Episode ten and episode eleven are totally different, but I watched them back-to-back, so I decided I might as well recap them together. It won’t be long before help arrives, but with tensions running higher than ever among the remaining survivors, they might be too late.
The episode opens with Hinata sinking in a pool. “I always have the same dream. I’m sinking. Gradually, deeper, I can’t even struggle against it. Frightened…I’m not myself anymore. Soon, I’ll be engulfed in total darkness. A place that no sunlight can reach like I’m at the bottom of the sea.”
We pick up with Hinata strangling Mizuki and finally Mizuki tries to fight back. She can’t get Hinata off, but she finds Usui’s buzzer just as Kamiya sees them. Kamiya pushes Hinata while Mizuki presses the buzzer, alerting Morishige.
Hinata picks up the buzzer and stomps it into the ground, but Morishige has already arrived. Hinata picks up the sickle, but seeing as how he’s outnumbered, he runs off with the girls chasing after him.
Though the parents sleep in warm sleeping bags inside, Igarashi decides to sleep outside the building on a bench. Dad finds him and he asks why he decided to become a teacher. Igarashi says that it just ended up that way and Dad, who used to be an office worker, can empathize. His dream was to work at a planetarium, but achieving that dream costs him to lose his family. The accident has put a lot of things in perspective, and he says once Mizuki comes back, he’ll start over with his family.
Their conversation is cut short with the announcement that the bus has been found. Their relief is short-lived however as they see it’s completely wrecked and Haruka over hears the reporters saying there’s no way anyone survived.
The girls chase Hinata to a cliff and Mizuki asks again if he killed Usui. Morishige is incredulous that Mizuki’s asking such a question and states the obvious, ” Hello, he just tried to kill you! Of course he killed Usui!”
Hinata admits that he met Usui on that foggy day. Left alone, Usui had started to suspect that Mizuki had abandoned her. She became panicked again and started running around the forest, desperately looking for Mizuki. That was when Hinata had found her, and though he tried to calm her down, Usui was too far gone, only swinging the sickle at him and running away. He had finally managed to grab her and the two had wrestled with the sickle, but Hinata tugged a little too hard and slashed her. She had stumbled backwards in shock and though he tried to save her, they both fell over the cliff.
When Hinata had awoken, Usui was already dead. Horrified and not thinking clearly, he had picked up Usui’s things and the sickle, stuffing them in his bag and running off.
Mizuki asks why he didn’t say anything and Hinata says he was too scared to. Everyone was suspicious of everyone, what if he told them and no one believed his story? Kamiya asks what he did with the sickle. Hinata threw it away after the fire, but he was still scared someone would find it so he buried it. He snuck the buzzer and compress into Haru’s pocket when she was fighting with Morishige. Mizuki blames him for Haru’s death, but Hinata says he had no choice if he didn’t want to be suspected. After talking to Mizuki, he had taken a compress to blame Kamiya, still feeling anxious.
Mizuki can barely believe what she’s hearing. She had felt that she and Haru were finally becoming friends. She tells Hinata to give Haru back. She hits him angrily, crying over and over to give Haru back. Hinata manages to gain control and says that in order to cover one lie, he piled up one over another. A creepy smile comes over his face as he says, “If you had found out, it would have become pitch black.”
He spins Mizuki around, the sickle pinned to her throat. He’s already killed two people; what’s another three? He says he’ll kill everyone and make it home alone.
The bus has been found, but because of the heavy fog, the police can’t send in a rescue team to the crash site. This only distresses the parents more and Igarashi goes outside to get away. He’s confronted by the reporters, who show him a video of his class playing basketball. They ask him to identify the students and when Igarashi asks what it’s for, they say it’s so they don’t mess up the list of the deceased. It pushes Igarashi over the edge and he tells them to not decide that the students died without any evidence before going back inside, telling himself that everyone’s still alive.
Hinata says that he’ll say everyone died in the accident and that he’s the only survivor. Uh, have you not heard of CSI? Someone will find out they didn’t die in the accident. Kamiya tries to talk him out of it with the above argument, but Hinata says he’ll take their bodies back to the bus and set it on fire with Kamiya’s lighter. He’ll live as the pitiful high school student that survived the accident.
Kamiya decides she’ll stop Hinata, but when Hinata levels the sickle at her, Mizuki tries to stop him. He pushes her out of the way and Kamiya uses the chance to try to get the sickle. He shakes her off as Mizuki charges him, but he easily throws her off. He’s about to cut Mizuki but Kamiya jumps in the way. She falls, her stomach cut. Despite all his talk, Hinata’s shaken by what he’s done and throws the sickle on the ground.
Everyone looks at the sickle before they all move for it.
And flashforward. The search went on for five days and now the rescue mission is over. The press is surrounding the only survivor of the crash who has just arrived at the hospital. It’s a girl, judging by the uniform, but we don’t see her face. The credits roll and first Kamiya’s, then Mizuki’s, and finally Hinata’s desk disappear, leaving only Morishige’s desk.
Morishige walks through the crowd of reporters to the hospital. “God only gives us challenges so we can overcome them. I wonder if those words I heard somewhere are really true. Crime. Regret. Despair. The crosses I had to bear in this forest, will I really be able to overcome them?”
