Episode 5: Countdown
Ichinose has been approached by Tachihara to transfer to the First Investigative Division. In the midst of this, the team receives a request to conduct a preliminary investigation of a scene.
Teranishi Takeo, an old man who lives by himself, has died at home. He shows symptoms of dehydration caused by severe malnutrition. According to his daughters, Sachiko and Harue, he has chronic high blood pressure and diabetes, and is lame in his right leg. It seems that a care attendant would come once a week to take personal care of him.
Ichinose’s assessment is that Teranishi had multiple organ failure because of his debility. His is death a death from natural causes and there is no case. In other words, Ichinose means to treat the incident as a solitary death. However, Kuraishi wonders aloud, “Why did he have to die?”
Kuraishi has misgivings about Taro, the dog belonging to Teranishi. The dog is in good health. Kuraishi notes that the dog food bag has been torn and water has accumulated in a outdoor water bucket. Taro had torn the dog food bag in hunger … Ichinose says and Kuraishi explodes in anger. It is too good to be true. The way the bag was torn open is not consistent with the clawing of a dog. Furthermore, is the running water a mere coincidence? Ichinose insists that Taro has no connection to Teranishi’s death but Kuraishi has doubts and summons Tachihara and his team.
In resentment, Ichinose say Kuraishi has made an unjust assessment. He accuses Kuraishi of having heard of his transfer to the First Investigative Division. Rumi reprimands a suspicious Ichinose. “What have you been seeing in Kuraishi-san these two years?” she asks.
Teranishi’s will is discovered by Bando. It says that he bequeaths his real estate and life insurance to his daughters, while his savings of 3 million yen will be left to his helper, Kanamori Satomi. Why has it been given to Satomi, who is a complete stranger? Both Sachiko and Harue are angry, but that creates the motive for murder. Tachihara and his men investigate the people around Satomi.
It is determined through Nishida’s autopsy that Teranishi had end-stage pancreatic cancer. That means that Teranishi, having lost the reason to live, chose a solitary death, and Satomi had assisted him for 3 million yen? Ichinose deduces from his own perspective, but is rejected by Kuraishi. “That’s different from mine.” A person would attempt to die only when he despairs of life … Ichinose becomes defensive at Kuraishi’s words but …
Before long, a new fact relating to Satomi comes to light. An eyewitness had seen her enter and leave Teranishi’s residence after his death. Tachihara and his team question the people connected to Satomi and learn that she had gone there to search for her missing notebook. Kuraishi plays catch with Taro and gets him to lead them to his hiding place in the garden. The notebook is found among a stash of objects.
Satomi’s notes on Teranishi had ended on the day of his death. Tachihara demands to know if it means Satomi had visited Teranishi’s residence on that day,, but she continues to claim that she does not know anything. What is Satomi hiding?
Ichinose revisits the scene alone and performs his last duty as a forensics examiner. As he thinks about how Teranishi had felt, Kuraishi appears and tells him to attune himself to what the old man had seen until his death. The thoughts soon come to Ichinose … This is the house in which Teranishi had lived with his family for a long time. However, his daughters intended to sell the house. This means he would have had nowhere to go. And so, he despaired of life.
On the day of the funeral service, Tachihara arrives at Teranishi’s residence with Satomi. Sachiko and Harue criticise her for daring to come. Ichinose intervenes and tells them that Teranishi, who knew that no one would come for one week after Satomi had gone back, chose a solitary death because he wanted them to understand the loneliness he felt, living alone in this house. Sachiko is outraged by the implication. However, Satomi interrupts her and begins to recount her last conversation with Teranishi. Teranishi had sadly lamented the sale of the house, in which the family had shared laughter and tears, “I’m already old. All that is left for me is death. Why won’t they wait a little longer?”
Kuraishi observes that Satomi, who understood the depth of Teranishi’s loneliness, had come to the residence to check on him even though it was not the day for her visit. A tearful Satomi admits that she had done so because she thought something was not right. He was still alive at that time, and he had told her, “Let me die. This is what true caregiving is.” And so, she had granted his wish. Before leaving the house, she had taken out a piece of cloth to wipe away his tears. That was when she dropped her notebook …
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