Well, this show really is using each episode to take a new, sharp angle on the nature of revenge - - and tightening that angle to the most acute degree, I’ve got to say. I mean, there are at least three inversions of your usual revenge thriller, here…
First, this asskicker suddenly finds herself at the mercy of one of her victims’ parents. Then, one of those parents takes the high road, and opts to greet Alka with mercy, instead of the righteous vengeance she deserves. And lastly, we see how the other parent’s refusal to let his hatred go inevitably spells the ruin of his entire family. The show’s playing an interesting game: letting the audience relish in the thrill of revenge, while repeatedly stressing how wasteful and self-defeating it is.
At another time, I might have thought that to be a trite message, but now, I can’t really forget the response of so many viewers to DEATH NOTE when I was reviewing that series a couple years ago. Sure, that series had a rich moral ambiguity to it - - leaving it up to viewers to make up their own minds about which characters were more justified in a given scene. However, I’ll be honest, it was a little trouble to see so many people root for Light. It was always fascinating to watch him, for sure, but I don’t think the show was ever advocating his position as judge, jury and executioner. There’s a difference between playing with ideas, and condoning them, and it was troubling to see so many viewers confuse the two.
I don’t generally believe in entertainment needing to be didactic, but still -- I’d like to show this show to those fans. And at least hope they get the clearer message regarding the futility of revenge.
Anyway, by this point, I really must question how sustainable this is; if the series is actually planning to go a full-season. I’ve absolutely enjoyed each meditation on these weighty question of morality - - and the deftly-terse action that accompanies each meditation - - but I don’t know if that’s necessarily enough for an epic length narrative. This show’s pleasantly reminded me of MUSHI-SHI, at times, and even MUSHI-SHI’s subtle and observed morality plays eventually started seeming like they were stretched to fit 26 episodes.
Watch “Sin” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.