Episode Synopsis: Sister Krone makes a deal with the children – she’ll give them the information she has if they’ll make sure to escape successfully. Her stated plan is to use their escape to bring down Isabella and gain the top spot for herself. In reality, she’s looking for solid proof of the kids’ plan to escape so she can take down Isabella and ship them out anyway. The kids realize this as well, and so begins the plotting of both sides to gain as much information as possible without giving too much away. While Krone outmaneuvers them verbally, they’re working on something potentially much larger in response. Meanwhile, Ray acquires the final piece he needs to disable the tracking devices. Norman plans to continue gathering information, but it definitely feels like the stage is set for the escape attempt.
Episode Review: This episode is a good example of doing a lot with a little. Looking at it chronologically, not a lot happened this episode – Krone and the kids had two conversations, and both sides then talked about what they’d learned. But in terms of how this changes the dynamics in the house, it was pretty earthshaking.
For one thing, the children learned a lot from Krone. They got to take a look at the tracking device locator, which confirmed what they thought. They learned quite a bit about how the farm system works.
But most importantly, they learned that human society of a kind does exist outside the walls, and it may even be possible to blend into it. The escape has at least some possibility of working now.
On the other side, Krone may not have learned as much, but what she did learn is extremely important. The kids already knew about the tracking devices and have a way to disable them. If she can find their method, she’s got the whole thing in the bag.
So there’s a lot going on, and the series continues to do a really good job of ratcheting up the intensity – everyone is on thin ice all the time, and a stray word or action could cause the whole thing to come crashing down.
That’s enough praise, Promised Neverland, now I need to take some time to deflate your ego. For one thing, Krone continues to be juuuust a little bit too crazy to be believable. I think the problem I have is that her keen intellect and ability to read the kids, demonstrated to great effect this episode, is more than terrifying enough in the context of the show. She doesn’t also need to do the song-and-dance thing and make crazy faces as the camera zooms way in. Here’s a good comparison: This is legitimately scary:
This is not:
It’s a problem I feel like the show is struggling with as a whole – whether to be a purely intellectual thriller, where just the revelation of a certain piece of information is enough to be scary, or whether it also wants me to be unnerved by sounds or camera angles like I’m in a horror movie. For example, when the kids go to Krone’s room for a discussion, the door opens and the camera suddenly tilts.
Like, she’s not going to leap out and start stabbing them, why are we doing a budget jump scare? Later, while the kids are talking to her, we keep cutting to shots of her creepy doll, which then gets a rapid zoom-in closeup and a weird chittering laughing sound plays.
I feel that these attempts at unnerving the audience are taking away from the show’s atmosphere rather than contributing to it. Still, these quibbles are only a small negative in light of the show’s very strong storytelling, so I continue to look forward to more.