BG: Shinpen Keigonin/ Personal Bodyguard - Episode 4 (Recap)

Trotwood: I like to think of this episode as the one where we get back story on PM Tachihara that makes me completely sympathize with her manipulative selfishness disguised under wan beauty. But this doesn’t happen. It should. Her story should make me feel badly for disliking her so much, but it doesn’t. So there. (picture me sticking out my tongue at you all).
kakashi: Well, you know how I feel about her, so this doesn't change much, it only confirms that I really appreciate this character. So not the female character we usually get! She knows how to manipulate and yet, has deep vulnerabilities. I really like her.
panda: I warmed up just a tad. Like literally just a tad and I do not want  her getting any closer to Shimazaki.
What this episode does do is give us a set up for more reveals later about Shimazaki’s past and allows me to write a shorter recap since not as many things happen in this episode as in the last two.

Episode 4

We find Shimazaki and Ochai in a face off with PM Tachihara in between them. They look at each other with simmering hostility while she looks guilty and sad and tells them that this is a matter of life and death. (Pfft—I just don’t believe her).
I'm starting to be amused by your dislike for her and am wondering why she ticks you off that much. I certainly wouldn't be friends with her in real life, but I do appreciate her.
I think it is the manipulation that gets at me. She likes acting helpless and using her power while pretending not to. I do not like people that are not straightforward like that.
This story arc begins outside a museum that is being guarded by SP led by our ever loyal and faithful Kyota. A taxi with darkened windows drives by and drop off its fare in the parking garage attached to the building. Murata and Shimzaki step out of it and head into the building. They go into a large empty room/hall that looks like the museum in between exhibits.
Are those Giacomettis? 
Is that a Sculptor?
Indeed, a very famous Swiss one.
Lookee here. It’s PM Tachiahara and their boss, the president of Shinode Security. This is where we ended the previous episode. She dismisses her secretary (who leaves reluctantly), and their boss tells them about their new assignment. PM Tachihara is having a secret meeting that she can’t tell the SP about. Murata does not like this assignment and Shimazaki looks suspicious, too. (but really, who wouldn’t? This woman is completely sketchy, Kakashi).
I don't disagree at all, she is! And that's why I like her. 
He asks why the SP, who have much more a force and experience shouldn’t be protecting her, but the boss counters that she is meeting someone from the opposition party, so the news cannot get out. He also asserts that with such a large organization as the SP, it would be almost impossible to keep such a meeting secret.
All reasonable. 
They do have a point.

