ATARU Episode 2 Recap

This drama is awesome! From the cute and mysterious Chokozai to the wishy-washy, slightly narcissistic Sawa to the gruff girl-with-a-past Ebina. I don’t know why, but this has quickly become a favorite drama of mine.

We start with Ebina chirpily heading over to Chokozai’s only to run into him as he’s leaving. Ebina has no idea where he’s going and tries to stop him as she brought him curry soup for breakfast. This earns Ebina yet another elbow to the stomach, sending Chokozai’s change flying. Chokozai keeps walking and tells Ebina that he has no flowers [she thinks he means for her]. Ebina has no idea what he’s talking about at all. She keeps following him and trying to stop him and give him back his change when Sawa comes up to see her get another elbow to the stomach and more change flying. Sawa asks if they are still fighting and Ebina insists that they aren’t and then runs to catch up with Chokozai who is still walking along undisturbed. She pulls his hood over his head and asks if it isn’t high time for his clothes to be washed. This makes Chokozai stop and he raises his hand saying he’ll give them the laundry at 9 PM.

Sawa and Ebina continue to follow Chokozai who ends up outside of a flower shop. He quickly scans the flowers outside, not seeing what he’s looking for. He goes inside and there is man with a dozen read roses he bought for his wife. He then collapses. Sawa and Ebina immediately step in and try to help, and Ebina hears the man say “aoi bara” (blue roses) before the man dies. While this happens, Chokozai spots something on the floor and his mind starts doing what it normally does to process things when he accepts a mission [the popping bubbles of information]. Looks like there’s more to this death than what meets the eye.

At the scene, Nozaki and Matsushima arrive along with the police in that jurisdiction. They are quick to rule that it must be a natural death, all that’s needed is the official coroner’s report. Up comes the officer from the other station and he says that the cause of death as been narrowed down to heart failure. Well, there’s no need for them any more and the officers begin to disperse. Matsushima vows to send Ebina a bouquet of roses. This triggers something and Ebina looks behind her and looks around the shop recalling the dying man’s last words, but there are no blue roses in the shop. She then gets a fright when  Chokozai pops up out of nowhere asking for a hotdog.

Ebina takes Chokozai to a store where he rejects all the hotdogs because they don’t have lettuce. Who eats lettuce on a hotdog? I’ve heard of sauerkraut [fermented cabbage], but not lettuce. This man and his eating habits. Ebina buys three hotdogs and takes Chokozai back to his temporary home. She had bought lettuce to put on the hotdog so that Chokozai would eat it. She asks if he’s concerned about his health, but decides he mustn’t be when he piles on the ketchup and mustard. Ick. Too much condiment for my taste. Sawa then comes in and is surprised to see Chokozai’s hotdog. Ebina says she bought him one [he gets the one that she put in her mouth when Chokozai was acting up in the store] and Sawa takes out the picture of the deceased Saotome and reports that Mrs. Saotome confirmed her husband’s treatment for heart disease. Since that is the case, there is enough to support a natural death and no need for an autopsy. Ebina, however, isn’t convinced that it is natural.

Chokozai looks at the picture Sawa put down of Saotome and touches it with his condiment-stained hand saying that isn’t right. Ebina quickly wipes Chokozai’s hand clean [she’s like a mother/big sister, it’s really cute] and asks if he means the necktie. This episode is really cute in that Chokozai starts mimicking the people around them when they make exclamations. I would normally find parroting annoying, but it just is so cute given Chokozai’s temperament and actions. Ebina asks Chokozai what is wrong with the tie and he doesn’t reply and just heads out of the house.

Ebina and Sawa follow Chokozai back to the flower store. It’s really cute to see how much of a mother hen Ebina is when it comes to Chokozai. She follows him around and wipes the condiments off of his mouth. Chokozai then points at the mess he saw on the floor earlier and says “Gastric Reflux” [although I catch gastric, I so don’t get reflux out of what he said]. The two detectives look down and Ebina encourages to have Sawa get the mess analyzed at the lab to see if maybe Saotome was poisoned.

