Talk about revealing the dark side of a character? Well, we knew one for sure but though the dark side of Nakajima I was expecting, just how dark it was is really, really surprising! (For cast and synopsis information see Episode 1)
Todo (Haru) remains pretty much unfazed by her precarious position. When Toyoru (Nozomi Sasaki) approaches her and speaks to her about the previous victims, instead of a look of fear, we see fascination on Todo’s face. Toyoru reminisces about her first killing as it was an impulse; the girl got on her nerves. But as she looks at the dead girl, she starts to admire her perfectly shaped arms and thinks it would be such a waste for them to decay with her body that she’d already had planned to dumped in the haunted house.
Just as TOyoru returns her focus on Sawa (Nakamura, Arisa), she talks about how she used to be a model until she too was attacked by a stalker who threw sulfuric acid at her back. It is at that moment that she shows her body by taking off her raincoat and revealing her back, now mottled and deformed from the acid scars; However, Todo calls Toyoru “ugly” but not because of her back. She baits her and dismisses Toyoru’s reasons for cutting people’s skin from their bodies like somehow the act is going to help her. All the while she is speaking, Todo is slowly cutting the rope with her trusty knife. I must say, Todo is very brave as she continues to bait and ridicule Toyoru who abandons Sawa and comes towards Todo menacing the scissors she is holding. When Toyoru asks if “You want to die?”, Todo’s response is simply that she has “a question to ask”. So, is this scene crazy vs crazy or what?
So what’s the question you are asking yourself? What else but about the “internal switch” and when was it turned on? Todo is really curious if Toyoru was born that way! Her first killing? Or when her back turned ugly? DAMN! Todo doesn’t mince words folks! You have to love her for that! As you can imagine, the questioning doesn’t sit well with Toyoru who charges towards Todo threatening to cut her tongue out!
At that moment, braveness is spreading through the room when Sawa kicks over the skin covered mannequin. Toyoru screams and rushes over to Sawa, commencing to kick the hell out of the woman tied to the floor. Again, Todo continues her bait talk which once again distracts Toyoru.
Toyoru rushes back across the room and drives the scissors right into her shoulder! Wince! Wait, I’m the only one wincing here! This attack doesn’t even phase Todo who slowly reaches up with her now freed hands and puts one on the scissor handle. Todo looks up and sees the look she has been waiting for. Remember, she said that once before. Maybe it’s that murderous intent. At this point, I’m still wigging over the fact that this woman just drove a pair of sewing shears into Todo body and I’m the only one it seemed to affect!
Todo swings and here comes her trusty knife that meets its mark which is Toyoru’s face! This sends both woman into a fight to the death match! Knife and scissors are flying as the two women begin fighting in earnest. You have to notice as the two women are fighting that Toyoru’s face is a mask of outrage while Todo’s is cool, calm, and collected! Which one scares you the most? But nothing prepares you for the slight smile that creeps onto Todo’s face as the women stand opposite each other. Just when Todo is about to go in for the kill, here comes the fellows! It’s about time! Shoji (Yokoyama Yu) tackles Toyoru while Nakajima (Hayashi Kento) throws Todo to the floor.
Nakajima starts to call Todo’s name. She claims she is okay but she collapses to the floor and that knife she had skittles across the floor and is picked up by Nakajima and hidden. Fortunately, the injury was not too severe as she and Sawa run to the hospital; Sawa to check on her daughter and Todo as a patient. Toyoru is questioned on the death of the 4 women and she names Nagayama as an accomplice. Toyoru start asking about Todo. The ominious music plays and we don’t actually hear the whole conversation. The police are at the dry cleaners continuing their investigation.
Forensics is both appalled and fascinated by the mannequin of skin. Shoji comes to the basement and the female investigator asked about Todo’s condition, he simply blows her off and sends her upstairs to ask the other detective. Lovely man, isn’t he?
Kurashima (Jun Kaname) seems more concerned about Todo as he is on the phone with the hospital, inquiring about her welfare. Okay, when exactly did this man fall for Todo? Some of the police crew ask about her and the other detectives overhearing him speak start making fun of him because of his sudden “like” of Todo-san. One detective says he feels guilty because a co-worker got hurt when he overlooked a potential suspect while the other laughs. Back to the basement, Shoji is asking about weapons that were found. Based on his analysis of the scene, there must have been more than one weapon but the forensic guy says only the sewing scissors were found. Yes, this makes him very curious as he remembers Todo’s reaction when they came downstairs.
