Case Closed: Episode 996 – “The Skilled Hawk Hides His Crimes”

This episode sees Kogoro, Ran, and Conan visiting an inn out in the countryside. The husband and wife who run the inn quit their office jobs in order to start the inn. From what’s said in the dialogue, it had been a thriving place, but the amount of visitors has slowed down a lot. In fact, our three characters are the only visitors during this story.

The inn is having a small festival with some of the locals doing demonstrations. One has a hawk that he uses for falconry demonstrations, while the other is a local rice farmer who makes puffed rice for the inn. The husband is seen on a television program promoting the festival, in what was obviously something pre-recorded (since he’s with the others). However, with some of the dialogue that was taking place, it wasn’t entirely clear if what we saw was the actual festival, or if this was a kind of “warm up” to practice for the festival. The main thing that made me question this was the part when the rice farmer asks Conan and Ran to promote “today’s festival” at school.

Early in the episode, Conan overhears a tense conversation the husband has with someone who suddenly shows up. From what we see and hear, there’s some kind of paperwork involved. At that point, I figured out what was going on with this, and a feeling that this would somehow be connected to the motive for the upcoming mystery.

The husband goes out to hunt a boar for the boar stew that’s going to be served during the festival, and while he’s gone, the rice farmer does his puffed rice demonstration. At the time the machine goes off, Kogoro swears he hears a gun. After this is a falconry demonstration, which is supposed to end with the hawk getting a target that’s been set up. When the hawk goes to get the target, though, something causes it to go off course. At that time, the husband comes out of the bushes and collapses. When Kogoro and the others get to him, they can see a shotgun wound, and Kogoro determines that he’s already dead. Poor Ran is instructed to call the police again.

After Inspector Megure and Detective Takagi arrive, an investigation gets underway. As usual, Conan finds something important that the police miss, and he pieces what he sees together with something that’s revealed earlier in the episode. And, as usual, just when it seems that everyone will be sent away without the case being solved, Conan uses his usual stun gun and voice changing bowtie trick.

With the revelation early on that something was going on with the husband and the paperwork, I believed that this would be the motive for the case. I was partially right. While it was part of the motive, it wasn’t the entirety of the motive. But with this guess of the motive, it made it easier for me to guess who the guilty party had to be. The main thing I hadn’t figured out was how the guilty party committed the crime.

This wasn’t too bad for a one episode murder mystery. While I had an idea of who the guilty party likely was, there was still some surprise for how the crime was committed.

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