Violet Evergarden: Season 1/ Episode 10 “A Loved One Will Always Watch Over You” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Ann being consoled by her mother.
80.82% (3)

Sensitive souls beware, Violet’s latest assignment deals with a young girl and her sickly mother.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Taichi Ishidate
Writer(s) Reiko Yoshida
Air Date 3/15/18
Characters Introduced
Ann ?

A Living Doll: Violet

For Violet’s latest assignment, things are shrouded in secrecy. However, it isn’t like she is writing a letter for a prince or princess, it’s for a single, sickly, mother widowed by the war. Who, with a young and rambunctious daughter named Ann, isn’t really given enough time to do what she feels she needs. Also, with her health failing, she is in need of the Auto Memory Doll service.

Enter Violet, ready as ever, and coming into contact with a 7-year-old girl who senses something ominous about her, and yet is enamored by the fact she looks like a doll twice her own size. Which, after the usual apprehension most children have about strangers, especially who take away the attention of their parents, she begins to play with Violet and Violet adapts.

Commentary

Ann giggling because, in her mind, Violet is a doll and with her playing with her doll, she finds the situation funny.
Ann giggling because, in her mind, Violet is a doll and with her playing with her doll, she finds the situation funny.

With seeing a child and the way Violet holds Ann’s doll when asked to hold and play with her, it really does make you wonder what Violet’s childhood was like. We know she herself was orphaned, and that affects how she later reacts to Ann, but what was the life Violet had before Diethard found her. Unlike most of the cast we have met, was she destitute, poor? Was she even in an orphanage or did she wander the streets? Stealing what she could while, seemingly uncultured, for a lack of a better term, barely able to express what she needed and why she did the things she did.

Meeting Ann opens up a wound, and not just when she mentions her father died in the war. It pushes Violet to continue to relive her past, but this time the loneliness.

The Doll Who Can’t Be Fixed: Violet

Between her illness and having letters written, Ann’s mom barely sees her a whole week and Ann expects Violet to step in. Whether it is reading to her, playing, having conversations, Violet gets a crash course in handling kids and luckily all Ann wants is some attention and then she is just fine. But, as you can imagine, no one replaces your mother and while Ann is a good girl, she is still a child. Her mother and Violet are being secretive about these letters and with every time her mom clearly has a moment, one dealing with her heart, it sends a jolt to Ann’s brain and she is off.

No longer an observer, she wants her mom to interact with her because there is no denying the inevitable. She isn’t getting better, she is getting worse, and Ann knows it. So even one week of not spending time together is scary since it could be the last week she gets to spend with her mom.

Yet, in a way, it isn’t. For Violet’s job ultimately was to write 50 letters. Letters that, for the different milestones of Ann’s life, by age, she’d have her mother with her. This includes her 8th birthday, 18th, a letter for when Ann is older and with a child, and will take her into her later years. A week’s sacrifice that brought 50 years of comfort.

Commentary

Tears and snot. As the show has continued, Violet Evergarden has become a consistent means to know if I’m drinking enough water by how salty my tears are and for clearing my sinuses. For you don’t just find yourself crying, you ugly cry. I’m talking face distortions, weird sounds, and even with it being expected too. For between the beauty of a mother having letters written which will continue her presence for 50 years to the idea of this 7-year-old dealing with knowing her mom is to die, that she will be an orphan, is a bit much. Especially as you watch Violet be a sort of blank-faced medium for us to live all this through. Not taking away any of the pain for us but letting it directly hit you in the heart.

The Evolution of Violet Evergarden: Violet, Cattleya

Yet, despite being as stone-faced as usual, the truth is that Violet was holding back her tears to be strong for Ann. She didn’t want to confirm Ann’s deepest fears and as soon as she is back at the office, counting the letters, recounting what happened, she weeps. Violet cries so much that you honestly wonder whether she isn’t just crying for Ann but perhaps also herself in a way. For so much has happened lately and while she is dealing with Major Gilbert’s death, she hasn’t had a chance really to cry for herself. What she went through and Ann, perhaps, was a trigger.

Commentary

Violet revealing the emotional hardship it was to handle the assignment.

With Violet Evergarden, finally, getting a US premiere date of April 5th, it is going to be interesting how watching this show week to week compares to binge watching. Though, with this show seeming like it lives in a chapter format, and with the growth of Violet being sort of slow, but steady, maybe it might fair better than most shows.

But, speaking on the topic at hand – again, tears. As Violet begins to lose that wall she built up as a child, and that was surely fortified as a soldier, you can see her soft and emotional bits are starting to see the light of day again. Plus, through working as a Doll, she is also learning empathy. When it comes to Ann, she may not know how to entertain a child, but at the very least knows she should not confirm Ann’s worse fears and seeing her break down from holding the weight of having to keep up the façade, it was devastating.

Mostly because, this was a real test for Ann. While she has worked with people in unfortunate situations, with there being dead children, squashing the possibilities of war, and things of that nature, this one was personal. Ann may have been better off financially, but her story mirrors Violet’s own orphan status. The only difference being, Violet doesn’t seem to have a thing of her parents. Memories nor trinkets, so there is even more reason to mourn. She is giving Ann something she doesn’t have. Making the whole situation quite bittersweet.

Highlights

  1. Really drives home how Violet has gained emotional awareness and intelligence over the season.

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