Burn The House Down – J-drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

Episode 4 of Burn The House Down starts with Makiko telling the hospital trustees that Shinji will take over the Mitarai Hospital as Kiichi lived abroad. At the same time, Kiichi asks Shizuka if she really wanted to know the truth behind the fire that ruined her childhood and broke her family.

That evening, Shizuka meets Claire and Yuzu and tells them that Kiichi knew who caused the fire and adds that he promised to tell her all about it later. Claire wonders if Shizuka trusted him. She tells Claire that he is the only one who hates Makiko and wants the truth to be out, just like them.

Claire and Yuzu ask her to be wary of Kiichi while she is at work. The next day, Makiko leaves to attend an opening ceremony wearing a bright red dress. Shizuka asks if she was able to reconcile with Kiichi but Makiko claims that they are used to butting heads.

Makiko tells Shizuka that she is ready to take care of Kiichi until the day he dies which leaves the housemaid shocked. Kiichi asks Shizuka to join him to visit a place that will lead them to the real arsonist. Shizuka finishes her work and the two head out. Kiichi feels lightheaded after leaving the house for the first time in years.

Kiichi suffers from a panic attack after seeing other people and he is worried that people will find out he was a deadbeat, good-for-nothing son. Meanwhile, Shinji learns that his scores were not that great. Nanami offers to help him study but Shinji claims that he would study at home instead.

After he leaves, Nanami and their friend discuss how Shinji was working hard to get a scholarship because he did not want money from his stepfather. A flashback shows how Makiko used to compare Shinji with Kiichi claiming he was weaker than his older brother as she forced him to study harder.

While their mother poses for pictures at the party, Shinji gets back home and finds Kiichi downstairs. He tries to speak to his older brother but Kiichi does not want to talk to Shinji. Shinji tells Kiichi to be considerate of the rest of the family members but Kiichi leaves to go back to his room.

That night, Shizuka tells Claire about how Kiichi could not leave because he was overwhelmed. Claire asks Shizuka to be wary of him but the latter claims that Kiichi was their only shot at finding the truth. Claire tells Shizuka that she had found Makiko’s blog that the woman had maintained before the fire.

Shizuka goes through the blog where Makiko had written about her first meeting with Satsuki. According to Makiko’s blog, she had first seen Satsuki at a parent convention in Anzu and Shinji’s school. Makiko did not have any significant entries in her blog but only had a few superficial poetic lines and that she stopped updating the blog from the time of the fire.

Yuzu and Shizuka learn that just like Makiko, Satsuki too had a blog of her own. Shizuka claims that she was not able to find Satsuki’s blog and thinks it was deleted. The next day, Shizuka tries to get into Kiichi’s room, trying to force him to find the arsonist. He tells her that he has come to his senses and does not want to go out anymore. She tries to force Kiichi to go out but he lashes at her.

Shizuka has had it with his excuses and starts cleaning out his dark dingy room. She yells at Kiichi for being a total loser by choice and forces him to clean up the room. She threatens to tell the world about his secret life if he does anything to her and asks him to help clean his pigsty room.

That day, Yuzu asks her father to meet outside the hospital for a chat about her mother. Mr Mitarai claims that he feels unwanted at home and often lives in the hospital. He also promises to keep their meeting a secret and tells Yuzu everything she wanted to know about Satsuki.

Mr Mitarai tells Yuzu that Satsuki was always busy with housework and work at the hospital and adds that all she wanted was to make friends. Meanwhile, Shinji gets back home early and overhears Shizuka and Kiichi being playful. Kiichi and Shizuka bond and she tries to empower Kiichi by asking him to live his life on his own terms.

Shinji overhears the conversation and is shocked to see that Kiichi is on good terms with the house help. After cleaning his room, Shizuka tells Kiichi that he needed to help her find the arsonist as he promised.

Downstairs, Shinji thanks Shizuka for helping Kiichi. He promises to keep it a secret from Makiko and Shizuka is relieved. Shinji claims that Kiichi was his idol before they moved to the Mitarai house and adds that he hadn’t left his room in 10 years.

That night, Yuzu tells Shizuka that she had found their mother’s private blog and hides the fact that she had spoken to their father again. Shizuka asks Claire to get into the blog.

Yuzu asks Shizuka if they could get Mr Mitarai to join them in their venture to find the arsonist because he seemed like a nice person to her. Shizuka claims that their father hadn’t reached out to them in 13 years and claims that he was unreliable.

