All the corruption, the scandals and the abuse; it all comes down to this. Episode 6 of The Journalist promises to blow the case into Toyoda and the Eishin Academy wide open.
Matsuda receives a call at the hospital from a very paranoid Murakami, making sure she’s alone before they meet. He obviously knows Kohei and when Matsuda sees him, she too recognizes him as a worker from CIRO.
Matsuda finds out that Murakami has his sights set on bringing down Toyoda. The big coup here though comes from him giving a statement. If he could testify in court, then he could be the key to blowing this whole case wide open.
As Mayumi’s online petition starts to gather momentum, she’s encouraged by her lawyers to head on TV to talk about her case and only grow that profile.
Before she does, Matsuda and Mayumi head up to visit Mouri. He’s been under pressure for a while and despite the Chief’s promise to protect him, that definitely doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. So naturally, Mayumi pleads with him to testify – the truth this time, not a half-crooked testimony about how the Prime Minister isn’t involved. Mouri though, doesn’t have the courage to do that.
One person who does testify however, is Kurosaki. Unfortunately, he throw’s Murakami under the bus, claiming he’s the one who gave the order. Of course, this was all Chief Tada’s doing, given he promised he’d follow through with this threat last episode.
What he wasn’t banking on however, is Murakami hitting back and making sure he doesn’t go down without a fight. During a meeting with Toyoda, Murakami snaps. When the official sneers and claims that any decisions should be to the benefit of those at the top, Murakami brings up how unfair this is and asks for change. The thing is, he’s actually recording this entire conversation, with Toyoda incriminating himself.
While all this is going on, the subplot between Roy and Mayu meets a definitive end. There’s a bittersweet sense of irony between these two, which is explored beautifully in this sequence.
Mayu has always been enthusiastic about working in newspapers and was the one who encouraged Ryo to pursue this too, sparking his interest in politics via the delivery job. However, she’s been struggling to get work and the one job she does land, is snatched away from her at the last second thanks to the company getting cold feet about their potential prospects in the future.
As Ryo and Mayu walk together, the latter has made peace with the fact no one is to blame but remains determined to live her life as best as possible. Ryo decides to write an article about her experiences, honoring Suzuki’s memory along with living up to his own potential.
Regardless of the looming threat of Coronavirus, the authored version of Kohei’s whistleblowing report is published. Alongside Murakami’s audio transcript and Matsuda’s tenacity, Murakami agrees to testify against the government. The morning newspapers – written by Ryo no less – are awash with the scandal, as it’s revealed that the Internal Ministry and all the ministers involved in this fraud have been outed.
Because of this, the earlier closed case is reopened again, with all the documents and proof needed to incriminate those big names behind this. However, Murakami’s name will forever be tarnished because of this, especially being such a public whistleblower. As he heads inside the court, he turns to Mayumi, Ryo and Matsuda, making peace with his choice, and tells them “this is where it begins.”
The group are ready to fight for a better political system, but that’s obviously easier said than done. The Journalist leaves the show with a sense of ambiguity but a bigger message to the younger generation that with belief, conviction and courage, the established hierarchy can be changed.
The Episode Review
Alas, the Eishin Case is blown wide open but leaving the hope alive for the younger generation to change the political system from within. Seeing Ryo make it as a rookie newspaper editor by speaking his mind – nd being the one to publish the Eishin Case scandal – is a beautiful sense of poetry and allows him to honour his uncle in the best way possible.
Likewise, The Journalist manages to give a good account of itself when it comes to showing the ugly side of politics, as well as the symbiotic relationship this has with mass media. For that alone, this has been an important and really well written series.
The show does also have a few other stand-out elements, namely its music and the great way this leads into some very dramatic and well worked scenes. Suzuki’s death at the end of episode 2, for example, was masterfully done, stripping out all the music to really feel the impact of this loss.
There have been other stand-out moments in this but overall, The Journalist has been a solid watch. It’s certainly one of the stronger offerings on Netflix for a while and gets this year off to a great start.