Shimazaki goes home to find Shun, his son, folding clothes and talking to his mother on the phone. When his son gets off the phone (telling his mother “that person” is back - ouch, that hurt!), Shimazaki asks if he was talking to his mother and whether she wants him back. Shun says no because she is busy being lovey dovey with her new husband who is ten years younger (than his dad), rich, and kind. Shimazaki at first doesn’t believe it, but when he sees the look on his son’s face, he realizes it’s true. He mutters with some chagrin (and some regret?) that the new guy sounds exactly opposite from him only to be shut out of his kid’s room. He looks like he feels completely responsible for the break up of this marriage. I wonder what happened.
I absolutely love this little scene. The facial expressions, everything that is implied but not said. Also, the kid's obvious care for his father, because the look he gives him is apologetic and regretful.
That little boy is so much more mature beyond his years. This scene is quite good because while on the surface it seems he doesn't care about his dad and was saying things to purposely hurt him, the opposite is the truth.
Such lonely shoulders
In the car on the way to a meeting, PM Tachinara’s long-suffering secretary (ahahahaaaa, see, I love how she plays these men!), Sakagami asks again about her meeting with Shinode Security. He looks worried, and it doesn’t help that she says he is better off not knowing why she met with them.  She is studying a list of what looks like names and doesn’t stop until they get to their destination.
Ohhhhhh, interesting.
Okay, I am intrigued.
She enters a private room where her political mentor is drinking with another man. They tease her for being a rookie and not getting any bills passed.
And this, this right here, Trot, is why I even have sympathy for her. She is a career politician in a very male-dominated country and male-dominated job. She is getting shit from them all the time. I understand that she is not exactly kind and soft.
I get it. I really do. I have and still do in many ways live this life. I'm not kind and soft either. I've been called (in an admiring way and in a scathing, nasty way) a stereotypical angry black woman, but I don't use sexism or racism or classism as an excuse to manipulate or play people against each other or not care whether I get people fired even if they are doing their job. I want to like her, but she cares nothing about the collateral damage she may cause, and I can't get behind that. (The actress is marvelous though. I loved her in Doctor's Affairs where she plays Saito's love interest and a tough doctor. She tends to play interesting female characters) 
Yes! She doesn't care about the consequences of her actions. If a man did the same, I would dislike him as well.
They say maybe she should try crying to get some sympathy, but she assures them that people don’t fall for that anymore and that in fact it would work in the opposite way. They clearly don’t take her that seriously, and it is in these moments that I feel sorry for her. Good. It’s very hard to be in that situation where you have to smile and nod and be polite to keep your job and you know that you have to stay alive to fight a bigger fight.
I think it's even bigger than that. Japan has one of the worst records in the world for female political representation. This woman has gone through shit and they're still giving her plenty.
The next morning, Murata has told the team about the new assignment. Takanashi is vehemently against it. He does not like the fact that they are doing this behind SP’s back and is suspicious of the very vague “meeting” that the PM claims to be attending. He wonders why they have to just take any job, but Murata tells him that their boss accepted it for them, so they have no choice. Takanashi is afraid that they will lose their license. Newbie, on the other hand is excited about protecting a PM.
I really like all of them. They're so cute, each because of something else. 
I completely agree! Very likable ensemble.
Takanashi yells at Newbie that he's too stupid to realize the difference between something being exciting and being too risky. He's so upset that when Shimazaki agrees with him about the risk, he thinks he is making fun of him. Love the BROMANCE! Shimazaki isn't making fun of him, but he wonders when the job isn't risky. He believes that they are always taking risks to protect their clients, but Takanashi just thinks that this is a convenient excuse that Shimazaki always uses to take unnecessary risks outside of the limelight.
So he is thinking Shimazaki is a risk junky? No, that's really not true. He does get himself into danger, but he is never reckless.
Takanashi says that he joined the group to raise the profile of BGs not be in hiding. Shimazaki thinks they should always be in the background because they should be focusing on their clients all the time. Takanashi just tells him that maybe he should have stayed in the woodwork than. Ouch. hahahahaha, yeah. Sugu and Newbie notice this and wonder what it means. Murata looks thoughtful, too. Wait... he knows nothing either? However, Shimazaki has clearly reached the age when he isn't going to change his value system to win popularity contests. He tells Takanashi that he thinks that a bodyguard's job is to protect a client first even if it means making enemies. Look at Shimazaki's face. That is an "I don't care what you think of me because the people who have better reasons to hate me are all better than you anyway" look.
LOVED it. Will start to practice. 
Kakashi, you need to practice?? LOOL
Loved this exchange. That face basically says I am too old for this shit so take your BS and leave it at the door as you exit. He knows he is right.
At the PM’s house, Ochai greets PM Tachihari to introduce a new SP, Mori, as her guard to replace Kyota as lead guard, Kyota is following along a step behind now as the substitute. She does her heavy flattery bit ("oh, it’s so nice to have a youthful face, blah blah blah"—and I hate her again. What! This was so funny because SO predictable and he still fell for it) and completely ignores Kyota who tries to apologize and ask for a second chance. He looks so forlorn when everyone drives off. Poor baby. Let me comfort you.
Hahahahaaa, I don't feel sorry for him at all. He's just not smart enough.
I actually agree. A good bodyguard should not be all brawn and no brain. He is cute though.
I don't think he is dumb. That's why she doesn't want him around.
Back at headquarters, Takanashi is pouting and Sugu is disgusted at his bratty behavior. Apparently, he refused to go and that’s why Murata is there on the job instead. She forces a laptop on him telling him to at least do his job as back up for the team.
She has been over him since the beginning.
While he is doing this, he asks her who she thinks is right, him or "the old man", meaning Shimazaki. He wonders if they should take whatever job and do whatever a client says. She doesn't care one way or another, which he doesn't believe. She thinks he’s a pain and reminds him that she is doing the job to make money.
My Girl.
When he scoffs, she scoff back since she thinks he's nothing but an old man, too. I love the look on his face when he realizes that she is putting him in Shimazaki’s age category.
I'm cackling.
She most definitely likes and respects "the old man" more, too. Ha, Love her. And he does his job, because when Shimazaki calls in to tell them they have arrived at the hospital, all Sugu needs to do is look over Takanashi's shoulder to tell him that the roads are clear. He is still doing his job.
Yes, he is one who complains all the time, but he pulls through. 

