With Rika in critical condition, Yuuichi is pushed aside while Natsume does his job. The doctor later emerges to tell him that Rika is ok, but then gets pissed off because he feels that Yuuichi is being a pest. Nurse Tanizaki, on the other hand, knows that Yuuichi is worried and allows him one-minute long visit to Rika’s room (which has a No Visitors sign on the door). She weakly grasps his hand for the short minute before he has to go. Meanwhile, Natsume is reminiscing about his telephone chats with his ex-wife Sayoko who also suffered from a heart condition and presumably died of it.
That night, Yuuichi almost opens up Les Thibaults, but stops himself and sneaks out to wander the town instead. Tanizaki’s friend Yosano Misako happens to be passing by in her car and picks Yuuichi up. She takes him home and wastes little time in seducing him. Tanizaki and Natsume, who learned about Yuuichi getting picked by a foreign car from a fellow nurse, arrive just in time to stop them. After dealing out some physical blows, Tanizaki drags Yuuichi home and makes it clear that she doesn’t want Rika to find out. Natsume, who had a similar affair when he was married, stays silent on the matter.
The next day, Natsume reiterates to Yuuichi that Rika should never find out or else it would influence her health. Natsume is doing finger exercises because Rika’s surgery is coming up. According to him, she decided to go through with it because of her desire to live. He then pokes around Yuuichi’s camera and because the film isn’t advancing, Natsume figures out that Yuuichi probably put the film in wrong. Their conversation is interrupted because Miyuki has come to give Yuuichi some school uniforms for Rika. He brings and shows them to her, but then Rika asks about the photographs. Since they aren’t developed yet, Rika decides that she’ll see them after the surgery. Before he leaves, Rika tells him that he can start reading the book now, but asks him to go slowly.
Outside the operating room, Yuuichi finds Rika’s mother sitting and waiting. Because she gives him a strong glare, he takes a seat around the corner and waits. Tanizaki eventually joins him and tells him about taking a picture out of his photo album at home. Rika had taken the picture of Yuuichi clinging to his father and taped it to her leg so that it would be beside her during the surgery. Left alone again, Yuuichi starts reading Les Thibault. He eventually gets to a special marked page that includes a line about one man risking his life for his lover. Where it in the book there is a J (J for Jacques Thibaut), Rika has crossed that out and signed an R. The realization that Rika is risking her life for him brings Yuuichi to tears once again. The surgery eventually ends and Natsume emerges from the operating room. However, it’s has been hard and Natsume’s outlook is grim. The doctor tells Yuuichi that this will probably be a disastrous conclusion for him.
The big wtf moment for this episode is definitely Misako trying to seduce Yuuichi. I think she seduced him because she was bored and lonely, and he went along with it because of his general feeling of helplessness from the Rika situation. This, along with having a loved one sick, develops into a large parallel between Natsume and Yuuichi. They’re both pretty low for sleeping around while their significant other is sick, though it is a good look at human nature. In addition, Tanizaki wants to keep the whole affair a secret, making me think that Rika is invariably going to find out.
I also think that the pictures (or lack thereof) might play a big part in the last episode. Since Yuuichi didn’t load the film correctly, the entire roll is probably ruined, so there’s going to be no photos. Depending on who dies (if anyone), this could be pretty devastating since Yuuichi has no photos of Rika and Rika has only Yuuichi’s childhood photos.
As for Les Thibault, I’ve been searching, but I can’t seem to find an online text in either English or French. It’s just too old and out of publication. In relation to the story here though, Rika is sending Yuuichi a message through the book that she’s doing this for him. Of course, the big question is if she’s going to survive her surgery and if either of them will die at the end. This series could end up being really good or really bad depending mainly on the last episode since the series is so short. I’m hoping that they don’t try to rush the story too much.