The two then go to the morgue where Mrs. Saotome identifies the body and breaks down about his sudden death. Ebina then pulls out her cell and shows a picture of the bouquet that Mr. Saotome was buying for a woman before he died. Sawa quickly steps in and states the flowers were obviously for her and Mrs. Saotome replies that there was no particular occasion that warranted her husband buying her a bouquet of roses. Sawa and Ebina leave the widow alone and run into another stylish woman who is obviously upset. She is looking for the deceased Saotome as well. Apparently she is one of the managers of a store that he worked with. She heads towards the room just as Saotome’s widow comes out. If looks could kill, both women would be dead. Suspicious, suspicious.

Chokozai is out on his own, twirling his toy mouse, when he sees the types of flowers he’s looking for. It looks like these lilies [I think] are another clue to his past. Meanwhile, Sawa and Ebina go to get confirmation about Saotome’s condition from his doctor. I have to say the pause the doctor gives when he says that his patient was only on the mediation he prescribed and the nurse’s look when she came in all seemed very suspicious. Ebina seems to have picked up on that, too. Chokozai as gone back to the net café and is watching his water detective drama yet again. How will this episode correlate with this mysterious death this time?

At the station, Nozaki is throwing digs at Ebina once more for being a hyena and not leaving well enough alone. Besides, isn’t she investigating on her vacation? Ebina stands up for her belief that foul play might be involved and even puts her badge on the line for it. Sawa comes in and is not happy that Ebina took the initiative about reinvestigating the case. Sawa was going to weigh the situation and asks at the opportune time. Ebina states that means he would never ask. Good point. Sawa then goes out with the man he requested look into a missing person who fit Chokozai’s description. Sawa complains about what’s going on and the man then shows the list of illegal broadcasts about Ataru which is all in English. He advises Sawa to look into it, but Sawa declines as he has enough on his plate as it is.

Ebina sits in the empty house, hunched over waiting for Chokozai’s return. Ebina finally gets up and leave as Sawa comes and asks her father if he’s seen Chokozai. Mr. Ebina replies that he hasn’t and Ebina goes off once more. Sawa tries to stop her buy she says something is wrong.

Waiting for someone who doesn’t come… This feeling… I hate it!

Ebina then goes to sit outside to wait for Chokozai and Mr. Ebina replies that feeling probably is related to her mother’s death. Sawa says it was an accident, right and Mr. Ebina says that they don’t know for certain. It was a car accident and there was no sign that his wife tried to break nor can they tell if she fell asleep at the wheel. So was it suicide? They just don’t know. Sho comes in and states that it’s considered a “waste dump” – a term frequently used in this episode as the actual cause of death is uncertain and can’t be proven by any amount of evidence.

Ebina goes once again to Chokozai’s place and finds him passed out on the floor. Feeling relieved, she immediately starts scolding the sleeping man for not calling her to let her know where he was. Ebina then realizes that Chokozai doesn’t have her number. As she gets out her card, she gets  shock when she finds Chokozai awake and standing. As she goes to put her business card in his pocket, he takes off his coat. Ebina gets huffy that he’s treating her like that and tells him she’s putting her card in his pocket so he can contact her next time. When Ebina looks back up, Chokozai has completely disrobed. Got to love her yell and how she covers her face so she can easily peek and stare at the naked Chokozai. Why is he getting naked again? It’s 9, time for him to deliver the laundry to her. Thus Ebina ends up hand washing all of Chokozai’s clothes because her father won’t let her run the washing machine that late and disturb the neighbors.

The next morning Ebina wakes up to find Chokozai beside her. This gives her quite a fright and the wrong idea until Chokozai asks her for curry soup for breakfast. She buys him the curry udon again and he refuses to eat it again until she eats the noodles. While Chokozai is eating, Ebina questions him about his family – aren’t they worried about him? Chokozai puts down his soup, leans close, and tells her once again that he has no flowers. Ebina lets out a loud “ah” and cheeky Chokozai makes the same sound. So cute. While this is going on Sawa is getting the results back from the gastric reflux. Looks like it just might be related to the victim’s heart disease.

