ATARU Episode 3 Recap

Since heisui at My Drama Tea has Love Forward 12 up, I am doing ATARU before doing my own version of Love Forward. I was planning on doing both tonight, but my premonition of having to cut grass was dead on, so only one recap from me tonight even though I wanted to get 2 up.

Chokozai finally goes in for his evaluation and the doctor is shocked by just how many question marks are left on the form. Sawa tells Ebina to fill it out properly, but Ebina says she has put down all she knows (and its not like Chokozai is much help). Besides, Chokozai has only been with her 5 days. Why does it seem like it should be longer? The doctor asks after Chokozai’s eating habits and is surprised again by his very unhealthy, unbalanced diet. The doctor asks about any other observations and Sawa points out that Chokozai is really knowledgeable and Ebina explains how  Chokozai has helped solve two cases already. The doctor then tells them all to go outside while he prepares the examination.

The police officer who is supposed to be watching over Chokozai hurries and leaves and Sawa and Ebina go running after him as he is shirking his duty, but the man leaves saying he’ll be looking for Chokozai’s guardian. Sawa then catches a fellow officer running in the hall and he reports of a drowning with a suspicious head wound. This perks Ebina right up and she wishes to go investigate (please, this girl is still on vacation), but Sawa tells her that she is supposed to stay and take care of Chokozai at the hospital. Not what Ebina wanted to hear. While this is going on, Chokozai processes what little he’s heard on the case and accepts the mission.

This time the deceased was fishing in a dangerous cliffy area. This leads the police to feel that it was probably only an accident as the estimated time of death puts the accident happening at night. Meanwhile, back at the hospital, the curious Sho arrives. Ebina is surprised to see her little brother, but he is really interested in Chokozai’s case and even goes in to talk to the doctor who examined Chokozai when he asks Ebina in for the results. He believes that Chokozai has a developmental disorder and Sho perks up and asks if Chokozai didn’t receive rehabilitation for the disorder. The doctor doesn’t now for sure, it could be that Chokozai had received some form of treatment. Ebina talks to Sawa and lets him know about Chokozai, but Sawa isn’t very forthcoming about the current case. Like always, he’s trying to keep Ebina out of the loop (and he even encourages her retirement from the police force), but the girl refuses to listen. Looks like she plans on butting in once again even though she’s on vacation.

At the station, the deceased wife and son are being questioned. The wife thought her husband was in a different city on a business trip. Then what was he doing fishing in a different city altogether? This perks Ebina’s interest and she decides to head to the advertising firm where the man worked. She and Sawa learned that the business trip was really a pretense for a 4-day private vacation. Why would the deceased do that? His coworker reveals that there was a chance the deceased was having an affair. This shocks Ebina and she yells “cheating” out causing all the staff to look. Sawa tries to save the situation by saying Ebina saw the cheesecake poster and wanted some (the words cheesecake and cheating are somewhat similar in Japanese in sound).

Sawa and Ebina get back to the station where they get a call from the local police about what to do with the body. Ebina quickly says she will go and take pictures of it. So Sawa gets stuck holding up the sheet and averting his gaze while she snaps photos. The fact that the victim had a lover means that his death might not have been an accident after all. Sawa says that Ebina’s investigation will just cause family discord over the accident and Ebina says it’s a small price to pay if it was indeed murder. She also gets her serious, hurt face on like she always does when she thinks of her mom’s “accident” and says that just because something is an accident, doesn’t necessarily mean a family will mourn in peace.

That night Inukai meets Sawa for drinks and talks about the “Ataru” transmission once again. This time, something he says catches Sawa’s interest and leads him to think of Chokozai. What did Inukai say? “Savant” – a trait of someone with a developmental disability. Is it possible that this mysterious, illegal transmission searching for “Ataru” might have something to do with the mysterious Chokozai who Ebina had just told him had a developmental disability? Inukai, knowing Sawa is hooked, gives him the slip of paper and asks him yet again to look into it.

Meanwhile, at the Ebina household, the family is sitting down to dinner with Chokozai who refuses to eat the real food in front of him. This worries the Ebinas, but what can they do. Ebina and her father compliment Sho’s cooking and the boy says he wishes he could do it more often, but he doesn’t have time to do that due to medical school. Chokozai then processes the pictures of the victim that Ebina has spread out over the table (how is that appropriate?) and he points out something. There is an x-ray that shows the deceased to have a leg fracture. Why is that important? Chokozai points at the pictures and keeps asking which one, which confuses Ebina. Sho explains that he thinks Chokozai is referring to just how the victim fell and explains that if he fell head first, he wouldn’t have broken his foot like that. Likewise, if he had fallen feet first, he wouldn’t have gotten such a fracture on his skull. Looks like the signs are pointing more and more towards murder vs. an accident.

