The Promised Neverland: Season 1, Episode 12 “150146” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Norman making his final appearance.
Norman: Well?
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While learning how and if Emma, Ray, and the others escaped you’d think would be the high point, it is actually an emotional sendoff to someone else.


Network
Crunchyroll
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 3/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Phil Kouno Hiyori
Leslie  

What Changed Emma’s Mind: Phil, Gilda, Emma

Emma has long been unwavering on taking everyone but with Gilda bringing up the possibility of the babies dying, among other issues, it really hits Emma that she’ll be sacrificing a lot of lives if she tries to save everyone. This leads to her telling Phil, a 4-year-old, the truth. Thus leading to him revealing he had some semblance of the truth through overhearing conversations, like Sister Krone mentioning a harvest, but now he has confirmation. The kind which leads him to cry a bit, as the truth hits him, but then he accepts the mission he knows he is being given. Emma will escape with 14 others, and it is Phil’s job to watch and train the next batch.

Though Emma vows she will return for not just those of Plant 3, but to rescue kids from the other farms.

A Leap Of Faith: Ray, Emma

Isabella watching Emma cross the gorge.

Now, the question has been for a while: How do these kids escape? Between demons, who we see from calf to head, a giant gap between the outside world and farms, alongside limited tools, what can these kids do? Well, thanks to bottle rockets and Don having a good arm, they climb the wall, find a cliff on the other side, and Don throws a cloth and rock, and once it locks in, he ziplines. This is followed by the bottle rockets sending more zip lines so that there are three and then every kid flies down using wooden hangers.

All the way down to Emma, who goes last.

Goodbye My Children, Goodbye My Son: Isabella, Leslie, Ray, Emma

As the kids are prepping and ziplining over, Isabella has sound the alarms. However, with the kids not showing up at the bridge comes her checking the walls and encountering Emma. Someone who has a moment of fear but before leaping, she loses it and just says goodbye and jumps. Leading her to escape and the zip line ropes being cut.

But that’s not the only thing cut. Like with Sister Krone, we get Isabella’s backstory and see when she realized the harvest was real. It was as she was climbing trees, basically being a raven-haired Emma, and heard Leslie play his instrument. Now, it isn’t clear if she had a crush on him but with his death came a bit of misery. So, taking that pain, she numbed herself and focused on survival for a long time. Leading to her eventually becoming a mom.

Ray when he was a child.

However, something, or rather someone, created a gap: Ray. We learn Ray is Isabella’s biological son and while it isn’t clear who the father is, Ray knows the truth. He knows Isabella gave birth to him and this explains perhaps everything. But, it should be noted, Ray doesn’t tell anyone this, assuming he remembers, and as for Isabella? Well, while tired of fighting for survival, it isn’t clear what she may do next. She still has all he four and under to take care of, and she’ll have to answer for the kids who escaped and the burnt down house.

Yet, at this point, who knows if Isabella cares anymore. Her son, her brilliant son, found a way to escape in ways she didn’t. He won’t be harvested, or subject to what the demons do. He is free, and with that, she has perhaps found peace.

Highlights

Isabella’s Backstory & Realization She Was Ray’s Biological Mom

Let me just begin by saying, I cried when Ray was revealed as Isabella’s son and just writing a recap of that triggered tears all over again. For while Isabella has been presented as a villain, we got reminded by Sister Krone that the desperation to survive and have some sort of guarantees drives the mothers. This became evident especially when Isabella approached Emma. There comes the point where you either have to focus on your survival or be ready to die.

But the kicker for me was we went beyond seeing the schooling and also saw Isabella pregnant. Meaning, there are stages to this. Beyond the schooling, women are probably impregnated and forced to give birth to children they may not have hopes ever to see. Never mind breastfeeding until they can be weened off. So imagine breaking out of that and, yes, having to shepherd kids towards death, but having a certain amount of freedom? Yeah, with the empowerment of those who could have killed you, but sometimes you have to side with your oppressor if you or anyone else isn’t willing to stand up and fight.

