12::00 AM-01:00 AM
Original Air Date: October 9, 2020
Directed by: Kôsuke Suzuki
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Start the Clock: We start at 11:18 PM. In the docks a man is on the phone hearing that “She’s dead.” His is resolute in his response. One of the buildings is quiet until a truck rams through the door and the man comes out shooting all John Woo style.
We flash back twenty-three hours as the graphic says “The following takes place in Tokyo between midnight and 1:00 AM on the day of the general election. Hopes are high for Japan’s first female prime minister. EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME.” There is an ad for Prime Minister uandidate Urara Asakura, asking people to restore hope.
Genba Shido and his daughter Miyu are playing poker. Genba thinks he has won with three kings, but Miyu pulls out a four of a kind. Miyu is happy to spend time with her father again after such a long time. Genba sends her to bed for the night as she gives her mother, Rikka, the cold shoulder.
In Naha, Okinawa, a young man covertly transmits data. There are gunshots heard outside, but the data is eventually transmitted.
12:08 in Tokyo, there is a wild shootout as Santonaka Heisuke takes a call. There is information on the target of an assassination; Urara. At a hotel, Urara is arguing with someone about how much to emphasize her gender in a speech. Her husband, Yohei, breaks the tie in favor of the specificity.
Genba and Rikka talk about how Miyu thinks Genba left them but there is more to it. Genba hates Miyu putting them against each other and the duo decides to have a united front for their daughter. Unfortunately, she has run away. Genba goes out to find her since she could not have gotten too far when his phone rings. It is Santonaka with an urgent message resulting in everyone being called in. Genba and Rikka work out a plan and he is off. Miyu and her friend, Suzu, are off to meet a couple of college men.
The staff at the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) are none too pleased about what is happening. Chiefs Itsuki and Nanjo have no idea what is going on and Cryptanalyst Akechi is missing a date. Things are much better for Miyu and Suzu who meet up with Go and Ken. Go and Suzu get frisky while Miyu and Ken put out the party supplies.
Genba checks in with Rikka as he walks into CTU. He orders Itusuki to collect information on Urara. A call is put into the police as Santonaka enters. There is a briefing that there will be an attempt on Urara in the next twenty-four hours. It may include foreign assistance but there is little to go on. There is a private conversation with Genba where he reveals that there is a mole working in their branch against them. Genba is reluctant but the order to find the traitor stands. Another director will be coming in shortly with more information though they are of questionable morality.
On an airplane, a passenger asks the stewardess how long until they land. He is Tsunehiko, a photographer ready to take a picture of Urara. He is interrupted by a sultry female passenger, Nanami Hikawa.
12:26:42. Genba and Ituski argue about the validity of the coming director when Rikka calls him. She found some racy photos of Miyu and Genba asks her to check out Miyu’s tablet. Unfortunately, they do not have the password.
Ken takes Miyu to the roof. She talks about how her father was a surfer but died six months ago.
Director Genji comes in and briefs Genba. Genji provides a USB drive with information but not the source. Genji is not a fan of Urara as she opposes government surveillance. Her success can be an end to CTU. Genba asks him to call for permission to get the source but covertly listens in on the call to find out that Genji is being duplicitous. Genba shoots him with a tranquilizer dart and asks Itsuki to look into a case involving Genji and some funds that mysteriously went missing.
12:34:24. Rikka gets a call from a man named Yogo. His daughter, Suzu, has run away for the night. He found the Shido number on her calendar and made a call.
Itsuki reports that the file is encrypted. Genba asks her to get Nanjo to do it. Nanjo sees through the request but complies. Genba also asks Akechi to find the password for Miyu’s tablet, ‘LOVE PAPA.’ Ken and Miyu smooch while Go and Suzu are a little past that. On the plane, Tsunehiko and his paramour talk. When she asks to see his pictures, he has one at the ready.
12:39:52. Urara takes a break from her speech practice as Akiyama is still working on better phrasing. She takes a call from a reporter. There is some concern for her children Yuta and Hina. Hina is preparing a pie, showing it off to her grandmother and brother Yut,a who is happy on the surface but more despondent privately. Meanwhile, a furious Urara is angry at the reporter for the lies. Yohei hears the commotion, but she keeps her silence when back in public.
Itsuki and Genba talk about the dangerous situation he could be in. He knows but is keeping her in the dark so that if he gets in trouble there will still be a good person to work there. Rikka finds an address and calls Yogo. He agrees to pick her up. Reporter Yamashiro’s producer comes in and she asks to replace the top story.
Miyu, Suzu, Ken and Go are ready to leave but Miyu notices several voicemails. Go offers to drop her off at home. Tsunehiko and Nanami are in a heavy make out session in the restroom.
12:48:53. Genba successfully blackmails Gengi, who leaves in a huff. Nanami covertly gets up, sneaks off to the entrance, looks at the pilfered ID from Tsunehiko, rigs the door to explode, puts on a flight suit and evacuates shortly before blowing up the plane.
Rikka calls Genba while en route to the party location. They are playing things by ear much to Genba’s chagrin. News of the crash reaches CTU and the Urara delegation. Go misses a turn and Miyu turns to Ken but both tell her to chill out. They unknowingly pass Miyu and Suzu’s parents. As the hour comes to a close, Nanami lands.
iMagic: Although the USB has information on the assassination plot, it also allows Itsuki to look into the missing funds from an old case.
