Tenma Ryo (Inagaki Goro) begins this episode of Shinryochu (心療中 – in treatment) by listening to the clumsy evasiveness of Katayama Hikaru (Tanaka Juri).

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It’s pretty clear that Hikaru has issues with his mother and disabled brother, but what the reality of those issues are, we have no idea. On the one hand he shows great anxiety about them, and on the other he says his family has no problems at all (which begs the question of why he’s talking to counselor Ryo in the first place).

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Last time he was in the room, Hikaru told Ryo that his brother was paralyzed and wanted Hikaru to have sex with his girlfriend in his place. That was quite an outlandish situation, and unfortunately, Hikaru doesn’t lend any credibility to anything he says – he always seems like he’s telling a story he only half believes in.

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Ryo tries to figure out Hikaru’s angle by reading into some of Hikaru’s offhand comments . . .

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. . . but with Hikaru rushing out with practically no progress made in our attempt to understand him . . .

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. . . Ryo asks how the main issue Hikaru brought up last time – having sex with his brother’s girlfriend – was resolved.

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Thankfully, he says he didn’t do it, but says his brother’s girlfriend broke up with his brother as a result. I really can’t quite wrap my head around that situation (and the fact that his brother is blaming Hikaru for the failure of the . . .  relationship?) so I’m just going to gloss over it for now. I don’t really see where it’s going anyway.

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Altogether, I thought this first half was a total waste of time with nothing happening, but Ryo seemed to have a different opinion. After Hikaru said he was going to take his brother to a hot spring to make it up to him and left for class, Ryo quickly called up Hikaru’s parents. But why?

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I guess we’ll find out next time (hopefully, it won’t be a few episodes down the road).

Meanwhile, we find out that Hasegawa Haruto (Nozawa Yuki) is still alive as he approaches Ryo’s son (Sato Ruiki). That’s good, because the last time we saw him, he had collapsed on the floor of Ryo’s office and we had no idea what had happened to him.

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In this little meeting, we learn that Ryo’s son is genius-level attentive, as he’s picked up on some of his father’s psychoanalysis techniques and also recognized Haruto as the guy who was taken away by an ambulance. He’s clearly interested in his father’s work, but we’re not sure in what way.

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The young lad also asks some pointed questions.

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Haruto shows that he’s one of the more understanding people to visit Ryo’s office, and also shows concern for what trouble his collapse might bring to Ryo if his father got the wrong idea.

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If it was nice to see Haruto alive and well, I’m not sure I can say the same for the perplexing and somewhat infuriating Kaibara Miyu (Suda Anna). At least, she seemed to be taunting Ryo in their last meeting all the way back in episode one. This time, she has a black eye covered by an eyepatch.

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Last time, we found out she was the twin sister of the girl who’s actually supposed to be under Ryo’s care – Minami. At least, that’s what she says. I wonder whether it’s possible for there to be a case of multiple personality disorder here, or something even weirder.

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Miyu’s meeting with Ryo takes up more than half the episode, and she spends most of the time cheerfully talking about Minami. She seems reluctant to talk about anything else . . .

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. . . even when Ryo tries to prompt her.

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For reasons that aren’t initially clear, she keeps trying to get Ryo matched up with Minami – something he dismisses on professional grounds.

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Then we finally seem to get to the real issue – the boy Minami is dating. Miyu clearly doesn’t approve of him.

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Apparently, this is the old case of the good girl attracted to bad buy cliche. You know, Grease.

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Minami makes some dubious claims about twins feeling everything each other feels and even dying of the same causes. Is this supposed to suggest that she has a special understanding of her sister?

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As usual, Ryo tries to get to the point . . .

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And I think I’ll leave how this ends out. Let me just say that Ryo makes a choice that a counselor in my state would not be allowed to make without risking the end of his career, and possibly other legal trouble.

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At least we got some answers about Miyu, and a better sense of her as a character. By the end of this episode, I don’t think she was perplexing or infuriating any more.

So, I’d call this episode halfway successful. The first half seemed to fall flat, failing to further the Katayama Hikaru story enough to justify the time. The Haruto and Miyu parts made up for that, but I think we’re beginning to see the perils of the writers trying to handle too many stories in parallel, and in very limited chunks of time. I find it hard to believe that they’ll be able to conclude everything successfully, but perhaps if they handle Ryo’s own issues as well as solidly resolve half of the threads they started, I wouldn’t be upset. We’ll see how it goes.