Wizard Barristers Ep. 5: Get Out of Jail Free

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Sometimes, it really feels as though Wizard Barristers is cheating. Something just bothers me about how the whole episode played out. Let’s see if I can get to the bottom of it. Everyone’s got magical powers, right? So literally, when things are beginning to go pear-shaped. one of the characters will just wave his or her magic wand and voila~! Mystery solved! I know, I know, there isn’t actually any magic wands in the show. Plus, I’m not trying to short-changed Kiri-jii, Cecil’s partner for the week; it’s true that Cecil could learn a thing or two from the lecherous old man with the Hitler ‘stashe. But here’s how things played out this week as I saw it.

Cecil isn’t exactly wrong about Kiri-jii; he does have a very blase attitude that isn’t typically conducive to solving a murder mystery. But as soon as the episode realizes that it needs to wrap itself up, the plot suddenly accelerates itself to a feverish pitch. Oh look, isn’t it a coincidence that one of the victim’s co-workers had the same exact work schedule? Let’s go interrogate him then! Oh no, he’s stonewalling us. What do we do! I know, I’ll just appear to the suspect as his late manager and make him confess. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Please come back next week for ‘nother quickie in the justice system.

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Maybe my problem is that I actually like all the procedural stuff. I like watching the characters sift through the clues and rack their brains until they find something — anything — that they can work with. When this is the case, mysteries don’t usually resolve themselves in a single episode. Instead, the story becomes a slow burner as the characters race against time to get the innocent person off the hook. Yes, yes, I know this isn’t what Wizard Barristers is aiming for. I know it just wants to flesh out the side characters as Cecil’s character slowly matures before our very eyes. Still, there’s just something very dissatisfying about the way magic is being used.

Magic should add something to the narrative, but it feels like it’s actually taking away from the story instead. It’s becoming the “Get Out of Jail Free” card and literally so this week. And I could forgive the show if the magic was at least being used in a clever or meaningful way, but that’s not what happens. Kiri-jii simply made himself appears as the murdered victim to the suspect, who then practically shits his pants in a hurry to confess. And so what exactly do we learn this week? That Cecil should be more patient and observant like her partner? But even with the clue of the similar work schedules alone, they couldn’t solve the case. Kiri-jii has to pull his illusion trick, a power that Cecil doesn’t currently have. Well, she doesn’t have it yet. For all we know, she’ll probably end up gaining this very same power in the following weeks to come, but you get my point.

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So for all the talk about how Kiri-jii is wise beyond his years, his sagacity isn’t exactly what ended up solving the case. The suspect was under no obligation to answer any of the good guys’ questions. If he had stayed calm, then what? What could the good guys have done? And even then, intuition isn’t objective proof. There was still a small chance Kiri-jii had been wrong. What if he had tricked the wrong person? What if they had “confessed” despite being innocent? It isn’t out of the question, y’know. Lots of people have mistakenly confessed to crimes they didn’t commit because they were under pressure. For a show concerned about justice, I think Wizard Barristers is just being a tad too carefree. So although the old man’s intuition did get them on the right path, he still had to cheat to get the job done in time. And as I’ve said, that cheat is not exactly something that Cecil can rely upon. What if Kiri-jii hadn’t had magical powers? What if he couldn’t magically coax a confession out of our suspect? What then? Would the suspect have gotten away with it? Maybe our unlikely duo would’ve solved the case anyway, but at least that ending would’ve been earned.

If these episodes aren’t about the mysteries — and it’s clear that they are not — it still doesn’t seem as though Cecil has really gotten anything from them. Yes, we’re supposed to think that she now has a newly found respect for her elderly colleague, but did she really learn to solve similar cases? I don’t know if we can get a clear answer to this question, and maybe that’s the real reason behind my discontent for this week’s episode.

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Oh yeah, can we go a week without someone threatening to molest the main character? Yeah, ’cause that would be great.

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2 thoughts on “Wizard Barristers Ep. 5: Get Out of Jail Free

  1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    Well firstly I’d like to say I’m very disappointed in this episode for the same reasons. It’s a shame.

    Now, the “collapsing in the courtroom” trick was very reminiscent of one of the Rumpole of the Bailey episodes, wherein the aged defending barrister, in an effort to stall the proceedings to gain enough time and get the evidence he needs, mocks a heart attack and collapses to the ground (to later return after a triumphant “recovery”).
    Thing is, this makes sense since it only adjourned the case until further notice, not just ENDED IT THEN AND THERE.
    The use of magic here is akin to coercing someone into a confession, and that’s some major shit, mate. Just because Ol’ Idol Wrinkles decides to mock a black-out doesn’t mean they’d let that suspicion go. They’d go into an investigation about the coercion/magic used while Potbelly is in a hospital bed awaiting whatever charges he’d get once they found out what he did.
    -And whereas Rumpole only ever did the “OH LAWD MY HEART!” trick once, the idea that Liver Spots here naturally does this on a regular basis and gets away with it is retarding to the mind. It impedes thought functionality. It damages the synapses of the brain. It is THAT ridiculous.

    Not saying this ripped-off that book series/show, not at all. Just comparing the two to show how nonsensical this episode ended in comparison.

    And despite what you might think of my mocking of Kiri-jii, I only do it because his character was so cheap and useless it irritates me. I really enjoy old(er) characters who are slick but wise and funny at the same time, but this? His character was as cheaply done as the mystery in this episode itslef. When you see an episode premise like this, you expect the older character to teach the younger one SOMETHING for them to grow. Kiri-jii taught Cecil NOTHING useful, thus making him, and this episode, useless.
    Lessons from Kiri-jii:
    1) “Take it easy. There’s always time to waste no matter the situation.”
    2) “Be observant, yes, but also pass-out randomly because it’s not rude or unprofessional at all.”
    3) “When you realize you’ve wasted too much time, just use magic to win the day.”
    5) “If anyone is catching on to your illegal use of magic to force a confession, play dead. The courtroom is like a bear: it’ll sniff your body a bit and then just lumber away.”

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Yeah, you’re right. The nonchalant attitude they have towards the process of justice in general is pretty insane considering the show’s premise. I have no disagreements here.

      Reply

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