SPEC ~ First Blood – Episode 6

No, this blog isn’t deserted! I’m sorry for this looooog delay, and I swear I’ll finish this series before the broadcast of the episode special and the movie, slated for 2012. Or so, I hope.

The puzzle is still missing most of its pieces, but this episode brings us one which deals a lot with trust issues. No new mystery of the week this time, as our Mishou team gets tangled up in the aftermath of the previous case.

Song of the Post:

School Food Punishment –「Pool」

Episode 6: 病の処方箋 (Prescription For Disease)

Satonaka’s funeral photo opens this episode, and we enter the funeral hall alongside the Mishou team. They all bow but Sebumi stays behind while the others head to the altar. Toma comes to him and softly tugs his sleeve, to wake him out of his reverie. This whole sequence is wordless, making it even more powerful.

They bow to Sayuri and Rika, dressed in formal black mourning clothes, and go to the incense urn to offer some incense before praying to the altar.

On their way back, Toma calls Sebumi on his depressive behaviour. They still have an important mission left, namely to save Rika. So man up a little, will ya? That said, she herself has a hard time accepting how the Public Welfare distanced itself so easily from Satonaka. She bitterly sums up the whole system: “While still alive, he lied to his family. While dead, the lie is national.” Now that it’s her turn to wonder about what to protect, Chief Nonomura advises her to quit being a detective if she doesn’t know. In a simple yet beautiful sequence, he shows them the city’s lights glowing in the distance and states that for each light there’s a family, there’s a happiness worth of  risking their lives, as detectives.

Toma objects that if they (detectives) die, then it’s the end of it. Surely not, retorts Chief Nonomura all fired up. As people tend to hide their evil nature, detectives have to bring it to light. He sees the Mishou unit as a small presence that can be crushed anytime, so that’s all the more a reason for them to run towards the truth. Omo, are you…sparkling, Persimmon Grandpa?

But this touching moment quickly ends as we switch to Tsuda complaining about those “annoying flies hovering around the garbage”, which is quite an ironic reversal of Chief Nonomura’s vision. As for Ninomae, he’s busy feeding a stray cat when he suddenly freaks out his mom will scold him for being late. Ha, this fear applies even to baddies, that’s good to know.

Toma and Sebumi visits Sayuri who tell them that she noticed something strange: Satonaka threw away some books before he left and organized his things, as if he was preparing for something. She obviously can’t seem to accept his death and Toma is about to totally spill the beans when Sebumi grabs her arm to stop her. He confirms the lie about Satonaka’s death, and looking right in Sayuri’s eyes he says: “That is the truth”. Ugh.

What’s worse is when Sayuri muses that her husband used to tell her she should rely on Sebumi if she ever had trouble. Guilt, meet Sebumi.

Sayuri answers a call from the hospital, and hurriedly packs things to join her daughter there but stops when Toma asks if she can stay to check the room, and gives her a spare key. Oy, trust has its limits too, y’know. But thanks to that, Toma is free to inspect at her heart’s content.

Sebumi doesn’t seem to understand her motives and he warns her that Sayuri may lead an investigation on her own if she knew, which would make her and Rika easy targets for the mysterious men behind Satonaka’s death. Well, I’d say that Rika has already been targeted, so this point is half-valid.

Toma’s patience hits its breaking point and she snaps at him, the “hiding bastard”. Not one to be defeated, he retorts with “fish face” and gloats when he realizes it was the nickname people used to call her by. Channeling his best grade-schooler, he pesters her with “Fish-chan~” until she lands a high kick to his throat, causing him to fall on the bookcase.

Her challenging and mocking look is the last straw and Sebumi loses it, throwing books one after the other. Ha ha ha, now we’re totally back in Kindergarten. But all those books thrown at Toma set her SPEC in motion as her eyes dart back and forth catching every word revealed in mid-air. Smoothly catching a book, she announces: “Itadakimashita”. Eeeh?

Satonaka didn’t clean up the room, and she speculates that his house has been checked by outsiders, who may have stolen some of his things and covered it by putting copies instead. The whole stuff being really important, she’s sure Satonaka left something like a message behind. Eager to know more, Sebumi asks if she knows where he could have hidden it, and she guesses it must be somewhere in the room they’re in.

The Quest begins but without Toma, busy watching Sebumi rummaging around. It’s only when she burps for the second time (after emptying his teacup) that it dawns on him she’s not helping. She flatters him saying that a pro is already searching but bursts his bubble when she states that Satonaka didn’t leave anything here after all. Haha, I’m not sure Sebumi appreciates this moment as I do.