The plan is that the PM has arranged to have a hospital appointment. The staff is going to provide cover, the BGs will sneak her out to the hotel and back again by the time her appointment is up, and no one will be the wiser. Ochai goes with Mori and PM Tachihara to the hospital, and because she is known to sneak out, he warns Mori that she is likely to try something, so he should be on the lookout. I feel bad for this guy. He’s like a lamb going to the slaughter and looks like a dumpling. She bats her eyelashes at him, presses snack money into his hand, and he falls for it and goes to get tea. Dummy. Shouldn't be in this line of work. (Kyota would never eat on the job.)
Didn't feel bad for this guy. I mean, Ochai KNOWS her. He knows what he is doing, giving this newbie this job. 
Ohhh, so you think he did this on purpose? But to what end? I just know I spoke too harshly about Kyota. This new bodyguard is even worse in the brains department.
She goes in to supposedly begin her procedure but instead goes through two other rooms and sneaks out to be met by Shimazaki.
He leads her down some backstairs, and they are picked up by the van that had been staking our the entrance to make sure Ochai had left the building.
When they get in Tachihara takes off her hospital robe to reveal a very classy dress and pearls, which Shimazaki notes with some surprise.
Hm, so tell me.... does Shimazaki like her?
I think he is aware of her. She is beautiful and mysterious and she notices him. I get the feeling that he picks up on some weird vibe she has but doesn't believe that he's in her league at all and feels suspicious but attracted. What say you, Panda?
I think right now, he is attracted but doesn't like her. Like there's a pull from her to him, and he is picking on the vibe that she might be somewhat interested in him. At this stage though, he is never going to act on anything because as I said, he doesn't trust her.

Takanashi’s petulant suspicion pays off when he starts checking on the PM's meeting and starts discovering that there is no way the PM is meeting either opposition leader since they are both going to be in different places. Also, the hotel is large with lots of big open spaces and fully booked with a wedding. It’s exactly the opposite place to have a secret meeting. Sugu tells him that he should call the team, but he refuses and actually pouts! (rolling my eyes. What a baby!). 
She rolls her eyes and pouts right after she calls hims childish. Still, she calls the team and tells them that "the obstinate old man with the huge ego" (HA!) told her that there were some discrepancies in the story the PM has told them.
I was primarily impressed by her gall and skill at lying.
Why is Takanashi so pouty? Is it simply to show off his luscious lips? It makes me laugh all the time how Sugu simply doesn't have time to baby him or play his childish games. And calling him an old man with a huge ego was just perfect.

