Sunday, December 4, 2022

REVIEW: 'Let the Right One In' - Mark Is Forced to See His Daughter as She Truly Is When He Needs to Be Rescued in 'Monster'

Showtime's Let the Right One In - Episode 1.09 "Monster"

Desperate for help, Mark turns to his faith for guidance, but Eleanor decides to help him instead, risking her life. Meanwhile, Naomi is visited at work by a formidable new Interpol agent and Isaiah gets heartbreaking news.

"Monster" was written by Laura Marks and directed by Hiromi Kamata

For ten years, Mark hasn't moved past seeing Eleanor as his little girl. He has to protect her. This horrifying thing happened. Their lives changed immediately. Mark has become a killer. He has no intention of stopping. He can't atone for his sins until she is cured. He cares more about that than anything else. It's all in the name of preserving his child's innocence. Eleanor hasn't had to kill even though she's been a vampire for a decade. Blood was always provided to her by the people she cared about. Mark conditioned himself into accepting that choice. He has never wanted to see his daughter turn into the monster he has become. He refuses to see the similarities between his choices and others trapped in the same situation. Mark is the one now tied to a chair being tortured. Mark wants to continue holding himself in high regard. He isn't a monster like those now torturing him. However, the roles were reversed at the start of the series. No one can ever forget what he did to Frank. Isaiah is now growing up without a father because of Mark. Frank was tortured in life and in death. Mark drained his body of blood to keep Eleanor fed. He made that choice not caring about the potential consequences. He must accept whatever fate awaits him. He feels good about himself because he has preserved Eleanor's innocence. However, he's now in a situation where he needs saving. That puts the pressure on Eleanor. She has to decide how far she is willing to go in order to survive. She knows her father is in danger. He thought he found the answers that have eluded him for years. Instead, he's simply interacting with another family whose lives have been changed by a vampire. Both sides want to project so many feelings onto the other. Mark sees Claire as the solution to all his woes. Meanwhile, Matthew views Mark as an incredibly consequential figure who can reveal the scope of this threat against the family he has sworn to protect. Even Claire carries herself with conviction to make this confrontation occur. Mark and Eleanor can't run away like they have done so many times in the past. They could survive on anonymity for awhile in the city. So much darkness follows them simply because of what they have to do to maintain their family. Faith provides focus and meaning to Mark. Eleanor doesn't have the same connection. She doesn't care about her soul after death. She doesn't want to put pressure on herself for what she had to do. She believes she destroyed her father's life. He lashed out at her. He apologized for it. The two need each other. That's the only way they will survive. The city offered hope. But now, it's smart to leave. It's an agonizing choice because it means ruining the relationships that have been allowed to develop for the first time in over a decade.

It's consequential to see the scope of the damage Eleanor inflicts. She doesn't have to hold a man at gunpoint to continually threaten his life. Even when it's taken away from her, she has the strength to overpower these soldiers. That moment is all seen from Mark's perspective. He was challenged to see Eleanor as she truly is. He shamed Eleanor for telling Isaiah the truth. He didn't possibly believe Isaiah could accept her completely. Mark hasn't done that despite having so much time to arrive at that acceptance. Instead, he's loved the idea of who she was and who she could one day be again. He doesn't want to see the ugliness. He doesn't want to compromise his daughter in that way. He feels responsible for everything that happens. He has to protect her no matter what. He failed. He carries the burden of that decision. That's robbing Eleanor of her own agency. She made plenty of choices. They both had to fight to survive. Matthew dies as a result. He was bringing Claire to them because he saw the potential from exploiting another vampire. Peter couldn't be trusted around Chris. He let his creation escape. Claire almost died. She is ready to walk away from this entire experiment. She can no longer condone the actions needed to save her brother. He doesn't appreciate the sacrifices she has made. She grew close to Matthew. He was curious about her work without ever compromising the mission. Claire needs to know Peter will fully obey her instructions. As such, she is turning into her father. He too had to control every aspect of this experiment. Claire has made breakthroughs Arthur never could have imagined. She is closer to better understanding this virus. She has isolated those mutations with the intention of reversing each of them one day. She isn't close to a final solution. Chris is dead. She could examine his body for more clues. She can't allow another vampire to slip from her grasp either. Mark and Claire want something from the other. They may not be able to fulfill those promises. That's the clarity they seek. Similarly, Naomi needs to know what happened to her ex-husband. She will risk her career in pursuit of answers. She learns his death is tied to an international investigation. Mark has already drawn so much attention. He has left clues behind every crime scene he has created. He hasn't been perfect. His failures have consequences for his family. His successes doom others. He wants to justify his actions. It doesn't work like that. He needs a true reckoning for what he has done and what he pledges to continue doing. He won't earn his freedom even if he comes to some understanding with Claire moving forward. Their lives are changed by vampires once more. The same solutions won't necessarily work again either. Naomi and Isaiah are new to this life. It's visceral for them. They feel the pull to be together and support each other. For Mark and Eleanor, it's nothing new. It's simply a part of life. Claire exists to disrupt that fact. She has the confidence to do so despite the disruption to her operation already.