That night, Makiko forces Shinji to sit down for an interview. He tries to get out of it but cannot say no to his mother. Shinji recalls how Shizuka was authoritative with Kiichi and recalls her classmate Anzu’s behaviour from when they were younger. He suspects that Shizuka was Anzu and asks his mother about their house help. Shinji goes through her resume which makes Makiko suspicious.

The next day, Makiko has Shinji follow Shizuka home after work. Meanwhile, Makiko asks Nurse Ichihara to look for the SD card that Yuzu was after. Nurse Ichihara tells Makiko that Satsuki’s family was up to something suspicious. At the same time, Shizuka gets a text from Kiichi, telling her that Shinji was following her.

She texts Claire to set up her apartment mailbox and goes to Claire’s apartment instead of her own. Shinji is surprised when he sees Claire, pretending to be Shizuka’s mother and learns that he had made a mistake. Shizuka tells Claire about Kiichi helping them out and the latter wonders if he had actually switched sides.

Just then, Kiichi texts her, offering to go out to look for the clues about the arsonist together. That night, Makiko tells Shinji that he paid Shizuka well for the trouble Shinji caused by following her. Shinji asks his mother to let go of Kiichi and leave him on his own but Makiko claims that he could not survive in the world alone.

The next day, Shizuka and Kiichi go out on a walk and she tries to get Kiichi accustomed to being outside. She tells him that they could start slow and eventually get to the train station – the location with clues about the arsonist. The two bond as they walk down Makiko’s old apartment complex.

A young guy recognises Kiichi and asks if he was back from his overseas job. Shizuka lies to protect Kiichi and tells Nomoto that he was back on a break. She learns from Nomoto that Kiichi was a genius as a teenager. Kiichi gets mad at Nomoto for abandoning him after his mother’s remarriage.

Shizuka stops Kiichi from beating Nomoto up and the latter confesses that it was because of Makiko. Nomoto claims that Makiko had paid him and his friends a huge sum of money asking them to stay away from Kiichi. Nomoto apologises for betraying Kiichi.

After he leaves, Kiichi and Shizuka get to talking. He shares how he had gotten into medicine by studying hard after high school. Kiichi tells Shizuka that there were rumours that he had gotten into college because of a donation. He recalls confronting his mother about it and learns that she had done so on purpose to demerit Kiichi.

He claims that all his information was released online and it made him paranoid to leave the room. Shizuka tells Kiichi that she admired him when they were kids and shows him the compass he had given her when they were young. He tells her to never give up just like he had asked her to when they were kids.

Kiichi gets tense and leaves to go home alone. At the same time, Yuzu meets her father again for dinner. The two discuss the night of the fire and Mr Mitarai claims how the CCTV footage shows it was Satsuki who started the fire. Yuzu learns that her father had been brainwashed by Makiko into thinking that Satsuki did that on purpose to finally be able to get away from the house.

Yuzu shows Mr Mitarai the CCTV footage of Makiko in the jacket and tells him that Satsuki was in the hospital due to her illness. Mr Mitarai is shocked and tells her he will try to look for the jacket in the closet. He claims that if he does, he will make the difficult decision of letting Makiko go.

The next day, Kiichi and Shizuka go to the Misawano to look for clues. They go to Kiichi’s old apartment and find his old family computer there. He looks up the diary on the device to see what Mikako had been noting down and recalls how excited she was after befriending Satsuki.

Kiichi tells Shizuka that Makiko’s actual blog was not the one she was reading. He claims that Makiko mimicked Satsuki and copied her sense of style, her hair and everything that she could. He shows Shizuka the blog that she thought was her mother’s.

Shizuka is shocked to learn that Makiko wanted to live her mother Satsuki’s life. That day, Mr Mitarai brings Makiko along for his lunch with Yuzu, leaving her shocked. Makiko confronts Yuzu for plotting against her behind her back and asks Yuzu what she was curious about.

The episode ends with Kiichi giving the laptop to Shizuka and asking her to look for the answers herself. 

The Episode Review

It is clear that Mikoko is a manipulative woman but I really expected better from Mr Mitarai. He just let his youngest child into the lionesses’ den and it looks like things are getting a lot more complicated now.

The episodes are very very long and the show is packed with details that I am not sure if the makers would ever touch back on. I wish the pace of narration was faster so we could get to the point sooner.

However, this one is an interesting watch and I am sure the blog won’t have all the details about the arson. The blog could lead Shizuka/Anzu to more clues that reveal the truth about the night and I would not be shocked if it turns out that Mr Mitarai was the man behind it. 

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Read our full season review for Season 1 of Burn The House Down here!

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