Kurokouchi: Episode 3

This episode is Kurokouchi-approved
                                This episode is Kurokouchi-approved

Kurokouchi’s really backed into a corner today, and while watching him scramble for options provides some good chuckles, this wouldn’t be his show if he didn’t have a plan.

On the day of the robbery, the man with the black umbrella drove to the field where the robber was transferring the cases to another car. He stopped when the officer got out and though we don’t see what happens between them, the police officer had driven away, leaving the culprit in the field.

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November 6, 2013

Police officers surround a large house as it’s pouring rain outside. The suspect peeks outside and of course, it’s Kurokouchi. He’s locked himself in Sawatari’s vacation home, though we don’t know why.

It doesn’t look like he’s coming out any time soon, so they plan to raid the house, but Seike stops them. She volunteers to go inside and persuade Kurokouchi to give up. Chief Ushii says it’s too dangerous and we learn that the police found Goto and Shima’s bodies and Kurokouchi is the main suspect. Seike feels partly responsible, but not enough to confess that she was party to the crime.

Kakizaki gives Seike the ok to go in because….I honestly can’t think of any logical reason to send someone a hostage. They check to make sure she has her gun, but she takes it out and lays it on the ground before going inside. How did Seike become a police officer again?

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Kurokouchi lets her in and she sees that he’s carrying the same gun he used to kill Goto and Shima. When Seike asks how things ended up this way, he points the gun at her, saying rain wasn’t in the plan.

Seike manages to stay calm and asks why he’s doing this. Perhaps he wanted to hide the gun in Sawatari’s vacation home? Sawatari must have known ahead of time though, since he’s the one who told the police where he was. Kurokouchi’s plan isn’t that simple; he says he’s aiming for a come-from-behind upset.

When Seike asks for him to elaborate, he merely handcuffs her to a couch, but he does tell her what happened after Sawatari was released. He had panicked, certain that Sawatari was coming after him next. Even when Seike tried to assure him that Sawatari wouldn’t go that far, he reminded her of all the people Sawatari had eliminated because they knew too much. She names all of the victims and he adds that her father is also on that list.

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That’s news to Seike, who believed her father died while pursuing a suspect. Kurokouchi says that Sawatari and her dad knew each other because of the 300 million yen robbery, but as usual, when Seike tries to get details, he evades the question. The point is, he doesn’t want to go the same way as her dad.

He paces, trying to think of a way to avoid Sawatari. Seike gets a call, saying that a search will be conducted at Goto and Shima’s houses. This puts Kurokouchi more on edge and he decides he has no choice but to go see Sawatari and apologize. Hell bent on revenge Kurokouchi is just going to apologize to Sawatari and hope he spares his life? Uh, I hope that’s not your only plan.

Seike’s as incredulous as I am, knowing that he must have been up to something else, but two days earlier, Kurokouchi was in Sawatari’s house, earnestly begging for his life on his knees.

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vlcsnap-2013-12-06-10h47m54s255Sawatari said that he had a lot of time to read in jail and pulls out a book on brutal Chinese tortures. It’s weird how funny this scene is even though we know Sawatari really is thinking about killing Kurokouchi. He says pleasantly that the Chinese studied the best way to prolong their victims’ agony before letting them die while Kurokouchi gapes in fear.

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vlcsnap-2013-12-06-10h48m33s134Kurokouchi realizes begging isn’t going to work so he proposes an idea. He’ll frame Goto and Shima for the crimes Sawatari committed. He’ll break into their houses and hide the same type of uniform Kanemoto wore in one and hide a picture of Toyama Soji in the other. The police will find it when they conduct the house search and Sawatari will no longer be under suspicion. The best part about Kurokouchi’s harebrained scheme, besides the apathetic look on Sawatari’s face, are the drawings.

Sawatari asks about fingerprints and DNA, but Kurokouchi is sure that he can convince Sawa to take care of it. Sawatari doesn’t seem very impressed with Kurokouchi’s plan, but Kurokouchi guarantees that after this he’ll never dig into the 300-million-yen robbery again.

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vlcsnap-2013-12-06-10h50m07s47Kurokouchi is completely serious but Sawatari doesn’t trust him. For insurance, Sawatari wants to know where Goto and Shima are buried. Kurokouchi doesn’t want to incriminate himself, but Sawatari’s face completely changes, his teasing over and he repeats the question.

