After the Detective Kataoka (Tsutomu Takahashi) is slashed by this new and crazy character, Makabe Towa (Sei Ashina). Besides the blue eye contacts, this woman is super NUTS. The ambulance arrives at the hospital and it is nice to know that he will live. At the hotel, the other detectives are canvassing the scene for clues. From reviewing the CCTV, it was shown that Sato Toyoru (Nozomi Sasaki) had taken the elevator to the 2nd floor. So, the big question is “Who was on Toto/Shoji’s floor?” They see the video of the floor with Makabe who hasn’t been identified yet. Did I saw that Shoji is now missing? That he is. The detectives know that the unidentified person was responsible for Fujikawa’s murder as it is his cell phone that was found in the room. Chief Atsuta notices that Makabe is saying something to Todo.
Todo is in the conference room with the female technician when Chief Atsuta walks in and asks her to give him and Todo a minute. After she leaves, he begins questioning Todo about the woman who seemed to know Todo personally by showing her the email that Dr. Nakajima sent Shoji which clearly shows that there is a familiar connection between the two. Todo identifies the woman as Makabe Towa, a woman she met when they were still in high school.
Makabe and Toyoru are in the abandoned warehouse. Toyoru is obviously upset with Makebe because instead of Todo, Shoji is there and that is who she wants to kill. Makabe apologizes and wants her to help tie Shoji to the pipe. Toyoru wants to kill Shoji right away but Makabe has other ideas. Shoji tries to escape but is tasered quickly by Makabe who was expecting this reaction. Todo is giving the Chief all the background that she knows about Makabe; she left home at 8 years old, raised in an orphanage called “Eternal Wings”, and was known to murder small animals. Todo said Makabe hated the world. Meanwhile, Toyoru is pretty upset with Shoji’s attempt and threatens to kill him as well as voices her threats to skin him. This doesn’t make Makabe happy so what happens next? Makabe zaps the unsuspecting Toyoru. She tells Shoji to wait a moment while she does some cleaning up….shudders!!
Dragging Toyoru to another part of the warehouse, Makabe tells her that she no longer needs her; she has served her purpose. Why? She doesn’t think they get along. What happens next tells you just how twisted this character is. She returns to the other room with a container of gasoline and begins to pour it around and on the prostrated Toyoru. She teases her about her complex about the burns on her back and then says that a full body burning will make those burns no longer stand out. Shoji is shocked as he watches this take place. Makabe then lights a match and throws it towards Toyoru laying on the ground. Yes, she lights up like a bonfire, screaming and rolling. What a scene! The burning of Toyoru is bad enough but Makabe waving, laughing, smiling and saying bye-bye really shows you how twisted this character is.
Back at the precinct, Todo is looking over articles about Makabe’s parents from 2010. As you can expect, her parents both died. The Chief states that there had been many reports of child abuse against the parents and she was removed from the home; however the place she ended up in had a horrible reputation as well. The article says that everyone that has been involved with Makabe Towa has disappeared one by one; ergo the body parts!
So now that Shoji has met a truly crazy woman and killer, I’m curious as to how he feels about Todo now? Makabe offers him some apple and as any sane person would do, he refuses. Like who would want to eat anything from a woman that just burned another person alive? Shoji wants to know who the hell she is and why was she with Toyoru? Makabe has no problem telling him who she is. She even identifies hers as a killer whose hobby is killing! CRAZY!! Makabe tells Shoji she knows all about him and begins reciting his life history to include his predilection to beating suspects since the murder of his sister a few years ago. He wants to know if she killed CI Fujikawa and she has no problem telling him “Yes” and with the very knife she is using to cut/peel the apple!! What follows is Makabe’s crazy and twisted diatribe on the art of killing. This woman cannot get any more crazy at this point!
Makabe talks about her parents and the other people that have done an injustice to her. This causes Shoji to say “Parents?” When he does, Makabe laughs and turns to a box that she has. Inside is small containers the size of Kodak film cases. Did I say this woman couldn’t get more twisted? Au Contraire!! I was so, so wrong! It seems that each container contains a particular piece of her various victims. From teeth to fingers, there is a little of everyone in this box and she shows Shoji a few. I like the look on his face! And yes, these were the sources of the animals/human body parts that have been found over the last few weeks.
