ATARU Episode 4 Recap

Yeah, it’s been awhile. Gomen ne, minna.

Ebina and her fellow officer get Chokozai checked into the hospital. Ebina is really feeling down about leaving Chokozai there. They have only known each other for 10 days (seriously?) and there is so much she doesn’t know about him, but she still will miss him terribly. Chokozai goes off on his own during this speech. Poor Ebina. She rushes after him to try to get him to agree to her and her family coming to visit him on occasion. When Chokozai is officially taken away, Ebina is really sad and her fellow policeman is happy to get the mysterious man off of his hands. Ebina towards Chokozai… how exactly does she  feel? Sometimes she seems more like a mother or sister figure and sometimes it seems like she might like Chokozai like romantically. Meanwhile, Sawa and crew have reported to the scene of a small airplane craft at a local runway. At the accident, the police are ready to write it off as another dump case. It was obviously an accident as there is no sign of struggle or sabotage.

Ebina slowly and distractedly leaves the hospital. Larry is watching from the van and approaches Chokozai after the nurse leaves him for a moment. Larry calls out “Ataru” and our Chokozai says nothing. He just stands and looks at Larry while twiddling his fingers like he normally does. Then, without a word, Chokozai goes and gets into the car. Larry is happy to have his boy back. I admit to being surprised at how quickly and easily Chokozai followed Larry when he just as easily “ran away” from the airport. Seems kind of weird. On their way back to the embassy, Chokozai overhears information on the scanner and immediately accepts a new mission. Larry immediately tells him training in Japan is officially over. He does this three times. Chokozai updates himself and Larry explains to the driver that Chokozai immediately updates after being told something three times. And here I thought it just had to be the right tone. Nope, someone has to tell Chokozai the same thing in triplicate for it to get through. At least that is explained. The driver asks if that was part of the training and Larry smiles saying it is the mutual trust between him and Chokozai.

Ebina tells Sawa about dropping Chokozai off and Sawa informs her he’s at the scene of a plane accident and hangs up. Ebina being Ebina is immediately interested and ready to jump in to another investigation (while she is still on leave). Meanwhile, Larry has taken Chokozai to the FBI office in the US Embassy. He hurriedly wants to get Chokozai back to the states as Chokozai has never run off before. Chokozai glances at the TV and sees Ebina arrive at the scene of the accident. When he processes this, he says, “Mission accepted,” once more. Once again Larry repeats three times that training is over and Chokozai is done doing things in Japan, but this time Chokozai ignores him and walks out. This shocks Larry. What is going on with his Ataru?

Ebina arrives on scene just as they gathered all the employees for questioning. While discussing that there was no scheduled flights or local radio contact from the pilot, the inspector from the flight division says that it could be an accident or suicide as the man veered off the runway into an area where he knew there was obstructions (in this case a fence). A woman then rushes in and says suicide is impossible as he just became engaged to her. Why would a man kill himself when he was planning to marry? Good question. When Ebina tries to voice her two cents, she is told to take Chokozai and leave. Ebina is shocked to turn around and find him there. Didn’t she just leave him at the hospital?

In the car, Sawa wonders how Chokozai found the crash site. Did he sniff it out on his own? Ebina who had just gotten done talking to the hospital then says that Chokozai will be spending the night at her place again as the hospital says it is best for Chokozai to calm down as he will just run away again if they take him back now. Ebina seems really happy to have Chokozai back again and you know its just not because he helps her solve cases. While Sawa and Ebina talk, Chokozai notices that they are being followed, but he says nothing. Larry, who is in the van following Chokozai and co., immediately asks for all the cases that Sawa has been investigating while Ataru has been missing.

At the station, Ebina goes to follow Sawa to question the deceased’s parents, but it stopped by Nozokai. Since she has so much time to sniff around, she should spend it doing what she does best. Another police drama (for departmental PR) has come in. Ebina outright refuses. She then tosses her hair and says that she and the director don’t fit. LOL. Like a true actress. She then joins Sawa and they learn that the parents had no idea about the fiancée. This really hurts the fiancée. Why didn’t he tell his parents about her when he had already proposed to her and even met her folks?

