Ju-On: Origins episode 5 brings its narrative together much more coherently, and allows its tragedies to painfully overlap.
This recap of Ju-On: Origins season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
There’s always a moment in horror stories when the evidence of supernatural entities becomes too obvious to ignore; when what seems to be happening, however implausible, must indeed be happening. This moment comes in Ju-On: Origins episode 5, as Yasuo sits down with an inspector and lays out the history of the house he once lived in, and the various tragedies that have befallen those who have occupied it over the years. A coincidence? The inspector isn’t willing to say one way or the other, but his interest is obviously piqued enough to allow Yasuo entry so that he can look around in the hopes of jogging more of his suppressed memories.
He does, but he also seems to fall into the memories of others; the house holds them all in an overlapping tableau of misery. Kiyomi screams in the closet, visible only to him. Elsewhere, many years removed from that incident, Katsuji visits her while she’s working as a prostitute. Both are addicts. Both exist in a state of haunted grief, Kiyomi especially, whose life has been nothing but an unending torrent of trauma. She only adds to it by drowning Katsuji in the bathtub. The house contains so much of her pain that it only makes sense to return to it and its ghosts for some kind of comfort.
After seeing a vision of her, Yasuo spends most of Ju-On: Origins episode 5 trying to track down Kiyomi, but what he finds only reveals more about himself, his past, his parents, and his own experiences in that house. You can’t outrun these things; can’t suppress them forever. What he believed was an investigation into paranormal activity was really an investigation into himself, into the parts he had sealed off and hidden away.
This is how grief and trauma work, of course – how we deal with them or avoid dealing with them comes to define us. Every character in this story has been touched by tragedy, and in their attempts to process it they are all united. They exist together. Ju-On: Origins season 1, episode 5 makes this more explicit than ever, ensuring its supernaturalism is only an excuse to explore the depths of a very human evil.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.