This episode of Shinryochu (心療中 – in treatment) covers two of the more interesting storylines in the series – those of Katayama Hikaru (Tanaka Juri) and Aikawa Sakuya (Sanada Yuma). Katayama’s session is first.

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This session clears a great deal up about who Hikaru is and what’s really going on with him – so much so that I’ll have to leave out details, because it rather feels like the culmination of the story if not the resolution.

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Why is Hikaru suddenly willing to talk? Perhaps counselor Tenma Ryo (Inagaki Goro) finally manages to ask the right questions.

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And instead of accepting Hikaru’s usual evasiveness, he doggedly repeats the question:

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And finally, I understand why I couldn’t figure out Hikaru. His emotional inconsistency isn’t due to bad acting on Tanaka Juri-kun’s part at all, but quite in-keeping with the character.

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You see, he’s sort of a psychopath. How much of a psychopath? Well, you’ll have to watch to decide.

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But hopefully these shocked looks from Ryo will give you the right idea without revealing too much:

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I think the Hikaru story is pretty much resolved, though I doubt Ryo feels very good about the way it ended.

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Still, he’s got to be thankful that he finally got some answers out of a patient.

Next up was Aikawa. Just at a reminder, this is what happened the last time Ryo faced him:

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But right away, Aikawa makes Ryo feel at ease.

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Even more interestingly, he’s very forthcoming in response to Ryo’s questions.

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Of course, that’s not to say that he doesn’t still seem dangerous. After all, he says he has to kill his sister.

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But it’s almost as if Ryo’s got the magic words this time, because even Aikawa is spilling the beans like he’s at confession.

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Through some phenomenal acting from Sanada-kun, we find out about the horrible things that have happened in Aikawa’s past that have led him to think that he’s doomed to cause pain and death. He especially feels that there’s an unacceptable gap between his intelligence and his ability to avoid tragedy.

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He brings up a story he told ages ago about Mac and Kenta, so if you don’t remember that story, you might have to watch the earlier episodes, because they sure don’t have enough time to show us a recap.

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Ryo really comes out of this session at the top of his game.

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And Aikawa contributes to the feeling that they’ve gotten somewhere and that Ryo’s efforts have had some success.

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Aikawa also mentions his efforts with Minami on behalf of Miyu, and assures Ryo that he has the whole situation taken care of.

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So . . . why do I still not trust him? It all seems way too convenient, doesn’t it? But Aikawa says this will be his last session with Ryo, so . . . is this really the end of his story as well?

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For the last minute of the episode, Ryo visits with his mentor Miyama Mikiko (Asano Yuko), and even that minute seems to move him forward a bit. With Aikawa’s parting words ringing in his ear, Ryo wonders about whether he should be in this business at all, since he wants too much to carve out happy endings for his patients, but is incapable of doing so.

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So this was a pretty good episode for Ryo overall – a huge comeback from episode nine’s downbeat ending.

If the Katayama Hikaru storyline ends here, I think I can be satisfied with that. We have a pretty clear idea of what happened with him, but the events are in the past, and it looks like his parents are keeping him on a short leash after that call Ryo made to them a couple of episodes ago. Is it a happy ending? No. But at least we finally have a grasp of who Hikaru is – something that’s been elusive until this episode.

Meanwhile, I sure hope this is not the way the Aikawa Sakuya plot ends, because it was totally rushed and felt way too easy. I’m not at all convinced by Aikawa’s sudden realization that he needed more maturity. The ground they covered in this episode should have taken two sessions rather than one.

Also, Aikawa’s involvement with Minami and Miyu should lead to further issues, but the way he says he’s going to take care of it . . . does that mean we’re not going to see any more of the twins?

There are two more episodes, and we still have to find out what happened with Tanaka Shun (Takada Sho), get some resolution between Ryo and his daughter (they can’t end the series with the two still not talking to each other, can they), figure out whether Ryo is still married, and whether he’s still going to be a counselor. Oh, and he sort of still needs to deal with his own past, doesn’t he?

With all of that, and just two episodes . . . maybe this is all we’re going to get on Aikawa, Minami, and Miyu. If so, I’m going to be really disappointed with this series (in a it-was-too-short way).

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