Episode 4 of The Journalist begins in the past, with Suzuki talking to Ryo about university. He thanks Suzuki for his help over the years, and likens him to his own father. It’s a really touching moment but the sunshine and smiles soon pave way for despair, as Mayumi awakens and is reminded that she’s alone.
At the paper, the workers discuss whether this scandal is all going to be swept under the rug or not. Matsuda remains determined to make sure this won’t be the case. She shows up at the press conference and demands answers, refusing to leave and grilling the PM hard.
This “problematic” reporter remains the focus of the Chief and Murakami too. The Chief wants to spin the story so that Matsuda is made out to be biased and not at all impartial. She tasks Murakami to dig into her past, allowing him to use Kohei as a weapon, claiming it’s his own fault that he ended up in a vegetative state, given his ties to Shinjiro Toyoda.
Toyoda appears to have been involved in his own political scandal, and specifically in bribery leveled toward his AI scheme. Kohei tried to get involved and find out what was going on, which led to him overworking and having a heart attack at work from the stress of it all.
The police investigated these subsidiaries off the back of this, along with Toyoda’s corruption of course, but the Prime Minister called this off at the last minute, partly because of the dirt Toyoda has against him. Keeping this man happy appears to be a way to keep the administration in power.
As Murakami continues to investigate, he learns there was a whistleblower complaint led by Kohei. Apparently he had proof of the corruption involving Toyoda but when he inexplicably fell ill after, it stopped the entire investigation and was hurriedly covered up.
After learning all this, it makes the Chief’s decision to incriminate Matsuda and claim she has an unjustified grudge against the administration, that much more damning. The widespread news about Matsuda’s brother goes viral, including social media abuzz with personal attacks.
When Matsuda shows up to work at the paper, the manager and editor implore her to stop with the Eishin Case and drop it.
The next day, Ryo heads to the office to talk with Matsuda. They discuss journalistic integrity together, with Matsuda admitting she wants to be a voice for the voiceless. This sees him encourage Matsuda to head over and speak to Mayumi again.
This time, Mayumi trusts that she’ll do the right thing and shows him the suicide note she’s kept hidden these past few episodes. Within his note are meticulous details about all the employees that he was working with, along with written proof of absolutely everything that happened.
Mayumi is determined to do right by her husband and blow this case wide open – and Matsuda is determined to make good on that promise.
Matsuda shows up at the newspaper and shows the suicide note to her superiors. Her manager refuses to let it print though, much to Matsuda and the editor’s shock. The editor realizes his boss is being pressured by the administration, and his radio silence speaks volumes.
Meanwhile, Murakami is called into a meeting with the administration, and in particular Toyoda. With him present, along with the chief and other officials, he’s questioned over what he knows.
As the episode closes out, Kurosaki is approached by Matsuda after-hours. She shows off the suicide note to Kurosaki and urges him to read what Suzuki has written.
The Episode Review
The plot continues to thicken and the layers of corruption are swept under the bloated rug once again. This whole Toyoda situation looks like it could be the catalyst to everything else that’s been happening here, especially if Murakami’s investigation is anything to go by.
However, it’s Matsuda and her tireless approach toward this case that’s the most pressing issue here. She’s determined to do what’s right by Suzuki and that suicide note appears to be the gateway to achieve just that.
Of course, this also comes with pressure on Kurosaki to actually hand over the USB stick and use that as increasing evidence to use against the administration. Whether he’ll actually have the courage to do this or not though, is another matter.
Everything is set up nicely for the final two episodes of this season, which promise to bring quite the dramatic conclusion to this show.