Case Closed: Episode 956 – “The Mystery-Solving Water Taxi (Part One)”

The episode begins with Inspector Megure and the police investigating a murder. Kogoro and Conan happen to be in the area, so they jump right in and help with the investigation. What’s interesting here is that over the course of the entire episode, Kogoro and Conan are essentially observers. You expect that out of Kogoro, but surprisingly, Conan didn’t come up with any deductions yet. Of course, that might be due to the fact that it seems that both of the prime suspects in this murder case appear to have an alibi.

OK, so let’s set up the story. The murder victim is a young man with a bad reputation in his neighborhood with a penchant for drinking. He has a brother who is a government employee, and the two of them live with their mother (their father died five years earlier). The mother was seen with a lot of injuries, so rumors were going around that the delinquent son was abusing her. Both the mother and the brother deny that there was any domestic violence going on. The police decide that the older brother is the prime suspect, and take him down to the station to be questioned. However, by the time they finish interviewing him, the older brother’s alibi is confirmed by two different people. The police let him go, but the brother huffs about never forgetting the humiliation he endured by the police for being treated as a murder suspect. He definitely came across as someone with a bit of a temper, if not an attitude problem.

It’s also revealed that a well-built man in his 30’s has been asking around the neighborhood about the family. The police get security footage of him and take it to the mother and brother. The mother knows that the man is a former student of hers from when she taught at an elementary school. She said he was a rowdy kid, but insists he was a good kid with a heart of gold. Like she did with her son, she is also adamant that this former student wasn’t capable of murdering someone. Apparently, the mother and the student had encountered each other about a week or so earlier. She starts to say at the hospital, but quickly changes from “hospital” to “in town.” The mother was obviously trying to hide something, but it appears that neither the police nor Conan noticed, since this was never mentioned.

The police go to question the former student, and he’s not the least bit surprised that they have come to see him. His reaction to the murder of his former teacher’s son was on the unnatural side as well. But, it turns out the police can confirm the alibi that the student gave them. Just as they do, Megure receives a call that a fire has broken out at the home of the murder victim’s family.

Megure and the others rush to the scene, where the murder victim’s brother is being treated for minor injuries. It’s revealed that his mother died in the fire. The former student had come with the police, and his reaction to the situation was also rather unnatural.

The episode ends with Conan trying to figure out how these two cases may be connected. He can’t believe that both of these incidents happening so close together could be a coincidence.

Now, *THIS* is the type of story I expect from Case Closed, not the horrible “insect man” story from a couple of weeks ago. When it comes to solving the mystery, I have a couple of ideas, but I have a feeling they’re all wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing next week’s episode to see how Conan pieces things together and how the mystery falls into place. As it is now, it seems we’re missing some important information, which is why no one, not even Conan, can come up with any real theory of what happened for both the murder and the fire.

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