DISCLAIMER: This is a spoiler filled recap for episode 2 of The Terror: Infamy, ‘All the Demons Are Still in Hell’. Viewer discretion is advised.
Welcome back, horror dorks! If you’re still with us that means you, like me, loved the season premiere of The Terror: Infamy and you’re ready for more. Last week we saw the blatant discrimination against Terminal Island’s Japanese Americans, a series of bizarre tragedies that may have been caused by a Bakemono (a shapeshifter) or some other mischievous spirit and families being torn apart as a result of Pearl Harbor.
Unfortunately we know where this is headed. Because of executive order 9066, which stated that all American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan, the people of Terminal Island will soon be evacuated to internment camps. As if things weren’t already awful for everyone, there is also a malicious spirit targeting the people of Terminal Island for some reason.
This week we learn the fate of the men who were taken by the FBI in the last episode. Meanwhile we watch Chester (Derek Mio) look into the strange occurrences that have been going on. While we see the families of Terminal Island cope with their new, horrific living conditions, Luz (Cristina Rodlo) makes a decision and another death in his community sends Chester into a paranoiac spiral. Sounds great.
Enough chit chat! Let’s get on with our look at The Terror: Infamy’s episode, ‘All the Demons Are Still in Hell’!
This episode starts with a shot of Henry Nakayama (Shingo Usami) repeating the phrase “I’m not a spy. I’m a simple fisherman. I love this country.” While he seems fine, apart from being separated from his family, we get a glimpse of where he’s being held. He’s alone in a dark, damp room with little to no heating, as we’re able to see his breath when he speaks.
Back on Terminal Island, we see everyone packing their things so they can be ready to leave by nightfall. Everyone is upset and in disbelief about the whole situation. Including Chester. Despite his frustrations, he’s quick to not only help his Mother Asako (Naoko Mori) in these trying times, but also his neighbors the Yoshidas and the Furuya’s son, Toshiro (Alex Shimizu). They all decide to stick together by loading up in Henry’s car. As the deadline to leave is quickly approaching Asako gets nostalgic for a moment, “I did not think I would like it here at first.”
After the opening credits we see the group seek out new housing in the city. While bringing his suitcases up a flight of stairs Wilson Yoshida (James Saito), who is referred to at Yoshida-san, get’s a glimpse of our new creepy best friend, Yuko (Kiki Sukezane). You remember her, tea leaf reader, doesn’t photograph well, sews her literal face back together? Of course you remember. She’s there one second then gone the next. He seems rattled by the situation but ultimately shrugs it off.
Don’t worry, though, it doesn’t take long for us to see Yuko again as we check back in with Henry and co. We see the men being forced to walk in a circle.. We also see the now blind Hideo Furuya (Eiji Inoue) not participating to stare up into the room’s only source of light. Despite his lack of sight, he’s somehow able to see Yuko staring down at him as though she was some sort of divine figure. He’s shouting “No! No!” while Yuko calmly asks him “You remember me, don’t you?” How would they know each other? Maybe she’s referring to when she passed him in the street before he went blind. Or could he be hallucinating? If not, could this be a sign that he is her next victim? Furuya is yanked out of his trance like state when he is forced to walk with everyone else.
Henry watches from afar as he walks beside the wise Yamato-san (George Takei). Even in a time like this Yamato-san is still superstitious about lurking spirits. So he’s cautious, naturally. This includes eating bits of paper with protective sutra written on them to ward off any obake (another word for shapeshifter). Henry is skeptical about this. Until Yamato-san starts rattling off a list of people that have disappeared since they arrived at the prison. “Where has Imamura gone? Nakamura? The Shinoda brothers? Disappeared without explanation. We’d best keep to ourselves. Any face we see can be that of a foul spirit.”
This is when we our introduced to Nick Okada (Kai Bradbury). He’s a fresh faced young man that looks a little too cheerful for someone being held captive by the government. I know you can’t see it but I’m currently waving a red flag. Nick’s jaunty demeanor sets off a few red flags for Yamato-san and Henry too. As soon as Nick leaves Henry is quick to eat a sutra paper.
Next we check back with Chester, who is paying a quick visit to his professor to return some camera equipment. Chester figures while he’s there he’d ask about his strange photos. If you remember from the last episode Chester has been having trouble developing some of his pictures. Every now and then he’ll come across a photo where a person’s face is so distorted that they are unrecognizable. Meanwhile everyone and everything else in the photo looks fine. This anomaly started the day of Mrs. Furuya’s (Yuki Morita) funeral and have baffled Chester ever since. He wants to know what he’s doing wrong.
