Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 3 and 4
In Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013), episode 3 invites us to remember, long ago, that Howard Carter led a team of archaeologists in a dig in Egypt. When they opened the Tomb of Tutankhamun, it set in train a number of deaths. Some say the tomb was cursed so that anyone breaking the seal would die. “Experts” have tried to explain the phenomenon of the several unexplained deaths by having gas sealed inside, or there being a fungus growing, or bacteria released. You get the idea. Thematically, this gives us the hook for this episode. Our new police officer, Misa Kishitani (Yuriko Yoshitaka), is attending the funeral of a friend. She apparently committed suicide in her bath after her lover of three years broke up with her. This was the man who had recruited her to a start-up company making a database product. There was no explanation for why he should have ended the relationship so suddenly. At the funeral, the boss says he can hear his dead lover’s voice. He falls over in shock and horror, trying to crawl away from the place where the body is lying. Later, his body is found in the river. Three people saw him jump. The medical view after autopsy is that both deaths may be associated with some form of auditory hallucination. Our heroine is convinced there’s likely to be a more practical cause and so goes to see Manabu Yukawa (Masaharu Fukuyama) aka Galileo.
Naturally, he has absolutely no interest in any possible medical cause and dismisses the idea of any form of supernatural explanation. Although the idea of a curse does strike him as something worth investigating, he thinks it very unlikely. But when there’s a third event when a man in an open office hears a voice no-one else can hear, Galileo is finally stung into action. And talking of stinging: while she’s arresting this man emotionally disturbed by his unseen voices (sic), he stabs our police officer in the butt which is highly embarrassing and very painful. Even Galileo is sufficiently alarmed (or, perhaps, amused) to visit her in hospital. Having been through the set-up, the episode now marks time with our heroine interacting with two close friends, fighting with Hiromi Kuribayashi (Ikkei Watanabe), Galileo’s assistant, and falling asleep in Galileo’s lab after a drinking session with her friends. There’s one demonstration of a possible explanation and then the explanation which is, I suppose, scientifically plausible. This series is turning into a scientific mystery series rather than a police procedural or murder mystery series. I suppose this is not unreasonable because Galileo is a professor of physics, but it does seem to have slightly wondered off the thematic police procedural plots that made the first season so successful.
Except, then along comes episode 4 and, suddenly, we’re back on track again. What made the first season so interesting was the way in which seemingly completely unrelated incidents proved to be connected. So this episode sees Galileo hoist by his own petard. He’s published an article using science to analyse and predict the flight of a shuttlecock. This attracts a lot of attention including a question from a baseball pitcher who’s thirty-five years old. He’s been dropped by his team as being too old. In practical terms, the team’s owner thinks the pitcher has lost his mojo. He talks the professor into analysing his pitching action and the flight of the ball as a training exercise. As they come together, the hope is this analysis will be more effective than traditional coaching methods and enable the player to get back into the professional game. This makes the professor the pitcher’s alibi when she’s found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in what looks like an arson attack. Naturally, our detective is on the case and soon knocks on the professor’s door. He’s quite quickly able to explain how the fire was started. But the pitcher remains distressed.
He’s convinced his wife was having an affair. This does not create the right psychological conditions in which he can pitch well. Because the professor is told it’s impossible for the pitcher to get back his lost fire, the chase is on to find the lover and set the pitcher’s mind at rest. This involves asking how the deceased’s car comes to be rusty and why there’s a boxed present in the boot of her car — the box had obviously been opened, but the fact it’s still in the deceased’s possession suggests the “lover” had rejected the gift. So out of vanity, the professor investigates, i.e. he blackmails the detective into collecting information for him by threatening never to help her on a case again. She comes up with an incident that may be relevant and, from an interview on the scene, our physicist is able to deduce the nationality of the man she met. From there, it’s a trivial matter to track the man down. The outcome is powerfully appropriate and emotionally satisfying. This is detective fiction at its best and an outstanding episode.
For other work based on Keigo Higashino’s writing, see:
11 Moji no Satsujin or 11文字の殺人 (2011)
Broken or The Hovering Blade or Banghwanghaneun Kalnal or 방황하는 칼날 (2014)
Bunshin or 分身 (2012)
Galileo or Garireo or ガリレオ
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 1 and 2
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 5 and 6
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 7, 8 and 9
Galileo 2 or ガリレオ (第2期) (2013) episodes 10 and 11
Galileo: The Sacrifice of Suspect X or Yôgisha X no kenshin (2008)
Midsummer Formula or Manatsu no Houteishiki or 真夏の方程式 (2013)
The Murder in Kairotei or Kairoutei Satsujin Jiken or 回廊亭殺人事件 (2011)
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 1 to 4
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 5 to 8
Naniwa Junior Detectives or Naniwa Shonen Tanteida or 浪花少年探偵団 (2012) episodes 9 to 12
Platinum Data or プラチナデータ (2013)
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 1 to 5
Thursday Theatre Keigo Higashino Mystery or 東野圭吾ミステリーズ (2012) episodes 6 to 11
White Night or Baekyahaeng or 백야행 : 하얀 어둠 속을 걷다 (2009)
The Wings of the Kirin or Kirin no Tsubasa: Gekijoban Shinzanmono or 麒麟の翼 ～劇場版・新参者～ (2012)
For a Galileo novel, see Salvation of a Saint.