Stormtrooper Accuracy: We are introduced to Santonaka in a shootout. They are nice enough to stop shooting long enough for him to take a call.
Dunder Mifflin: Even though Santonaka is a director, Genba asks him to call everyone in. It would probably be better for that to be standard operating procedure regardless. Also, when Santonaka briefs Genba about there being a mole, the camera flashes to Ituski, Akechi and Nanjo … along with a random extra.
Money Shot: This being the pilot, there are a lot of these this week. In order, CTU Squad Leader Genba Shido, CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) Branch 1 Team A; Genba’s Daughter, Shido Miyu; Genba’s Wife, Shido Rikka; Santonaka Heisku, Director of CT Tokyo; Prime Minister Candidate Urara Asakura; Parliamentary Secretary Akiyama Noboru; Urara’s Husband Asakura Yohei; Miyu’s close friend Hakozaki Suzu; Chief Mizuishi Itsuki CTU Branch 1 Team A; Akechi Sumire, Cryptanalyst; Nanjo Takumi, Chief Cryptanalyst; Suzu’s friend Samejima Go; Go’s Friend, Hasebe Kenya; Parliamentary secretary Aikawa Keiko; CTU Branch 1 Chief Onituska Gengi CTU Tokyo HQ; Accountant Hakozaki Yogo; Newscaster Yamashiro Madoka; Urara’s Son Asakura Yuta; Urara’s daughter, Asakura Hina; Yohei’s Mother, Isomura Shigeki;
Food Glorious Food: Ken and Miyu drink beverages some of which your humble rewatcher is certain are non-alcoholic.
Peter Griffin Moment: The tranquilizer should keep Gengi out for a half hour, but he is awake not twenty minutes later which is good because the half hour would go straight into the next episode.
[REDATED] it!: Ituski calls the director a ‘careerist prick.’ Genba does not disagree.
The Cubbies: Nanjo looks at Itsuki a little too long to just be colleagues.
I’m Not a Spy: Ituski and Nanjo were a thing. Genba knows her to be discontent.
Five Minute Rule: Rikka thinks this was the first time Miyu ran out. Genba is doubtful.
Amnesia Bait: Rikka looks lovingly at the family pictures around the house.
24-Gate: Yohei has already crated the perfect speech and is working on twenty or thirty more.
Let’s Up the Rating: Go and Suzu are both out of focus and under the sheets when they are … ‘busy.’
THAT kind of topless: No less than three shootouts though we do not see anyone but Genji shot and that is non-lethal.
Day Player of the Week: Either Kenshi Takemoto or Tomohiro Furuya sell the air traffic controller who loses a plane.
Employee of the Month: Genba got a hunch about Urara after he passed a huge billboard.
One More Time: “I’m the man who accused and fired three colleagues with this hand.”
Genba trying to not be responsible for finding a mole in their midst.
Hour Time: “Do you have plans?” “Of course. Dating and all that.” Pilots can be a mixed bag. They have to introduce the characters and as much plot as they can. This bring in a thriller and there is a lot of ground to cover with over a dozen central characters plus three main plots to get off the ground.
Thankfully, we start things off with some excitement. The script and direction keep the action flowing as the series opens. Not one, not two, but three shootouts and things are jumping all over the place. As a director, Kôsuke Suzuki keeps things moving following the direction of Stephen Hopkins while adding in some flair of his own. The show looks great, and the split screens are fantastic.
The main assassination plot gets started. We are quickly introduced to the supporting players and get enough information to chew on. The Genba-Itsuki-Nanjo tension is there along with Akechi’s youth. These are brief moments, but we get the relationships quickly.
Genji is fairly slimy though Shiro Sano brings a bit of nobility to the role. With a thriller, there are ways to cover things up with directing and framing of shots. The scene with Genba and Genji offers no such escape route. The two play off the material perfectly with showing us what Genji would develop into. They have wet the appetite for more and we are at the start of their journey.
The Miyu storyline gets off with quite a start as well. Played with perfect youthfulness, Hiyori Sakurada gets enough cues and direction to add nuance to what could be a one note role. She is the only main character in her group and plays a lot of dimension. The guys are guys, but she knows when to give information and when to hold it. She does not get too tempted by the evening’s festivities.
As for Rikka, I stopped watching the first time I saw her. Tae Kimura was so disinterested and despondent that it was hard for me to continue. On the rewatch, she is caught up in everything happening. We have enough about how she is trying to get the family back together and while they are under the same roof, everything is not at peace. She gets better as the hour goes on, but she is not what I am coming to see.
The entire Urara plot is pretty flat. There was something happening at the end but until then we see a bunch of people talking about things in a very boring manner. It fits with the story and characters but is not compelling to watch. None of the performances are that great and it seems to kind of be there for the sake of being there. The plot will get better (it has to) but it can be excised and make the hour better.
The airplane sequence worked as well as it could have, and the escape adds excitement as the hour closes. There’s also the addition of the grandmother and a reporter who seems to have a larger role than in the American version. We’ll see where things go, but it is off to a solid start.
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