How much do I dislike Shoji? Let me count the ways. As we are winding down and getting closer to the end, there is one thing that comes crystal clear. Shoji really thinks his attitude and police image is untainted. And also a new mysterious person enters into the fray and I have no idea who she is. To finish this up, I will first review episode 8 and then finish up with episode 9. Sorry for taking so long. It’s not because I didn’t like this drama; loved it. But real life in the last 4 months has been trying and disheartening culminating, with a death of a loved one. (For cast and synopsis information see Episode 1)
The mind of this writer when writing suspense thrillers is truly twisted!! It is hard to believe that this same writer wrote Sumika Sumire but then I’m reminded that Furuya Kazunao wrote Liar Game and Ouroburos so actually this drama fits right in with those. But anyway, the scene opens up with a poor maintenance worker discovering several dead crows in a stairwell but as he looks closer, he see something inside one of the crows that freaks him out! Wait…the crows alone would have did me in! Human fingers!! Again, who thinks these things up?!! Meanwhile, Todo (Haru) has decided to take Shoji’s advice and hand in her resignation. Why?!! On the desk is the conversation that Shoji recorded between them and he plans to use to threaten her if she doesn’t quit.
Meanwhile, when Shoji visits his sister Mio’s gravesite, he comes to the realization that he is being followed. As eerie as that feeling might be when you are in a cemetery, I imagine the feeling are just a tad bit uncomfortable. As he walks away, he decides to dash off to throw his pursuers off as well as to take the time to identify who it is. The men tell him that it was Chief Kataoka’s orders to follow him. Shoji actually seems surprised. At the same time, Todo (Haru) is visiting Dr. Nakajima (Hayashi Kento) at the facility to tell him that she is quitting the force and will no longer be able to visit and work with him. This is her way of saying goodbye to him. He wants to know what will she do and her answer is that she doesn’t know. Dr. Nakajima wants to know if she still feels that she has the mind of a murderer and she believes she does but he doesn’t. He wants her to get rid of the knife; but she still feels that she will cross that line and departs. He runs to grab her arms as she leave but she tells him goodbye once again.
Around the same time, at the detention center hospital, a prison guard is on duty watching a patient who turns out to be Sato Toyoru (Nozomi Sasaki). Another guard takes over the watch duty but he has other things in mind as he enters the room where Toyoru is handcuffed to the bed. She convinces him to let her go and she escapes by killing him. The news that a serial killer has escaped reaches the detective office of the Investigative team 1. Shoji is on the hot seat as he is being questioned about why his number shows up on the deceased CI’s phone. He remembers back to the phone call that he received about Todo but he doesn’t mention it. He baits them to arrest him. Atsuta (Watabe Watanabe) gets the call about Toyoru’s escape. When they get to the hospital, they are greeted with the officer’s pants on the floor and he has been stabbed several times. Kurashima (Jun Kaname) comes in to say that the surveillance tapes show that she left the hospital about an hour ago but she hasn’t been found yet. Atsuta orders that the search area be expanded. Todo says she has no where to go because the previous victim and her daughter have left the city but Atsuta reminds her there is still one person here: her!
Toyoru seems to be unworried about being caught. Even with the news all over the internet, she finds the time to stop to get something to eat at local Soba restaurant. The man next to her is reading the article, admiring her beauty and looks up to see the person he is admiring sitting right next to him. Atsuta continues the conversation with Todo that Toyoru might come after her. She even had a message for Todo that her pretty skin on her face, she plans to take it. Girl be NUTS! Atsuta wants her to be even more careful and not to go out on her own. Meanwhile, another amorous male falls victim to Toyoru who has killed once again. Atsuta orders Shoji to escort Todo and that she is being put up in a hotel to make it easier to watch her. As you can expect, this doesn’t sit well with Shoji but he has no choice because of the CI’s Fujikawa case.
Todo goes to her apartment to get things, followed by an unhappy Shoji. She offers him tea and reassures him that it isn’t poisoned. As she packs, she tells him that she has her letter of resignation ready but hasn’t given it to the Chief yet. Shoji goes on and on about her intent to kill someone but she once again tells him that isn’t her intention. Again, the hypocrisy of this guy is stunning! She goes on to tell him that she has always been this way and that she might have been the reason for her parent’s divorce. The Chief calls and tells her to head to Kosuge Ward. It is for a case. A dog was found with human parts inside its belly. This drama couldn’t get anymore macabre. Excuse me while I mentally fast forward…
Back at Dr. Ishigami’s (Harada Mieko) office, Chief Atsuta runs in, complimenting his crew. Dr. Ishigami isn’t there because she has to consult a Vet Department on this latest case. Atsuta mentions that yet another murder victim has turned up in the Chuo Ward. He is positive that the killer was Toyoru. Another case that took place in Nagano has similarities to the dog case. Kurashima mentions that this is a bad case and I have to agree with him. For both the victims and the animals.
Todo goes to the map and starts pinning the scenes of each of the killings involving animals and human body parts. Her sticky notes are pretty comical as they have the type of animal and what was found drawn on them. Eyes, ears, hair, teeth as well as nose is found. The last sticky represents the fingers found in the crow; however, another case seems to be tied to this bizarre string of cases. By the time she is finished, over half dozen of sticky notes have been posted. Dr. Ishigami comes in with even more disturbing news. The dog that they autopsied had a human wrist in it with the fingers missing, she is sure that its possible that the crows might be tied to the same case. Can this case get any more stranger? What is even more stranger is that Toyoru meets up with some unknown person that has been communicating with her since her arrest.