Mizuki grabs the sickle first and chucks it into the forest. Now that he can’t attack, Hinata wonders bitterly why it had to come to this. If they hadn’t met him, none of this would have happened. He meant it when he said they could all go home together. “I was happy when I met all of you. I was happy when you smiled at me. At least those feelings weren’t lies.” He steps back slowly, getting closer to the edge. He asks that Mizuki forgive him before turning around and jumping off.
Mizuki grabs him before he falls and though he tells her to let go, she keeps trying to pull him up. But she can’t pull him up alone and right before he slips, Morishige grabs on and pulls Hinata to safety.
Hinata asks why she saved him, but Mizuki says this doesn’t mean that she forgives him. She just didn’t want him to die; it wouldn’t bring Haru or Usui back. She reminds him of what he said when she was going to quit the swimming team. She can’t let him run away, he has to save Kamiya. “Don’t run away…live and atone for what you’ve done.” She won’t let anyone else die.
They head back to the camp with Hinata carrying Kamiya and Mizuki thanks Morishige for her help, but she ignores her. They see helicopters and think that if they climb over the mountain, there will be a town so they follow them.
Since they can’t land directly at the site, a rescue team will be sent through the mountains to find any survivors and make their way to the crash site. Waiting another day is killing the parents and Igarashi begs to join the search, since he knows the faces of the students. The reporters try to catch the moment on film, but Haruka stops them. She tears up as she tells them that this story isn’t for their amusement or to invoke tears. The reporters back off and Haruka sees that Mom has witnessed the whole thing. She declares she’s Mizuki’s sister, leaving the media side to join the parents. She begs earnestly for the rescue team to find her sister.
The four make camp at night and Mizuki and Kamiya look up at the stars. Kamiya’s surprised that Mizuki is familiar with the constellations and she shares it’s her dad’s hobby. She’s still bitter about the fact her father left his job to pursue his dream, but Kamiya doesn’t think that way. Her grandfather quit his job at a large hospital in order to volunteer overseas. Now that she’s in this situation, she admires the way he lived. She tells Mizuki that you only have one life to live, so you should live it to the fullest.
Morishige, who had been listening to Kamiya and Mizuki’s conversation, leaves before everyone else the next morning. Mizuki manages to find her before she’s gone too far and asks why she left. Morishige was thinking about her home life and tells Mizuki she’s not going with them.
Morishige begins to walk off, but Mizuki demands an explanation. Morishige tells her that she has no place to go home to. “I’ve been calling you all slaves, yet, the real slave is me. A punching bag just for stress relief. Nothing will change even if I’m gone.” She tells her about how her dad doesn’t even feel guilty about beating her and how her mother regrets having her. “What do I live for?” she asks, falling to her knees.
She covers her ears every day, not needed by anyone. She always wanted a place where she belonged, but there isn’t one. She refuses to go home and asks Mizuki to leave. Mizuki has been quietly listening and tells Morishige she should go home and tell her parents how she feels. She may feel that she has nothing at home, but what does she have here? Staying here won’t change anything.
Morishige gets mad and asks what Mizuki knows. She’s never been beaten and she’s loved by her family, so she can’t understand. Mizuki admits she doesn’t know, but Morishige told her how she felt. If she at least tries to reach out to someone, then they’ll definitely notice her. Morishige grumbles that Mizuki’s just using self-important words and that she’s not like her, but her words have obviously touched her. Mizuki extends her hand, saying that once they return home, she’ll support her. Barely holding back tears, Morishige accepts her hand.
The rescue team, including Igarashi, sets out that morning just as the four students reach a bridge. An old, rickety, bridge that has a steep drop if you miss a step. It’s the last obstacle to reaching the mountain. Morishige says what everyone’s thinking. “Can we really cross that?”
We flashforward again to Morishige who’s being hassled by reporters as she makes her way towards the hospital. A single tear falls down her face.
The credits roll and the desks of Mizuki, Kamiya, and Hinata fall.
Thoughts: I don’t have that many complaints about what happened with Hinata. He’s always been more a minor character since he didn’t even get a backstory like the other girls, so his actions were more plot-driven than character-driven. His story got shoved to the side because whether he’s redeemed or damned wouldn’t have affected the story that much, at least not this late in the game. It was predictable that he would snap, but it was still the most exciting thing that’s happened for the last ten episodes.
With only one episode left, I’m really curious how this will wrap up. I was surprised to see that only one person made it back and even more surprised to see that it was Morishige. Though she has the most stereotypical story, Morishige is still one of the better written characters and I’ve been the most invested in her journey. Morishige definitely has a cynical view on the world and I half-expected her to go down fighting the others because she’s so against returning home (and for good reason). Episodes nine and eleven have shown though that she’s not as hardened as she appears to be and I really think she needed someone to reach out to and understand her because she’s never had anyone like that, so I’m glad that she’s been able to open up to Mizuki.
I wish that we hadn’t spent so much time on the murder mystery because I don’t see any plausible way or satisfactory way to end Morishige’s story with only twenty-five minutes when we still have to find out how everyone else died, what happens to Mizuki’s family, what happens to Kamiya’s siblings, what happens to Igarashi, etc. While I could honestly care less about some of the plot points, I’m sure the show will try to address each one which is just not a good thing to do in your finale.
I’m not going to get my hopes up, but I’ll be crossing my fingers for an ending I can live with.