“There are things that the people who were there won’t know.
I, to a pathetic degree, don’t know anything at all.”
The more we know about what happened that day, the more messed up the incident looks…in a delicious way. Because as it turns out, that Hirosawa left the villa to drive after drinking two cans of beer isn’t the only and crucial fact the boys deliberately left out. That there are more to it isn’t surprising, but that there are more details they are keeping from one another after all these years is.
As much as i want to know what exactly happened to Hirosawa that night, i currently am more curious to hear why they’re ‘covering’ for the other even without that person’s knowledge. Murai-Tanihara-Asami were universities buddies yet don’t seem that close in the present. Initially, it appears that the trio conspired to lure Hirosawa to the trap — Tanihara impelled him to drink, Murai insisted to be picked up, Asami pushed him to take the wheel — but given how each of them is holding onto the dark little secrets only they know, the probability of them being in it together is getting lower with every new peeled layer.
While we’re not watching this drama through Fukase’s eyes per se, our knowledge about the incident is on par with his. That day, he’s out of the loop not only by staying behind but also because he passed out shortly after dashing out from the villa. When he woke up in a hospital some time later, his bestie was already declared missing. Therefore, now-journalist Ogasawara-san (Takeda Tetsuya) is after the ‘wrong’ albeit easiest target; Fukase doesn’t even know about Tanihara arriving at the scene first and without Asami! With such limited information, it’s naive of him to think that it’s purely an accident.
I mean, Ogasawara-san isn’t even surprised when his hunch about Hirosawa’s DUI is finally confirmed because the case was a lot fishier than that. First off, the investigation was rushed to be concluded as an accident. Second, the distance between the crash site and the spot the body was found is too far apart particularly given the snowy weather. Third, the slim probability of him ‘escaping’ the fall, which then raises two questions: 1) Was he actually inside the car when it slipped off the cliff? and 2) Could he die from a totally different cause?
For me, the biggest mystery remains how Hirosawa moved the stuck car by himself. Also, the reason behind Ogasawara-san’s intent re-investigation when he’s no longer in the force, and if he has anything to do with the blackmail, because these two began simultaneously. Not to mention the role Hirosawa’s mom play in all of the recent happenings. If anyone’s out for revenge, mom (Katahira Nagisa) is the likeliest avenger; but still, seeing the two-shot of them gave me chills.
That said, i dislike Ogasawara-san. He certainly gets the ball rolling, but he’s also super prying to the point of being an annoying stalker. However, his persistence is also what prods Fukase to finally ‘open up’ and tries to uncover the truth himself. Which of course isn’t easy; it’s not as if the other three would spill the beans when asked. And they didn’t take the blackmail/stalking seriously until Tanihara is seriously hurt.
For better or worse, there’s seed of doubt among them. Murai is the first to speak up, wondering the kind of scene Tanihara/Asami stumbled into and considering the possibility of the duo pushing the car off cliff to make it look like an accident. However, Asami later on discloses spotting someone with red coat scrambling away from the burning car, the very coat that Murai wore that day. Dun dun dun.
These new information may shake up the hypotheses we’ve formulated. Besides Fukase, only Asami looks deeply affected by this case. He quit drinking and becomes a principled teacher — he cares for his students that he’ll tour the neighborhood in the evening to ensure none of them is still outside and disciplines the rebellious ones strictly. Tanihara, on the other hand, laughs it off as a case of bad luck though he was the one who had the most to gain from Hirosawa’s demise: one fewer contender to win Asuka-chan’s heart. We also have yet to learn what exactly he saw on the scene that shocked him so. (For the record, there were broken pieces of the car bumper and blood-looking dots near the guardrail, and Tanihara ended up floored while staring at his hand.)
What we did get is the backstories between them. Hirosawa/Tanihara’s common interest in baseball, although the former rejected to join the club when invited; Hirosawa/Asami’s common ground as private tutors and how the former took over one of the latter’s students. I expect to get Murai story in the following episode and find out if he too had some kind of ill-feeling toward Hirosawa. Furthermore, we heard a confirmation from Asuka-chan that she had a crush on him but they weren’t dating.
Nevertheless, it’s still too early to reckon who’s the culprit, as incomplete information could very well be red herring. For example, if the trio weren’t in it together, the well-plotted scheme became a mere string of coincidences. Asami may be ruled out as a suspect, and while it’s strange for Murai to arrive on the scene by taxi, he could run away in fear of explosion. Who knows, though? There are so many possibilities! Like, what are the chances of it actually a suicide? Of course i wish it weren’t the case, but despite his sunny disposition, Hirosawa had his glum moments too — when no one’s looking.
The gone boy isn’t the only one with a facade. From the outside, Tanihara is the winner in life — good career, happy marriage, blessed with a kid — though the man himself doesn’t think so. Him going to work in a suit is an act as he’s actually a blue-collar worker. No one knows about his demotion or his struggles to keep his place in the factory. Murai is stuck in an abusive political marriage, which fails to boost his political career, and engages in an affair.
Asami lives a straight life, and while i suspected something going on between him and a certain female student from his class, there’s nothing so far besides the one-sided crush on the girl’s end. Then there’s Fukase, his menial job, and the thwarted love story. One of the impetuses for him to change is Miho-chan whom he wishes to start afresh with. His milquetoast honest-to-a-fault nature may be a weakness but also the trait that gets to the other. He could sell his friend to advance his career, but he chooses not to betray his heart anymore and tells only the truth. And nobody could possibly NOT be affected by the heartfelt speech he delivers in front of the soccer club boys.
“Is it really okay like this? If you pretend not to see it now, it will never be gone. If you lie about what happened, it will without a doubt become painful. When things aren’t going your way, you’ll think it’s retribution for what you did. The reason life isn’t going well is punishment for that time. You’ll give up on a lot of things. And that will wound the people around you.”
Fukase is such a purehearted person that i wish they could get to the bottom of this case soonest partly to give justice to Hirosawa and partly for his sake. Cuz homeboy certainly deserves heartsease and happiness.