Ishikawa explains to Ebina that such a fall might have caused both if the man tumbled vs. falling straight down the cliff. However, she does also say that the body would have been maimed all over. Atsumi points this out and says that if the man had rolled down the cliff, his body would have greater damage than it shows. Ebina then asks him how the deceased could have fractures on both head and feet. Atsumi doesn’t answer and says that if an autopsy isn’t performed soon, the body will go to the family for burial. This gets Ebina moving and she runs right into Sawa who asks what she’s doing. Ebina doesn’t answer and keeps going. Sawa then asks Atsumi to look into the strange transmissions.

The body is being wheeled out to  be given to the family when Ebina rushes and tries to stop them. Nozaki wants her to let it go, but Ebina insists that the body needs to be taken for an autopsy. At this time, Sawa comes out and carefully explains that due to knew evidence that doesn’t seem to match, it is best if an autopsy is performed to ensure if the man really died accidentally or if he was murdered. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ebina that happy to see Sawa before. Meanwhile, Chokozai is out wandering around by himself thinking things over. Shouldn’t someone be watching him?

Nakai MasahiroEbina rushes out to find the victim’s lover only to get a call from her father saying that Chokozai went missing. When Sawa and Ebina get to the Ebina house, her father explains that he thought he was safe enough to do laundry, but Chokozai used that time to leave. Ebina wonders how she will find him and Sawa gives her the fox gloves and asks her to check out the store name. Ebina does and finds out the store is in Nakatama, the same place where the explosion case happened where she first met Chokozai. Sawa wonders if there is some connection between Chokozai and that area. Ebina and Sawa aren’t the only ones searching for Chokozai. Larry and his team are in hot pursuit as well. Larry asks his team to find out who in Japan is trying to find information on Chokozai.

Back at the lab, Atsumi reveals that sea water and plankton were found in the victim’s lungs which means he drowned after his fall. But that’s not the interesting part. It turns out the man’s inner ear bone was broken. Why is that significant. That bone is in such a place where it would be extremely hard to break from even a fall down the cliff. That means he was hit in the head by a blunt object before falling feet first down the cliff leading to the leg fracture. Atsumi agrees that is possible and the conclusion? Murder! Sawa then orders Ishikawa to get the victim’s cell records. The investigation team gathers and Sawa briefs them on the new information and gives out orders for the investigation.

As the team shows up to investigate, Chokozai is seen getting out of a taxi (the driver complaining tat he didn’t pay enough). Ebina is looking for Chokozai at the store, but with no luck. She calls Sawa to let him know she will have to involve the local police and he tells her not to worry as Chokozai is where he is. This surprises Ebina and when she gets to the advertising agency, it is in an uproar of Chokozai’s presence. Why is an outsider being brought in? Ebina apologizes and goes after Chokozai. Sawa stops her and asks if she told Chokozai about the place and Ebina states that she didn’t. At this time, Chokozai points and utters “Black Melon Jewel Nail” over and over again. Ebina and Sawa see a pen with nail jewels on it and the man had a case with the same nail jewels. Ebina wonders if the man’s lover had given it to him as a gift. Chokozai then notices the time and he tries to go off to watch his drama. Not wanting to lose him again, Ebina stops him and asks to use one of the computers there (which is against the rules obviously). Chokozai then bites Ebina’s arm and this makes the police get moving to find Chokozai a computer. Poor Ebina is used to that now.

While Chokozai watches his drama and scarfs down ketchup (gags) Ishikawa brings information on the nail jewels. And guess what? There is only one store in Japan that carries that particular (overseas) brand. Ebina wishes to go with Sawa and crew to the salon, but Sawa points out it is her duty to take care of Chokozai. Thwarted again! At the salon, Sawa and Matsushima get a list of the women workers who have the day off and learn that another worker, Kojima Yuko wasn’t scheduled for leave, but suddenly took the day off to attend a funeral. A funeral? Yes, it so happens to be the victim’s funeral day. Well, that made things easier. Ebina gets Chokozai home and gets an update from Sawa while Larry ensures that all video footage of Chokozai at the airport has been confiscated/erased.

