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PSYCHO-PASS #14 - - Watch & Learn

The real horror of this show has nothing to do with this mask.

Ah, yes… a bit of the ol’ “Diffusion of Guilt.” Somebody’s been studying their social psychology.

You know, I feel a little disgusted with myself, now - - commenting on a comment in Hulu’s talk-back - - but there's a post in question that actually does bring up something interesting. Basically, some discerning viewer expressed great displeasure with this episode, saying that he was quitting over the frustrating stupidity on display in the scene where the bystanders just stand back and do nothing as the poor victim gets bludgeoned to death in the middle of the park.

Now, are those people frustrating? Yes, they are. Are they stupid? Yes. But their frustrating stupidity is rather accurately represented. And I can speak from experience. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a situation like this, or like the infamous Kitty Genovese incident which it was likely inspired by; but I have seen an entire crowd of people act in a way that was confusingly opposed to what would seem like basic human nature.

The short version is that I was studying for finals one time in the lower lounge of my college’s library. I went there a lot during the rest of the semester, and I used to sit right by the emergency exit. Normally, the place was pretty empty, but it was absolutely packed on this day during finals.

So… the fire alarm went off. And without much thought, I went straight to the emergency exit, walked down a short hallway and was safely outside of the building in all of ten seconds.

I kept looking back to see if anybody was following… and nobody did. Every single person went up the narrow central staircase and they bottle-necked just as anybody thinking the situation through would expect them to. I waited outside for ten minutes, and watch how people were still taking their time getting out of the place.

Thankfully, it turned out that the alarm was pulled over a fake bomb scare. But it easily could’ve been a real bomb threat. Or a fire.

Now, I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here. I don't purport to be somebody with great “situational awareness.” But there I was, a normal guy, watching hundreds of college-educated people not taking the emergency exit because - - as best I can speculate - - they simply weren't thinking about why they'd been conditioned not to use it.

So yeah… no speculation about where the plot of this show is heading, this time. No breakdown of cool scenes and shoot-outs. I’m focusing on a very specific idea provoked by “Sweet Poison” here, because this is a very perceptive show.

Watch this episode, "Sweet Poison” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 1, 2013 at 8:38 a.m.

I read similar comments on other sites about this. An oddly enuff their was subway death not long before this episode that came to mind. guy was shoved onto tracks in new york ,no one helped him.They did whip out the phones for video an pics tho.Peoples greatest mistake is thinking a large group of people will act human.

Some comments even went as far as saying this show was to violent an was failing because of its violence.An yet its sales are good an its doing decent in the rateings.Shows that might oh provoke thought may make some peoples heads hurt.An this show provokes so much thought its down right scary.

Been far more deaths in Case Closed an blood to.It stays in the top 10.Sure not hyper grafic but its there.

Side note . Check out the credits of the shows director Naoyoshi Shiotani .Alota good anime their .Only after 15 episodes did i see some filer animaton so im definatly gona go back an see other works this guy directed.

Side side note.If this happend in the here an now. Can you not just hear the news media calling for "helmet control".Also yes it gets a bit darker.

ComicMan24on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.

Unfortunately, the kind of behaviour of the crowd in that scene wasn't as inaccurately portrayed as a lot of people think. I have heard of several cases where bystanders did nothing to help the person that was oin danger right in front of them and a lot of even started taking pics or videos with their phones.

jj_jacksonon Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.

It's funny for people on hulu to devote 14 episodes in and then say i quit like its a bad show. They obviously don't get the point of whats being shown then. If that incident happened in our world then hopefully someone would have stopped it. but I believe the story line is trying to show how the sibyle system has super impact on what life is while living in that world.

Its funny actually because i agree with the bad guy makashima or whatever about the sibyle system. It seems like the bad guy is trying to show how they depend on the sibyle system and machines soo much that people dont see whats right in front of their eyes.

Kino88on Feb. 1, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

ah, people can't live with em, can't live with out em,

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 1, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.

@jj_jackson: i think your more right than wrong on Shōgo Makishima. More method to the madness .Past episodes back this up.

The argument that could be made why people didnt act in the story was they was afraid of what it would do to their psycho pass. In their shoes the guy with the helmet could be a enforcer cause its going on right in front of police drones.Broader still how people have become sheeple to the system .Afraid to move or act on what is right because it may afect them negativly.

Hell i half excpect to hear..

... at any time in the show .

Aleashaon Feb. 1, 2013 at 6 p.m.

I thought this one was intense and didn't even truly question the crowds non action. The way this society is I can see it I seen a store security video on the news where this old man got hit in broad daylight on a busy street and no one goes to help or stop traffic one person on a scooter looks down at him as he passes and many other people walking continued to do so. Its terrible but it happens and this show is full of thought provoking topics and if you didn't know in the first episode when the dude exploded that this one was going to be violent, graphic, and bloody then I don't know what to tell ya as im rendered speechless which by the way doesn't happen often (as those of you who know me know well enough LOL)

Darokion Feb. 2, 2013 at 8:01 a.m.

If people are fleeing because of this episode, then this show's succeeded beyond it's wildest fantasies. It's turned the mirror onto people enough to make them uncomfortable to run away from it instead of confront the fact that while a situation like this is going on in modern society we're hoping someone will do something about this to stop it.

We're hoping someone ELSE will do something that is. Because I have to be somewhere, I have a boyfriend or girlfriend, I have a family, I have kids, I'm not trained to deal with the situation, I can't risk myself to do something to stop it, but if someone else did, I'll gladly chronicle it with my iPhone and put it on YouTube and hope it goes viral and that I get enough hits to get paid for being in the right place at the right time. And if someone doesn't save that person, I still have it chronicled and still can be internet famous for random luck. How many street fights do you see on YouTube where instead of stepping in and stopping, they decide to MST3K someone getting knocked unconscious? Hell, there are Facebook channels dedicated to it. (I had a friend recently forward me a video of someone getting knocked cold, which I appreciate when it's professionals doing it, but don't try it at home. Oh yeah, and Aldo by KO R2 tonight.)

So sure, run from the violence, because in the people's minds watching this, they've already mentally fled and have had the fight or flight instinct so removed that they haven't connected to physically flee. That's the point of handing over moral decisions to the Sibyl system and not having to react yourself, and that's the result of handing over the reigns of your self preservation to a machine.

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