Meanwhile, the new SP is finishing up his snack when Ochai calls him, admonishing him when he finds out that new guy has not checked on the PM recently. Poor guy almost has a heart attack when he discovers that she is gone. 
He, Ochai, and Kyota show up at the PM’s office and shakedown the secretary, but fortunately he really doesn’t know anything. He does tell them that the PM met with Hinode Security (which of course makes Ochai cringe) and that she had been studying a wedding guest list.
I do wonder about Ochai here, actually. Did he know something? Otherwise, why would he have switched guards? Strange.
He switched guards because she requested him to do so, remember? She didn't want Kyota because he watches her too closely now since the stadium incident. 
Ochai switched because she asked, but he really should have given her someone more seasoned or put a shadow team on her. I mean, as Kakashi said earlier, he knows her very well. Or maybe, he thought she was simply too dependent on SP to play any tricks. Hearing about her meeting with Hinode security was like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Shimazaki listens to Sunu's news and gives Murata a look. They pull the van over and ask the PM directly what is really going on. Murata swears secrecy, and Shimazaki tells her that they need to know the full story to protect her properly. She sighs and confesses that she’s in love with a married man, which can’t get out. Murata and Newbie are surprised, but Shimazaki looks wary.  
Or hopeful? ahahahaaa. I think I'm shipping them!  
I believe he thinks she is lying.
He asks her why would she have a rendezvous in the middle of the afternoon in a crowded place? She responds that they watched the sunset at this same place, and she is going to break up with him in the same spot for closure. Huh! Pfft. I know you guys might not believe me, but I didn’t believe this story at all even at the time. But they have to accept it and they continue to the hotel.
It sounded rather mushy, but remember, I like her :)
LOOL. The story on the surface sounded plausible, but I got a vibe from just looking at her that she was not telling the complete story. I am not sure the team fully believes it too.

Ochai and Mori show up at Hinode Security demanding answers but are faced with silence by Sugu and Takanashi. He leans in to Takanashi reminding him that he warned them before about how all security falls under the police. He asks Takanashi if he knows where the PM is. Takanashi says yes, and this makes Sugu worried. I think she thinks he is going to tell them since he was mad about the taking the case in the first place. But when Ochai wonders whether he understands the situation, Takanashi says he understands that SP lost someone. Ochai doesn’t get a chance to say anything because Mori gets a call that clearly gives them the information they wanted.
This was such a break-through moment for Takanashi! Sticking with his buddies, not telling the Police anything! 
I knew Takanashi would not tell the police anything. He is simply a big baby not a disloyal employee.

Takanashi calls the team in the van to warn them that SP are on to them. However, they are now stuck in a traffic jam in a tunnel. Turns out the traffic jam is being caused by Kyota doing a checkpoint at the end, looking for the PM. They looked worried for a moment (Newbie even talks about being shot by the SP--he's so dramatic!), and Murata tells the PM that there is still time to change her mind.
I don't think this woman ever turns back. 
Kakashi's love for her grows by the minute. Pffft.
Double Pfft.
She insists on going to the hotel, so Murata looks to Shimazaki for a solution since he's the lead BG on this case [I like how they all do this no matter what; it shows trust in each other's ability to lead and their willingness to follow]. Shimazaki says they need to get through the checkpoint, and they do the cool watch thing. I don't care what anyone else thinks, but this never gets old for me and Panda. I think the first time I meet her in real life, we are going to have to do this watch thing.
It's totally silly but I like it.
I will buy a watch especially for that meeting!!! I so love the symbolism of the watch thing.

When Kyota stops the van at the checkpoint, only Newbie and Murata are in the van. Shimizaki and the PM are walking through the passageways to get through the tunnels. All that road security in his past sure pays off here. There is this skin crawling moment when he gives her his jacket to protect her pretty dress from some leaks and of course she trips because no woman can walk up stairs without tripping (pfft). He grabs her arm and they actually do a slo-mo stare things and they play romantic music. (double pfft)
Aha!!!! Trot didn't request a gif here, but I'm going to make one anyway.
I am at the point with this woman that while I am sure the trip was an accident, I still do not totally buy it. I do not want any romantic music played though! Stop it!! No shipping :/
I distinctly asked Kakashi NOT to make a gif of this but she loves them and I love her, so . . .
Really, I was waiting for someone to belt out "I Will Always Love You," for goodness sake. It felt forced, but also, she had a coat before. She could have hidden it under her robe. Anyway, when she gives him his jacket back, she is embarrassed that he is so kind to her when she has him going on a stranger's mission. He says she isn't a stranger to him but a client (does she look disappointed?). She still hesitates, and he asks her what is wrong, so she finally admits that the second story she told them is also not true.
Love her more and more. She has so many layers! 
I am just impressed she volunteered the truth without being prompted. 

