- Nine Perfect Strangers -Napoleon Marconi's Pretentious Name Could Mean Something More On 'Nine Perfect Strangers'
If you didn't laugh out-loud when Napoleon Marconi introduced himself on Nine Perfect Strangers, then you're a better person than I am. The grieving high school teacher's name is definitely in the running for the most pretentious fictional moniker this side of John Locke. But surely there has to be more to Napoleon's name than first meets the eye, otherwise it's just a hilariously on the nose title for a guy who spends his days teaching teens.
Of all the characters on the show, Napoleon is quite possibly the most unassuming. He's an average white guy who prattles on endlessly and tells dad jokes. The first batch of episodes quickly reveals his chronic cheerfulness is a coping mechanism to help him deal with the death of his son, Zach, but on the whole, he still seems fairly benign. But then he kills Masha's goat.
Now, I'm not suggesting Napoleon is going to go... well, full Napoleon Bonaparte and stage a coup at Tranquillum House, but I do think he could emerge as a leader in the coming episodes. At this point, Masha's intentions are still unclear, but it has been established she has no problem playing with the lives of her guests. This suggests the titular nine strangers are going to have to team up if they want to make it out of this health and wellness center alive.
And who better to guide them than a man named after a famous general and the inventor of the radio? While Napoleon's first name, alongside his Biblical slaughtering of a goat, suggests there's a man ready to take charge buried beneath his rambling nervousness, his last name points to him being a skilled communicator. After all, Guglielmo Marconi pioneered long distance radio transmissions and generally made it easier for people across the world to share information.
This could mean Napoleon will be the one who contacts the outside world to let the authorities know Masha has gone full Colonel Kurtz. At this stage, it's too early to predict exactly how bad things are going to get for the guests before they leave Tranquillum House (if they get to leave at all), but there's no doubt that this place of healing isn't what it seems. (Plus, this is a David E. Kelley show based on a Liane Moriarty book, so it's safe to assume things are going to get a whole lot worse for the characters before they get better.)
I'm willing to bet Napoleon is going to have plenty of chances to live up to his lofty name before this thing is over. What I'm unsure about is whether he'll emerge as a hero of sorts or if he'll embody the worst qualities of his namesake. Masha appears to be determined to push these poor people as far as she can before they either snap or have a breakthrough, and given the loss of his son, it will be understandable if he prioritizes the well-being of his wife and daughter over the others.
Either way, I'm expecting big things from Napoleon, because surely no writer can deny a character with a name like Napoleon Marconi from having his totally pretentious moment in the sun.
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Images: Vince Valitutti/Hulu