The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 4 of
The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED ?
This episode brings something that's felt a longer time coming than it's actually been: a comeuppance for Daisuke. Not that he's been an irredeemable twit in the three episodes that precede this one, but he'd been so insulated by his copious amounts of cash that it's not so much that he was overdue for being the underdog this week as it is that he's been overdue for a reality check for most of his life. That brings us to today, when after an unspecified event, Daisuke walks out of the house without his magic earring, loses his phone, and has to rely on Haru rather than his bank account.
It's definitely a lesson. Without his cash, Daisuke has basically zero idea how to function, but damned if he's going to admit that. Instead he tries to put on a good show of being as cool as always, which very nearly backfires on him. That's because the case this week is based around a little boy who loses his puppy and Haru calls Daisuke specifically so that he can use his robo-butler to help out. When Daisuke realizes he's butler-less, he simply refuses to help, leading Haru and the kid to assume that he's just being a jerk. It isn't until later that Haru realizes what's going on, redeeming Daisuke in his eyes if only because now Haru gets to be the showoff.
And show off he does! It's abundantly clear that he's enjoying how Daisuke has to rely on him for everything, but he also refrains from lording it over him, which perhaps says more about Haru's base character than anything else. He's not going to coddle Daisuke, as we see when he refuses to run for a band-aid for Daisuke's cut, but he also doesn't rub it in his face when Daisuke fails to understand why he does his own grocery shopping. It's an episode that does more to build their bond as partners than anything else we've seen thus far, and it makes for a very nice follow-up to last week's episode, showing that both men have something to bring to the table regardless of who they are and how much cash they have. That Daisuke even asks Haru for his train fare in the end seems like the greatest indication of how far they've come.
It also turns out that it's just as well that Daisuke didn't have access to his butler. The puppy, we learn at the end, was hit by a car and killed soon after the boy lost him – something that Daisuke would have found out immediately had he had his gizmos, and the Daisuke who felt secure might not have thought twice before telling the boy the truth or just buying him a new dog. But throughout the episode we see the notices that Suzue (who is way too upset about a grown man being out on his own) posts to try and get him to come home, and he may have internalized her worries and realized that this is what the boy is feeling for his lost pet. So even though Daisuke does buy the boy a new dog, he gets one that's identical to the lost Shiro and doesn't tell him that it's new – he understands that it's more important that the child regains his pet than that he's told the strictest truth. It's far kinder than anything else he's done so far and again piggybacks off of the previous episode in that he really thought about his actions and what they mean, something he's been seeing Haru do all along but never more so than when dealing with the young man on the train. Living like the other half isn't just an experience for Daisuke, it's a lesson in humanity.
That seems to be what his grandmother was hoping for all along based on her lack of concern and the few comments she makes. Suzue's overprotectiveness seems to be part of Daisuke's problem, and when he comes home and makes a very cheap dish that Haru taught him, he's showing both himself and his family that he understands that there's more to the world than his cash allows for. Although the series hasn't been hugely linear, I'm hopeful that the characters will continue to be so that Daisuke keeps growing in this direction.
And maybe he'll stop sleeping in the bathtub when he stays over at someone else's house. As far as I'm concerned, that's the real mystery of this episode.
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