Ebina takes Chokozai out shopping for new clothes so he doesn’t always wear the same thing. It’s so cute how she tries to pick out something he’d like, something that would make it hard to lose him [the Where’s Waldo hoodie], and something that would look good on him. Chokozai, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care. He looks at the necktie display and says he will give her a hint. Before Ebina knows it, she is choked by a necktie and she is being tied to a chair with neckties. Not only that, Chokozai ties a necktie around her head like a drunk salary man. The manager comes up to complain, but stops scolding when he recognizes who Ebina is. I guess there is some good in being the face of the police. Chokozai goes off on his own while the store manager unties her. It’s then that the manager points out that the ties are tied the same except for one. Ebina finally understands what Chokozai meant when he said the tie was wrong. It was tied differently in the photo of Saotome than the day he died.

Meanwhile, Sawa is being told yet again that if the investigation shows that it is a natural death after all, both Ebina and he will be out of a job. This will get old fast if we have to hear this every single episode. Chokozai goes to get a hotdog for lunch and pays with a 10,000¥ bill. The vendor notices the 1000¥ bill and asks Chokozai to pay with that instead. Chokozai stops and then updates before paying with the proper bill this time. Sawa then meets with Ebina and tells her the investigation is over. It’s a natural death. Nothing more, nothing less as the test on the gastric reflux mess didn’t point to poisoning. Chokozai then spots gloves with a fox symbol. What are their significance?

Despite what he said, Sawa accompanies Ebina to question Mrs. Saotome about the necktie inconsistency. Mrs. Saotome gets angry at the picture they show of her husband with the thick necktie and says it was from two years ago. She then reveals that her husband had an affair at that time. And wouldn’t you know the woman he had an affair with was the manager who came to see him in the morgue. The two then go off to her store and Ebina notices that the neckties are all tied like in the picture from two years ago. They then confront the mistress and she admits to their affair and how it was called off. After that they only met for work and never outside. When they asks the significance of the date that Saotome was buying roses, the manager says it was the date of them officially ending their relationship. Boy, this gets more and more suspicious as you go.

While they are learning about the affair, Chokozai is getting in trouble for only paying with a 1000¥ bill as the total came to 1050¥. This causes a ruckus and Chokozai is detained while Ebina gets called in as they found her card on him. Ebina and Sawa show up and Ebina pays the 50¥ still owed. Another teller comes rushing out with an envelope when he sees Chokozai. In the envelop is 8050¥ from the other day when Chokozai left after paying with a 10,000¥ bill. Looks like him updating isn’t always a good thing. That boy knows nothing of money really, does he? Ebina finally manages to get his envelop of money in his bag and pulls out the gloves he bought. What are they. Chokozai replies blue roses, foxgloves. That’s another hint to the case, but, like always, he never explains his hints.

Ebina researches foxgloves and Sho comes in and explains to her that foxgloves [using the Latin name Digitalis] is used as medicine for heart patients. It small doses it can help, but larger doses is quite lethal. Sho then takes food up to Chokozai and Sawa who leaves Chokozai in Sho’s care. The younger man protests as he has to make dinner for his dad, but Sawa leaves anyway. On his way out, he runs into Ebina who literally flips over him as he bends over to ties his shoes. She quickly recovers and hands over Saotome’s prescription and asks Sawa to have it checked out for digitalis. Sawa wonders what the motive would be for the doctor to poison Saotome and Ebina has found at that the nurse [also the doctor’s wife], was Saotome’s college classmate and her birthday fell on the day he bought the roses. Was he having another affair? Sawa goes to have this checked out after Chokozai started spouting off all of this random information.

