In true Houtarou fashion, his deduction comes in a sudden flash of brilliance. The reason there was no possible way for any of the other students to have been the killer…was because it was the viewer himself. The POV of the camera committed the crime…but our brilliant detetctive…was wrong?! The rope Hongou called for was never used, and come to think of it, why didn’t Irisu just ask Hongou herself about the conclusion? These were all things that the others had picked up on throughout the Classic Club’s investigation, but never fully considered until the finished movie left them with unusual misgivings.
To be honest, I was really bored with this mystery until Houtarou reached his albeit false conclusion. I thought it was brilliant and completely unsuspected, a marvelous twist to the expertly crafted mystery by Hongou. My interest turned into a compulsion to continue watching as one-by-one the other members told Oreki about their problems with the final film, each poking larger holes in Houtarou’s deduction. It was Irisu’s plan all along to have someone else finish the unfinished movie, and using the Classic’s Club was just the altered plan after none of the class’s top theories would fly, but even with a finished movie, Oreki couldn’t wrap his head around the still mysterious circumstances which led Irisu to go to such measures.
She could’ve easily just asked Hongou as to the ending of the story, unless something grave had happened. But it turns out that the shy writer just didn’t want to confront the class about her aversion to the story’s outcome. She much preferred mysteries where everyone lived, and didn’t seem to have the stomach for the rest of the class’s call for mass murder. Caring for the poor girl, Irisu had her play sick, and let the class finish the movie, which, as we saw, they were most definitely not up to the task.
These two episodes nearly solidify Hyouka’s theme: the growth and development of Oreki Houtarou from a lethargic, energy-conserver, to a proactive person who uses his talents to help others see past themselves and reach truer conclusions. Or at least that’s my take on it and how I think Oreki’s sister sees it, as she seems to be so generously positioning a lot of the pieces in her brother’s high school life.
The next episode seems to certain around the Culture Festival, which should be a callback to the Anthology the Classics Club was working on and which helped to prompt the investigation into Chitanda’s uncle’s strange history regarding the Club and the Culture festival years ago. Maybe they’ll pick back up on that and investigate his disappearance in India, or, even better, what the hell is going on with Oreki’s sister (also in India), and why she’s been pulling strings behind the scenes since he started high school and was forcefully asked to join the Classics Club in the first place.