She admits that she got pregnant when she was in university, left the country to give birth in secret, and gave the child up for adoption. She found out that the daughter is getting married today and wanted to see her. She wonders at his lack of response.
You still don't feel sorry? I do. Heaps. 
I feel a little bit sorry for her; but I can't help wondering if she is truly telling the truth.
He says that this sounds more like the truth, especially considering the clothes she is wearing look much more like clothes for a wedding than for a rendezvous with a lover. He also understands why this story has to be kept quiet.
He really is a guy to fall in love with.
For one he has more brains than at least half the SP combined.

As they surface from the tunnels and start walking, he calls back to headquarters to get the most direct and least visible route to the chapel. However, Ochai also arrives at the hotel before they do, and when they arrive at the chapel, they find it empty with the exception of Ochai who has delayed the ceremony by 30 minutes, so he can take the PM back to the hospital.
What a bastard! But he is very cool. 

Let us pause: this is what I don’t get. I understand why he is mad (how many people are going to get fired before this woman is voted out of office?), but now that they are there, why does he insist on getting back to the hospital? It all seems very heavy handed. I mean what power does he really have over her? He isn't her boss or her father or her political mentor. I know his boss got some intel that she had been missing, but she is never going to tell. Why not wait until her “meeting” is over and take over from the BG? I thought here that though I don't like her, she seems like the judge's wife in the last episode: imprisoned by this life.
Yes, these guys don't let her take even a breath by herself. I think I'd try to play pranks on those stiff police men too. Ochai... I think he has personal feelings for her, so he overreacts.
Part of it is hurt that she played tricks on him especially by turning to Shimazaki, part of it is overreacting cos of his feelings as Kakashi said. Still, Trot is right- she should not have to beg like a school girl sneaking out of the dorm. She is a grown woman, and her bodyguard's duties should be to protect and not dictate to her. Maybe because its politics? Actually, this is the place I had most empathy for her because I was pissed at her restrictions.

Anyway, we are back to the cold open of life and death and her sad begging. (I'm glad I didn't believe her that this was a life and death situation - I forgot about that beginning!) Finally, they agree to escort her together to her meeting. To Shimazaki’s surprise, they pass the room designated for the bride and go to a room of a wedding guest. Turns out that this guy is a politician that the PM needs to get a bill she wants passed concerning funding for pregnant women.
He looked surprised ... and a bit disappointed, but I think he really respects her for being so sly.
I knew she was not telling the whole truth!!
"Respect" is not the word I would have chosen.
Ochai smirks at Shimazaki’s surprise, triumphant that the PM was clearly keeping secrets from him, too, while Shimazaki also smirks at the idea that Ochai thinks he knows her really well.
Hmm. I do think Ochai knows a few things about her, but does he get her?
Both men are so being played, and they do not even fully know it.

Inside the room, she asks the politician again for his support. He’s mad at her shamelessness for coming to interrupt a wedding to do this. We get a flashback to a previous meeting where he berated her for trying to get this bill passed when she wasn’t married or a mother.
Gosh, what did that have to do with anything? 
You can see she’s trying to make a decision and finally she just tells him the story about her daughter and how she is getting married today and that she wants to help other women who are in the position she was in. He seems like he might change his mind, but she is clearly drained. She comes out and says she is ready to go. She thanks Shimazaki, but you can tell that he is unsettled.
You still don't feel for her, Trot?! 
I do feel for her, but I just don't like her.
Sigh. Some of my animosity has leaked off.
Shimazaki looks worried about how defeated she looks as he watches her retreating back. He is so busy watching them leave that he doesn't notice that someone else is watching him; we only see his shoes and then pan up to only the bottom of his face, but I knew who he was! Anyone, want to take a guess? Panda? Kakashi?
Blast from his past....
Hmmmm, someone with a connection to falling things from the ceiling...
I really like these shoes although I think they are going to bring trouble
The PM does ask Ochai not to be hard on Hinode Security before she gets in the official SP car. They are in the car with Ochai at the wheel when Shimazaki shows up and bangs on her window. She rolls down her window, and he tells her that he would like to fulfill his mission. He asks her to follow him. The next we know, we see him running by the car and then stopping the car outside a church. There is a wedding party waiting for the bride and groom, and as they descend the stairs, the PM watches with so many emotions crossing her face (remember that I love this actress, I just don’t like this character). Ochai looks on with surprise.  
Her daughter is so beautiful and so happy. I thought it was very heartbreaking, this scene. 
AH! So, the daughter story was true. I finally believed it here. This scene was so sad. She could not even be a guest at the wedding :/ and has to watch from far. I felt really sorry for her here.