Well you shot yourself in the foot on that one since you told Sawatari everything. Kurokouchi is regretting it too, not only confessing to Sawatari but not getting rid of everyone that knew he killed Goto and Shima. He levels the gun at Seike, coming closer and for once she’s scared.

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 Kurokouchi calls the police, who are about to raid, and tells them to stay out. Two shots are heard, but they were only warning shots. He says next time he’ll aim before hanging up. Seike’s startled, realizing that Kurokouchi isn’t playing around like usual. He lightens the mood though when he asks if she wet herself again, but she had more control this time.

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Kurokouchi continues his story, picking up at Chief Dojima’s wake. He ran into Yakushiji, the superintendent inspector who doesn’t approve of how Kurokouchi handles cases, and Takahashi Hideo from the Public Security Office. Takahashi was trying to convince Yakushiji to move over to Public Security but Kurokouchi shot down that idea since Sawatari was also involved with Public Security. Takahashi doesn’t oppose Kurokouchi’s words, but they definitely strike a nerve with him and he leaves.

 Yakushiji wants to know why Kurokouchi is digging around Sawatari again, but they’re interrupted by a call from the man himself. As Kurokouchi assures him that he’s planted the evidence, Yakushiji informs him that Sawatari told the police where Kurokouchi buried Goto and Shima. Yakushiji demanded to know how Kurokouchi knew where the officers were buried, but Kurokouchi avoided the question and ran off.

So Sawatari turned on him, as expected, and now he’s where he is now. Seike thinks the best thing to do is turn himself in; Kurokouchi was defending himself so they won’t hold it against him. Besides that, she’s also at fault for not reporting the incident so she’ll go to jail as well. Being jailmates with Seike doesn’t sound appealing and he asks her to figure a way out of this with her smart head, but she says that he lost a way out as soon as Shima and Goto’s bodies were discovered.

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Seike still thinks he was planning to hide the gun here, so she reveals why that won’t work. All the evidence Kurokouchi had planted turned up as expected, but since Kurokouchi used the same gun from eight years ago to kill Goto and Shima, and that gun is still missing, the police suspect Kurokouchi was the killer back then as well. Kurokouchi isn’t disturbed by this news though; he’s still worried about the rain.

Yakushiji calls the investigation department who’s still digging around for evidence, but the rain is making it difficult. It’s unclear what they’re looking for, but Yakushiji knows it’s there and tells them to keep looking.

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Kurokouchi’s thoughts turn to the 300-million-yen robbery. He wonders if the culprit was able to get away with the crime because the rain delayed the discovery of evidence. Going back to that day, the officer with the umbrella went to headquarters and met several others, telling them it had stopped raining. Sawatari looks outside and sees that the sun is shining.

Kurokouchi smiles when he sees the sun’s out and he uncuffs Seike. She realizes that he didn’t come here to hide the gun, but she still doesn’t know what his big plan is. He presses the gun into her back and says he’ll tell her when they get out.

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The police are preparing to raid the house when Kurokouchi comes out with Seike at gunpoint. Kurokouchi demands a car, but Yakushiji isn’t playing games. He dares him to shoot and informs him another piece of evidence has been found. The two have a stare-off before Kurokouchi pushes Seike down and…throws his hands up, no gun in sight.

Yakushiji isn’t surprised, though the same can’t be said for Seike who’s been scared shitless the entire time. The police grab Kurokouchi and search for his weapon. They find the gun in his pocket, but it’s only a toy. Yakushiji reveals the real gun was found at the burial site and Kurokouchi cryptically says that it must have been easier to find after the rain let up.

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Kurokouchi and Yakushiji idly talk about how the rain on the day of the 300-million-yen robbery delayed the discovery of evidence, making me think something’s going on between them. Kurokouchi is remarkably calm about being arrested and before he’s taken away, he asks Seike if it would be amazing if he pulled an upset right now. With a grin like that, you know he’s up to something.

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The fingerprint analysis on the gun comes in and they belong, not to Kurokouchi, but Sawatari. No one’s more surprised than Seike and she goes to forensics to find out what happened. She suspects Sawa of changing the results, but Sawa tells her that the fingerprints on the gun were Kurokouchi’s until she handed it over to the top.

