ATARU Episode 10 Recap
A surprisingly Chokazai-less episode. I mean, he’s obviously in it and everyone is worried about him, but his role is limited to being unconscious in the hospital for most of the episode. I think that the purpose in this episode was really to focus on the people close to him and to bring us a step closer to learning about Ebina’s mother.
Ebina, Sawa, and Sho are all around Chokozai’s bed. Ebina tells Chokozai to be sure to wake up. Sawa opens up the door and notices Dr. Inoguchi approaching Larry who tells Ataru’s father that Chokozai is in a coma for some reason. Inoguchi then requests to talk to Larry. The man is not happy that Chokozai has been trained to work on cases. Larry points out that it wasn’t necessarily training, but rather that the input all the data into Ataru. How sad that Chokozai is being referenced to as a computer. Dr. Inoguchi insists that is not why he sent Ataru to the states with Larry and Larry throws back in Dr. Inoguchi’s face that Inoguchi wanted his son to be able to live freely on his own. The training and everything is a way to make Ataru independent. Dr. Inoguchi is still angry. Genius or not, Ataru is his precious son. Mrs. Inoguchi then comes up and says that Larry isn’t at fault, they are. They are the ones who gave up their precious son because his ability was too much like a disability and they could not handle that.
Sho learns that Ataru goes by Chokozai because he is pronouncing each character in his name separately instead of together like it should be. Sawa says it was a nickname from childhood and Larry comes in saying that they have been calling him Chokozai all of this time. Ebina then says that was how Ataru introduced himself to her when they first met. This surprises Larry. I wonder why everything seems to be surprising Larry. What, did he live with his head buried in sand with Ataru for the past 25 years?
We then get an image of bubbles rising above Chokozai. It looks like he’s aware of things around him, but he is not able to wake up as of yet. We flashback to a young Chokozai playing with his two friends (one little girl and one little boy – kind of like being with Ebina and Sawa now, eh?). They have a whole bunch of bubbles going and they complain about how stupid the teachers are. All they need to do is bring bubbles along on the field trip and Chokozai will be calm. We then flash once again to Chokozai’;s mother crying and making onigiri for the day when he was supposed to go on the fieldtrip but couldn’t. We cut back to the hospital room and Chokozai’s bubbles start doing their corruption routine. Meaning they start condensing and building up so he can’t see through them like he normally does. Actually, I have noticed that this happens when Chokozai starts getting agitated. This might explains things, if the bubbles calm him down, but go away, no wonder he starts having issues.
Sawa digs through Chokozai’s bag for his toy rat. Larry stays close by, nervous. Of course Sawa spots the bug in the bag, but he says nothing and just take the rat over and puts it in Chokozai’s palm. His mother is surprised to see that Chokozai still has the rat after all of these years. Mrs. Inoguchi then pulls out fresh made onigiri and tells Chokozai to hurry and wake up so he can finally eat some. Larry leaves and asks Ebina to call him when Ataru wakes up. Sawa then bids his farewell as he’s on standby duty. Ebina seems really out if it. Almost shell-shocked. Just why is she like that?
Sawa reports to a car accident where a female driver smashed into a pole and was burned. Given there is no brake marks, the parking brake wasn’t pulled, nor another car involved that means its most likely suicide or an accident. While Sawa and crew are investigating, Matsushima gets a phone call that makes him all giddy. This catches Sawa’s and the other policemen’s attention. Just who is Matsushima talking to so animatedly? Sawa decides not to immediately discard the case as he would at least like to try to find the motive for suicide. This, of course, annoys Nozaki to no end. Looks like if it doesn’t have to do with a police cover up or dead child, he could care less about the dump cases.
Sawa goes back to the station to find Ebina requesting an investigation into the case as something seems off. Naka seems less inclined to cave to her whim this time. Thus Ebina pulls out the Chokozai card. Sawa comes and drags her out and she confesses she lied as Chokozai has not come round as of yet. Ebina then confesses she saw it on the news and the car was the same as her mother’s and there was no brake marks as well! She just can’t leave the case go. Naka comes. It seems he has heard it all. Sawa asks to be able to investigate the reasons for a possible suicide and Naka actually grants permission for an autopsy! Will wonders never cease? Sawa then takes a business card out of his wallet for Kimihara, the freelance forensic expert.
Ebina is shocked to find Kimihara at the scene investigating the car. He was hired by the deceased’s twin sister to find out the cause of the crash thanks to the intervention of Sawa. Kogure says that it could not have been suicide as her sister had recently found a man she was interested in marrying. Why would she kill herself? Sound familiar? That was just like another case that Kimihara was first involved in. His best friend and long-time crush was engaged to be married and he supposedly killed himself (but that case turned out to be murder after all).
So Sawa goes to investigate the boyfriend. It turns out the boyfriend had dumped the victim just before her death. Why? He found a new girl and lives with her. And he’s the type of guy who breaks up with someone via email. Classy. His girlfriend asks Sawa if he is suspecting Youichi of something (Momoka crashed nearer to Youichi’s apartment). Before anything more can be said, Sawa gets a phone call.
