Everyone is quite shocked at Keiichi’s death and Mikuru even faints. Itsuki notices that the knife pierced through a small notebook, meaning that the culprit has to be someone who has physical strength. He thinks that this is a closed circle, with a murder in a sealed room (the windows and door were locked from the inside). The question is, how did the murderer leave the room? The group returns to their rooms for now and Mikuru is put to bed. Haruhi pulls Kyon outside, but first tells Yuki not to open the door for anyone. In the hallway, a clearly disturbed Haruhi tells him that she really didn’t expect things to develop this way. Kyon, however, still wonders if this occurred because Haruhi had hoped that it would. On the topic of the murder, Kyon suggests that the biggest suspect is Yutaka, since he’s missing. Haruhi remembers that Mikuru had noticed that, earlier while they were playing on the beach, Yutaka and Keiichi were arguing. And then the previous night, Haruhi had overheard Yutaka talking on the phone about his passport and travelers’ checks, which would indicate that he was planning to make an escape. However, Kyon is still confused about the fact that the room was locked from the inside.
Haruhi decides that they should check out Keiichi’s room again, but they are greeted at the door by the butler Arakawa. He says that he’s contacted the police, and they told him not to let anyone in to the crime scene. The police should get here sometime tomorrow afternoon, when the forecast says that the weather would get better. Kyon asks if Keiichi and Yutaka had a bad relationship, but Arakawa doesn’t know. He reveals that he and the maid Mori have only been working here for one week. They’re only temporarily hired employees and their contracts are for two weeks. This new information triggers something in Kyon’s memory from when they first met the butler and maid a few days back. As for Yutaka’s disappearance, Haruhi wants to see if the boat is still at the dock. Mori the maid tells her that she doubts it’ll be there. It seems that she saw Yutaka leaving the house the previous night around 1AM.
Haruhi and Kyon go out into the storm to check anyway, and find that the boat is indeed gone. Haruhi thinks she sees someone in the distance, so the two investigate. However, while braving the cliffs nearby, Haruhi slips and the two fall down to a lower ledge, with Haruhi landing on top of Kyon. She’s worried when he doesn’t respond at first, but Kyon soon stirs. The two take refuge inside a nearby cave and dry off. Haruhi wonders if it was really Yutaka who killed Keiichi. She says that when she touched Keiichi’s body, it was still warm, meaning that he couldn’t have been dead for long – certainly not before Yutaka allegedly made his escape. Haruhi thinks that Yutaka definitely stabbed Keiichi, otherwise he wouldn’t have a reason to run away. However, she hypothesizes that the knife didn’t penetrate through the notebook and reach Keiichi’s heart. Keiichi probably fainted from the shock, so Yutaka thought that he had killed Keiichi. When Keiichi woke up, he wasn’t thinking clearly and had locked the door after remembering that his little brother had killed him. However, he tripped afterwards and fell right onto the knife protruding from his chest. That drove the knife through his heart, killing him. Kyon immediately notices the flaw: according to her story, Keiichi would have landed on his face, but they found him on his back. Haruhi then seems to realize the truth, but when Kyon asks her about it, she says that it’s nothing. Itsuki soon arrives to save them, and they all return to the mansion.
After drying off and changing, Kyon notices that his little sister is trying to raid the kitchen for something to eat. She sees that someone’s already eaten a plate of food (except for the carrots), but Mori tells her that that was Arakawa’s meal. Kyon takes his sister back to their rooms, but finds Haruhi and Itsuki unable to get in. Yuki apparently took Haruhi’s earlier instructions to heart and now won’t open the door for anyone. Kyon finally gets her to open the door by saying that Haruhi cancelled her earlier order. Itsuki then asks Haruhi what she’s going to do now, but Haruhi says that she’s going to stop the investigation and leave it up to the police. Back in their own room, Kyon informs Itsuki of what Haruhi had hypothesized back in the cave. Itsuki disagrees with the last part of Haruhi’s explanation. He says that they had rammed the door down right on Keiichi, plunging the knife into the man’s chest. That means that the real killers are technically Itsuki, Kyon, and Arakawa. Itsuki thinks that Haruhi must have realized that, and that’s why she didn’t say anything – in order to protect them and keep the truth to herself. Something in Kyon appears to snap as his eyes get wide and he reaches over to strangle Itsuki.
Kyon’s little sister goes running to Arakawa to tell him that Itsuki died. After she leads him away, a shadowy figure enters the room and walk up to Keiichi’s body. It’s about to stab him again, but Keiichi bolts up to and stops the person. That person with the knife is actually Kyon and standing beside him are Haruhi and Itsuki. Itsuki says that the play is over and they’ve lost. Haruhi gathers everyone (including Yutaka) in the dining room and is now wearing her Great Detective armband again. Itsuki reveals that this was all entertainment – a surprise party. Kyon suspects that Yuki knew everything from the beginning. Haruhi starts explaining how she figured it all out. First, the door that they busted through didn’t have any scars on it where it would have hit the knife. Second, Arakawa and Mori are supposedly temporary employees, yet Itsuki had said “It’s been a while” to them when they first got off the ferry. Third, Itsuki knew exactly where Keiichi’s room was when they first heard about Keiichi being locked in his room. This was supposed to be his first time here. The final clue rests in the dirty plate and utensils that Kyon’s little sister found. Out of all of them, Keiichi was the only one who used a fork and knife. What’s more, the carrots on that plate hadn’t been eaten, meaning that that meal had to have been Keiichi’s. From all of this, Haruhi had concluded that Keiichi must have been alive and that this was all a play. Haruhi really seems to enjoy playing her Great Detective part and even calls Kyon “Watson.”
On the ferry ride back, Itsuki admits to Kyon that Yutaka, Keiichi, Arakawa, and Mori are all his comrades. When Itsuki asks Kyon when he figured out the truth, Kyon replies that he knew from the beginning of the incident. Kyon also has one more question for Itsuki: was Itsuki responsible for the suspicious shadow that Haruhi saw? Itsuki doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but thinks that maybe it’s something Haruhi had hoped for and created. Which means that it could still be on that island, or maybe it was all just a mistake in Haruhi’s vision. The two look over uneasily at Haruhi, who is talking with the other girls about where they should go next time.
Well, that ended up being quite the mystery story, complete with a scene where the detective gathers everyone and explains everything. I wasn’t surprised that it was all a play that acted as entertainment for Haruhi’s boredom, however the clues along the way were quite entertaining. In trying to follow everything that happened, I definitely went back and referenced the previous episode. Kudos to Kyoto Animation for putting in the small clues that become important (like Keiichi’s eating habits). I also liked how they used the fuzzy live-action re-enactments.
Unlike some past episodes, there were quite a lot of changes this week from the novels. The biggest is probably the inclusion of Haruhi seeing something in the storm, then she and Kyon falling down. They also changed the story so that it was much more Haruhi figuring things out and explaining than anyone else. This took away a bit from Kyon since he didn’t appear to be the one figuring things out. The novel also makes it feel a lot more like Yuki could have explained everything if someone just asked her to. Of course, the novel and the anime are different and both have their strong points, so it’s not really fair to say one is better than the other.
Next week is episode 14. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but Matthew mentioned to me that the Hatena page for this show lists it as having a total of 14 episodes. Which would mean that next week is the sequentially “final” episode… Of course, with Haruhi as popular as it is, it wouldn’t surprise me all if it got another season.
And finally, in a certain bit of irony, it’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday today (May 22nd as I write these words). He’s the one who wrote the Sherlock Holmes detective series.