Todo is in a dream state as she remembers the basement and the mannequin which now lies in pieces on the floor. Suddenly, there is the sound of a sewing machine as she turns and see Toyoru once again sewing at the machine. Toyoru asks is she now awake but Todo says she is dreaming. Their conversation is interesting as Toyoru asks her if she is disappointed she didn’t kill her? Todo denies that she wanted to kill her but could see the benefit in doing so. Their talk continues on you get to see into the mind (and childhood) of Todo. We see a young Todo as she stares off and listens to a conversation between her parents. Her father obviously doesn’t want Todo there and says so, telling the mother how she will come to regret keeping her. He literally calls his daughter a monster and that someday she will do something horrible. The young Todo asks the current Todo if that time has come and she answers with a “No”. it is at that moment that she wakes up with Nakajima hovering next to her bed.
Todo remembers that him and Shoji came in and saved them. But she also realizes he saved her in another way. Nakajima tells her that he picked up the knife so that no one would notice it. Todo claims that it is the first time but we know that in prior cases, she would have if she’d not been interrupted. She admits that it was her attempt to kill; feelings that she’s had since she was a child. So, it seems that all those unassembled watches were done by her. It was fun for her to do to break something down to the last possible piece. This is definitely an interesting analogy of wanting to take a person; kill if you will. Some people with these urges use animals but Todo chose mechanical pieces instead. Nakajima says that it is intellectual curiosity but Todo just says she didn’t want to clean up the blood mess….okay, that is too weird. Todo repeats what her father said but Nakajima says that at the last moment she would have stopped herself. Dr. Ishigami (Harada Mieko) interrupts the conversation with her visit and Nakajima leaves.
At a local news station, they have received a DVD that features some of the suicides on film. The film is shown on television which has the detectives ready to rush to the station. It seems that the DVD was sent anonymously. Todo has returned to work and everyone is surprised while Kurashima makes an effort to ignore her. Maki runs in asking about how she feels and at the same time asks out loud whether she is dating Nakajima. Now, this has Kurashima running back as he didn’t know she was dating. He seems surprised and Todo stutters and denies that they are.
Todo decides to call Nakajima and they go to our favorite restaurant! Or maybe it is Todo’s! She seems to take everyone there! This place is wild! I love it! Weird and freaky just like our couple! Nakajima gives her back the knife. Todo tells Nakajima that she has told her co-workers that they weren’t dating. She says that his interest in her is only as a psychiatrist. Nakajima just laughs in his way then proceeds to choke when Todo mentioned that he doesn’t have any interest in her in a sexual way. Makes you wonder what he really wants in a relationship with her.
She says she usually can tell with other men but she never felt that he liked her in that way. Again, this really is a fascinating conversation because it lets you know how detailed she studies her environment and the people around her. Nakajima does admit he likes her though and asks her whether that bothers her. Her answers is a direct “No”. But she doesn’t understand how he can considering how she is. But after a quite detailed conversation between these two, she decides that she maybe should like him too. Okay, this private room is AWESOME!! When they go to the cashiers, they are told to pull from the box. Todo pulls a hand full of candy and it at that moment that several fall to the floor triggering something in the ultra weird Nakajima. Remember the candy? The candy wrapper?
Once Todo returns home, she receives a call from Chief Atsuta (Watabe Atsuro) to turn on the television. When she does, she sees the recorded scenes from the previous “suicides” being shown on a television program. The Chief tells her that the DVD was sent anonymously to the station. Director Masaomi Hayasaka (Mitsuishi Ken) who is Nakajima’s boss at the mental clinic is a guest on the show. The director says that if this phenomenon is happening naturally then it would be called “Divine Justice”; in essence, the person causing the crime suffers the same consequences. When the police go to investigate and ask why did they show the DVD on the news, the news director shows them an envelope labeled with “The one who flips the Switch”. The letter goes on to threaten the station manager if the DVD isn’t broadcasted and then turn over everything to the police.
Upon hearing that Dr. Hayasaka is at the television station, both Todo and Shoji rush out to meet him as he is leaving, wanting to speak with him. They want to talk about the DVD that the station received and his words about the ‘intracranial degeneration’ that he used. Todo asks if he thought that someone was causing the condition on purpose. The doctor responds that as they have found no evidence that the brain has been tampered with, it isn’t possible. Shoji asks him again about his “Divine Justice” statement which causes the doctor to laugh. His response is simply that a scientist shouldn’t refer to anything as God’s work.