The next morning, Todo leaves her hotel room. Shoji, who is supposed to be watching her hasn’t even gotten ready yet. He mentions he’s not used to the pillow and Todo offers her shimichi chili peppers to help wake him up! He slams the door in her face after telling her to wait for him.
The media isn’t too happy with the police right now. A dangerous prisoner has escaped and a man has been killed by that same prisoner. Chief Atsuta takes the blame because they haven’t been able to find Toyoru yet. But they weren’t informed of her escape until after she’d been gone an hour. The detectives decide that it was all a ploy of Toyoru to escape using her feminine wiles on the prison guard that was killed. One detective states correctly that if another person dies, it is definitely their fault. While the detectives are arguing about who’s at fault, Kurashima mentions that maybe they should comb through the hundreds of fan mail that Toyoru received from the “Prison Groupies”; combing for possible accomplices.
Chief Atsuta pulls Todo aside to hand over to her documents that they received this morning. He wants her to take them to Dr Nakajima to look over them in the hopes that he comes up with a profile for the animal and human killing(s) as well as catching Sato Toyoru. Todo requests that someone else work with Dr. Nakajima instead of her. It is at that moment that she hands him her letter of resignation. To say Atsuta is shocked would be an understatement. He is. As expected, Shoji is listening from around the corner.
Dr Nakajima is sitting at his desk when he is informed that there is a request for a change in the assigned visitor list. The man hands the list to him and tells him that the new person is in the lobby. Nakajima insists that he be shown in. As expected, Shoji walks in. Nakajima is welcoming while Shoji lets him know that its not his choice to be here. Yada, Yada, Yada. That’s in place of a resistant Shoji who doesn’t want to be there. Nakajima begins to talk about the case. He mentions that this is a growth process. This is the culmination of an individual that has enjoyed the torturing of animals for quite some time. Regardless of how successful Dr. Nakajima has been in predicting the outcome and the culprit of various cases, you get the impression that Shoji doesn’t seem to be interested. He focuses on the fact that he is a murderer and Nakajima states that he hates murderers but he says that Todo is different. Todo has only gone to the edge but has never fulfilled her twisted wish. He believes that the knife is the key and by removing the knife, so will the urge. As usual, Shoji knows more than anyone else but as he leaves, Nakajima begs him to protect Todo. Again, Shoji fails to realize how much he is like (if not worse) than Todo. While she waits for a criminal to act, Shoji goes full steam ahead with his violence which is why I dislike him for his hypocrisy! As Nakajima says, the darkness in his heart is more likely to result in a death than Todo. Nakajima and Shoji’s conversation is very interesting; however, who knows how much seeps into Shoji’s hard head.
Back at the police, Todo and Kurashima are combing through the letters that Toyoru received while in the detention center. The female technician is really surprised by the amount of letters that she received. She looks at her as a murderer regardless of how pretty she is. Kurashima says there are just as many people out there hoping to reform a criminal as well as accept one for who they are. Todo says some may just be curious especially those that haven’t crossed the line to become criminals themselves.
Atsuta sends Todo back to the hotel with Shoji accompanying her. She wanted to go check into the leads from the letters with Kurashima but Atsuta refuses. Shoji is none too happy that he is still babysitting but goes reluctantly. In his room, Shoji is thinking over his conversation with Dr. Nakajima. Especially his request that he take the knife from her. He says that it is like the watch that he had which led him to kill all of those killers. He really doesn’t think she will act without it. As expected, Shoji believes nothing anyone says. Thank you writer, his character has truly not changed!
Todo is in her room having another one of her sleep/awake dreams. This time, we are going back in time to when she received the knife from that unknown person. She not only sees the cloaked person who now we can be sure is a woman but she also sees herself when she was in high school and she received the knife from that same person. Obviously, these two have been corresponding and this is the first time that they meet. We still don’t see the face! In the conversation, this unknown person has been responsible for the death of many animals and the young Todo realizes that. It is that knife that she used that gets tossed to the young Todo, telling her that she should kill someone someday. Just as the young Todo is picking up the knife and the present Todo is trying to stop her, the cloaked figure is swinging another knife towards her and of course, Todo wakes up.
The now awakened Todo reaches for the shimichi can that has basically been her life line to sanity. The scene jumps to Dr. Nakajima who is reading reports. He makes the connection that the number of animals killed in each case has a significance to the killer. Outside the hotel, we see Toyoru calling Shoji from outside. Toyoru echoes the current location of Todo which sends Shoji outside the room and he is accosted by some unknown person that was waiting for him. It seems that the call was made from Fujikawa’s cell phone and the detectives are rushing to intercept the person(s) with the phone. Dr. Nakajima is writing names down that he is pulling from the information that he received.
When the detectives get to the location of the call, its at that moment that they realize how close to the hotel the call came from. They see Toyoru walking into the hotel but he loses her at the elevators. More on the correlation of the animals and the numbers. When Nakajima puts it altogether, he realizes that it is spelling out Todo Hinako’s name. The detective makes it upstairs and sees a woman, he checks to see if it is Toyoru and turns just as Todo comes out. But it seems that the mysterious woman has other plans and when he turns back around, she cuts his throat!!
Continue onto episode 9!