Despite largely focusing on the relationship between Saki and Maria- something I haven’t really cared much about until now- I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s episode, partly because a lot of what Maria said in her letter felt particularly pertinent, and partly because of all that was done to cultivate viewers’ feelings of dread.
As I mentioned above, Maria made some fascinating points in her letter. I liked how she compared the children that had been disposed of to defective products, or pottery that was liable to shatter at any given moment. I’m not sure if it best captures the cruelty of the Ethics Committee for treating living, breathing human beings like worthless objects, or diminishes their responsibility as they do not actually consider these dangerous elements as being human beings in their own right, so are not committing any kind of crime within their own minds. I also enjoyed her comparison of all the children to eggs. In this context, I guess an egg could symbolise unknown potential. It could hatch into an angel, or a demon, but until then the Ethics Committee would have to assume the potential for either to occur is equal- a kind of Schrödinger’s cat deal! I don’t think that means they are entitled to destroy these ‘eggs’ before they reveal their true nature, but I guess that point could be contended with- can the act be justified by it being for the good of humanity? There’s actually an on-going debate in forensic psychology (my major) that strikes me as being relevant at this point, it’s whether or not it would be ethical to abort foetuses with the ‘criminal gene’ in order to prevent future crime, if we were to ever locate such a thing. In both instances it does not sit well with me that the child/foetus is disposed of before its true nature has been revealed, as it’s been shown over and over that a range of different things influence criminality, so even if someone were to possess a bad nature, or this ‘criminal gene’, they may not resort to crime/violence if not also influenced by these other factors, but that’s just my two cents…
The remainder of the episode, after Maria’s letter was read, was suitably tense. Squealer was just as sneaky a shit as usual, I don’t doubt for a second that he’d kill another kid for their bones, so I’m glad Saki and Satoru picked up on that, and are hesitant to further trust him! I just hope that telling him to do whatever he wants won’t come back to bite them in the butt! Having Saki comment on Satoru and herself being the only ones left helped ramp up the tension too, as it tapped into that very much primitive fear of being alone. Humans, like the primates we evolved from, are social beings that just cannot function optimally by themselves… Ever seen Castaway? Tom Hank’s shipwrecked character befriended a washed up volleyball, naming it Wilson, so as not to be totally alone. Saki’s nightmare was also pretty terrifying. I believe the strange monsters perhaps represented Saki’s unconscious fear of the unknown, the boy, I am 95% sure, an astral projection of Shun (who I still don’t think is dead). What the boy’s warning could mean, I’m not sure- with all the information we’ve been presented on Maria so far, I cannot possibly imagine her being any sort of threat that would warrant elimination! And that’s pretty nervous-making in itself, considering a character who’s done nothing but be sweeter than sweet might suddenly do a 180, and become a real threat, that is. Kind of puts you in the shoes of the Ethics Committee, this is how they must feel when assessing children that might suddenly become a danger!
I look forward to seeing what will happen next now that the show is having another time skip! I wonder how the relationship between the two remaining will have developed? It’s only recently come to my attention just how much Satoru has matured, thinking logically and systematically about most situations, and supporting Saki, as opposed to mocking her. I wonder when Saki will also come to notice and appreciate this?