Babylon – Episode 2
After closing the premiere with Fumio’s death, episode 2 opens with some bittersweet memories Seizaki had of Fumio as they were discussing the role of a public prosecutor. As expected, Fumio’s death is possibly going to be ruled as suicide due to lack of clues pointing to someone else, but you’d think that him being involved in a case where someone committed suicide and then he, himself comitting suicide shortly after without ever having given signs he would, would appear suspicious to the police, well, think again!
The plot definitely thickened in this episode, it’s so early, too! I’m both wary and excited, to be honest. So, it turns out that the woman Fumio was following lives in an apartment complex owned by a company that supports one of the candidates running for the upcoming election, but she was allegedly prostituting herself to someone supporting the opposite candidate in the same election. Talk about messy. Either way, the episode itself was a bit of a flurry of events leading up to the most important group of scenes, the interrogation of a woman called Emiko who also seems to be involved in the situation through sexual favors.
It really felt like the show slowed down during the interrogation scenes. I liked the overall structure of the episode, actually, jumping from event to event, fast-pacedly and in almost like in a blur and then slowing down to a crawl when they were in that quiet dark room, the prosecutor, the woman and the witness-typist. The interview grew more and more tense as the episode advanced. It first began with fairly standard questions, yuxtaposed with the events of how they came into contact with her and why she’s being interrogated.
As the interview progresses Emiko becomes more bold and confident, to the point where eventually she’s the one asking the questions and getting a rile out of Seisaki. I really enjoyed this part because it showed her as someone with agency and initiative. It’s hard to say where this places her within the case, but she seemed in control. Emiko was also clever in her questions, showing that she could get the upper hand in dialogue if she needed. One thing I noticed in this scene is that she probably saw him as flawed because his utmost sense of justice and moral good makes him easily moved in the face of perceived unethical and amoral actions. She was poised, he was upset. I was impressed. I’m not sure yet what to make out of this show, but for scenes like these, I’ll stick for the ride.
In the end Emiko leaves without signing the confession. It’s not very clear how she was able to get away, but I’m sure he’ll have to explain that to his superiors in the meeting. His superiors are also probably hiding something as Seizaki was not informed that one of the important high profile people being suspected of involvement in the case is to attend the meeting where he’s going to report the situation with the woman’s interrogation. His superior promises to help solve the situation, but with that kind of cliffhanger it just seems to me like he’s walking into the lion’s den and he’ll soon find out that both of the candidates’ influences extend beyond what Seizaki expects and can predict. I suppose this may just come to a story about justice vs. corruption, but hey, I’d be okay with that.