He heads to the hospital where Sho tells Sawa and Ebina that Chokozai ISN’T in a coma. Say what? Looks like the boy is finally catching up on all his lost sleep. About time I guess. This makes both Sawa and Ebina very happy. Ebina is so happy that she goes up to Chokozai and rubs her face against his. I think in some hopes that he will also wake up, but he doesn’t. Sawa then pushes her away for his turn, but Chokozai pulls the blankets up over his face so Sawa can’t rub cheeks with him. This amuses Ebina. It’s proof that Chokozai likes her more and so she does it again. It’s a cute scene.
Larry is listening in and is shocked to find out that Ataru hasn’t been sleeping. When did this all start? Has the last time he slept really been the case where he took on the gunmen with ketchup? Larry immediately goes over to the box of mustard and ketchup sitting on the table. He recognizes a doctor’s name and flips out, throwing the condiments on the floor. What is going on? Sawa then says, knowing that the room is bugged, that he’s coming over so Larry needs to wait for him. Nice.
Larry says that the SPB (Savant Program Branch) is not an official part of the FBI as of yet. Also, Larry only does publicity and PR for the FBI. I guess that is supposed to explain his involvement with the Synchronized Swimming Detective. Of course, Sawa doesn’t believe that is the real meaning behind the drama or not. Sawa then pulls out Chokozai’s passport. It has both Larry’s and Inukai’s prints on it. That means Larry lied about having seen Inukai before. Larry turns the situation around and says that they have no way of knowing if Inukai’s prints got on the passport when it was with Larry or when it was with Sawa. Of course, this does not deter our detective. He doesn’t make a witty comeback, but rather just warns Larry once again to keep Chokozai from doing cases.
Meanwhile, Kimihara tells Ebina that the lack of brake marks does not signify that the woman did not brake. Since the car has ABS (Anti-lock braking system), you could slam the brakes and still not get the marks. Plus, Momoka’s cell phone was broken in half. There is no way that could have happened if the phone was closed during the crash. That points to her using the phone and then crashing. So that means that the likelihood of it being a tragic accident due to recklessness more possible.
Inukai’s sudden change of attitude is freaking out his coworkers. How could he change so much? I love it when they describe Inukai as acting “too normal.” But give his attitude in previous episodes, he was always abrupt and abrasive, so yeah, normal is weird for him. Sawa takes Inukai aside and tries to talk to him, but Inukai doesn’t recognize Larry’s picture and he has no recollection of the earlier conversation about the suspicious messages coming from the US Embassy. Sawa goes to put the picture of Larry and Nancy (the swimming detective) into Inukai’s inner pocket when he notices Inukai’s ID isn’t attached. Sawa warns him of this and Inukai says he somehow lost the button the end of the ID was usually attached to. So Sawa takes the ID.
Sawa then meets Ebina at the hospital. She tells him what she learned from Kimihara. Ebina then asks him to look into Momoka’s cell records. Sawa agrees and Ebina’s phone then goes off. Meanwhile, Chokozai is still sleeping, but his bubbles start to gather and his fingers start moving. He accepts the mission in his sleep!!!! Meanwhile, Kimihara reports his tests show that the phone DID have to be open to snap in half like that. Kimihara then says he will have to run some more tests to figure things out. Ebina reports all this to the still sleeping Chokozai (and then she apologizes for doing so, force of habit) who then mutters out that ABS won’t work under 10 KM/H. Since he said this in English (Ataru’s English is a whole LOT less accented than Larry’s at times), Ebina has no idea what he said.
Sawa has Ishikawa check Inukai’s badge for prints and there are two sets, Inukai’s and another person’s. That’s all Sawa really needs to know to understand that Larry is definitely lying (not that Sawa really thought he was telling the truth to begin with). Atsumi then comes and says that nothing strange was found during the autopsy. No external wounds made before the accident, no drugs, no alcohol. Traffic cams all reports she was completely alone just before the crash. Sawa asks to keep investigating, but Naka points out that Sawa’s men are all busy working on other cases while he pursues the dump case. This makes Nozaki mad. Why pursue a case with no criminal leads when there are so many cases that need investigating? Matsushima then reports that the call records show that Momoka was NOT texting, emailing, or talking to anyone at the time of the accident. Well, there’s proof there is more than what meets the eyes.
While Sawa was learning all of this, Larry learned something from a doctor that dealt with Ataru in America. It looks like due to Ataru’s brain activity, he developed a sleeping disorder. They decided not to tell Larry that information as they foresaw him becoming too emotionally attached to Ataru. Larry is enraged that this was kept from him. He was all upset when it looked lie the SPB was going to get destroyed and all he cared about was Ataru getting results. Now, it seems, Larry wouldn’t have pushed Ataru so hard knowing that Ataru’s overdeveloped brain would cause him trouble.
At the hospital, Sawa and Ebina debrief each other on what they have learned. Larry then shows up with a croquette bag filled with condiments. He then reveals that due to Ataru’s brain, he hasn’t been sleeping. The condiments from America all had soporifics in them to help Chokozai sleep. When Chokoxai ran out of his American condiments and started buying the imported ones without the sleeping meds, that is when he began to have trouble sleeping and he collapsed all of the time. Ebina then gets a call from Kimihara and rushes out of the room.