“Well, if you ask my old professor, he’d say it’s a combination of a slow shutter and a shaky hand. If you ask my Jewish mother…she’d say you’ve been taking photos of things you shouldn’t.” I’m gonna go with the latter but what do I know? The oddity is chalked up to Chester’s skill simply being ‘off’ due to everything that’s going on in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Chester appears to only half listen to this potential explanation, he catches a glimpse of Luz and practically dashes out of the office to catch up with her. This is where we learn that she didn’t take the gaiyo and toki concoction. She’s still pregnant and apparently had no intention of telling Chester.
This is where we also learn that Luz is working in an orphanage. This is where her baby will be raised until she can afford to take care of a kid on her own. This may take some time as it’s revealed she was kicked out of her family’s home. “Despite being deeply Catholic neither my father or my brother took the news with much mercy or grace.” Chester is desperate to help and again the sentiment is very sweet. However Luz is just being realistic. “Chester, it’s not romantic. It’s not inspirational. But it’s a plan.” And with that she’s gone.
We pan back to Henry in the next scene. We see him doing the exact same thing he was doing in the first scene. Sitting alone in a cold, dark room, muttering the phrase “I’m not a spy. I’m a simple fisherman. I love this country,” over and over. Whether he’s doing this out of compulsion or as a coping mechanism, it’s apparent that this speech repetition is somehow stemming from the anxiety he’s feeling about his current situation. Can you blame him?
This time though Henry is taken from from room and is driven out to a frozen lake. For a split second I couldn’t help but think of the missing men Yamato-san referred to earlier. Imamura. Nakamura. The Shinoda brothers. Oh, no. Not Henry. Leave Henry alone. My fears are quickly brushed aside when Henry is handed an ice auger and told to fish. When Henry explains he doesn’t know how to ice fish, he’s basically told “that sounds like a you problem” and is left alone by the guard. Hopefully that ice is steady.
Just when you thought Yuko was taking a break from being super creepy, we get her in the very next scene stalking Chester. It’s obvious she has some sort of attachment to him at this point. So, while he’s trying to sleep in his temporary housing, he hears the sound of footsteps right outside his room. A quick look revealed the steps to belong to the now infamous Yuko. Chester quickly rushes after her. But she somehow manages to vanish into thin air. It’s obvious Chester is disturbed by this whole thing. So much so that he returns to the brothel, the one where he attended a bachelor party, to ask for Yuko.
He’s even more puzzled by the situation when he’s told Yuko doesn’t work at the brothel. “Darling, I haven’t had a Japanese girl work for me in years.” Chester is told. So! The plot thickens on The Terror: Infamy.
Let’s check back with Henry real quick. By the time the guard decides to retrieve him, it’s much darker outside than it was before so it’s been a few hours at least. And despite never ice fishing before? My man Henry comes through with a bucket of fish.
Back at the temporary housing Chester finds everyone in a frenzy. We quickly find out it’s because the Japanese Americans were served with another executive order. This order states that everyone must evacuate within 48 hours, bring two suitcases per person and prepare to relocate again. This time to a horse racing track. Understandably, everyone’s freaking out. Including Chester’s mother. Though she does find some comfort with Chester’s assurance that he would find a way to keep Henry’s car protected.
This order is unforgiving and expansive. It’s for any and all Japanese Americans. Including the Japanese American children and infants in orphanages. Like the one where Luz works at. Luz isn’t afraid to express her outrage at this order’s terms. “Who are these children a threat to?” But it doesn’t matter. The children are taken and the whole situation raises concerns for Luz about her pregnancy. “What about the unborn?” She asks one of the guards. “If a child is born during the war, what happens to it?” “Anyone with even one drop of Jap blood has gotta go.” She’s told.
I think I smell a road trip in Luz’s future. Perhaps one that crosses a border?
Chester learns about this when he sees the children arriving alone at the horse track. In a split second decision Chester spills the beans to his Mother. He tells her he’s being going out with someone, that he’s been doing it behind their backs and that she’s pregnant with his child. And that’s why he can’t go to the track with everyone else. “I can’t abandon Luz or the baby. I have to help them.” His mother is deeply hurt by this. She doesn’t bother hiding that fact, even when she’s giving him the room to do whatever he wants. So, she carries on with the rest of the group.
The condition of the tracks are as horrible as one might expect. There’s a strong odor to go with the mattress-less beds, there’s muck along the walls and one bucket that’s meant to be their bathroom. It’s inhumane. Which is putting it lightly.
Chester rushes to the orphanage to find Luz. Once again he pleads with her to run off with him. He assures her that this time he’s got a plan. Before his arrival he apparently called his photography professor and they’ve already figured out the best route out of state. Good thing they’ve got Henry’s car! Looks like third time’s the charm because Luz looks awfully convinced this time.
