: And now Isabella is facing her own mortality.
…here’s an interesting thought. What if she secured Norman’s safety somehow, and is finding out he betrayed her?
Samantha Ferreira: I’m not seeing it.
Anthony Simpson: I don’t either.
Samantha Ferreira: If Norman’s safety was secured, it’d be at someone in HQ who wants him for something bigger

Matt Brown: If he’s not dead, she was involved somehow.
Anthony Simpson: Isabella is too loyal to the system so I don’t see her going against it unless she had some kind of coming to Jesus moment which wasn’t on screen.
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly
Matt Brown: She did reel when he asked her if she was happy.
Samantha Ferreira: She did
But that doesn’t mean that she’s suddenly had this face turn
Especially given that she screamed that she would hunt the kids like animals when nobody was around
Matt Brown: I’m saying that anger is worth exploring. It could be that she simply fears for her life, or it could be that what she expected to happen (she had to know something would happen) went sideways.
Samantha Ferreira: True enough.
Anthony Simpson: True.
Matt Brown: I still can’t quite figure her out, which is why I kind of fixate on it. She’s obviously smarter than Krone, because she’s alive, and she understands and works within the system, but we just don’t know much yet. Like, how many times did she or other mamas have this situation where smart older kids were plotting escape, I wonder. And what exactly does she want?
Isabella is more interesting to me, because she survived to adulthood. The kids are simpler — they want to live.
Samantha Ferreira: She’s smart, but she sold her soul to get where she is

Matt Brown: The disconnect for me is: if Isabella is so smart, why didn’t her brain become a delicacy when she was younger?
Anthony Simpson: She choose to enter the system to live
Matt Brown: I just think we’re not seeing the whole picture.
If food is as important to the demons as it is people, they wouldn’t let the smart ones live, for any reason.
Samantha Ferreira: It’s not necessarily the smart, but the smart and corrupt
Matt Brown: That’s an interesting thought, but I’d ask what you mean by it. The kids also show a capacity for corruption, but I don’t know that they’d live just because of it.
Samantha Ferreira: In the hands of the right individuals, a corrupt person can become a truly fearsome puppet
They’re willing to sell their own morals to get ahead, and do anything to ensure that they remain at the top of the food chain
Anthony Simpson: Exactly
Matt Brown: Yeah, but why would that matter in this power structure? Why involve humans at all? I think we’re getting in the weeds.
Samantha Ferreira: I think we’re looking too closely at things now, haha
Like… we’re seeing that weird point where the joints creak and groan
Matt Brown: I’m not trying to end discussion obviously. I’m having fun. I just don’t know what to talk about after that thought :3
Samantha Ferreira: Of course, likewise
I mean… there’s a lot to unpack

Anthony Simpson: I’m going to have to agree with Sam on this one.
Samantha Ferreira: And, well
I have a bit of a hypothesis cooking in my head
Matt Brown: The poignant part of this episode is how well the kids know each other. Norman, Emma, and Ray are all acting on and reacting to each other, which is super interesting, but above all they trust and love each other, and I think that’s what we’re meant to take away from the last few episodes.
Samantha Ferreira: No doubt
But, hrm
You pose a good point
Matt Brown: The cruelty of it is not knowing whether their actions and their love are serving an evil purpose.
(even discounting that Norman is my pick for if any of the three is a traitor :3)
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
mind if I get a brief theory going?
Matt Brown: You’re the boss.
Anthony Simpson: Sure go ahead Sam
[Some time passes]
Matt Brown: ((crickets))

Samantha Ferreira: OK, well…
Samantha Ferreira: I’m thinking that Norman is going to be our vector into the world behind the curtain, as it may
He’s going to be in some post somewhere… I dunno, some dude’s ward or something
But he’ll be on the inside, playing nice as he tries to find ways to help the children of Grace Field
Matt Brown: I think that’s likely as well. The question for me is how he’s enjoying this favor.
The obvious guess is that he’s Isabella’s son, but plenty of non-obvious possibilities
Samantha Ferreira: he’s the smart one
Think about it; he masterminded the greatest jailbreak in this facility’s history
Matt Brown: Ah, but they don’t know that at the time he was submitted to them.
I think he has a sponsor — just hard to tell who.
Anthony Simpson: I do wonder that as well.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
I’m curious now
Matt Brown: One guess would be his father, assuming men exist in this world. :3
Maybe the men are the monsters. We haven’t seen any yet.
Anthony Simpson: Who knows
Samantha Ferreira: That’s possible

Matt Brown: I think I’m tapped out for this episode. Too many questions. :)
Anthony Simpson: I have nothing else to say about the episode either.
Matt Brown: Hm, there is one more thing I can think of
Samantha Ferreira: Same.
Matt Brown: When Isabella first enters the burning room, she’s convinced that Ray is in there. She appears first distraught that he’s gone, and then her mind pivots to preserving the demon food by saving his brain. I found that interesting.
Samantha Ferreira: Likewise.
It’s a rare shred of humanity
Matt Brown: I think it’s when she realizes he’s alive that she knows Norman was behind it.
Samantha Ferreira: That makes sense
Anthony Simpson: I agree that makes the most sense.
Samantha Ferreira: Yeah… I can definitely see that’
Hrm… any final comments this week?

Matt Brown: I think I’ve said quite enough. :3
Anthony Simpson: Damn good episode.
Samantha Ferreira: It was
Til next time, remember, folks: Fire solves ALL your problems! (Fire will not solve all your problems. Anime Herald does not endorse Arson)
Have a great night!
Anthony Simpson: Good night
Matt Brown: Ciao

[After the meeting…]

Samantha Ferreira: God, this show
This show is too good
Matt Brown: I’ve had lots of fun with it. I do fear as usual that the final reveal will be a huge letdown, but I’ll stick with it :3
(i.e. something-something birth rates, something-something eugenics)

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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