They watch for a bit and then she thanks Shimazaki, tells him his duty is done, and they drive on. Shimazaki watches the retreating car intently, and once again because he is doing this, he doesn't notice the person watching him, the soccer player from his past, Kuono. He doesn't look happy, but I can't read his expression exactly.
Definitely not happy!
Guy looks pissed.

Back at headquarters, Shimazaki thanks Takanashi for the follow-up. I love Sugu's look of surprise.   
Takanashi doesn't care about his thanks and makes sure to reassert that he doesn't agree with his philosophy. He is so snarly that Newbie wonders out loud why he is being so mean. Sugu deadpans teases that maybe he likes Shimazaki while Shimazaki deadpans back that he likes him, too. Newbie doesn't get this joking and nervously laughs that this isn't funny. But both Shimi and Sugu deadpan at him wondering why he laughing then. Ha.
Heartu, heartu.
Takanashi is fighting the Bromance, but it is futile. It is a-coming whether he likes it or not.

Murata isn't taking part in any of this discussion because he goes to the president to request that he not take more jobs like the one they had today. He believes it is not a laughing matter to be as such crossroads with SP.  The boss says that he will take his word as a former SP that this was a problem, but Murata is concerned more with taking jobs where there is too much mystery in their client stories. It puts the division at risk. We close this conversation with him asking the boss who Shimazaki is, but we don't get to see the president's response or if he responds at all.
Do we know why Murata left SP, by the way? 
I thought Murata already knew about Shimazaki's past. 

Shimazaki goes home clearly thinking about mothers and their children because he immediately asks his Shun if he wants to see his mom. When Shun goes to take a bath (looking more like he’s trying to avoid the conversation than interested in washing), Shimazaki looks as drained as the PM.
They should be drained together, maybe.

But after a moment, he sits in the kitchen and gets up the fortitude to actually call his ex-wife to talk about their Son.


Was this really a matter of life and death? I think not. Was it something really important to her? Yes. I understand that her decision to give up her child was painful and her desire to see her daughter on her wedding day would be something that she'd really want to do. What parent doesn't want the opportunity to see that?
Maybe that bill is a matter of life and death for mothers thinking about getting an abortion rather than facing a tough life? I'm not sure. But she was sincere about it. 
Giving up one's child can not be an easy thing. I truly felt for her in those last moments when she saw her daughter at the steps. What I do not like though is her lies. She could have simply told Hinode that she wanted to meet the politician and they would have still got her there. It makes me feel like she told Shimazaki about her daughter to emotionally manipulate him. Or am I being too hard on her? Anyway, Happy Mother's Day peeps!!

And what is the deal with Takanashi? He really acted like a petulant child here. Pouting and refusing to make the phone call because he doesn't approve of this mission. Thank goodness we have no nonsense Sugu around to call him out on his bullshit.
Takanashi is a petulant manchild, I guess. Haha, he has some weird competition going on with Shimazaki. Well, he's going to lose! His heart, that is. Ahahahaha. 
Going to lose his heart! Buahahaha. He is such a baby!! I think he really doesn't like lies and wants Shimazaki's past in the open with everyone. His attitude will give him a headache because it is apparent to me that he wants to learn stuff from Shimazaki.