Sho arrives home with Vietnamese food and is surprised to find Chokozai there. He and Ebina do some cutesy sibling talk and Sho comments on how they have been eating dinner with case pictures littered all over the table of late. Ebina apologizes and her father says that at least there are no corpse pictures this time. That’s a change and an improvement. I really loved this dinner scene and Chokozai is scarfing down his mustard and the curious Ebina takes his ketchup to try with disastrous results. LOL. Trying to get closer and understand him more? Anyhow, Chokozai notices something amiss. He keeps saying “mortal wound” and “headset.” Sho picks up on this and Ebina digs through the pictures until she finds what has caught Chokozai’s attention. This is definitely not a dump case.

Tamamori Yuta, Kuriyama ChiakiShe goes to see Atsumi the next day as the head trauma in regards to the headset doesn’t seem to make sense. Atsumi says that it does and then explains again how the incident happened. His explanation makes sense and Ebina can’t argue with it, but it doesn’t mean Ebina lets it go. While this is going on, Sawa once again appears before his superior who once again informs Sawa that Ebina is working alone again on a case that should be open and shut. Sawa, not knowing what to say can only give false laugh and talk about how devoted Ebina is to come in and work when she’s on leave.

Ebina is with Chokozai at a park. He’s eating his curry soup as usual and she is telling the hospital that she won’t be sending him back just as yet. Since he has come back and gotten involved, Chokozai must stay and help her solve the case. Ebina, with Chokozai in tow, goes back to the airport and finds Kimihara who is a professional, independent forensic investigator. He has been hired by the fiancée to figure out what really happened to Toru (the deceased). This shocks Ebina. Kimihara scoffs at the efficiency of the police and when Chokozai starts going through his data, he says its okay as it is all data the police have seen plus a whole lot more (like weather reports, etc.). Sawa then comes in as well and Chokozai says that bloody fingerprints are walking. Sawa  takes a look and says that handprints are moving. That means Toru did not die on impact and moved about for awhile.

That news sends Kimihara back to the crash site to take another look and gather more evidence while the fiancée visits and places flowers on the plane. Meanwhile, Ebina and Sawa go to Atsumi who doesn’t conclude that the victim necessarily got up and moved around. He explains the situation yet again and, yes, it’s logical that’s how the handprints got there, but still. Like in every other case when it was logically something, there was also always something else underneath. What is it this time? And what was up with Ebina miming everything during the explanation? I got, but didn’t at the same time.

Ebina seeks out Kimihara with new information, but he insists that given all of the evidence that it is suicide. Ebina, however, isn’t convinced. Something doesn’t seem right. Kimihara explains everything yet again and insists on suicide. Nozokai and his partner are ready to dump the case. It doesn’t matter if its really suicide or an accident as it is plain that it is NOT murder. Sawa stays retrospective and can’t necessarily disagree. But our resident Ebina chaser points out that something is fishy with the parents not knowing about the fiancée. If Toru was playing her, then that is motive enough for murder. Meanwhile, at the Ebina household, they are sitting down for dinner and Ebina tells her father and brother that Chokozai is the only one she can count on. Chokozai then starts repeating “brake” over and over. Ebina flips through the pictures and finds a purple one (taken with a special effects camera to pick up on things unseen by the naked eye) which clearly shows brake marks. So Hashida Toru braked? Doesn’t that make it not a suicide?