She asks: What’s something that was always in this room that now isn’t here? Narrowing it to Sayuri, they go to the hospital and find her at Rika’s bedhead. The timing may be rude, but Toma asks for Sayuri’s bag and takes out several cards. Among them, she picks the library one and Sayuri remembers that her husband had asked her to return a book…Victory Grin!

So library it is. Sebumi finds the book first (to Toma’s great displeasure) but she shows him who’s the Brain here and cuts the cover to reveal a micro memory stick. Totally invading the library, Toma checks what’s inside the memory card and the result astounds them. So much that neither of them notice the shifty Gramps & Granny couple spying on them.

Back to the Mishou office, they show to Chief Nonomura that Satonaka’s SD card contains a list of the SPEC holders constituted by the Public Welfare: Reisen, Furuto Hisako, Katsura…even Ninomae. One specific SPEC attracts the attention of the Mishou team: the ability to cure disease. This explains why Satonaka took so many risks, but there’s no name attached to this ability.

Chief Nonomura and Toma go on how it’s impossible for such a person to exist, but Sebumi seems to think differently. As he readies to go, Toma wonders aloud about those who compiled the data for the list. Since the Mishou team is the one supposed to deal with SPEC holders, that means there’s an other department working on it from quite a long time too.

Sebumi goes to meet Dr. Unno, who prepared the medical records of the five undercover agents, and the doctor also believes their death was unnatural. When Sebumi asks if he believes a SPEC holder is involved, Dr. Unno says yes, adding that if there is a Hand of God, then it’s only logical that there’s a Hand of Devil.

He recalls a fellow doctor friend who told him about a physician known for causing problems, Miyazaki Yousuke, and when they visit him, Sebumi gets to see a photo of the old man Sayuri mentioned when she told them about Rika’s screening. The friend says that this man was also suspected of mysterious deaths.

Sebumi wants to know more about Miyazaki and tells Dr. Unno he’s going to check the hospital he may be working in. A bit tensed, he wonders if the one giving the disease may cure it as well. An other mention of the Hand of God  brings Dr. Unno to share his own experience. While in middle school, he had a bike accident and severely hurted his right hand. At that time, he was fond of Ryuichi Sakamoto and wanted to be a pianist, so this ordeal crushed this dream. But one day, a man came out of nowhere to tell him that he will heal his hands, and he suddenly lifted him by putting his fingers in Teen Unno’s nose. Eww.

While Unno never had enough talent for piano, he did develop some as a surgeon and would never have gone so far without both his hands. Hearing his story, Sebumi feels at ease enough to open up about his own experience and reveals that he was mysteriously healed as well, though by a woman. And I’m left wondering why didn’t he reveal it to his teammates as well?

Dr. Unno answers a call and tells Sebumi that he has to prepare for an operation. But after wishing him good luck on finding the Evil Doctor, he reveals an other face, grinning nefariously while reading an email concerning the operation.

It’s time for Mirei to be introduced to the Mishou team (minus Sebumi) and she comes to the office accompanied by Chii. Toma says right off the bat that she investigated about her brother’s case and that she believes Sebumi wasn’t at fault, but Mirei didn’t come for this and asks if it’s someone able to cure any disease may exist. She doesn’t hide that she wants this Hand of God to help her brother and answers that it was Dr. Unno who let her know about this legend, when Toma asks.

Looking serious, Toma assures her that they’re investigating this case and will inform her when they’ll know more. Not one to be taken for a fool, Mirei takes that as an evidence the Mishou team actually knows nothing and walks to the exit. She stops midway when she notices the researches Toma began on the SPEC holders list but Chief Nonomura is quick to stop her. Playing the obedient one, Mirei stealthily touches the micro memory card. After receiving flashes we aren’t sharing with her, she excuses herself and leaves.

In his chase to track down Evil Doctor Miyazaki, Sebumi learns that he quit working at the Yotsuya hospital 3 months ago. He calls Toma and tells her that he’s at Miyazaki’s mansion before hanging up, but when he enters the appartment, it’s totally empty. A curious neighbor pops up so Sebumi introduces himself as a detective, which makes the former say that Miyazaki died two weeks ago by jumping out his window. End of the hunt, I guess.

So it’s a rather dejected Sebumi who makes his come back to the Mishou office and doesn’t even notice Toma until she puts a giant pan in front of him, prompting him to jump out of his skin. Hee, so there go the skills of a SIT agent?

Turns out Toma already discovered that Miyazaki was dead and she needs to eat more in order to gain strength to catch the truth when it’ll emerge to light. Are these bubbles surfacing from their Udon soup a metaphor for the Truth? Ha.

