Trapeze Finale, Cross Game 38

Trapeze finishes with a bang. This time around we revisit the household of Yuta, the cell-phone kid, and examine his father, Tsuda, and to a lesser extent, his mother. Tsuda is an overworked ER physician with little time for his wife and son, and the early scenes take on a darker, more desperate tone than we’re used to. We see how busy he is at work, and we see how his domestic situation is falling apart because of his absence. It’s an effective look of how a person’s illness can affect the entire family, and a bit of a branching out for this show.

There are a couple changes in format. Tsuda gets his shot but doesn’t turn into anything, Fukuicchi hardly appears at all, and Irabu hardly DOES anything at all (apart from helping him give a kid a shot). Well, that’s not new, but usually Irabu follows the patient around to pester him, or whatever he’s up to. Here he consults with Tsuda a couple times, Mayumi says a few tart things, and that’s about it. Probably because Tsuda isn’t really sick, even though he finds himself repeatedly screaming in a bathroom stall out of frustration every time his distraught wife calls …

Note the ugly splotches on the wall. They weren't there before.

Instead Irabu waits and trusts in Tsuda to make the connection. There’s been a bewildering canary-based theme to this episode, and now we learn what it’s for. Not to mention a nice return to the Christmas party from Yuta’s ep6, where Mayumi sends him home to be with his family. Leave it to Mayumi to give the most practical help.

Both Tsuda and his son get the help they need. Thanks to canaries.

The Three Doctors.

I’m going to miss Trapeze. Not all the episodes worked, but the ones that did inspired a loony joy in me that I don’t think any upcoming show will be capable of doing. And if any of you feel you are in the need of counseling, remember the words of Dr. Fukuicchi:

Thank you again, Dr. Fukuicchi, and Mayumi (for all the shots).

Cross Game isn’t ending, and nothing could make me happier. Unlike the last two, Ep38 doesn’t deal with anything specific. It’s scattershot, pushing little plot points a teeny little bit further. Some little scenes are there for no reason at all, like a brief moment of Akaishi blowing bubble gum on a park bench while cats meow at him. Perhaps he was thinking of Akane. This show will have little moments where people are just sitting there, thinking. Other bits are more ominous:

Boo! Hiss!

I lied. With all the bits and asides going on (Aoba leaves the hospital, Momiji enters middle school, gathering data on other high school teams …), we do have a sort of theme: two dates. The first one, of course, is Kou and Akane’s visit to the Kabuki show. It just sort of happens. Kou isn’t one to talk out, which is both frustrating and part of his charm, but he does admit to Akaishi that he’s completely comfortable around Akane. Meanwhile, she definitely seems interested in Kou.

Which leads us to the second date. Azuma loses a bet to Aoba and has to buy her ramen, and off they go, leaving the other players astonished. Maybe there’s a budding romance going on there, too?

I'm neutral with the pairings, but this just doesn't look right.

Kou, as usual says nothing, but as the image above shows, it’s obvious that he’s affected by the thought. But who’s waiting at the station for him? Akane! With a little gift. One of the joys of this show is you don’t really know who will wind up with whom, or if they’ll wind up together at all. It’s all part of the bigger show, and it has a ways to go yet.

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