Ebina takes this to Kimihara the next day, but Kimihara insists Hashida braked to veer off and crash. Ebina is annoyed, but Sawa comes in and takes her away. He then calls and has Matsushima look into a connection between Kimihara and Hashida. Something is definitely fishy, especially with a privately hired forensic expert who has insisted on accidental deaths vs. suicide and the like for families who hired him. Why would he be so insistent on a suicide verdict? Ebina doesn’t really think there is anything special reason for the fiancée to hire Kimihara, but Sawa isn’t convinced. They go back to the station where Matsushima immediately gushes over his loneliness when Ebi-chan isn’t there. That guy. Matsushima reports there is no connection between Hashida and Kimihara, but it turns out that the fiancée and Kimihara are childhood friends. This definitely seems to make them suspect that maybe it wasn’t an accident or suicide, but murder after all. In comes their boss who isn’t happy with their ongoing investigation, but he does give Sawa credit for finding the truth behind dump cases. Sawa gives the credit to Ebina who then gives the credit to Chokozai who is watching his detective drama at her house. This episode has the synchronized swimming detective finding love with a fellow detective. Hmm. Does this hint at anything between Chokozai and Ebina? Or Ebina and Sawa?

Sawa and Ebina go to confront Kimihara about his relationship with the fiancée. Kimihara insists there is nothing going on between the two and he took on the case only because she is his good friend and asked him to look into it. If that is the case, then why is Kimihara insisting on the most cruel death (suicide after engagement?).  The fiancée comes in at this point and is upset. She hired Kimihara to prove the opposite, not confirm what the police are saying. If Hashida really committed suicide after getting engaged with her, she cannot live on. She rushes out and Ebina follows while Sawa confronts Kimihara’s feelings for his client and his objectivity in his findings.

Ebina tells the fiancée that all findings do point to suicide. This does not make the other girl feel any better. Seeing her pain at learning more and more about her fiancée and his possible suicide, Ebina promises to find out the truth of how Hashida really felt. The other girl will not believe the police anymore after they looked into her relationship with Kimihara and since they are insisting on suicide themselves. She drives off and almost hits Chokozai who has come with more evidence. Kimihara and Sawa come out at this time and rush to the scene. Luckily, Chokozai was not harmed, the woman managed to stop before she hit him. This does put him out of sorts and it takes him awhile to get his bearings back and show them the new evidence he found.

What is this evidence? There is a scratch on the wing of the plane that can only be seen with special equipment. Chokozai says the scare was made by another plane. Wouldn’t you know that plane is also in the airport where Hashida worked. Chokozai goes through Kimihara’s things and finds an orange light and points out there is a collision scare on that plan as well. There are also tire marks showing that at the time Hashida’s plane swerved off course, another plane was oncoming and taking off at the intersection. Well, that’s definitely NOT an accident anymore.

It turns out that Hashida was dating a fellow pilot at the same time as his fiancée. He broke it off with the pilot after deciding to marry the other girl. This angered the pilot and she called him out to see him fly the plane she taught him to fly in one last time. She messed with the radio and seatbelt and planned the collision. He didn’t die right away, so she ran to the plane with a fire extinguisher and bashed him on the head. Sigh. The fiancée isn’t happy to learn there was another woman, but Kimihara then explains that Hashida didn’t tell his parents right away as he was ending things for good and wanted to wait till everything else was taken care of as he really loved his fiancée.

Chokozai passes out and is once again piggybacked by Sawa. He puts Chokozai in the taxi and asks Ebina if she’s taking him back to the hospital the next day. Ebina says that she is, but you know she doesn’t want to. It’s like she has separation anxiety. She then overhears the sleepy Chokozai say “Mission accomplished.” He then cries his customary tear after going back to sleep. Meanwhile, Larry looks at all that Ataru has been doing for the past two weeks and decides he wants to see more as Ataru has never accepted a mission on his own before and has never not listened to Larry. He wants to see what will happen next. Sawa goes to his female contact who says her boss stopped the illegal transmission from the US Embassy. Just what is going on? Inukai thinks Atsumi was right that there is some big trouble, but just what and how bad?

Ebina had to go out and find a florist and Chokozai insisted he wanted flowers. It’s the white lilies again. Ebina tries to understand why he insists on four blooms and why he likes them so much? She also says that she doesn’t know hardly anything about him, but she would like him to stay longer and not go back to the hospital. She turns and Chokozai is asleep once more. She looks at the flowers and smiles. Chokozai should stay until they wilt at least.

And episode 5 promises to be a good one with Ebina Sho as a suspect in a murder case!


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