Camille and Lorenzo take a jog to Italy to do research before the second challenge. And Issei and Yurika discover some things about his personal history that make the contest even more bitter. Entitled “Legacy,” the episode splashes out a very fine bit of work from this team.
Drops of God recap: ‘Legacy’
Season 1, episode 6: Camille Léger (played by Fleur Geffrier) has reached a dead end. The latest contest her father, famous sommelier and collector of expensive vintages Alexandre Léger (Stanley Weber), has left for her from beyond the grave involves a painting by Nunzio Galizia.
Alexandre loved the painting. So now Camille and her competitor, Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita), must find out what wine the painting corresponds to. Having come up empty-handed, Camille decides to go to Italy to investigate the matter at its source. She brings Lorenzo (Luca Terracciano), nephew and employee of Alexandre’s old friend Luca Inglese (Diego Ribon), because he speaks Italian.
The first day there, they try an art professor (Sara D’Amario) and a local couple who live in the painter’s old house. They find nothing. With only two days left before Camille must give her answer, she’s up a creek. By the end of the next day, they’ve been kicked out of every vineyard in Trento.
From Trento to Tokyo
Meanwhile, Issei is doing his own research back in Tokyo. He goes to his mother, Honoka Tomine (Makiko Watanabe), and asks her to come clean about something he thinks he’s discovered through friends of Alexandre. She refuses, so he grabs a comb of hers and threatens to get a DNA test done.
She panics, saying Issei will bring ruin and dishonor to the family if he goes through with this, so he hands it back to her. After all, she just confirmed his suspicion anyway. What does he need a DNA test for now? Hirokazu (Satoshi Nikaido), the man who raised Issei, wasn’t his birth father. Alexandre was.
Yurika Katase (Azusa Okamoto), a persistent journalist with whom Issei has formed a kind of bond, has done a little digging and found that Hirokazu is alive. He went missing several days ago, sending the family into a spiral. To thank her, Issei tells her about his parentage, which ought to make headlines. But Yurika surprises him by keeping his secret.
Issei’s distraught that his real father knew about him, and yet in all the years they studied together, never said a word about it. He’s upset that his adoptive father lied, too. Suddenly, Issei doesn’t know who he is anymore. Yurika tells him his mother was likely just trying to protect him from scandal and judgment.
Meanwhile, back in Italy …
After dismal defeats, Camille finds an unlikely ally in grouchy innkeeper Elisabetta (Lidia Vitale), who wouldn’t give her or Lorenzo the time of day at first. One night, Elisabetta confesses that she, too, is mourning her father. It’s not easy to go about as the living embodiment of their memories, she says.
So she tells Camille to try a new tactic with the local winemakers: Be insistent. Camille’s version of this is to tell people she’s the representative from the Léger guide, the famous list her father published every year. This gets her and Lorenzo everywhere they want to go, but unfortunately, they don’t find the wine they need.
When Elisabetta finds out they were telling people about the guide, she turns cold again. Apparently, a bad review in the Léger guide led to more than one bankruptcy in the area (including Elisabetta’s own father). She says something that truly shakes Camille’s faith: “I thought you were different than your father.”
When Camille finds out about Elisabetta’s father, it clicks into place. A wine made by a father with the help of a daughter. This might be it.
There is everything in this wine
Drops of God delivers some great downtime this week. The show can frequently feel very high stakes, so I like the little longueurs between tests and tribulations. Camille and Elisabette kvetching after dark about their fathers was great, as were Elisabetta’s hairpin mood swings. It’s nice to see these characters actually having to earn trust (rather than steal it like Camille and Lorenzo want to).
Makiko Watanabe also had a great moment reacting to her son’s attempts to find out the truth about his heritage, moving from anger to panic and back again.
The Issei and Yurika relationship has also quietly become one of the strongest things in the show, as her sarcasm and charm slowly chip away at his icy exterior. I loved the misdirect of Yurika going through Issei’s things. In most such cases, a scene like that would lead to Issei discovering her snooping around his things and accusing her of looking for a story. Instead, she finds a clue to the contest he had missed because he was too distracted and distraught by personal stuff.
The contest continues, and Camille gets dressed down
I also enjoyed the very traditional fair-play gesture of Issei deliberately tanking the contest so Camille and he would have even scores, and they’d both advance to the next round. Issei knew he hadn’t done the work to get his answer. But of course, Camille thinks he’s taunting her.
Worse, she can’t enjoy her victory — not just because of Issei’s gesture, but because she tells Luca she doesn’t want to take over writing the guide. He is savage in his dismissal of her and her humility. He tells her to go home to her mother if she can’t handle pressure. Then, end credits. Brutal.
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Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper and But God Made Him A Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.