Sunday, 2 February 2014

Wizard Barristers - Episode 4

Having committed no fewer that fifteen murders, it seems that the arrest of Tsukuji Shimizu is simply a terrible felon finally being brought to justice.  However, somebody has to act as the defence attorney for the accused, and no prizes for guessing who that might be...

Of course, it's Butterfly Law Offices who find themselves with the case, as brought to them by Tsukuji's twin brother, and it's Cecil who is given the case to work on despite her misgivings about representing a serial killer.  These misgivings soon seem to be justified as well, as Tsukuji's behaviour is nothing if not akin to that of an utter lunatic, which both upsets and disturbs her.

There's more to this story however, as the accused supposedly suffers from dissociative identity disorder - in other words, he has split personalities.  A very simple psychological test seems to back this up, and so although Tsukuji is indeed convicted of all fifteen murders, his death sentence is reduced to life imprisonment in a facility which can treat his condition.  But if this man really suffering from multiple personalities?  A throaway comment to Cecil suggests not, and when she visits his brother to confront him the sinister possibility emerges that everything the brothers had done was part of a ruse to draw out Cecil, and more importantly draw out her powers...

Although I'm still broadly enjoying Wizard Barristers week on week, I'm increasingly wishing it had more time to devote to its narrative - sticking with a largely episodic setup makes sense in some respects, but it ensures that stories such as this feel rushed, with revelation after revelation and little time to drink in what they might mean for the wider context of the story or its characters.  This makes the whole thing feel a little clumsy in places, which is a shame as I'm suitably intrigued by how the show's wider narrative is building around Cecil and her powers, so hopefully things will settle down once this becomes the focus of the series as it really doesn't seem to have sufficient time to do justice (with every pun intended) to its crime procedural elements.

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