At the precinct, the detectives are continuing to locate the whereabouts of Makabe using the fan mail from Sato Toyoru. The addresses are from all over the city. Kurashima pipes up that there is something peculiar about some of the letters that Technician Miki is looking at; 5 letters in particular. Kurashima says that even though the 5 letters say they are from different people but through handwriting analysis, they have determined they are actually from the same person. In addition, the Kurashima reports that many people associated with Makabe as well as 5 other men have all disappeared in the last few months; this includes her very own parents. So it seems that the identify of the finger owners is now made.
It is obvious to everyone now just how serious this situation is for Shoji. I’ll tell you, some of the pictures from these murders are so macabre, even I’m hesitant to post them. But the team is all gun-ho on going out to find Shoji in earnest to include Todo; at first, Chief Atsuta tells her to stay but she reminds him that she too is a detective.
Back at the warehouse, Shoji is interested in what Makabe plans to do with Todo. Makabe’s goal is only to pull Todo over to the darkside alone. As you listen to Makabe, you realize just how sick and twisted this woman is. Her vendetta against the world is definitely the mind of a very sick individual.
As the detectives are heading to visit Dr. Ishigami, Todo excuses herself to check her mailbox. In there she finds a cell phone that has been mailed to her. At the same time, Dr. Nakajima is looking over the evidence that has been provided to him to profile. He continues to think back to his conversation with Todo. This man really does care for her, no question in my mind. He also thinks back to their many talks and the information about her life that Todo had revealed.
Dr Ishigami has identified that the body parts matched the DNA for 3 of the people missing. She also has good news on Inspector Kataoka who was stabbed earlier by Makabe. He’s now stable but hasn’t gained consciousness. Then the doctor sends Kurashima out on an errand. It seems she wants so along time with Todo. She wants to ask her about Makabe. It is obvious to everyone that she is someone that Todo knows from the past. Dr. Ishigami is worried that Todo will slip away silently. I don’t think she knows about her handing in her resignation but she is on point with her assessment. Then she surprises Todo with a big hug!
Todo goes to visit Nakajima once again. Todo tells him that Makabe’s interest in her is because she hasn’t killed anyone. Todo knows that it was her mother’s death that changed her. There is no question in her mind that her father would have been her first victim. Nakajima thinks differently and tells Todo so. He knows that Todo has always been fighting against those words and thoughts. Nakajima has more faith in Todo than she does herself. Todo also remembers her mother’s words: “You don’t need to worry, you’ll definitely live right” Nakajima also sumizes that is why she became a police officer to test and stop herself.
Meanwhile, Makabe has plans of her own. In her quest to turn Todo into a serial killer, she is making preparations. Shoji should be nervous now after watching this crazy woman burn Toyoru alive but not him! He sits there tied up and tries to bait her into action. The detectives believe they have a lead and rush out to find Makabe and Toyoru (they don’t know she’s dead yet). Todo is no where to be found. Remember, they were tracing Fujikawa’s cell number and it has been turned out. The detectives are racing towards Takahagi but as expected, it was all a ruse.
Tied to the pipe, Shoji suddenly hears footsteps, as the figure comes into the light, he sees that it is Todo herself. Shoji is NOT happy about this while Makabe has a gleeful expression. She’s happy that she came alone as she was told. At the same time, the detectives find that the cell phone was taped under the car of the unsuspecting driver. Todo is trying to convince Makabe to do the right thing but Makabe wants her to choose: kill her or save Shoji. Why? Because Makabe has swallowed the key to the handcuffs and Makabe continues to spread gasoline all over the warehouse. Makabe continues to talk crazy and talks about how when she first met Todo that she believed she was just like her because she wasn’t afraid. She gives her 3 minutes to decide.
