I'm lazy… and busy:P and so we shall start with a recap from Episode 2, shall we?
A man chokes and dies in his study.
Reiko wakes up and looks at the clock in a happy relaxed manner. While having breakfast, Reiko tells Kageyama that there's nothing better than waking up earlier than your alarm clock so that you have a relaxed morning. Kageyma informs his lady that there was a power outage for precisely one hour and 42 minutes the night before. He knows this because he has a plugged in clock that stopped for one hour and forty two minutes. Reiko smiles and continues to have her breakfast, before it hits her a few seconds later. It isn't six thirty as she thought, but rather eight fifteen already.
She rushes to work and ties up her hair in the car. Put on the specs and her transformation from heiress to detective is complete. She receives a call from her boss, Kazamatsuri ( at this point I throw my hands up in mock exasperation. All those long complicated Japanese names are making it hard to recap!:P) who informs her that there has been a crime and she needs to arrive at the scene asap.
Reiko gives an overview of who her boss is — basically a simpleton "who thinks that women are like cars. If you don't take them out for a spin, you will never know their true potential." He's the heir to a major auto mobile company, but Reiko is nonchalant about it. After all, "The company's net worth is just 0.1% of Hosho's company."
LOL at the animation, I can't believe Kitagawa Keiko did that!:P
Reiko arrives at the scene, asking Kageyama to stop a few yards away so that the others will not realise that she's an heiress. This logic fails me a little, because uhm a limousine is really, really obvious lol. Kageyama serves her pancake after she waits for him to open her door, but she doesn't eat it since she's supposed to head for work. A little while later, the boss arrives in his quaint white car, and two pretty policewomen serve him coffee and milk respectively. He decides to choose neither, and instead pour the milk into the coffee.
Later, he wants to tell Reiko the interesting story that he had last night, and he started off with the power outage. Reiko shrugged off his story with a "Oh I know that, thank you it's okay."
They check out the scene and are informed of the findings. The victim was estimated to have died at about one in the morning. There was no poison found in the wine bottle, but there was traces of potassium cyanide both in the spill on the carpet and of course, a vial of potassium cyanide placed on the desk. Kazamatsuri insists that it's a suicide but allows the "lady" to carry out the investigation anyway.
At night, while Kageyama is pouring wine for his lady, he requests for Reiko to recount the testimonies that she has gathered. Even though Reiko is reluctant at first, because she was called daft the first time she did that, she yields to his request when he says that she might be able to get inspiration after telling him. She tells him that this shouldn't be a normal thing after learning that once again, Kageyama had been tailing her the whole day.
The four children of the victim sat in the living room. Kazamatsuri suddenly proclaimed that he could narrow down the suspects since the murderer was able to obtain potassium cyanide, this means that the person is in the medical field. He triumphantly asked for their jobs. Teruo-san is a vet, Keiichi-san is a physician, Harue is a nurse and Shuji-san is still in medical school.
HAHA. So basically, everyone of them is in the medical field. Teruo-san told that their father had the intention of marrying their housekeeper who is thirty years younger than him. They felt that she's just out for his money and told their father so during their family meeting. Teruo-san started smoking on his pipe and so did Keiichi, who failed to light up his cigarette. Shuji lent him his Zippo, and Reiko was stunned to see Kazamatsuri along with them. She opened the window to breathe.
At this point of the story, Reiko asks where Kageyama was. "I was in the garden, my lady." LOL he was in the garden, trimming trees so that they looked like this:
Anyway, on with the story.
The children told them that their father had shuffled out of the room in despair after hearing that the housekeeper was only out for his money. Kageyama was at this point in the study, and back in present, Reiko realises that he has snucked a book out of the library of the victim.
Reiko and Kazamatsuri felt that there was enough motive for a suicide, but they headed on to the bar that he had gone to anywhere. There, they learnt from the bar owner that the victim had not gone there for close to month. He was quite happy and ate his favourite dish but when he sang a song, he started tearing up and crying. Kazamatsuri felt that it was imperative of him to sing the same song too, "to investigate" and Reiko got roped into doing the chores for the owner. She asked the owner why they had to boil the towels and the owner replied that they had to reuse hot towels since they were cutting costs. "Store-bought mustard is so expensive, so I have resort to making my own mustard."
They gathered a testimony from a little boy who lived opposite the victim who told them that he woke up because of the storm and he saw the light went out in the victim's study. Soon there was a fireball which disappeared and appeared. Both doubted the credibility of the testimony and went back and talked to the housekeeper, who told them that she had no intentions of going after the money. Reiko asked if it was possible for every glass in the cupboard to be tainted with poison such that no matter which one the victim drank out of that night, he would get poisoned, but the housekeeper told her that the glasses and wine bottles were locked and only the victim knew the code.
So it seems like it's a suicide! But after she finishes her story, Kageyama looks at her and says, "My lady, this is a murder." He thinks the truth is the murderer placed a bottle of poisoned wine on the table, with a message card, and after the victim drank the wine, he removed the message card and replaced the poisoned wine with a bottle of normal wine. Reiko asks how they could get the poison into a sealed bottle and Kageyama shows her a bottle of wine, telling her that they can insert a needle into the cap.