Which made her revealing Ray is her son such a kicker since, probably like dogs, most women probably gave birth and never saw their kids again. So this rare opportunity, even if Ray wasn’t born out of love, it reminds you of how little each person has. I mean, they may have dolls, as Conny and Sister Krone had, but your own child? Someone who is part of you? That has been stripped from most and to have to deliver your only known child? Can you imagine that? Having to decide between their survival and yours?

Also, it makes you realize, considering Isabella wanted to escape herself, why she probably helped Ray get materials and let things slide. While she didn’t know if they could do it, she hoped they would try. For why else would kids head towards the wall and past the fence? Isabella likely kept good inventory, so she had to know when things were missing. And lastly, taking note she didn’t try to stop Emma, I think she wanted her and Ray to succeed. I mean, isn’t that what most parents want? For their children, be it biological, adopted, or those like Emma who remind you of yourself, to surpass you?

It Was A Really Good Finale

With a second season confirmed for 2020, it makes how epic this finale was satisfying without any sort of asterisk. For while we’ll likely have to wait a year, or more, to learn what became of Phil and the younger kids, or Emma and the older, we were given a rare balance between stuff to look forward to and answers. So rather than give us a cliffhanger which fills you with anxiety and clamoring for what’s next, you are given most of the answers you need. All the while, enough to question the future of, like how will Isabella handle Phil knowing the truth, or Emma and company in the woods, to have the second season on your Google alerts.

Phil Proving He Was Smart

Phil (Kuono Hiyori) talking to Emma.
Phil (Kuono Hiyori)

For a good part of the show, Phil seemed just to pop up and have moments when you had to wonder if he was a spy. If not Isabella’s backup to cross-check Ray. However, he wasn’t, and with him coming to realize the truth, that was perhaps the final reminder that these are all children. Ones who want to believe Isabella has their best interest, wants to protect them, and give them the room and freedom to be children. So seeing Phil’s comfort blanket go up in flames and him having to mourn his now lost innocence, that was a real hit in the gut. Yet, him being willing to step up also reminds you of the resiliency of children and their ability to adapt to even the worst circumstances.

That There Were No “Will It Rip?!” Moments

While I get the use of tension and fear to excite viewers, there is the vibe that sometimes it is used lazily to hype up a situation that already has high stakes. Making me glad there weren’t any issues or even when Ray went with another child, we didn’t see any ripping due to the extra weight. It’s little things like that which makes you appreciate that The Promised Neverland wanted to both respect the ages and abilities of the children, as well as the viewer – even if things seemed kind of slow at times.

