It certainly surprised me when it was initially arranged for Holmes, Aoi and Akihito to attend yet another fancy birthday party of a famous appraiser Yanagihara. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I quickly got an idea where things were going when the Appraising Game came into play, and I knew Ensho was undoubtedly behind the fake painting when it was presented as a challenge exclusively for Holmes to face.
That is when things went from zero to one hundred very fast. As result the episode that started out as a simply outing to a party, ended up getting real deep. In some ways, I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of depth and meaning behind every article or structure. Among everything that was presented to us this week, what shook me the most was the way Ensho cleverly used the mirror to tying together the “Window of the Straying” and William Holman Hunt’s, “Our English Coasts” through its alternative title, “Strayed Sheep”. This is how he led Holmes to the Genko-an Temple where “Window of the Straying”, that represents human existence and mortal suffering, and “Window of Enlightenment” represents the zen mindset and greater universe are at. Actually, can we just take a moment and appreciate the sheer amount of research that has been put into this series. It is absolutely insane the amount of information we’re getting on these articles each week. This is exactly what makes this show so unique and yet surprisingly fascinating to watch!
Better yet, Ensho has fittingly decided to use another alias by the name of Moria, meant to refer to Moriarty, who is Sherlock Holmes’ rival. And man, that really triggered Holmes. He already had his suspicions of such the moment he identified the painting was a counterfeit, but the moment he heard the name Moria and received the mirror, he had completely lost his composure. Ensho is an expert at getting under his skin.
Unfortunately for him, today Ensho won this fight, as it appears (although I could be wrong) his objective was to get an answer or clue of how Holmes and other appraisers are able to discern a counterfeit. So while it started out with looking like Holmes had beaten him, really he was the one who was duped, and he only realized it when he opened what was left of his snapped fan, with a mocking message of “Victory” on it.
But that wasn’t the only thing he accomplished. After we got to hear Ensho’s backstory, (which was exactly as Holmes predicted– seriously, if he weren’t studying the arts, he could be a god damn Profiler!), it dawned to me how it seems the real reason why Ensho is obsessed with Holmes, is not only because he wants to humiliate him, but when Holmes identifies his forgery, what he also doing he is validating his existence.
Losing against Ensho was a mortifying experience for Holmes, and was angry with himself for being made a fool of. Aoi helped raise his spirits by recognizing what he needed was not comfort, but simply encouragement for the next fight.
And that brings us to a full circle of the quiet scene that was teased in the beginning of the episode. Funny enough, we didn’t get anything in the end either because Akihito interrupted them, so we will have to wait for the conversation to be resumed another time. The question is when!?
And goodness, they are certainly teasing us to death about Holmes potentially acting out on his feelings towards Aoi. It is really hard to say, especially when Holmes had effectively shut Akihito down in a rather convincing fashion two episodes ago. But this week, it certainly felt as though his feelings towards Aoi were provoked, starting with learning how her friend wanted her to go with her to a mixer with college students. It didn’t go unnoticed how Holmes’ initially flinched, and became fiercely protective of her. All he saw was nothing but trouble– and I agree with that assessment. But it’s funny though considering Holmes himself appears to be struggling to suppress his own feelings, or maybe he is actually oblivious about it, which would be ironic considering how he is able to read everyone like a book! But Rikyu does a good job of provoking such feelings, by mocking Aoi or encouraging her to go to the mixer, teasing how she might find a good match. (But man the guy is a pain in the ass, I am glad he got left behind this episode). Of course there is also the possibility of Holmes just acting like a big brother to Aoi, as he is especially proud of her for being able to successfully win the game at the party. However with the last scene, I have a hard time believing that is really the case. Holmes took her hand, and was quite flustered when Akihito interrupted them. He held back because he would rather be able to tell her what he wanted to say when it’s just the two of them. Fufufufufufufu…. I look forward to it, but I am also bracing myself to be trolled by the writer as well ahahaha!
And I said it before, and I will say it again: The two of them, despite their age difference have such effortless chemistry and make such a good match. Because they are kindred spirits, the two of them are able to understand each other and established unique connection between them, and it has nothing but grown since the moment they met. On top of that, Aoi has become passionate about the appraiser field, and has been diligently taking her lessons with Holmes very seriously. In fact I was so happy for her to have won the game, I was afraid she was going to fail and was scared she would lose a lot of confidence in herself if she did. Better yet, she was rewarded with a trip for two at a Kinosaki Inn’s Tsukimiya suite– and the old man Yanagihara ships her and Holmes together, AHAHAHA! She certainly proved her worth and helped upkeep the Kura shop’s reputation with her success!