|Original work by:||Aida Saki (Novel)|
|Cast:||Yasumoto Hiroki x Nakamura Yuuichi (安元洋貴 x 中村悠一)|
|Related drama(s):||① Deadlock (デッドロック)|
|② Deadheat (デッドヘート)|
|④ Deadlock: Love Begets Love (デッドロック番外編 Love begets love)|
|⑤ Deadlock Simplex Gaiden (デッドロック外伝 SIMPLEX)|
|Drama translation:||Keseranpasaran (external)|
As Yuuto and Rob gets closer to the truth behind the terrorist attacks, the cased was suddenly closed when a culprit was apprehended. Nevertheless, Yuuto continued to pursue Corvus. The three ex prison-mates met at the roof of the hotel where a political event was being held and will Yuuto arrest Corvus this time?
In my opinion, Deadshot gave the drama the conclusive ending (which couldn’t have been more final) that it deserved, after the great deal which had happened in the past dramas. This isn’t something which can be re-listened to frequently, due to its length; but it has never failed to affect me in the same way during every re-listen. The previous drama ended with a teaser by Dick, leaving us wondering who the mastermind behind the entire terrorist attacks could be. Deadshot didn’t disappoint at all – it answered all the possible questions I could have raised and gave me my beautiful albeit cliché ending.
After a brief introduction which summarized the previous two dramas, the story rolled into action. As Yuuto and Rob’s investigation led them closer to Corvus’ true identity and the mastermind behind his actions, the story took a sudden turn when a terrorist turned himself in and it was case-closed for Yuuto. It was infuriating for both Yuuto, who had been taken off the FBI investigation team at a crucial moment, and me as the culprit was obviously a scapegoat prepared to stall the FBI. However, this might be a good sign, since it means that Yuuto and Rob were getting close to uncovering the truth – too close for someone’s comfort. At Rob’s urging, Yuuto decided to continue pursuing the case in his own capacity. We got to see Haydn’s compassionate side when he aided Yuuto’s selfish cause, seems like he had his own reasons for being harsh with Yuuto at first.
Together, Yuuto and Rob headed for Manhattan where they would attend a party hosted by Manning, the number one suspect behind the terrorist attacks. At the party, they met (yes I was just waiting for this to happen) Dick and Corvus. The emotional encounter between Dick and Yuuto came sooner than expected and Dick’s self-contradictory nature surfaced as he battled between his uncontrollable feelings for Yuuto and his intent to sought revenge for his dead comrades. The second twist in the plot came when Yuuto overheard the conversation between Manning and a few other politicians. Corvus wasn’t a trusted partner of the plan but merely a disposable pawn that wasn’t exactly moving according to his master’s will. The first climax soon followed after, where the confrontation between Corvus, Yuuto and Dick evoked memories of a past scene in the prison. Just when I got ready to celebrate Corvus’ arrest, a helicopter appears out of nowhere with reinforcements and Yuuto got taken away by Corvus to the military camp in Columbia. That scene was really dramatic and spectacular, probably due to the combination of good sfx, script and of course, voice acting.
At the camp, everything starts to clear up during the initial conversation between Corvus and Yuuto; simply put, Corvus was just trying to prove himself to Manning by playing the “game” and blowing up all those bombs. Following the ambush by the American military, probably a move by Manning, we got to listen to an hasty but stirring reunion with Dick. This three-drama-long plot was finally concluded with Nathan’s death; it was a saddening but inevitable conclusion. And it could have ended there, but I was glad when my earphones came alive with sounds after the brief moment of silence. While Yuuto narrates through the epilogue, with the orchestral piece in the background anticipating a grand finale, I started worrying that he would never get his happy ending with Dick. My hopes were revived at the postcard from “DB” and it was quite amusing that Yuuto thought Dick’s message of “I want to see you” was directed at Neto. With Neto and Tonya’s reassurance, Yuuto set off to find Dick with mixed feelings. Dick’s black dog reminded me of what Dr. Spencer said back in Deadheat, about Dick saying that Yuuto resembled a black dog he used to have; the dog was obviously a form of replacement for a Yuuto. I can’t decide if their reunion was awkward or natural; it felt like they were comfortable with each other and Dick wasn’t surprised to see Yuuto at all, but at the same time, they were holding back something (that starts with L and ends with E). Okay, I think it was definitely awkward.
After the moment when they viewed the sunrise together, the silence between both tracks was so long that I thought the drama had ended. My breathing resumed as the sounds of water flowed through my earphones and my wait was rewarded with the ending I’ve been waiting for. The lush background music at the scene when they finally confessed their true feelings to each other brought tears to my eyes and got me feeling rather nostalgic. So much as happened since they first met in the canteen of Shelger Prison and I’m just so happy that they’ve finally found happiness and peace. At the end, we got a recap of my favourite quote about loving someone for a hundred years. Just when I thought we’ve already gotten a happy ending, Dick “proposes” to Yuuto by asking if he would like to live together. The last scene ended with Dick telling Yuuto his real name, but as usual, the moment when Dick said his name was faded out into the splashes of waves and an orchestral finale. *Sigh of contentment*
Despite Yuuto’s attempts at acting mature and all grown-up, he still reveals a child-like personality sometimes. I was slightly surprised at how quickly Yuuto jumped to conclusions and got carried away with his speculations. Right after he saw Fritz’s photograph, he was super convinced that Fritz was Corvus even though the Corvus he knew in prison had undergone plastic surgery before. I guess there might have been something about Fritz that gave off the Corvus aura; but still, how often does that happen? Yuuto also got carried away and over-excited at Rob’s theory about how Bill Manning was the “monster in the White House”. When Rob tells Yuuto that Dick will be at the party in Manhattan, he was a mask of composure when he said that it implies that they were on the right track. Right after he got some privacy in the bathroom, he dropped the mask and started getting excited/nervous about seeing Dick. During Yuuto and Dick’s encounter, I was still very proud of Yuuto for maintaining what seemed like a poker face until approximately 5 seconds later when he burst out at Dick and dragged him off to have a proper talk. Yuuto, you just can’t keep your cool when Dick’s concerned, can you?
