Housekishou Richard-shi no Nazo Kantei’s protagonist is, in fact, not Richard, but a part-time worker at his jewellery shop, L’etranger, called Seigi. Across the episodic vignettes, Richard’s appraisals have uncovered layered stories, reminding us that we are all unique in our ways – much like gemstones! The juxtaposition between the show’s themes has allowed some great character moments, with the un-empathetic and even imposing Seigi having to learn a lesson or two from the calm and understanding, never meddling but observing Richard.
But now it’s time for Richard to learn a lesson or two.
We’ve learned snippets about his history, particularly over the last few episodes. The French-born Brit has ‘family issues’, and regarding inheritance, has closed up shop while he moves back to London to resolve them. But he didn’t tell Seigi anything, because he knew what the meddlesome Seigi would do to try and resolve things.
This episode quietly plays out as a whirlwind, deepening many of Richard’s quirks while Seigi chases his trail of breadcrumbs. Our amateur-sleuth tries L’etranger, and notices the ‘closed’ sign is missing. Upon entry, he meets Richard’s mentor, Saul Ranashinha Ali. While Saul attempts to divert Seigi from his mission, Seigi’s honesty to help out in outright admitting how little he can actually do in the matter is enough to convince Saul to give him Richard’s details in London. Of course, the two most vital moments to this scene are, firstly; when Saul asks what Seigi wants – to restore his relationship, or an apology, and Seigi responds earnestly that he is angry at him; secondly, after listening to Seigi’s answer, Saul uses Richard’s English catch-phrase ‘Good For You’. It’s a heartwarming moment that shows the closeness between Saul and Richard.
The second part of the episode features Richard’s cousin, Jeffrey, explaining the situation in more detail to Seigi – who he has upgraded to business class. Much more than the exposition it would seem, because Seigi is attempting to read between the lines and Jeffrey’s charming but subtle scheming. The ultimate crux of the will is ridiculous, such that the grandson eligible for an 118 carat diamond is the one born closest to England who also has married an English ‘housewife’ (I am unsure how appropriate the translation is here). But I can look beyond this silly fundamental aspect because Jeffrey’s plotting is cunning, and with all things in this show, more sympathetic than the surface would suggest, as he is merely trying to save his brother Henry.
He points out, quite quickly, the queer subtext between Seigi and Richard. He bluntly asks how ‘far’ their relationship has gone. It’d be a really great scene if the prior episode hadn’t cemented Seigi’s feelings for his classmate (and woman) Shouko. Things are certainly heating up, with all the major players in place to begin their moves. It’s a quiet drama, but Richard’s cases have been awfully compelling, and I can’t wait to see a longer arc unfurl.