Reiko triumphantly 'proves' Kageyama wrong by telling him that the wine bottles no longer use a cork, but a metal cap. Kageyama looks down at her and says, "My lady, are you blind?" HAHA. As usual, Reiko fires him but stops him from leaving with a dejected, "Please explain things in a way that even I can understand." This has a response of, "There's still the main course. We will solve the mystery after dinner."
He tells Reiko to look at the cap more closely and Reiko realises that there are two holes at the top. The murderer inserted poison using a needle. Kageyama continues explaining the reason for the victim's tears in the bar — Remember that the owner had changed to homemade mustard? He asks Reiko to try a sample of both home-made mustard and store-bought mustard and Reiko realises that the home-made mustard is way, way spicier. Since the victim had not been to the bar for a month, he didn't know that the mustard had changed and had piled generous amounts of mustard, which caused him to tear…not because of sadness, but merely from how spicy it was.
The fireball was merely the source of light for the criminal when the power outage happened. The fact that the fireball disappeared and appeared proved that the culprit was moving around. Kageyama deduced that the culprit kept the book that the victim was reading, because if the book was still lying around, it would no longer seem like it's a suicide. Kageyama noticed earlier on that one book was placed upside down in the bookshelf. He now realised that it's because the murderer could hardly see in the darkness. This could narrow down the suspects and Reiko realises that it is anyone of the three men who smoke. Kageyama shows her a clip from the matchstick girl, and it is revealed that a matchstick will not last long at all. However, if one uses a Zippo, there will be a constant supply of light!
This means that the murderer is Shuji! But Kageyama says that's only half right. He tells Reiko that there's three things the culprit wants to keep hidden, "The poisoned wine, the book and the message card." He's sure that there's a message card because the culprit would want to make sure that the victim drank the wine. He hypothesizes the situation for Reiko, "If you are reading a book, and you want to close the window because of the stormy weather, but you find out that you do not have a bookmark, what will you do?"
He is stunned when Reiko happily replies, "Kageyama, bring me a bookmark!"
OMG LOL. This is bimbotic at its max.
He continues smoothly, "True that is what my lady will do, but most people will take the nearest piece of paper they can find, and in this case…" They 'watch' as the victim slid the message card into the book and closed the window. He then proceeded to drink the wine.
The two of them head on to the house where they walk into the victim's study while the housekeeper let them in without knowing what's happening. The four children rush into the study and want to chase them out, but Reiko tells that she will be announcing who's the culprit. Kageyama takes down the book which is upside down and true enough, the message card is inside. He reads the card and murmurs, "Just as I expected." Reiko does not understand when she sees the card filled with the well-wishes from the four children. Kageyama enlightens her, "All of the children are in it." That night when he announced about his wish to marry the housekeeper, the children hadn't disapproved. In fact, they all acted as if they were in agreement. This was why the victim went to the bar to celebrate.
The housekeeper breaks down and says that she never wanted the money but they say that she's lying. Kageyama guesses the code on the lock correctly — the victim's late wife's birthday. "Even though he wanted to remarry, he never forgot his feelings for her." He then shows the children that the victim had collected wine bottles from the year that each of them was born in. "They say that the wine one collects reflects the person's personality. He is nothing but a gentle and caring man. He merely wants to bring her (the housekeeper)into the family."
Kazamatsuri arrives a tad too late, acting as if he had things in his control all along, "Yes yes yes yes yes I also know that it is a murder, Hosho." Reiko walks out of the house a few seconds later, but because she's dressed differently, he doesn't recognise her. Reiko is a little sad in the car because she can't imagine how betrayed the victim must have felt… "to be poisoned, after receiving congratulations from the people you love." Kageyama passes her a postcard from her parents who are on their honeymoon and Reiko tears a little, before telling Kageyama, "Tell them not to return ever again!"
Kageyama brings out a pipe to smoke and Reiko takes it away, "No smoking in here!" They smile at each other.
This jdrama has been quite highly anticipated by most, and if I'm not wrong, a japanese community that I've been following on my friends' list put a list of episode ratings and the first episode came up to a whooping 18+ ratings.
Mystery and solving crimes have always been my kind of a thing, (I strongly recommend Kindaichi!) so I should say that I have a fair share of watching dramas like this. Acting-wise, I was expecting more from Kitagawa Keiko since she did an amazing job in Buzzer Beat, but with only two episodes into the plot, there was hardly any space for her to exercise her acting skills except for a really ten-seconds tears-welling-up-in-the-eyes scene at the end.
In terms of its plot, I would say that the first episode was quite good — all the clues given were logical in building up to the very last conclusion as to who the murderer was, but the second episode was just like the butler's words, "Quite easy and not difficult at all." Indeed, even I guessed the exact method of killing and even who the murderer was. Felt immensely gratifying I should say(:
Hehe, and lastly, please allow me an illogical moment of whining — GAH I WISH SHE WAS ACTING WITH YAMAPI INSTEAD. YAMAPI WILL MAKE A COOL BUTLER(:
Done. Oh right, and I sincerely hope that they aren't going to do the "There's still the main course. Let's solve this after Dinner." for the next 9 episodes or so!! I'm not someone who likes repetition because it becomes so cliche after a while. But I guess I will have to take it in stride then:/ since the title is exactly that — Mystery solved after Dinner.