Rob is still as lovable and nice as ever, I liked how he was so concerned about Yuuto, telling him that breaching one’s own limits is like falling off a cliff. I particularly loved his theory about how the ideal partner shouldn’t be “found” but “decided upon”, since there was no such thing as the perfect lover out there waiting to be discovered. He goes on to say that it is better to love one person for a hundred years than to love a hundred people. Even though it sounds so cheesy, believe me, it sounds much nicer in Japanese and when Yusa says it – *swoons*. Rob also managed to reconcile the gap between reality and dreams for Yuuto in a poetic manner by saying that everybody lives in reality while dreaming their dreams. I don’t know if it’s just me, but doesn’t this drama have a whole lot of quotes which comes from Rob? Besides spouting all the quotes, there’s something about Rob that endears him to listeners. Maybe it is the way he was still so nice to Yuuto even after countless rejections and the way he is so considerate and sensitive towards Yuuto’s feelings, despite being a blunt guy by nature. Seriously, he’s so much better than Dick. I think maybe it’s due to the fact that he had more airtime than Dick, but I feel more predisposed towards him than Dick.
Listening to Yuuto and Rob interact always makes me smile to myself; Yuuto is cynical and stoic, doesn’t react much to Rob’s jokes while Rob is always saying something serious and thought-provoking and the next minute joking. They have some sort of nice chemistry between the two of them (which I do not see happening between Yuuto and Dick, seriously Yuuto should have just gone for Rob and be happy forever) and they always can’t resist poking fun at each other. And it wasn’t always Rob making fun of Yuuto, Yuuto couldn’t resist taking a jab at Rob after hearing about Rob’s past playboy lifestyle and seeing Rob all flustered over denying it.
Dick’s entrance was rather low profile in this drama, unlike in the second drama. His execution of his role as “Steve Miller” couldn’t be more perfect (argh heart pangs for Yuuto) until Rob’s childishness got better of him and he tried to make Dick jealous by getting all close with Yuuto. We got to see Dick’s emotional side much sooner than I expected in this drama when he confessed his jealousy to Yuuto. However, I was more surprised by the fact that Dick was the one who abandoned his “Steve Miller” cover and started on the topic. Towards the end, Dick was so cute when he refused to tell Yuuto the name of his black dog; the awkward pauses before he calls the dog “inu” brought a smile to my face. Dick’s self hatred surfaces again when he got anxious when he thought Yuuto was mad at him, he called himself someone full of flaws.
In the first drama we have been seeing Corvus as someone bad, as he had hurt both Dick and Yuuto. The second drama introduced the possibility of him being someone’s pawn and in the last drama our attention shifted towards Manning, who can be seen as the cause of everything. We started to learn more about Corvus, how his personality and mentality was the result of his upbringing in the military camp. Corvus was an orphan who was abandoned near an anti-government guerrilla base and he was trained up to be a soldier to fight against the guerrillas, sort of reminds you of Dick, doesn’t it? Even though we’ve always known what kind of cold-blooded person Corvus was, it still shocked me to hear how calm and matter-of-fact he was when he told Yuuto about Fritz’s murder. It was even more unexpected to hear him analysing his own behaviour in an unbiased manner and attributing it to his upbringing. Though it isn’t impossible to be aware of how the way you’ve been brought up has shaped you, it was still something for him to be unable to correct his way of life despite knowing that it was wrong. I can’t help but sympathise with Corvus as his short exchange with Manning brought to mind the image of a pet that was raised specifically to suit its owner’s taste but abandoned after the owner attains his goals. The moment when we found out that Corvus gave Yuuto the only bullet-proof vest he had had me totally convinced that he was a good guy at heart. Unfortunately, he just had to die though I guess it was most fitting ending for his character.
Just like the previous dramas, Nakamura spoke for about 75% of the time and his performance was stellar. His voice can be very powerful and moving during his emotional moments, that listeners just can’t help empathising with his character. I think he was great throughout the entire series, but more notably so in the second and third dramas where he probably got more chances to shine. I can’t emphasise more on how Rob was made for Yusa; his gentle voice couldn’t be more suitable to play the eccentric and kind-hearted gay professor who is intellectual and has a way with his words.
On a side note, the free talk was quite funny when MikiShin couldn’t stop talking about Yusa when asked about his favourite character. Yusa complained about the amount he had to speak during the second drama despite not being the main character and how little Yasumoto spoke despite being one of the leads; exactly what I had in mind throughout the series. It’s rare to get a lead who is seldom heard during the drama.
I think I feel emotionally drained after listening to the entire series. Overall, Deadlock had taken me on a thrilling adventure from the dark and violent Shelger prison to vibrant New York to jungles of Columbia and finally to the scenic beaches of North Carolina. It was an exciting journey which made me appreciate what a awesome and skilful Nakamura is, it also made me like Yusa more, though I’m already one of his fans before listening to this. Deadlock has become the benchmark which I use to measure all future dramas against and it should definitely get onto your to-listen list, if you haven’t listened to it yet.
By the way, I found out that there is actually a Deadlock manga which has been released. So, just in case you’re interested, do google it.