At the Ebina dinner table, Sho quickly shows Ebina what he dug up. Chokozai must be suffering from savant syndrome. The mystery man has a photographic memory and is quite gifted in certain areas while being rather stunted in others. Sho then shows her a printout and all the information that Chokozai spouted was on it and referred to different events that happened on that day throughout history. Ebina asks if there is a gift for being a good detective and Sho replies not that he’s heard of. I guess Ebina is trying to work out how Chokozai is so gifted at solving cases.

The next day, Ebina and Sawa take Chokozai to the police station for tests in hopes of finding his family. Ebina gives the officer in charge Chokozai’s morning curry soup [already noodleless] and then instructs the officer to  get him a hotdog for lunch. Yep. Ebina has completely become Chokozai’s mother. Sawa then gets the results from the medication test. Digitalis was detected. That means that if an autopsy is done and digitalis is found in the man’s system in the lethal dosage, then it was murder. Sawa points out once again that no poisons were found initially. Snap. Matsushima then barges in and asks for Ebina’s address as he wishes to send her flowers. Always the opportunist. Ebina then gets a call about Chokozai.

The tests couldn’t be done as the doctor in charge was unavailable. Thus the tests will be put off until tomorrow. Until then, Chokozai can sleep in a vacant cell. This makes Ebina worry. She doesn’t like the idea of Chokozai sleeping away from home. Then in rushes a female officer who says that Chokozai has the station in a panic as there is no lettuce on his hotdog. Sawa motions Ebina to take care of the mess.

Back at Chokozai’s place [I guess the station decided NOT to keep him over night], the three sit down to dinner and discuss the motive of murder. Now they have three suspects: the wife, the ex-mistress, and the doctor. Chokozai, with dirty fingers again, taps on the picture of the dead Saotome and says his eyes know. Ebina and Sawa don’t necessarily get the clue. Sawa goes to sit down only to have Chokozai pull the seat away from him so Sawa falls. Chokozai sees the time on the watch and goes in to watch his usual drama. This time Nancy finds the murderer in the pool and says that it’s okay to cry now as no one can see your tears in the pool. Sawa wonders how this is a clue and Chokozai falls asleep with his head on Ebina’s lap.

Sawa asks Atsumi about what Chokozai said and Atsumi laughs. How could they miss it? The eyes can actually hold traces of toxins that you might not necessarily find present elsewhere. This is enough to get an official order to have Saotome’s body taken back for an official autopsy. Needless to say, Mrs. Saotome is shocked by their arrival as the wake was to be held that day. The funeral home quickly arranges to have the wake held the same day as the funeral and the team take the body into custody, praying that they do find the evidence they need or they’ll all be in big trouble. Meanwhile, Larry and team are looking at footage of Chokozai’s escapades and are planning on getting him back when he gets turned into a hospital.

At the lab, they get the proof that they need that Saotome is poisoned. It wasn’t the medication, though. Thus the team goes looking for people related to Saotome who grow foxgloves. Wouldn’t you know, Saotome’s wife has foxgloves in their garden. Sawa also finds a fine powder that he confirms is from the foxgloves. Mrs. Saotome says that her husband was a cheater and that she couldn’t forgive him. After all, he bought those roses the day he died. They weren’t for her. Ebina then tells Mrs. Saotome what her husband’s last words were and that those flowers were for her. He bought them in celebration of the anniversary of him breaking things off with his mistress and his wife “forgiving” him. Mrs. Saotome completely breaks down as she recalls telling her husband how much she wanted to see blue roses and he promised to find her some and show her. What a waste.

Once again Chokozai collapses when his mission is complete. Sawa has to piggyback him back to the Ebina residence. When they get home, there is large bouquet of white lilies from Matsushima. The card with a picture of Matsuhima’s arm around Ebina, touch her breast, angers her. she rips it up and Chokozai wakes up saying he has flowers. Chokozai takes the flowers back to his room. They are the same flowers from his memory.

ATARU 2I can’t wait for more of our cute Chokozai!

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