Back at the tracks, we see everyone trying to make the best out of their horrific living conditions. Everyone is doing their part to help, including the quiet Toshiro. He’s dumping out a bucket of trash for Mrs. Nakayama when he stumbles upon a lone woman in one of the stalls. You guessed it, it’s Yuko. She cups Toshiro’s cheek as she tells him he takes after his late Mother. The atmosphere feels tense. Just when you think something bad is going to happen to Toshiro they are interrupted by Amy Yoshida (Miki Ishikawa). Spooked by the random encounter, Toshiro is quick to go along with Amy as Yuko is left to stare after them longingly.
Next we catch up with our new favorite trio, Henry, Yamato-san and Furuya. As they are collecting firewood Furuya explains how he can still see the mysterious Yuko staring down at him as though she was expecting something. Yamato-san asks if this woman will disclose Nick Okada’s true intentions as they are still very suspicious of this young man. Especially Yamato-san. Could it be true? Could Nick Okada be a second evil spirit haunting the men? Or could it just be Yuko shape shifting? The girl has to be doing something when she’s not checking in on Chester, right?
Speaking of Chester! We see he and Luz arrive safely at his professor’s house. However, they barely have time to settle in when the FBI busts through the door and find them. They are quick to collect Chester for failing to evacuate with all the Japanese Americans. They take the time to assure Luz that she has nothing to worry about. It’s only the Japanese they are concerned with. Since her and Chester aren’t married, no laws have been broken. She’s in the clear. Turns out the FBI were tipped off by a neighbor. An elderly woman who clearly had nothing better to do in her free time. Rude
Just as the men are about to leave, Luz chases after them to announce her pregnancy with Chester, since she’s carrying a Japanese baby she insists they have to take her too. And they do. At the tracks Chester reunites with his Mother, who is surprisingly welcoming when introduced to Luz. It’s an oddly heartwarming moment.
When we next see Henry, Yamato-san and Furuya, they are preparing to go out ice fishing. But their fishing party isn’t complete without surprise guest: Nick Okada! I smell danger. Or at the very least a confrontation. Which is exactly what we get as they men or carving holes in the ice. Nick finds all the talk of spirits ridiculous so the three men, armed with pick axes, begin chipping at the ice that’s surrounding Nick.
They didn’t like that answer because “That’s exactly what a Bakemono would say.” Now, literally on thin ice, Nick eventually confesses that he isn’t something otherworldly. He’s very much a human. He’s working for the Justice Department, he’s basically a spy hired to look for other spies. Except he didn’t find any. “So you fed them names so you could keep this job. Names of loyal men.” The men now realize they are dealing with a traitor. So they walk away. Leaving Nick where he stands. The catch? He can’t move. Any step could result in the ice below him breaking.
At the track, Chester is working alongside Walt Yoshida (Lee Shorten). The two are chit chatting when Walt’s father, Yoshida-san, locks eyes with the deadly Yuko. Yoshida-san almost instantly recognizes her and hurries towards Chester, shouting at him that he needs to leave just before he is shoved forward by some unseen force. Once on his feet Yoshida-san knocks out one of the guards, takes his gun and begins running off.
Chester and Walt chase after him. But they’re forced to stop when they realize Yoshida-san is approaching more guards with the gun in hand. Now it’s a stand off that ends in Yoshida-san being shot and killed. His last words- well, technically word- went to Chester telling him, again, to go. Whatever that means. The camera pans back to Yuko, who is now bleeding as though she somehow managed to catch a stray bullet. Weird. I guess ghosts bleed now.
The whole thing traumatizes and confuses everyone. Especially Yoshida-san’s family. Mrs. Yoshida (Hira Ambrosino) and Walt claim Chester is responsible somehow. “There is evil around you. It has already taken my husband. Leave before any more misfortune befalls us.” I mean…they aren’t totally wrong.
Not long after Yoshida-san has been cremated. R.I.P King- everyone is forced to relocate again to the internment camps. After a long bus ride they arrive in Oregon where the conditions, big shock, look terrible.
What we know so far/ thoughts:
- Now, I thought Yuko was cruel. What the trio did to Nick? That was on a whole different level. I like it.
- With everyone now at the camps, does that mean the men including Henry, Yamato-san and Furuya will be returned to their families? Nick said so himself, he couldn’t find any spies. With him out of the way perhaps they’ll be transferred back. I hope so.
- Will the men be able to make a smooth transition back into regular life? Because I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of them suffered with PTSD after this.
- On top of her now bleeding for some reason, I couldn’t help noticing a slight discoloration in Yuko’s fingernails. Perhaps she’s ill? Or her body gets damaged when she uses her abilities too much? I’m very confused.
- What’s gonna happen when Luz does have the baby? Will she stay at the camp or will she be forced to leave?
Check back next week and I may have some of the answers you’re looking for. The Terror: Infamy airs Mondays at 9pm on your AMC affiliate.