Food is an important matter for Toma, and serving such a big portion to Sebumi is her way to prod him and show her support. Too bad her hard work gets criticized right away, though Toma-chan knows other ways to make him enjoy it: fancy a hot Udon facial?

D-Day for Rika’s operation. Chief Nonomura is confident with Dr. Unno being in charge of it and explains to a surprised Sebumi that Dr. Unno is renowned for being one of the best heart surgeons in the whole country.

Toma finds out that there are currently seven children affected by Jennifer’s disease and they’re all Dr. Unno’s patients. That alone looks mighty suspicious, but what’s aggravating is that such cases only occured in Japan. Now, the real question is: Are these guys detectives? Why are they all smiles? (Though I do enjoy seeing Sebu-chan smiling. A rare sight) How come they aren’t more wary of Dr. No-no?

Once again, Toma proves she’s the Superior Brain as she realizes that the more she searches about it, the more Dr. Unno’s cases are unusual. Some illnesses affect only children while others hit only adults, but all are solely present in Japan. Something finally dawns on her and she takes Miyazaki’s profile data, scouring the police database to discover that the manager Sebumi met at the Daisho hospital to know more about Miyazaki doesn’t exist. Same goes for Dr. Unno’s fellow doctor friend. Things are clear: They fell into the trap Dr. Unno carefully set up to make them believe that Miyazaki is the Hand of Devil.

Sebumi can’t believe all these persons were only dummies so Toma spells it for him: Dr. Unno is the one creating illnesses. Looking at each other, they both think to Rika, certainly the next experiment in Dr. Unno’s mad resume. Rushing to the hospital (aw, Sebumi instinctively snatches Toma’s suitcase), they try to call Sayuri to tell her to stop the operation but it’s already too late as we see that Rika already entered the surgical unit.

Evil Doctor Unno gets ready in the locker room but is surprised to see Mirei enter. She came to stop him, and begs him not to murder anymore. She thought at first that he was the Hand of God (pffft), endowed with the power of saving lives, but she understands how deep her mistake was now that she got to see a vision of Satonaka’s investigation. Recalling all those times Dr. Unno continuously asked her about her visions, she questions him further, wondering if he’s also involved in her brother’s case.

Looking very scary (I mean, more than usual), Dr. Unno seizes her and drags her until she fights back, which makes him laconically say: “Make a sound and you die.” Pressed against her back (ew, gross!), he whispers in her ear that it’s really simple to create a disease and he explains his modus operandi while doing it: First, scan the body, looking for a weakness. Second is to think about the most appropriate disease, and as he says that Unno brushes his hair back leaning his forehead closer to Mirei, when Sebumi and Toma barge in. Fiou, it was about time, this whole scene was disturbing as hell!

Sebumi levels his gun, threatening Dr. Unno, but the latter doesn’t seem too impressed, more like “oh, too bad then”. He releases Mirei though, who runs to hide behind our duo. Angry (for not having noticed earlier?) Toma questions him on whether or not he’s the one behind the five agents’ and Rika’s cases, but he plays dumb and dares them to show evidences.

With an arrogant smile, he points out that Modern Japan no longer arrest people without proof, which has to be strong enough to convince judges in court. In other words, Sebumi and Toma are powerless, and he obviously looks down on them. Sebumi flips his lid and comes closer enough for his gun to almost touch Dr. Unno’s hair, offering to say that he caught Evil Doctor in the act and killed him. Scoffing, Dr. Unno wonders if he wanna channel Sakai Masato’s Joker. Hee! (Joker is a Fuji TV’s detective drama about a cop being kind like Bouddha during the day, and a cruel Joker at night.) Too bad Sebumi doesn’t watch TV. Haha, I love the meta reference here.

A nurse enters, prompting Sebumi to hide his gun, and tells Dr. Unno to hurry    because Rika’s operation isn’t going well. Both Sebumi and Toma stiffen while Dr. Unno smirks at this turn of events. He playfully asks them what they’re going to do, since he’s the one who can save Rika. After few (long) seconds, Sebumi relents and curtly tells him to go. Not liking the tone used, Dr. Unno takes his time rising from his chair and notes that it would be better if he kneels on the ground to beg. Obviously holding back his rage, Sebumi locks eyes and comes nose to nose for Dr. Unno to hear his words, muttered under his breath: “If anything goes wrong with this child, you’re dead.”

