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The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5 – Compare and Contrast

Quick Summary of The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5

In The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5, “5.5/Guidepost,” we briefly relive the defining moments from The Promised Neverland Season 1, where Norman, foreseeing that Ray would likely try to kill himself to give Emma and the other kids a chance to get away, came up with a better idea. We retraced the last harrowing moments as Isabella nearly caught Emma before she slid across the chasm that measured at least 5 Isabella-lengths to freedom.

Or so the children thought. As we moved into the first episode of season 2, we saw that the children hadn’t anticipated the demon-rich environment in the woods. As the episode brought us up to speed on season 2, we’re left with some interesting questions. How do the two seasons compare? Is the level of tension the same or better? And what did Norman see at the end of the first season, because they sure haven’t shown us yet!

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5: My Turn to Host!

Welcome to our collaboration review of The Promised Neverland Season 2, Episode 5. Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to give you twice the amazing insights. Which means I need to up my game or we’ll never get over 1.5 times the insights.

Review of The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5

Opening Thoughts

Before we dive in, Irina, any opening thoughts on the episode? Or how your week’s going?

The week is crazy busy. I’m having one of those work weeks where I have to choose between watching an episode or writing about one. Ironic, isn’t it. I started an anime blog because I wanted to extend my anime watching experience by sharing it with other people, but now it’s limiting it. Oh well, these things happen sometimes. I have been on 11 to 14 hour workdays, which I realize is actually pretty normal for a lot of people in the world, but what can I say. I’m not used to working this hard. I’m spoiled, you guys.

The upside is that when I power through the next three weeks or so that are going to be super intense, I plan to take a full week off and I will enjoy it so much more because of that. It’s going to be amazing.

Also, I will be in bold this week for a little change of pace. And it’s not so much that there will be spoilers because, well, you know. But if you don’t want to know what episode 5.5 is about at all, then you probably shouldn’t read this post. Cause we’re going to talk about it. Feel free to come back once you’ve seen it!

Hope you survive the next three weeks! Well, hope you survive more than that, but especially the next three weeks!

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5 is a Recap, Alas

As you can probably tell from the opening paragraph, this is a recap episode. The last time a recap episode thrilled me was Re:CREATORS episode 14, when we got a peak at Meteora Österreich’s very positive self image. Now that’s how to do a recap episode!

 I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I think the recap episode was my favourite episode of A Record of Grancrest War. It just put everything into perspective. I really liked it.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of recaps. I appreciate that they are a great cost cutting measure and I’m sure they are super useful in some cases. Like I said, I loved the Grancrest one. But for The Promised Neverland, it wasn’t something I personally needed. It’s a series I remember very well and so far it’s plotted clearly so I don’t really need any explanation of where we are or how we got here.

On the other hand, I think I could probably use one for reZero. Although with my reZero amnesia, I could use a recap every 3 episodes or so, so it’s better not to go by me. 

I wouldn’t say no to a re:ZERO highlights reel that related to what was happening! 

The Kids Are in a Dangerous World

We didn’t learn anything new in this episode. Well, maybe one thing, and that was just me: The monster that had been chasing the kids back in the first season 2 episode looked like it was same one that more or less saved them at the end of episode 4. Irina was right — they’d established this demon and others in the first episode. 

Yup. I actually told you about it in the episode 4 review that you have linked. “They established these creatures in the very first episode and had it as a recurring theme in episode 2 as well. 

Yes, you did, and I wanted to make sure you got credit for it!

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5: Season 1 has some powerful moments -- and big shoes to fill

I miss the pathos of the first season. Am I just not giving the show enough time to build momentum? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Since we didn’t learn much, I’d like to talk a little about something that smacked me in the face as I watched the first half of this episode. I’d honestly forgotten how intensely and immediately powerful a lot of those scenes had been! The look on Ray’s face as he struck the match was riveting. Emma’s terror and desperation kept me glued to the screen. 

Differences in Intensity?

Gripping moments filled each episode. Isabella looking away from the flaming house to see Phil was narrative perfection. Each single element of plot, if plucked, would resonate with the other beats to produce the narrative equivalent of harmony. 

That’s my fancy way of saying, “Dang, that plot was tightly woven together.”

Who was Isabella to them? Could they trust Ray? Emma and Ray slicing off their own ears… I could go on. The key point is that taut psychological thriller and caught my imagination and wouldn’t let go.

Now we’re in season 2. Let me get this out of the way: I still enjoy the series. We’re exploring a wider world, so maybe the intimate horror is out of reach. But I’ll be honest.

I haven’t seen a moment like Ray holding the match. I haven’t seen a moment like Emma saying goodbye to “mama.” 

A Question of Too High Expectations?

What do you think, Irina? Are my expectations just too high?

I get what you’re saying, but still both of those happened in the last two episodes of season 1.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5: Isabella was a compelling villain

Will we see scenes with this intensity, and plot import, in season 2? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Granted. I wanted to use examples from the recap. To be fair, season 2 might surprise me — I hope it does!

So now that we’re all recapped, we can look forward to finding out just how the heck Norman managed to find his friends in the middle of a demon village (the end of episode 5). How did Norman survive? What was in the room Isabella led him to? Who are his friends? How did he end up in the demon village near where the kids were hiding?

So many questions…

Using Norman’s Reveal with Greater Dramatic Power

I think it was a major faux pas to reveal Norman at the end of the last episode (I told you there would be spoilers). Imagine if we had heard him say Emma but it had cut there. So you have suspicions but nothing is confirmed. It’s still a huge cliffhanger but you don’t know yet.

And then they do a clip show and you see Norman. And you haven’t seen him in a year. So you’re just happy to see him even if it is scenes you’ve seen before. And you think to yourself, man it’s good to see Norman aain, I wish he would come back. And then you get the reveal at the very end of this clip show.

Production wise it’s the same amount of work with the same benefits, but emotionally it makes this entire recap feel completely with it. Like a full episode. 

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5: Norman's back -- how was it handled?

Sure, it was great seeing Norman again! But was this the most dramatic and effective way to reintroduce him? Capture from the Funimation stream.

I realize that the studio may have been thinking that it’s too much of a risk to have the big reveal this week since a lot of people skip recaps. You don’t want them to miss the actual moment and in the internet age, they are sure to be spoiled. 

So the alternative is to keep the official reveal for the beginning of the next episode and have people speculating and whispering for two entire weeks. Was it really him? It sounded like him? But how can he be there???  Now that would have been smart marketing. At least in my opinion.

I am hoping they have something in the next episode that’ll be as interesting. But we’ll see!

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5 thoughts on “The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 5.5 – Compare and Contrast

  1. I will admit, on seeing this was a recap I skipped it. I’ve rewatched season one recently enough to remember what is going on and I don’t need the first 5 episodes of this season retold to me in an even less interesting form. I think the only reason I would have changed my mind on this if someone on line had told me there was something new or a different character perspective in this recap.

    1. I think you made the right call!

      I like the idea Irina mentioned in this post — that Norman’s reveal should have come either in this episode, or episode 6. That would have pulled viewers along; given us something to look forward to.

    2. Same here. I’m a HUGE TPN fan, but still couldn’t find the motivation to watch a recap segment. Looking forward to this week, though!

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