Decided to do last week's Strawberry Night recap, enjoy!
The episode starts with a young boy who was so hungry that he dug up the tatami and almost put it in his mouth. His dad got into a rage, which was actually directed at himself since he had no money, as he shouted at the boy, "You are hungry, aren't you!" He almost punched the boy's face but broke down and hugged him in tears instead. The father told his co-worker about how he wanted to punch the boy's face so that he would be send to the social services and get a better life, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. The co-worker had a strange look on his face as he walked towards the father, and in the next scene, the father fell to his death.
Reiko's mother nagged at her about another matchmaking session and Reiko disappeared into her room in irritation. She recalled how she was raped thirteen years ago, "I died thirteen years ago…and was reborn again" as the police in the courtroom had saluted to her with pride. She lay on her bed, frustrated, and voice-narrated that perhaps the indescribable feeling in her was because of the family's pressure and the intolerable heat of the summer.
Another scene of the co-worker who talked to the boy when he came to the construction site, and he took the boy out for dinner.
Reiko went to work and Kikuta told her that it seemed like something's up, since Hashizume was stuck at the crime's lab and Kusaka was collecting information.
Reiko tried to get information out of Kusaka, who scoffed that she's too inexperienced to try drawing tips out of him, and Hashizume returned to tell them that it's a murder case. Reiko and Kusaka exchanged glances when Imaizume sent both of their teams as the ones in charge of the investigation.
As Reiko's mother was on the phone with Reiko's aunt, she looked through the photos of the man that the aunt thought was suitable for Reiko. She suddenly couldn't breathe and the aunt asked what was wrong. Reiko got a phone call from her mother but didn't pick up. The team was alarmed to find Ioka's appearance, "Did you get promoted?"
And yep, he did. He's now officially the same rank as Kikuta, "Sorry, but I will be talking casually to you from now on~" "When have you ever used honorific language on me, huh??"
Imaizume briefed the team on the details. A left hand under an abandoned van was found to belonged to Takaoka(the co-worker in the first scene)This could be traced because a large amount of blood was found in a garage and reported by Mishima, who worked for the same capentry company as Takaoka. Mishima's alibi was confirmed by his girlfriend, Nakagawa. The missing van from the garage was matched with the abandoned van, and the blood in the van, the hand and the garage was determined to all be Type A with matching DNA. Since the amount of blood in the garage exceeded the fatal amount, it was assumed that Takaoka was dead.
After the briefing, one of the heads came to tell Reiko that he had lent her his ace. She was stunned and in disbelief that he was referring to Ioka, and when the team looked towards Ioka, he smiled and flexed his biceps, causing Reiko to wince,
Hahahaha, and Kikuta to look away in disgust.
Reiko speculated about the case but was chided by Kusaka who warned her that speculations would only get in the way. Both teams headed to the crime scene to investigate and Ioka offered his arm to Reiko, claiming that it would warm her. Haha, this joker. Reiko asked about a tent that was set up way apart from the rest. She asked a jogger who told her that it was set up two years ago. Reiko's dad called someone but the person didn't pick up. Reiko decided to check out the tent and we cut to a scene of Mishima touching the tatami.
During the night debrief, Hashizume scorned at how little evidence they had gotten, and Reiko was pissed at how Kusaka proposed that since she's a woman, she should question Nagakawa and he would interrogate Mishima. While having team dinner as usual, she reminded them to keep an eye on Mishima, since he's the key here, but Ioka cut in, "Tomorrow, Nagakawa's interview –" "I know, woman to woman, I will do the questioning well."
She finally picked up a call and rushed out of the room. Ioka worried out loud that it's a man, and Tamotsu was like, "Shunin is also a woman…right Kikuta?" "Why did you mention my name?" Hahaha it's obvious, Kikuta. Reiko finally got the news that her mother had collapsed due to heart failure, but it was lucky that the aunt was on the phone with her. Reiko's mother had been talking in her dreams for a while, "Sorry….Reiko…sorry."
Reiko had a mixture of expressions of her face before leaving hurriedly. Her father rushed out after her, and she told him in his face that she didn't pick up the calls because she thought it was from her mother. "You can scold me, you know. Ask me why I didn't answer my phone, if work's more important than your parents…. Yeah it's important," and she walked off in a brisk pace. Her father returned dejectedly to the hospital and Reiko was taken aback to see Kikuta waiting for her outside her house.
Gahhh, how sweet.
She rambled about how Kikuta must be here because he had found important clues, "If not, why did you suddenly come here…at this time," and she couldn't contain her tears any longer.
AND OF COURSE, guess what I was shouting quietly for Kikuta to do, which he did?:D Yes, hug her.
AWWWW. Reiko dropped her bags and clenched him tightly, but pushed him away a few seconds later, before returning home.
There was another scene of Takaoka who went to the centre and told the boy that he would take care of him. Reiko questioned Nagakawa about her relationship with Mishima. On Kusaka's side, he learnt that Mishima's father worked for Kougyou which was a subcontractor for the Nakabayashi Construction which Takaoka was working at. Reiko noticed how Nagakawa was tensed and retreated into herself when they heard a quarrel outside her house. Reiko found that reaction in herself 13 years ago, when she got tense and worked up whenever she heard sounds like the shattering of a plate. Mishima was angry that Kusaka brought Nagakawa into the questioning process, "She has nothing to do with this!" Hmm, suspicious.
Kusaka. Kusaka learnt that Mishima's father was thought to have committed suicide because he had a lot of debts, and Takaoka had taken great care of him, just like a father. We then have another scene of Takaoka and the boy having a great day at the amusement park, and where the boy commented that the both of them were really alike. Takaoka had a flashback of someone who hung himself. Following a lead, Kikuta came to the Nakabayashi Construction but was chased away by Kusaka. Grr, you are a miser over clues and leads.
A scene of Takaoka who brought the boy back to his house and promised to drill the practice of carpentry into him. Reiko and Kikuta had an awkward moment as they discussed about the case, aww. Here comes the exciting part, when Kusaka reported about what he had found, that Mishima's father had fallen off the scaffold 13 years ago, and Takaoka had been with him. Just last year alone, 8 workers for Kougyou had fallen to their deaths. Coupled with Reiko's chip in that Nagakawa's father had also fallen to his death two months ago while working for Kougyou, Kusaka suggested that these were cases of insurance frauds, where the workers who had debts with the company off set those debts with the insurance money given after their deaths.
Haha, Kikuta's concern at Reiko wrecking her head.
Reiko felt that there's a contradiction in Takaoka's profile. There's no reason why he would bring up Mishima's kid and yet work for a corporation like Nakabayashi. Ioka found a childhood friend of Takaoka and when they met him the next morning, Reiko was shocked to hear the childhood friend said determinedly that there's no way the guy in the photo could be Takaoka, even though he hadn't seen him for thirteen years. He had checked on his friend, the real Takaoka, who seemed like he was going to commit suicide. We then see the scene that was shown earlier — the guy we thought was Takaoka standing in front of the real Takaoka who had hung himself.
Reiko stared at his photo for a long time, "Who are you."
Apparently, ratings for this show have been dropping. It's a pity because I feel that this drama only gets more interesting with each episode. Of course, as I've explained before, the shapes of the plot of dramas like this rarely take me in, and thus I must say that my interest in Strawberry Night has not risen, even though it has not waned either. It just remains a straight line, with an occasional jump whenever Reiko gets her brilliant moment, or when there's a sweet interaction between Reiko and Kikuta.
I really wonder where this is all leading to, and if Reiko's tragic experience has any part to play in this, or if Kikuta knows about this at all.