Surprisingly, Evil Doctor intends to help this “innocent child”, wrapping himself in the dutiful doctor act without batting an eyelash. Oh the things Science used to cover up…

Now that they left Rika’s life in Evil Doctor’s hands (gulp), they can do nothing but wait, and Toma uses this time to grill Mirei who’s saved by her mobile’s ringtone. At that moment, a nurse walks out the surgery unit and when Toma and Sebumi rush to know more about the operation, they’re stunned to learn that Dr. Unno already left. Damn, that’s one sly fox. Sebumi is already on the warpath when Mirei hands him her phone with Evil Doctor on the line.

Leisurely eating his meat, he corrects Sebumi. He didn’t run away since nothing bad has been done. Sebumi quickly writes his phone number and dashes out. Toma takes the phone and asks why Dr. Unno would give diseases when his job is to save lives? Is watching his patients slowly and painfully die such a pleasure? Calmly, he states that he does that to protect their lives and that she should see that as self-defense. Say wuut?

He likens it to a public order policy, and stresses that for maintaining this order he also has to pay a high price. Refering as “us” when speaking for the SPECs, he says that they’re a minority and have to hide themselves and their family from those who won’t hesitate to use violence against them. Their wife, their children…They may be killed. That’s a sad story Doc, but that won’t excuse your sins.

Toma can’t believe it and Dr. Unno taunts her, wondering what kind of detective can’t handle the truth, and says she’s a horrible one. Going on a monologue, he recalls how he still wanted to continue being a good doctor, saving lives. Calling out her name, he confesses to Toma that he wanted a SPEC that would save lives. His current “gift” isn’t what he wanted, as he concludes wistfully that “God is cruel”. The restauran’ts door opens, and a bunch of men in black surround him. With a resigned air, he takes out a fan before declaring to Toma that he didn’t kill for himself, and that they’re all going to catch a far more painful disease. Oy, is that literal or metaphorical?

He hangs up and the screen turns black. Toma tries to redial his number but the phone has been cut off. She soon focuses on something else, when Rika’s stretcher is carried off the unit. The operation is a success, and a crying Sayuri bows in gratitude to the doctors. Delivering the news to Toma, she bows again, thanking her (and the Mishou team) profusely. Toma is clearly glad, but while Sayuri and Cie walk away, she grows pensive.

Mirei appears and as Toma hands back her phone she says:

You’re really one of them too, right?

Oof. Well, we all pretty much guessed that, but it’s the first time it has clearly been put into words. Toma tilts her head though Mirei warns it’d be a waste of time to lie since she’ll know just by touching her. Ah, so she’s giving out her SPEC as well? She moves her hand but Toma swiftly dodges her. Mirei fermly grabs Toma’s shoulder and takes in the flashes while Toma looks at her warily.

Impressions

Maybe because it’s been a long time since I’ve recapped it, but rewatching the episode made me realize that so far, it’s the episode I’ve enjoyed the least. Ok, the fact that it dealt a lot with Hand of Evil Doctor Unno may explain my distate even though I love actor Yasuda Ken.

After the major turn that was last episode, Toma and Sebumi are rather disturbed and questioning the whole system they’re part of. We saw how Toma hardly accepted the way Satonaka’s death had been handled by his superiors but Sebumi seems to be on the verge of getting out of control.

He who always followed the rules by the book was ready to kill Dr. Unno because he felt the system wouldn’t be able to arrest him. While Toma looks like she’d rather be crafty and use her tricks to get what she wants, Sebumi is more forthright and blunt. Thing is, it won’t help him against what they’re trying to fight.

This drama does a pretty good job at articulating and balancing character developments with the different cases, so I believe we will see more of Sebumi’s growth in the coming episodes. Oh, let’s not forget how Chief Nonomura takes more and more the Patriarch role, and I must say he’s pretty cool.

All in all, this episode raised even more questions, and I’m getting more and more impatient to have more meaty pieces. Who kidnapped Dr. Unno? Did SPECs receive their powers from someone? Who, What, When, Where Why, How? Please Drama, don’t torture me, I’ve been a good child!

波のゆくさき for SPEC【己】

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4 thoughts on “SPEC ~ First Blood – Episode 6

  1. thanx for this awesome recap again ^^~ dont want to spoil around but the drama wont answer all of our questions 😦 tbh i had more questions after the last episode than before…XD i’m hoping the episode special and movie will give us more answers! 🙂

  2. Hey, remi! Thanks for your comment ^^
    Oy, I managed not to marathon all the episodes, so I’ve still didn’t see the last one…It’s also hard to avoid spoilers on the net, but I more or less understood that the ending was quite….disturbing. Augh, no, no, I should not speak about it. *complete denial mode*

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