Sawa and team wait at the funeral for Kojima. Ishikawa calls Sawa to let him know that the victim repeatedly called Kojima on the day he left for his vacation. Looking even more promising now. Once spotted, they surround Kojima only to learn she’s the victim’s son’s girlfriend? This doesn’t seem to ring too true as she looks very awkward, but she agrees that she is. At the station, Kojima says that she doesn’t know anything and when asked about her whereabouts at the time of the murder, she was at a group date (um, wasn’t she the son’s girlfriend? so why would she be at a group date?). Her alibi checks out as does the son’s and the wife’s. So just who killed the man?

That night Sawa comes over for dinner. Ebina wants to know why he’s there and her father explains that he invited Sawa since he’s divorced and alone (news to me). Sho points out that Mr. Ebina was divorced as well (from their mother or a different woman?). Sawa doesn’t like this topic and changes it to talk about savant syndrome. The Ebina family perks up at this and Sho explains that Chokozai has it and was probably trained to use his abilities to solve cases. Chokozai then says the shrimp is bad. Everyone looks at the shrimp on the table and Mr. Ebina tries his, saying the shrimp is okay. But Chokozai isn’t referring to the shrimp on the table, but in the autopsy report. Sho conjectures that means the man only at shrimp before dying. Chokozai then passes out. Looks like he finally ran out of juice for the day.

Sawa gets a report from restaurants in the area that none of them saw the victim, nor was he a regular customer. Sawa then goes to the Ebina house with shrimp crackers which they eat in Chokozai’s room and try to figure out what to do next. Chokozai then looks at the report and the picture of the scene and says “sweeper” and “cleaning.” What now? Chokozai and our detective duo then go to the crime scene and follow Chokozai goes to a market selling nori. Chokozai digs through the nori and keeps saying there is no shrimp. The seller then overhears “sweeper” from Chokozai and Ebina asks if there is shrimp called that. The man explains there are, but they aren’t shrimp. They are related to shrimp, though, and are scavengers.

Atsumi tells Sawa that because to the scavenger shrimp, the decay was accelerated. This sends the team searching to see if the wife, son and lover had alibis for the day before. Turns out none of them do. Ebina cheers up thinking they have a good chance of solving it. Chokozai is sitting and studying the surrounding area and says “Locard.” Ebina asks Sawa to look into it. It’s a criminal principal that you leave marks of yourself at the crime scene while taking something of the crime scene with you.

This leads them to finger Katsunori’s son, Takumi. They found his boot prints at the crime scene. It turns out that Kojima was in fact Katsunori’s lover. When Takumi found out, he was jealous. His father was an old married man with loads of cash and he gets a girlfriend? Takumi blackmailed Kojima into breaking up with his father and going out with him instead. Takumi confesses that he had Kojima cancel the getaway with his father and he then invited his father to go fishing. When Takumi arrived at the fishing spot, he smashed his father’s head with a rock and sent him down the cliff feet first. Mrs. Katsunori listens to both her son and lover and rushes out of the room. They quickly close the door to where Kojima is confessing, but that isn’t where Mrs. Katsunori wanted to go anyway. She rushes into her son’s room and starts beating him. What does she do now? She didn’t care about her husband having an affair as long as she had her son, but now she has no husband or son, she has no one. Poor woman.

At the Ebina home, Chokozai collapses after accomplishing his mission [the arrest was broadcast on the news which Sho and Mr. Ebina were both watching]. Sho gets up and notices the sleeping Chokozai has a tear rolling down his face [he cried in his sleep after every crime]. Meanwhile, Sawa, Atsumi, and Inukai all meet. Atsumi reveals that the illegal broadcasts all came from the US Embassy. After revealing this information, he gets up to go, annoying Inukai. Who is looking for Chokozai then? Atsumi says that is their job to find out and rushes out as his 5th child has been born.

The next day Ebina takes Chokozai to the hospital and tells her father and brother that she will let them know of visiting hours so they can see Chokozai. As Sho goes off to school he notices Larry’s fan driving slowly by the house. Sawa asks a favor to see if he can find out why the embassy is broadcasting that and Ebina and Chokozai’s taxi is being followed by a van. Will Larry finally get Chokozai back? Will Sawa and Ebina be in danger from Larry who’s having their moves watched?

One comment

  • I just wanted to say, I’ve been looking for that segment (“uaki?” “uwaa… cake! uwaaa… cake!”) for some time and couldn’t place where I had seen it. Thanks for including it in your review! Now off to watch this episode again.

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