Sorry for the late recap!
Reiko left the prison after the warden told her that the person she wanted to see didn't want to see her. An old lady drove by in a truck and they greeted each other. Kikuta called Reiko and asked her where she was because Imaizume was looking for her. She spotted a guy walking down the path towards her and hung up on Kikuta.
The guy walked past her, and looked at the tall walls of the prison, before turning around. Reiko stopped him and asked him for his view of the three men who had died one after another.
They looked at each other, as if having a silent spar.
Confused? Well you should be, because this is what happens now, and we run three months back in time to understand.
That was the time when Noriyuki first joined the team. As he unpacked his things, Reiko received a letter from the doctor who told her that he suspected that the two men who recently died had suffered from retribution. The team skimmed the info that the doctor had attached to the letter, and gathered that both victims were men who had done really bad stuff in the past (like killing school girls, sexual harassment etc) but one was declared non guilty because he was found to be mentally unstable, and the other was protected the law for minors.
Reiko was called to the scene of another crime case where a man was stabbed to death. It seemed to be a burglary done by non-professionals and the team split up to investigate more. Reiko managed to get a lead from the supermarket's camera, and they caught the culprits at the end of the day. One of the guys strangled Reiko in anger, and Reiko had flashbacks of her own harassment. When Kikuta freed her from the guy's grasp, she banged his and another guy's head together in her own anger.
The team decided to investigate more about the two men's deaths, but Noriyuki opted out. Reiko and Yuda went to the elementary school to find out, and Reiko saw how a girl stared at the photo in horror.
While having dinner, Reiko thought hard about the case and told Kikuta to come up with a list of people who had committed great crimes but had been pardoned by the law.
After they sent Reiko home, Kikuta brought Noriyuki out for another round of drinks, and asked why Noriyuki would want to work in the police force immediately after high school, since university would be good for him. We see Noriyuki having a flashback of watching the girl get knifed and he didn't reply. Noriyuki confessed that he felt that it's just wrong for a woman to take charge.
Kikuta told him to give Reiko a chance, and to see her at work without thinking of her as a woman.
Kikuta managed to narrow a list of possible victims down to three people, and the team members went to find out more about them. One had turned over a new leaf, another was working for the Mafia. Reiko and Kikuta went for the third guy who seemed to be just as incorrigible as before. Reiko was not fazed, and managed to 'threaten' him into talking to them.
However, the guy was very flippant about it and even wanted to touch Reiko's chest, but Kikuta swiped his hand away. Whoo go Kikuta!
That night, the guy was pushed off a building. The next morning, Reiko was told of the news that the guy had committed suicide but she knew that he would never do so. They started putting together the information of the three victims and tried to find the similarity between all three. Reiko finally had a hit of 'inspiration' and realised that the three cases were all taken charge by the same investigator. They tried to search his name on the database but nothing came up. Norikyuki offered to help and they found out that his information was locked.
Imaizume came by to tell Reiko that she should report to the higher ups that she was investigating this case. Reiko knew that the higher ups were upset but didn't want to stop. She asked about the policeman, Shuji, and why his information was locked, but Imaizume just told her to stop working on the case. Reiko got home and as she looked at the stacks of papers, she pulled her hair back in frustration.
Reiko, you are going to get a bald patch if you keep on doing this to your hair.
She decided to seek the help of Katsumata, who was the co-investigator with Shuji for one of the case. After she unwillingly filled him in on her leads, and requested sincerely for his help, he told her that Shuji had quit the force three years ago after his son killed someone. He told her that at that time, Shuji said that those people who killed should have been convicted with the death penalty. He walked off after telling Reiko that she owed him one, and that Shuji wasn't someone she could be up against with.
Since she had the name of Shuji's son, she went to the police station to gather more information on the case, and offended the policemen there when she asked why the stacks of papers were so little, seeing that it's a murder case. She copied the address of Shuji's home into her book and went ahead to find him. She didn't manage to get him down, but a talkative neighbour told her that Shuji's wife was stabbed in that house and Shuji didn't live there any more. It seemed like Shuji's wife was killed by the father of the girl who was killed by Shuji's son when they were involved in a lover's quarrel.
Reiko went back to her own station and there, Kikuta showed her the photo he managed to get of Shuji from his co-workers last time. Kikuta had managed to find out that the victim who had been declared non guilty because of mental instability had been to the library every single day to read up on books on mental illness. It was quite telling that the victim must have feigned mental illness, and Kikuta found out that Shuji had also gone to the library to check up the loan records…which means that he most probably knew that the guy was supposed to be guilty. They wondered if he's trying to uphold justice in his own way, and Noriyuki who was listening quietly by the side commented, "Don't you think…" They all turned to look at him.
He continued, "That it feels empty…? He became a policeman to uphold justice, but now he's someone who isn't a police man and yet he's going around punishing the bad people."
Reiko patiently went to the prison just to see if she could meet with the son (who had a very light sentence thanks to him being a minor) and stake out for Shuji. The scene was cut in a very cool way, showing Reiko walking down the path leading to the prison in various outfits, and once, she had a bandage around her hand (so she went to the prison after Episode 3). She started being friends with the old lady we saw in the opening scene and finally the scene ended with Reiko and Shuji in the same scene as the opening.
Shuji knew that Reiko suspected him of killing those three people in order to uphold justice, but he also knew that she had no evidence. She admitted that she had no evidence, but she knew his motive, and that was to give himself no chance to forgive his own son. The reason why every time he only walked down the road, stared at the prison and turned around without going in to visit his son was because he didn't want to give himself a chance to forgive his son.
I don't really get her reasoning here, but okay.
She got a call from Imaizume who sent her on another case, and Shuji walked away, but not before turning around and mouthing something to her.
Sorry, I can't lip-read:P
I guess most of you have already watched this episode! I love that the end connected to the beginning very well, because sometimes, with an entire episode of flashbacks, the effect might be very jerky and generally not well-done. For this, I thought it was really cool to watch Reiko walk down the road, interact with the old woman and each time wearing a different outfit, showing very clearly that this is a story happening concurrently with all three previous episodes. It also shows us how much colder Noriyuki was before and that even though he's still reserved now, you could tell that he now approved of Reiko in his own way.
It seems like now every case will take two episodes to clear, but I really can't wait for the back thread to unravel. What's up with Noriyuki's constant flashbacks whenever he sees a knife? Just how painful are those memories for Reiko, and does Kikuta know?
Is it just me or are there trying to make the Kikuta-Reiko relationship obvious XDDD Ok maybe not that obvious but the relationship between them isn’t that normal… But nevertheless Strawberry Night is a really nice and realistic drama, so much better than that terrible Nazotoki show. Bring back the BOSS days, Strawberry Night!
I don’t know but hahahah are you just like me, waiting for the Kikuta-Reiko relationship to develop?:PP I think they will make such a cute couple.
HAHAHA welllll Nazotoki wasn’t thaaaat bad I guess:P I heard BOSS was really good!