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Kurokouchi’s savior goes to release him from prison and it is none other than Yakushiji. Yakushiji, who had it in for Kurokouchi, is helping him catch Sawatari. Aww yeah. Why isn’t this the main pairing? I could get behind watching these two together. Kurokouchi thanks him for his help and he informs him that arrest warrants have been sent out for Sawatari.

Kurokouchi goes to see Sawatari as he’s taken back to jail, freely mocking him since he’s no longer in danger. Sawatari is aware that Yakushiji is behind the changed evidence, but he isn’t angry at all. As usual, he’s smiling, but there’s an edge to his voice as he warns Kurokouchi to be careful from now on.

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Seike’s angry when she goes to see Kurokouchi. She knows Yakushiji tampered with the evidence and asks how the two are connected. Back when Yakushiji was the head of the investigation unit, he was aware that Kurokouchi was messing with evidence. He didn’t approve and shouted about not tolerating evil people, etc. However, if Kurokouchi was committing crimes to take down those worse than him, then he would turn a blind eye. Kurokouchi admits Yakushiji helped, but not until after Sawatari betrayed him.

Seike puts all the pieces together; Kurokouchi hid the gun at the burial site so Yakushiji would find it. Yakushiji would manipulate the evidence so Sawatari’s fingerprints were found and since the gun was found at the burial site, the fact that Sawatari said Kurokouchi had confessed to where Goto and Shima were buried could be seen as a lie. However, the plan was ruined when it rained. Yakushiji couldn’t find the marker Kurokouchi had left for the gun, so he was forced to buy time by locking himself in Sawatari’s vacation home.

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The only thing bothering Seike is why he kept threatening her, especially considering that he only had a toy gun. Kurokouchi, being the asshole he is, says the atmosphere called for it. I’m sure that Seike’s supposed to be upset or distraught or angry, but Gouriki just looks constipated as she angrily shoves Kurokouchi for deceiving her. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

She lets him go when Yakushiji joins them and he apologizes for not telling her beforehand. Seike’s still angry so Kurokouchi finally gives her information about her father. Seike’s dad was looking into the 300-million-yen robbery before he died. When Kurokouchi looked into it, her father wasn’t involved in a stabbing incident with a burglar like she believed. More than likely, her dad was murdered by Sawatari’s organization.

A shadow organization? Why am I not surprised? They’re called the Sakura Fubuki Association and Yakushiji has info on them and their connection to the 300-million-yen robbery. Kurokouchi is surprised to find out Yakushiji has been investigating the case and he says he’s the same as “her.” Kurokouchi has a pained look on his face as he remembers the woman struggling in the fire again, this time with a black suited man looming over her.

Yakushiji feels that his time is running out, so he offers to hand over info on the Sakura Fubuki Association to Kurokouchi.  Kurokouchi meets Yakushiji at a deserted pier to obtain the information. Except it’s not Kurokouchi. The lookalike stuns Yakushiji, taking the envelope and running off.

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When Kurokouchi and Seike arrive, they don’t see Yakushiji anywhere until they look in the water where his body is floating. Oh no, not Yakushiji, I wanted to see more of him. Kurokouchi: “I knew it…Everyone ends up dead when they find out too much.”

Back in 1968, we finally see the robber’s face as he drives away.

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Thought: That’s definitely not the guy in the newspaper clipping. I’m glad we’re finally digging into the robbery a bit more while still managing to keep the present-day stuff moving. The show has been hinting that Sawatari somehow managed to pull off this crime alone, always comparing the robber’s smile with Sawatari’s. Now that the Sakura Fubuki Association has been revealed, that’s obviously not the case and and if the run-in with the police officer was any indication, it would seem that Sawatari was being used by them, though he’s in a position of power now.

It was interesting that for most of the episode, Kurokouchi didn’t have everything under control like he usually does. You know he’s going to come out on top somehow, but this is the first time that we see him visibly panicked and just making up stuff as he goes along, hoping that something works out. Kurokouchi’s smart, but he’s way too cocky and this situation, along with Yakushiji’s murder, is probably the wake-up call he needed to realize that going up against Sawatari is going to take a lot more than clever manipulation. Yakushiji’s decision to help him out was merely luck and he’ll need a lot more of that if he wants to come out alive.

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