As Todo walks towards Makabe with her trusty knife drawn, Shoji yells her name but at the same time he remembers back to his conversation with Nakajima. Remember? Nakajima said he would gladly die with Todo but only Shoji had the ability to stop her. Please save Todo-san. It is at that point that the sarcastic Shoji that some have come to love but I’ve thoroughly loathed begins to speak. It is Shoji and his blunt speaking that steers her away from her murderous intent. Applause….
Todo once again tries to get Makabe to stop but she refuses and throws the lit lighter onto the gasoline as the 3 minutes are up. The gasoline ignites and Todo picks up a pipe to try to loosen pipe where Shoji is handcuffed. Makabe and Shoji both tell her that it is useless as she continues to assault the pipe. It is at that moment that Makabe decides to use her knife on Todo and begins approaching her from behind. Shoji warns her but Todo literally freezes as the knife comes closer and closer. But Makabe is suddenly tackled by none other than Kurashima himself!
Kurashima handcuffs Makabe! My hero! He wasn’t going to ket his Todo get hurt and the other detectices come to free Shoji from his cuffed position on the warehouse floor. Makabe continues her bizarreness on the floor. Shoji is surprised to see them. And the reason? Remember those letters that Toyoru received in prison? The series of letters contained a hidden code and messages that spelled out the location of the warehouse for Toyoru to come. Thanks to Miki-san, all are saved!!
Todo asks for a moment with Makabe who continues with her crazy speech as Todo just stands there at first. Then the strangest thing happens…Todo reaches over and hugs Makabe. As she hugs her, she tells her if only someone had done this to her, she too would have been saved. This sends Makabe into a screaming fit! Nice. Shoji asks whether cruelty is all Makabe has known and Todo answer is yes. Not only from her parents but also from the subsequent orphanage she ended up in after she ran away from home. Todo says it was basically her mother that saved her. Shoji takes this moment to tell her that he will trust her. I guess this is his way to say, stay. As Todo thinks back to her mother, we get to the first real emotion from her since this drama started: a tear rolls down her cheek.
Most of the team is there to celebrate their latest success. I’m going to miss this restaurant as they sit around wondering where everyone else is. They are celebrating Kataoka’s return to work also. Dr. Ishigami is on the phone. It seems that she was talking to Chief Atsuta who tells Todo that her resignation got destroyed and to write it again if she still plans to quit. Kurashima looks on and says that he hopes she isn’t and she says she isn’t anymore but wonders why is Dr. Ishigami doing his laundry? He replies that they go back and forth 3 times a week…stunned…me too! It turns out that Atsuta and Ishigami were once married but they just can’t seem to quit each other…KAWAII!!
So Todo has written Nakajima to inform him that she will remain a detective. She also assures him that she was able to not act out on her murderous intent but doesn’t know what the future holds for her.
Final Thoughts: This is definitely a top drama for 2016 for me! Being in my absolutely favorite genre, there was no question that each episode held my attention from beginning to end. As expected, the writer was able to weave a pretty macabre tale, at times that held your interest as you were drag through the murder cases which kept getting more and more twisted as it went. I still get chills when I look back through the episodes. I love the Japanese because they let you know that there are crazy folks in all shapes and sizes; men, women, and damn, even the elderly.
Haru did a sensational job as Hinako Todo. Her ability to hold her emotions in check even at times there was no way that you could comprehend an individual to remain so emotionless at times. I’m really beginning to appreciate her acting ability more and more. Yokoyama Yu as Shoji, maintained my annoyance with him almost until the end; brilliant! When Shoji told her at the end that everyone was connected to her, what a great moment! Thank you, Shoji!! But give it up to Hayashi Kento as Dr. Nakajima. He managed to humanize a serial killer; wait, I felt guilt because he was right in his bad deeds and Kento did an excellent job in playing the character. At the same time, he was able to portray a man in love with a woman that he wanted to analyze. Todo and Nakajima were an OTP without being an OTP! Great job, writer!
Overall, this is not a drama that everyone can watch. The murder scenes are pretty stark and dark. As I like to say, Mozu territory! Great job by all the cast! If you can handle episode 1, you may be able to handle episode 2-7!!! Awesome drama!! Best for me in 2016!!