Larry asks Sawa if he can be left alone with Ataru. Sawa gives a dark smile and then brings out his evidence against Larry. What evidence? Larry’s prints are on the wire tap device, Inukai’s badge, and Ataru’s passport. Larry points out that Sawa can’t touch him due to his position. Sawa just smiles and asks if Larry wishes to test that theory. It will be no skin of Sawa’s nose if he exposes the SPB to the world. Larry’s own smile fades a bit. He then confesses everything he did to Inukai. When Sawa brings up the swimming detective, Larry confesses that the whirlpool in the drama is used to suppress memories as memories can never be truly erased. This ticks Sawa off. He says that Larry is like the apprentice in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. How so? The apprentice used magic which got out of a hand and he couldn’t stop it. Sawa believes that Larry is just like that with what he’s doing with his “harmless” brainwashing.
Kimihara shows Ebina a photograph of a weird (invisible to the naked eye) tire mark. It looks like the tire was punctured, but that obviously wasn’t the case. He did examine the tire particles and they were from Momoka’s car. Her sister Kogure shows up and asks how the investigation is going. Kogure says that Momoka bought the car second hand to pick up her boyfriend from work. Kogure didn’t approve of their relationship, but since Momoka was happy, she didn’t say anything. Sawa seeks out Youichi at his work. Why doesn’t Youichi just have his girlfriend pick him up and drive him home when he works late? Because he’d feel bad if she did that every day. Sawa then breaks out the phone records and asks why Youichi was emailing her post-breakup. Youichi denies ever emailing her. Suspicious.
Back at the hospital, Larry is cutting Chokoxai’s nails. He used to do so twice a month in the States. Sure, Chokozai probably could have cut them himself. Larry smiles and rubs lotion onto Chokozai’s hands after he finishes cutting the nails. It’s so fatherly and innocent. Larry is an interesting character. Yes, it does seem he truly cares fro Chokozai, but at the same time, you know he wishes to exploit Chokozai’s gifts. Will Larry ultimately end up a bad guy, or will he fully reform? Larry then asks after Ebina’s decision about joining the SPB to work with Chokozai. Ebina doesn’t answer right away and hurries out to change the water for Chokozai’s lilies. While she’s gone, Larry looks through the pictures and Ataru wakes up and points out that the suspicious tire mark is a chloroform bomb.
Ebina rushes in when she hears Chokozai speak. Larry shows her the picture and tells her what Chokozai said about the mark having something to do with chloroform. Chokozai points and once again says “chloroform bomb.” He then points at a picture of the burnt car and says that it can’t burn. Ebina tamps down on her usual excitement. They shouldn’t involve Chokozai anymore. Larry replies that it is fine now since Chokozai has his soporific-laced condiments and his nails cut. Riiiight. I don’t think that those two things were necessarily the root of all problems. The hot dog bit was cute. Ebina brought him a hotdog for lunch (his parents had also brought by a fresh batch of onigiri as well), but Ebina wouldn’t let him eat it until she got the okay from the doctor. LOL. Ahh, poor Chokozai. Meanwhile, Sawa is with Inukai who vaguely starts to recall glimpses again of the suppressed memories. He’s frightened of them, but Sawa tells him he needs to stop running from them. Sawa will make sure he undoes the “magic” used against Inukai.
Kimihara confirms that chloroform was put in the tires. This makes the tires breakdown fast. Well, that means its definitely NOT an accident. They then decide to conduct tests on the car to see what Chokozai meant about burning. Each test performed resulted in only the outside of the car being burned. That means it was impossible for Momoka to burn to death. So how did the fire make it INSIDE? Ebina really wishes to know how as well since her mom drove the same car when she died. Kimihara explains that her mom burned because the window was open, thus allowing the gas to leak inside. But there were no open windows in the current case.
Well, long story short, it was Youichi’s new girlfriend. She sent the last email from Youichi’s phone asking Momoka to meet at Youichi’s apartment to get her missing earring back. The girl put chloroform in the tires and then waited for the accident. She then punched the dazed Momoka out and put her back in the car. She then poured gas in the back and set the car on fire. How did she know to do that? 10 years ago an old man in a bar told her that he had done much the same to his wife’s car. Say what? Mrs. Ebina died 10 years ago. So did Mr. Ebina kill his wife?
Ebina asks the Inoguchi’s for two more days with Chokozai before she has to report back to duty (they want Chokozai to live with them once more, but Ebina is reluctant to let Chokozai leave). Mrs. Inoguchi, sensing why Ebina wants to keep Chokozai a little longer readily agrees. Thus Chokozai is back at the Ebina’s. Sawa learns that Mr. Ebina used to work in a Cobalt factory designing cars. Oy. I really hope he didn’t kill the kids’ mother. Meanwhile, Chokozai does his “mission complete,” and at the same time he accepts a new mission. What mission? He’s going to look into Ebina’s mother’s death.
Finally! We will know the truth in the last episode. So sad to think that Ataru has only one episode left.