ST Episode 4 Recap
This episode’s focus was on our scientist cum priest Yamabuki. We aren’t really delving into the history of our team per se, but rather their present. Sure, we get some information about Yamabuki’s past, but not a whole lot. Really the focus is on the here and now and people who are currently in their lives. Still…I wonder if we’ll ever discover why Yamabuki fears dying in his sleep so much because it really doesn’t seem to go with his story that we learn.
Like the previous episodes, the focus is mostly on our team member and Yurine and Akagi. The rest of the team fades into the backroom and can barely be seen at all. That is slightly disappointing. It would be nice if there was more of a strong focus of them as a team rather as individuals, but I’m sure we’ll get to more team dynamics as we approach the end of the drama.
So this drama opens with the investigation of what appears to be a group suicide with two men and two women in a room with the windows sealed and a charcoal burner. Akagi, of course, insults Kikukawa and team for giving their apparent suicide report when once glance lets you know that is the obvious conclusion. Akagi examines the bodies and the room. It does seem like suicide, but some things don’t add up. For example, this was obviously planned, so why the sloppy job of sealing the windows? Plus, there is a mysterious odor. Akagi has Yurine call in Kurosaki to utilize the young man’s incredible sense of smell.
Kurosaki and Yamabuki arrive at the ST office with the determination that the strange smell was incense. This makes Akagi even more suspicious. Incense? That is used to calm a person and can possibly create a placebo effect of sleeping pills if people believe that it will help them sleep. Add to the fact there is no suicide note found and that the incense and duct tape are no where in sight, and things look very suspicious. Of course, Matsuda doesn’t like this and wants more solid proof. The police wish to go with group suicide and not murder. This puts lots of pressure on Yurine and Takanashi.
It turns out that all four deceased were part of a religious organization. Yamabuki, being a priest, is familiar with the organization. The team goes to the HQ and learn from the head and his assistant that the apartment was to be an outreach branch that the assistant was to be in charge of. Only the assistant and the head’s master disciple had keys. Of course the disciple defected and was trying to start his own branch. The head and his assistant both assert they have no idea how to contact the other person.
The investigation leads them to a woman who was part of the group. Why wasn’t she there? She declared that even though they were her cohorts and signed up at the same time as herself, they were not close whatsoever. She then takes a keen interest to Yamabuki who is wearing his usual priest clothing. She talks of things that the disciple said and questions Yamabuki about the meanings of Buddhist beliefs. It also appears that Yamabuki has some interest in this woman as well. Tsutsui and Yurine even see Yamabuki and the woman taking in a café later so that Yurine goes to Kurosaki to tell him the secret that Yamabuki is dating, but Yuki overhears him with her superior hearing and she tells Aoyama and it turns out Yamabuki was in the room the entire time, lol.
Of course the more our team investigates, the more suspicious things seem, but at the same time there is no definitive evidence or proof. This doesn’t make Matsuda happy. Yurine does his best to defend his team and their skills and even channels Akagi and yells at Matsuda to tilt her head back and wait. What a way to endear her to the ST team. Takanashi also broaches the subject of Yuki’s relationship with Matsuda and wondering if it has anything to do with why the older woman is so gun ho to get ST dissolved. Of course, we don’t get an answer to that question. Somehow, I don’t think it has to do with Yuki since Matsuda is urging Yuki to back out of the team now and save herself.
During the investigation, it’s discovered that the deceased are couples. This has the team investigating the love lives of the religious group’s heads to see if there is any correlation. It is learned that there could be a love triangle at the top. It doesn’t help that none of those people seem to actually fit the profile set by the scene. The leader is too in control of his emotions and fastidious to make any mistakes. Likewise his disciple couldn’t have been that neat. It’s hard to tell if the assistant could have done it or not. So just what is what?
Yurine confesses at Saegusa’s bar that he trusts and relies on the always calm Yamabuki. Akagi and Saegusa both stress that Yamabuki may outwardly appear calm at all times, but that isn’t the case. Like how a spinning top appears to be standing still, but is moving furiously and like how ducks seem to calmly float on water, but their legs are really furiously moving underneath the water. Yurine, Yurine. He seems things about his team that no one else does and even understands them to an extent better than others, but at the same time after two years he’s still clueless about who they really are.
With all the stress of giving Matsuda solid proof, Yurine is getting more confused than ever. Yamabuki invites the younger man to his temple to try to calm down and gather his thoughts. Akagi tags along and sees something interesting. While his Cap is trying to meditate, Yamabuki is meeting the woman once more. Akagi says that while Cap is doing what he is doing, he’s missing the answers right under his nose. Takanashi is livid to find Yurine at a temple instead of solving the case. Yamabuki storms in and tells them to call the assistant, head, and disciple.
Yamabuki then has a session with the woman while the religious leaders watch on and what they see startles them. Turns out the woman has a dark past and a history of feeling alone and like an obstacle. She was not thought highly of in her study group and then the other four coupled up. Add on to that parent issues and younger sister issues, and she was pretty messed up. She does eventually confess to killing the other four and then tries to kill Yamabuki, but she does stop herself. Akagi then turns to the religious leaders and blames them. Since the assistant couldn’t choose between the leader and the disciple, she encouraged the split and even told the woman she could never return after leaving to follow the disciple. Thus…when you add everything up, what happened between the leaders subsequently made her lose control and commit murder. Definitely a moral lesson that can be applied to not only religious leaders, but leaders in general. Kind of nice how they don’t get too preachy even when exploring these more sensitive topics.
Yamabuki shows up the next day in a suit. He then goes to talk to the woman who is now in jail. Saegusa then tells Akagi and Yurine that Yamabuki confessed the woman reminded him a lot of a woman he was close with in his past. He had wanted to desperately save that woman, but couldn’t. I think he says she died in a motorcycle accident and Yamabuki blames himself for not being able to save her. Thus why he was working so hard on trying to save that woman.