REVIEW:‌ ‘The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland‌,’ ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌Episode‌ ‌9

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland Episode‌ ‌9

Last time on The Promised Neverland Season 2, viewers got more insight into Norman’s time after Grace Field. Not only did this give a bit of background on how he survived after the farms, it explained his current behavior and drive for revenge against the demons. Yet even Emma and Ray weren’t enough to stop Norman, and ultimately, his rage culminated in a horrific massacre of a demon village, started by none other than Norman himself. This cliffhanger set up Promised Neverland Episode 9, though it didn’t hint at what to expect.

That all said, Promised Neverland Episode 9 picks up immediately in the middle of the demon massacre started by Norman, filling the screen with smoke and flames as Emma and Ray look on with horror and shock and honestly, rage. The carnage around them is gruesome, leaving the demons, who are largely innocent, dying, and dead. For what it counts, Norman does look remorseful. Yet it’s not enough to undo what’s already been done.  In truth, Norman has done exactly what the demons did to the humans they bred.  He’s has been unspeakably cruel.

The tension that’s been mounting since Norman’s return in episode 6 has finally come to a head. Norman can’t turn back… or so he believes. Thankfully, Emma is there to remind Norman that there is redemption, so long as he is open to being redeemed. However, redemption won’t just fall in his lap. There’s a lot of wrongs to set right.

Truth be told, I just don’t know if viewers will want to see that this late in the game. Personally, I would love to see a realistic, genuine redemption arc, but y’all…this is episode 9 of 11. There’s not a lot of time for that. If this was a 24 episode season, that’d be great. Heck, even if we had 13 episodes instead of 11, I could see a solid redemption arc. But like I said, we have two more. I don’t know what to expect the staff to do with Norman’s arc.

Emma remains the heart of The Promised Neverland. That becomes even more apparent in Promised Neverland Episode 9. Everyone’s favorite redhead takes center stage in a powerful scene that moves her back to main character status. Honestly, if it weren’t for Emma, I’d have dropped this season. Her optimism in a sea of nihilism feels realistically refreshing. It also recaptures the true heart of The Promised Neverland’s message.

However, Emma isn’t the start of the entire episode. In fact, halfway through Promised Neverland Episode 9, the scene shifts to Isabella, who we saw way back in episode 4. I don’t think I’m alone in my exclamation of “Finally!” which I shouted at my screen. In fact, I’ve been waiting for the plot to shift back to Grace Field and its keepers for a while yet. Where that will go is left up in the air as the episode continues on, prepping viewers for what’s to come in the last two episodes in this series.

In many ways, Promised Neverland Episode 9 feels like the final nail in the proverbial coffin. There’s no way this season can rebound from the back half of its cour. Initially, I was really excited about the prospect of a completely different show, but now… I just feel hollow inside. It’s the same feeling I had the last episode too.

Speaking honestly, I hate the feelings this show creates inside me. I hate dreading my weekly watch of this season. I hate the fact that with each episode, my optimism dims. Moreover, I hate having to “slam” this show, especially as someone who loves the franchise. But I also feel that that’s my role as a pop culture critic and an objective viewer. The problems with The Promised Neverland Season 2 have to be discussed, as painful as it is.

The fact of the matter is, The Promised Neverland Season 2 is such a far cry from season 1. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that season 2 feels completely detached from the first season. Sure, we’ve got the same cast, as well as the same setting. True, we have the same loveable characters from Grace Field. But there are so many other critical elements missing, giving us a cour that has a little emotional impact where it counts.

There are just two more episodes left in season 2, and honestly… I feel anxious. It’s hard to know what’s going to happen. There’s so much to wrap up and so many plot threads that I just can’t imagine a satisfying conclusion. Plus, Promised Neverland Episode 9 introduces a whole new arc that somehow, needs to be resolved in two 22-minute episodes. However, the cliffhanger was juicy enough that I perked up in the end. There may be hope yet for this second season. Honestly, a big part of me is holding out faith that somehow, someway, this cour will end with something heartfelt. It’s hard to imagine that manifesting, but… the whole point of The Promised Neverland is hope. It’s a series about having faith in goodness and the potential for good things.  And trust me, dear reader: I want to have faith in this series.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 is streaming now on Funimation.

'The‌ ‌Promised‌ ‌Neverland‌' ‌Season‌ ‌2‌ ‌Episode‌ ‌9
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

There are just two more episodes left in season 2, and honestly… I feel anxious. It’s hard to know what’s going to happen. There’s so much to wrap up and so many plot threads that I just can’t imagine a satisfying conclusion. Plus, Promised Neverland Episode 9 introduces a whole new arc that somehow, needs to be resolved in two 22-minute episodes. However, the cliffhanger was juicy enough that I perked up in the end.