TROUBLEMAN Episode 4 Recap
Sasaki shocks everyone present by confessing that the criminals on the wanted poster is her and her husband. No one was expecting that the sweet, innocent old woman was actually a criminal! Sasaki gets up and grabs a canister and comes and sits back down. She opens and pulls out a green ski mask with orange outlined eyes. She smells it and says it smells like tea and then tells Tokuda to smell it. This surprises him, but he leans closer and tries to catch a whiff, almost falling over when she pulls it away (he looks a little annoyed by this – is our mild Tokuda starting to lose his cool?). Then Sasaki continues on with her story.
Sasaki’s husband Shigeo was swindled over the phone. He received a call from their supposed son saying that he was in trouble and asking for help. Makiko can’t believe it was over the phone. Sasaki says yes and that they didn’t even have children (so reminiscent of LIAR GAME as Nao was almost swindled by someone claiming to be her brother when she was an only child). We then cut to the flashback where Sasaki’s husband answers the phone. The person on the other end just said “it’s me” and her husband kept talking trying to figure out who it was. This really throws the person on the other end for a loop. It turns out the scammer is actually a part of the Yakuza organization (Takei-gumi) that helped throw all of these people together in the first episode! You have to love how one little old man can throw a hardened swindler for a loop by just sitting and chatting normally.
The boss, Asai Akira, is not thrilled to hear one of his men saying things are going well when he is supposed to be hitting people up for money. He goes over to see what is wrong. Meanwhile, Mr. Sasaki keeps chatting and thinks he has finally figured out who has called. He then asks if the man still works with Yama. Not knowing what to do, the man says yes and then Mr. Sasaki asks to talk to her. Asai then takes the phone and pretends to be a woman (totally unhappy to be doing that). He puts on a smile and starts talking in an animated female voice. This quiets the whole room and everyone just stares in surprise at their tough boss acting like a woman. It’s hilarious and Terajima Susumu does it so naturally making it even more amusing. But long story short, Asai manages to finally convince Mr. Sasaki to give them the money to help his old friend Yama-chan and Asai’s men are all impressed with their boss’s acumen.
Shigeo goes through his and Tamiko’s things until he finds their bank book. As he heads out, Tamiko comes in and asks where he is going. He just says that he is going to help an old friend and leaves. Everyone is surprised that Shigeo managed to fall for the trick and Tamiko calls her husband and idiot and then says that is why they turned to a life of crime, because they were in financial trouble. We then rewind again to see them putting on the ski masks in broad daylight, in front of the store they were planning on robbing. They are so awkward, it’s hard to imagine that they became successful serial robbers. The shop owner didn’t take them seriously even though they had guns drawn and everything, but the did manage to successfully rob the store. Go figure.
Back to the present and Tamiko confesses that she and her husband only robbed the elderly store owners because older people move slowly, meaning she and her husband had a better chance of getting away. We then see a series of their robberies and silly escapes as they barely managed to outrun some of their victims. We also see them becoming bolder and more cocky. They started having fun and became addicted to the thrill. Makiko says that Tamiko and Shigeo were a great couple. Hearing this, Tokuda recalls the mystery woman of his own that we have seen in brief flashes from earlier episodes.
Tamiko laughs and says that they were and the strangest things was that doing what they did made them feel younger and younger. Until they started robbing people, they lived a slow and sluggish life so the excitement from robbing was the best for her. She asks if they know what she is talking about and Tokuda, who honestly doesn’t, just says yes. Tamiko then says that being nervous felt so good (hard to believe). Tokuda just keeps agreeing and smiling. Tamiko then says you can’t be a burglar if you’re not young at heart and Tokuda just keeps smiling uncomfortably and giving small, non-committal answers. Tamiko then reveals that she and her husband were known as the “elderly burglars,” but she doesn’t know if its because she and her husband were elderly or if it was because they robbed the elderly. Tokuda says it is the former, and she (a little miffed) says that’s not the point nor does it matter (lol, poor Tokuda catches a lot of flak).
Tamiko then continues the story saying that as she and her husband felt younger, so did the people they were robbing. Tokuda starts laughing at this and Tamiko asks him why he is laughing – what is he thinking about? Tokuda stifles his laugh and says that he is thinking about nothing. Tamiko then stresses that it was the people they robbed that were beginning to feel younger as well. Tokuda says that he sees, doing a funny little laugh. Tamiko then says that rumors started so spread about her and Shigeo and that their victims began to get into the robberies, too (it is ridiculous on a major scale). Tamiko then says that she and Shigeo had fun, but knew that robbery was wrong so they decided to give it up.
They are sitting and casually decide to give up their lives of crime. They put away their masks and guns in a bag and abandon it. As they leave for lunch, a person comes and returns the bag, thus they go out and rob another store. This time, as they are making their escape, Shigeo falls down (he has a heart attack). Tamiko turns around and rips off her mask, calling for help. In the end, Shigeo died. Tamiko says that she guessed it was punishment for their crimes. The room is silent, everyone has grave faces. Tamiko looks at the mask and says that she tried to throw it away once, but it came back. She cusses and throws it down. She picks it back up and carefully folds it and puts it back.
Tagawa (just like what has been said before when Makiko and Kameda told their stories), tells Tamiko that if there is anything that he or the others can do, then they will help her. Tamiko then recalls something and Tagawa anxiously asks what he can do to help her. Tamiko then says it’s about getting Tagawa’s memories back. Tagawa says that is okay, they can try again another time. Tamiko adamantly refutes this and asks if Makiko could try one more time. Makiko willingly agrees and Tagawa gets in position again to try hypnosis. Tamiko then turns to Kameda and tells him not to look at the coin this time. Kameda agrees and apologizes before going over to sit next to Ozaki who puts his arm around him and pulls him up. Ozaki takes him into a corner of the room and asks him if he still has “that.” Kameda is confused at first, but finally gets it (or so he thinks). Kameda says he’ll loan Ozaki some (he has 3 sexy ones left), but Ozaki will have to return them. Ozaki asks what Kameda is talking about and Kameda says “porn books, right” – wrong! Ozaki tells Kameda to stop playing around as he is talking about those things of Kameda’s. Kameda again takes this the wrong way and says that he is not that type (aka gay) as he struggles to get away from Ozaki. This angers Ozaki and he puts Kameda in a strangle hold.
Makiko then starts to try her hypnosis again. Everyone watches on intently, except for Ozaki who is still fighting with Kameda. Ozaki finally gets Kameda to understand that he is talking about his powers. Kameda says he still has them and Ozaki asks if Kameda can find the owner of an object. Kameda asks for the object and while he is looking at it, Ozaki looks over at the hypnosis and just when it looks like it might finally be working on Tagawa, Ozaki falls. This surprises everyone. Will poor Tagawa ever manage to regain his memories or at least be successfully hypnotized without int interruptions?