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 10 “130146”Is there any chance Norman won’t end up having his brain eaten by a demon in the year 2045? Time to find out.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 3/14/2019
  • Let’s Remember The Good Times: Emma, Norman, Ray, Isabella
  • Goodbye Old Friend: Norman, Emma, Isabella
  • Just As Hope Seems Lost/ Bartering: Ray, Emma, Isabella
Season 1, Episode 11 “140146”The kids finally escape but as for how, with who, and how they deal with Isabella, you may not have guessed it.
Director(s)               Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 3/21/2019
  • Ray’s Plan: Ray, Emma
  • Norman’s Plan: Emma, Norman, Ray
  • The Unexpected: Don, Ray, Emma, Isabella
Season 1, Episode 12 “150146”While learning how and if Emma, Ray, and the others escaped you’d think would be the high point, it is actually an emotional sendoff to someone else.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 3/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Phil Kouno Hiyori
Leslie  ?
  • What Changed Emma’s Mind: Phil, Gilda, Emma
  • A Leap Of Faith: Ray, Emma
  • Goodbye My Children, Goodbye My Son: Isabella, Leslie, Ray, Emma
Season 1, Episode 8 “021145”Let’s hope the kids prepped for the worst case scenario considering the events of this episode.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 2/28/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grandma Mami Koyama
  • Goodbye Sister: Sister Krone, Isabella, Grandma
  • All Is Revealed: Isabella, Ray, Norman, Emma, Grandma, Sister Krone
  • Even Pigs Are Happy Before Slaughter: Isabella, Ray, Norman, Emma, Gilda, Don
Season 1, Episode 9 “031145”More and more there is a need to question what the kids of the farm can do, and Norman discovers yet another obstacle.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 3/7/2019
  • A Backup Plan: Ray, Norman, Emma
  • Infantile Amnesia: Ray
  • The End Of The Rope: Ray, Norman, Emma, Isabella
Season 1, Episode 7 “011145”A ton of information about the way the world works is dropped by Sister Krone, but is this all just to throw off the kids or genuine help
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 2/21/2019
  • There Is So Much You Don’t Know: Sister Krone, Emma, Norman
  • The Plan: Ray, Norma, Emma, Gilda, Don
  • The Backup Plan Executed: Ray, Isabella, Sister Krone
Season 1, Episode 6 “311045”A major complication throws everyone’s escape plans into a loop but, the complication could end up becoming a major solution.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 2/14/2019
  • What’s Behind The Door?: Don, Gilda, Isabella
  • The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth:Don, Gilda, Emma, Norman, Ray
  • Got Caught Slipping: Krone, Emma, Norman, Ray, Don, Gilda, Isabella
Season 1, Episode 5 “301045”The traitor revealed in the last episode explains their relationship with Isabella and complicates things for Norman.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 2/7/2019
  • Let’s Make A Deal: Ray, Norman
  • Secrets Between Friends: Ray, Norman, Emma
  • Will You Be A Liability Or An Asset?: Ray, Norman, Emma, Gilda, Don
Season 1/ Episode 4 “291045”Norman sets when everyone is going to leave, and that causes them to scramble over who might be the traitor and why.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 1/31/2019
Introduced This Episode
Gilda Lynn
Don Ueki Shin`ei
  • 11/8: Norman, Ray, Emma
  • Expanding Those In The Know: Norman, Ray, Emma, Gilda, Don
  • A Traitor In Our Midst: Norman, Ray, Emma, Gilda, Don, Isabella, Krone
Season 1/ Episode 3 “181045”As Sister Krone reveals her intentions at the farm, it becomes clear that Emma, Ray, and Norman may not all get what they want if they plan to escape.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 1/24/2019
  • The Return of Sister Krone, And Her Plans For The Future: Krone, Isabella
  • The Return of Sister Krone, And Her Plans For The Future: Krone, Isabella
  • Putting Plans Into Action: Ray, Norman, Emma, Krone
Season 1/ Episode 2 “131045”With the truth discovered, Emma and Norman scramble to figure a way for not only them to escape, but the 35 others.
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 1/17/2019
Introduced This Episode
Sister Krone Fujita Nao
  • Stay Cool, Let’s Talk About This: Emma, Norman
  • Does She Know?: Momma, Sister Krone, Norman, Emma
  • The Mud Boat: Ray, Norman, Emma

Season 1/ Episode 1 “121045”

The Promised Neverland balances out childhood innocence with the type of creepiness which puts you a tad on edge.

Creator Kaiu Shirai
Director(s) Mamoru Kanbe
Writer(s) Toshiya Ono
Air Date 1/9/2018
Genre(s) Fantasy
Good If You Like Children As Leads In Dark Productions
Isn’t For You If You Like Shows To Be Slower And Build Up To The Shocking Moment Longer
Introduced This Episode
Ray Ise Mariya
Emma Morohoshi Sumire
Norman Uchida Maaya
Conny Ari Ozawa
Isabella Kaida Yuuko

How Would You Rate This?

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It was such a great season final and gave us everything we needed. That said, I’ll be very happy next year to see this one return for a second season and I’ll just hope that the same standard is maintained as this season has just been a joy to watch.

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