by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 11 of
ID: INVADED ?
I don't know about you, but I'm at least mildly disappointed that John Walker did, in fact, turn out to be the chief. It would have been so much more interesting if the elusive killer had been like Spring-Heeled Jack or born of the ID well technology, a representation of the potential killer in ordinary people if pushed far enough. There's no guarantee that the ID well tech didn't somehow trigger John Walker anyway, but it definitely feels like a bit of a let-down regardless.
It does, however, play into the basic idea behind many Criminal Minds-esque crime shows in that implies that the human mind is far more evil than any monster we can create. Assuming that this was all him, it means that the man tasked with preventing murderers from running free abused his position and department's proprietary technology to do just the opposite and incite people to murder. It may have started out innocent enough – we also get confirmation that Kiki Asukai's a real person and that her murder dreams are a part of the whole mess – but somewhere along the way things got warped or he voluntarily warped them. Clearly, he's no Spiderman, able to handle his great power with equal responsibility.
Because it is very apparent that he has been using the entire mechanism to warp people, possibly just to show that he can. The Perforator, we learn this week, was very much created rather than a natural existence – he originally drilled the hole in his head to escape his own arithromania, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that was driving him mad. He had intended to die himself, but instead became a Phineas Gage, and “John Walker” was able to manipulate that when, left to his own devices, the man who became “The Perforator” would probably have simply killed himself on a second attempt. (Not that that's good, but you see what I mean.) That begs the question of how many of John Walker's days-of-the-week serial killers would have done the same – would any of them have gone as far as they did without his so-called “help?” It also suggests that The Challenger's murder of Muku was, in fact, specifically engineered to get to Narihisago and Momoki, forcing them to fall under Walker's influence in different ways so as to keep them from getting too close to his plans. Would Hondomachi's manipulation have been next? It certainly looks that way, given her increasingly worrisome actions before she was taken off active (real world) duty – essentially the chief has been taking out his own best detectives in order to preserve his own crime spree.
It's not a terrible narrative decision when you think about it, and very much in line with the majority of crime shows that this series seems to draw inspiration from. It's just a little disappointing when you consider the possibilities that the series had with its use of ID wells and pseudo-Freudian psychology. The final shots of Kiki Asukai floating in some sort of EVA-style body suit to power the ID wells is definitely a bit much in terms of logical plot progression, but it still does give us the information that Narihisago's two years in ten minutes did reveal a lot of actual facts, which is an interesting idea, because we know that in real life (or at least the reality he lived) he never got the chance to learn those things or put the pieces together. That he and Hondomachi (who also wasn't there) can use the well-within-a-well to learn actual facts about the current situation is worth thinking about; it may be a way that of demonstrating a link between the conscious and the sub or unconscious minds or even the idea of parallel worlds where things could have gone much differently. Did John Walker then actively derail reality and the way things were supposed to go? Is there a way to reset back to that world, where none of this mess ever happens? And the big question is of course, is that the way we'll feel when this series comes to an end in two more episodes?
ID: INVADED is currently streaming on FUNimation.
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