The team is once again analyzing the tape of the deaths of the guilty men. The Chief is still trying to figure out the purpose of releasing these images to the public. Ideas and opinions are flying all around the table. The last image of a doctor injecting himself in the heart with a syringe is unknown to them. There is no indication of who the man is. Dr. Ishigami that there are two additional cases that fit this scenario: the man who stabbed himself in the heart 3 times and the man who killed himself in a Shinjuku prison cell by banging his head. As she says, this brings the count to 5 men that have died. In each case, there was an abnormal tumor growth in the same area of the brain for each men and no evidence that it was manmade. Chief Atsuta reminds them that all of the cases were ruled suicide so not much they can do at this moment.
Nakajima and Hayasaka are talking. Strangely, Hayasaka says that everything is going as planned. Okay, what is being planned? This conversation is also very curious as Hayasaka mentions his relationship with Todo. Hayasaka states that they are moving to the next phase of whatever the experiment they are doing that we know they are doing or should I say we have pretty much guessed that whatever is happening to this men, they know exactly what it is.
Todo and Shoji visit a hospital room. As they enter, we see that it the exact same room as was on the DVD. Shoji asks the secretary about the man, a clinic director. She seems hesitant to answer their questions. As a matter of fact, she sounds like she is happy he is dead! The police are also looking for a retired security guard who has disappeared mysteriously. The doctor was also a psychiatrist in a hospital ward and killed himself a few months ago. The man was known for assaulting his patients and one patient was known to have died under his care. Todo and Shoji are talking about the case. She asks him whether he believes the murderers deserved to die. He figures she has seen his sister’s case which she was killed by a copycat in the same manner as an earlier case. She asks him if his sister’s case is what made him collect evidence illegally. The next scene is Shoji meeting his information source. He receives an envelope containing information that really surprises him.
Later we see Nakajima standing outside an apartment building. Again, what is with the watch as he caresses it and looks somewhat distressed. He remembers his conversation with Todo and looks up with this really weird look on his face. The next day, Shoji walks in and ignores Todo’s greeting. As they are walking, he asks her about her relationship with Nakajima (where has he been?). She says nothing special and he hands her an envelope. There seems to be a pattern with the suicide victims. All of the men have been to the Hayasaka Mental Clinic. He also says that Nakajima was connected to the girl that was killed 5 years ago. He was with the realtor who found the body. Suddenly, a police car goes by and the two run towards the location. It seems another body is found in an empty apartment and the last scene we see is Nakajima looking even more freakish than before, in a room that looks like a tornado went through it; books and papers are strewn all over the floor. And he’s final words are about that “Divine Justice”
Sorry for talking so long to finish this! Real life issues are real and disconcerting to put it mildly. It is one thing to ramble on and write about an episode but it is another thing to collect and cut/paste pictures to go along with your write up. I haven’t watched episode 5 yet (I always try to avoid confusing myself) but I hope to get that watched and recapped by the end of the week. So here goes!!
Okay, it was only a matter of time where our thoughts and the actuality of the weirdness that is Nakajima would catch up. Just when we thought we could understand Todo, we get a glimpse of the real Nakajima at the end of the episode. There is definitely a lot of discovery in this episode. Todo talks about her childhood and the realization that she might have been the cause of her parent’s divorce kind of sticks with you as her mother was not going to give up on her child while the father considered her a monster. Now, monster seems to be a rather harsh description for a child that only took apart mechanical devices. If she had gone the route of cutting up animals, I could understand his interpretation but I just saw a man who couldn’t accept his child’s “weirdness”, if you will. Kurashima’s sudden interest in Todo is kind of comical. One minute you think he is guilty about her getting hurt and the other he’s worried about whether or not she is dating.
I’m really curious about the experiment that the two doctors at Hayasaka Mental Clinic are involved with. I’m also wondering the method in which they are affecting the brain. Considering that the examiner’s office cannot find any physical evidence in that the bodies were tampered with in such a way to cause the tumors in the exact same area is also a mystery. I guess we can assume that the area of the brain that is being affected is the so-called “switch”.
That restaurant is just way too cool! Obviously, Todo loves it as it is the only restaurant she seems to go to and always takes Nakajima to. We all saw that he was interested in her beyond doctor and detective; that much was clear. But it will be interesting to see where the story goes now and whether Todo will finally use that knife on him!