This is one of those episodes where not a lot happens, yet a lot still happens, if that makes any sense. Much of the first half is dedicated to the Kousei/Tsubaki relationship, between flashbacks to their childhood and to the present day events. Not much has changed here—Tsubaki is still pushing herself harder in order to stay close to Kousei, and Kousei is still oblivious to Tsubaki’s feelings for him. The difference is that Tsubaki finally seems to be getting fed up with the way things have been going. Without spoiling anything, there is a particular conversation where Tsubaki essentially breaks and tells Kousei what she thinks. She is also the first person to finally call him out on his interest in Kaori.
Speaking of Kousei, he is still much the same, swinging back and forth between wanting to visit Kaori and wanting to avoid the hospital whenever Watari is around. One would think that he’d finally be over that after the revelations from the previous episode, but apparently this is not the case. It probably doesn’t help that Kaori sends mixed signals his way. She tells him to check in, but then yells when he comes to the hospital because he’s not using that time to practice. Then she calls his cell phone and says that talking on the phone is alright. Kousei may not be handling the situation well, but it is easy to argue that he may not even know how to handle it, all things considered.
Watari, unfortunately, continues to be more of a background character. He is there, but mainly as a plot point. Throughout the whole series he hasn’t gotten nearly as much screen time as the other characters, despite supposedly being a close friend to Kousei. That’s not to say that he hasn’t played some important roles (the cell phone at the concert was a big deal, for instance), but he never really got fleshed out beyond being the perverted, womanizing friend. That doesn’t really change in this episode. At best, his role is simply “love rival.”
While it may not sound like a particularly exciting episode, it is surprising how fast it goes by, and the mundane happenings of the episode are completely shaken off of their foundations by the episode’s conclusion. No spoilers will be mentioned here, but it is not an expected ending, and it is totally at odds with the tone of the rest of the episode. In short, it’s really well done.
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
(Luke 12: 16-21)
To clarify before I begin: money and the storage of possessions have nothing to do with this episode. The point I want to make here actually rests in the fact that, in this parable, the man is suddenly faced with his own mortality: his life is to be demanded from him the very night he thought he could begin to take it easy.
As I mentioned in the review, the ending of this episode comes out of nowhere. There are little glimmers of hope, especially prior to the ending scenes, that Kousei may finally be growing as a person again, only to have the hopeful atmosphere obliterated in one scene. To be fair, it is unclear whether anyone actually dies at this point (well, something definitely dies, but we’re left wondering about the person). It harkens back to this parable that Jesus told, because no one sees it coming—not the characters, and not the viewers (at least, not this viewer). Everything is business as usual, and then, in one moment, everything changes. That’s how life is, and it’s easy to forget that. We tend to get caught up in the comfort and the predictability of the day-to-day, not giving much thought to our own mortality until we’re confronted with it, either by something that happens to us or by something that happens to someone close to us. Then we think about it. I’m guilty, and I’m sure all of you reading this have been guilty at some point in time. This isn’t meant to condemn, just to draw a lesson that I think we can all relate to.
How can we escape this trap? That’s one question I don’t have the answer to. I imagine the textbook answer would be to fix our eyes on Jesus and fill our minds with Scriptures talking about our eternity, but sometimes simply giving the textbook answer isn’t enough. How many people miss out on the gift of eternal life because they don’t want to think about the unpleasantness of their mortality? Or, worse, how many of us miss out on opportunities to tell our friends about Jesus because we don’t want to think of the unpleasantness of them refusing to accept Him and ending up in hell? Everything can change in a moment, in a second, and I fear I’m just another hypocrite sitting here, saying that we must do something, with no clue what to do himself.
Language: 1 “d*rn”, 1 “sc**w you”, 1 “smart***”, 1 “p***ed”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Violence: Tsubaki kicks Kousei in the knee
Blood/Gore: Kousei is shown with blood on his hands
The Bottom Line