Hado's stage hanging case finally gets its resolution, and as usual, Gosho manages to twist up the truth and surprise us at the end. It ended up being suicide and was disguised as murder by Enjo(below). It's funny how you think you've gone through all the possibilties, but you end up leaving a simple one such as this. I was first following the trail of it being suicide, then came the contradictions of it looking like an planned murder, so mixing them together ended up with what I wrote on the last review.
We also find out that the "ASACA" name of the song was based on the word "dawn"("asa") and "ca"(from "cafe") combined together. I actually thought that information on Hado sitting in a cafe, during dawn, in the past was too trivial that it had to be important and thought maybe he heard the name "Asaca" there, but it ended up being completely unrelated to the BO.Plot Discussion
We start with entering the awaited flashback that reveals the truth between Akai and Scotch. We start with Scotch tricking Akai and stealing his gun in order to shoot himself(below). It would seem that Akai confronted him and as Scotch tried to resist and Akai thought he succeded in making him unconscious after a little struggle. From the look of the scenario and why they might be there, it looks like Scotch went up to the roof in order to jump off and kill himself. The fact that Scotch didn't have a gun on him indicates that he must have found out about his cover being blown(most likely through phone) while he was somewhere where a gun would be inconvenient or risky. He then hurried to the nearest high building to commit suicide, but got stopped by Akai. Akai must have been following him or got hints of where he could find him somehow.
Then we come to the crucial moment where Akai revealed his true affiliation and that he wants to help him escape(below). It's interesting that I actually predicted this scene where Akai tries to make a deal with him, a long time ago(among ocean of errors ofc:http://forums.dctp.ws/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12248&start=1215#p823585
And now comes the tragic part,... where we found out that Scotch shot himself quickly after they both heard someone climbing up the stairs(below). We finally find out how Scotch died and that it was due to the misunderstanding of him thinking that the BO were coming, even though it actually was Rei(Bourbon), his ally. This is another scene that I called a long time ago(but under the assumption that Akai shot Scotch in self-defense). How Bourbon found them has to be by tracking the whereabouts of Scotch's phone, after getting the suicide text(FILE 954).
We find out that Scotch aimed to his heart in order to destroy his phone alongside with him, since it probably contained sensitive info of his identity, his family and PSB coworkers(below). The fact that he had his private phone with him further supports the fact that he was somewhere where a gun would be inconvenient, or risky, like with his family for example. A topic, that is up for discussion, is whether we will ever find out Scotch's true identity. It's certainly possible that we won't find out, since he might not be more relevant to the plot than this, but if Scotch's story ends up connecting to other stories, such as Kuroda, Rum or even the Hondou(if their resemblance means anything), we might find out his true identity. Since Scotch seems to have gotten his codename before Bourbon, if he was the one that shared the info of Vermouth's secret to Rei, we might get a chance to get more info on him. After that, Bourbon's resentment towards Akai grew from the belief that Akai caused Scotch's death(whether it's through forced suicide or not) since Akai took that "honor" himself.
After the flashback, we see a worrisome, but funny, scene where Bourbon says to Okiya(Akai) that he's dying to turn down the high collar in order to check if there's a voice-changing choker(below). Bourbon basically reveals that he is strongly suspicious of him and that he revived his suspicion of Okiya being Akai in disguise (just because he realized in FILE 955 that Okiya(Yusaku) from before was right-handed while the current Okiya(Akai) was a lefty). Gosho simply forshadowed a future confrontation between them, where Bourbon might find out that Akai didn't kill Scotch.
Here comes the juicy part of this chapter! another person who surprisingly revealed that she had a strong suspicion is Ran. We were teased that she thought something was suspicious with Azusa, who in fact is Vermouth in disguise, since she called Ran "angel", just like the "kidnapper"(Vermouth) from FILE 434. Ran just took the huge step of confronting Azusa(Vermouth) asking her if she's the "kidnapper"(below). That scene just rose Ran's character development to a new level and did her perceptiveness(which we have seen a lot of before Kir arc) justice.
Vermouth gives her the most heart-melting answer that further provides us with in-depth look into her character and her feelings. She answers Ran with that she should stop digging any deeper and enter her world, because of the danger that awaits, and that Ran is her treasure(below). She then follows up her touching answer, in her mind, that Shinichi and Ran are the only treasures she has in this world(below). Getting this development of Ran and Vermouth was the best thing we could ask for after they appeared in the same case for the first time and I certainly see hope for Ran's future development and involvement in the main plot(like towards FILE 434).
Judging by the side-note(below), it looks like we might get a Heiji case, since Gosho even mentioned about a romance comedy being involved in FILE 958.