DISCLAIMER: This is a spoiler filled recap for episode 6 of The Terror: Infamy, ‘Taizo’. Viewer discretion is advised.
Welcome back! The weekend may be behind us but luckily we’ve got The Terror: Infamy to scare away those Monday blues. Tensions were high in last week’s episode as the Japanese Americans were forced to fill out a questionnaire to prove they are “real Americans”.
Some of them, including Ken (Christopher Naoki Lee), find the whole situation degrading. So much so that Ken tries and succeeds in starting a protest against the questionnaire. His intentions are good. However his trust in Amy (Miki Ishikawa) is tested when she goes behind his back for the sake of protecting him.
Meanwhile we see a grieving Luz (Cristina Rodlo) get a visit from her Father Bart (Ruben Garfias). He informs her that her brother was killed in Argentina. After everything she’s been through Bart decides it’s best for Luz to come home. So they go through the process of getting her released from the camp. Luz’s application is quickly accepted which results in a teary goodbye between her, Henry (Shingo Usami) and Asako (Naoko Mori).
While all this is going on we see Yuko (Kiki Sukezane) possesses the body of a solider who is traveling to Guadalcanal.
Speaking of Guadalcanal, Chester (Derek Mio) is granted permission to interrogate a POW from Admiral Takahashi’s army. The POW, Tetsuya Ota (Kazuya Tanabe), is hostile at first. But he and Chester bond over their love of baseball. They eventually shift the conversation to their pasts. Chester talks about his recent loss and Luz. Ota talks about that one time he stuck out Lou Gehrig and about the deaths of his friends and former teammates.
The men form a bond in such a short time. So much so that Chester allows Ota to engage in seppuku a.k.a an honorable death by suicide. The episode ends with quite the cliffhanger. After possessing Arthur’s (Marcus Toji) body, Yuko attempts to kidnap Chester in an Army registered car. A chase ensues and eventually the car crashes horribly. This leaves Chester badly hurt. So hurt that he couldn’t run as the bag containing Yuko’s decaying body opened itself up and crawled to him whispering, “It’s time to go now, Tazio.”
This week we take a trip back in time. A story of the past provides insight into the present evil that stalks the Terminal Islanders. Chester returns home to his family, only to find that someone he was searching for is gone. Henry and Asako are faced with a difficult decision.
Some backstory at last! Let’s jump right in, here’s our look at The Terror: Infamy’s new episode, ‘Tazio’!
This episode kicks off back on Terminal Island in 1919. We see Yuko, who appears to be very much alive, all dolled up in a very traditional looking kimono. We learn that she is a ‘picture bride’ and the man standing near her making her super uncomfortable is her new husband. “When Yoshida-san presented this photograph to me I thought to myself, ‘This can’t be. There’s no way a man such as I could be so lucky.'”
Then we hear a line delivered that sounds familiar. “Yuko…you’re exquisite.” Right before Yuko rips out his tongue in episode 3, Yuko confronted Furuya (Eiji Inoue) by asking, “That night do you remember what you said to me? You said I was exquisite.” Ho-ly crap! It’s him! It’s a young Furuya getting jiggy with his new bride. Yuko appears very hesitant by the offer.
At first glance one might think ‘maybe she doesn’t really know this guy so she’s uncomfortable.’ Which would be reasonable. But that idea is chucked out the window when Yuko peels back her kimono to reveal a very swollen belly. Yuko is pregnant. Furuya instantly goes on the attack, giving Yuko some serious verbal whiplash as he literally throws her out of the house. Furuya feels that he’s gotten a ‘tainted’ bride and, despite Yuko’s pleas that she has no one and no where to go, Furuya leaves her out in the cold.
We fast forward one year later. Yuko is still on Terminal Island. We see that she has given birth to her baby and that they are both homeless. She’s resorted to digging through garbage in order to feed her child. However, as the child is slowly getting older, this task is proving more challenging each day. So she makes a decision. Probably the hardest decision of her life. She leaves her baby with the local orphanage.
Yuko is told by one of the nuns that she did the right thing. But she doesn’t feel that way. “What is a woman worth if she can’t raise her own child? If she can’t provide?”
Feeling totally worthless Yuko later goes to a bridge with a sack full of rocks that would ensure her death if she were to fall. It looks like Yuko is about to take the plunge (literally) when a woman approaches her.
The woman (Natsuki Kunimoto) asks Yuko if anything is troubling her. Yuko insists that nothing is wrong. She’s only standing on the edge of a bridge to reflect. The unnamed woman confesses she also used to come to that bridge to “reflect”, giving off the impression she considered suicide at one point. “I used to think how peaceful it must be, down under the water. All one’s troubles and sorrows could be washed out to sea with the tide. But take it from a woman who has seen many years, pain doesn’t need to be washed away. It will all fade, eventually.”
Yuko again insists that everything is fine. “I’m just resting before returning home.” The woman, whose name is Chiyo, doesn’t appear convinced but she doesn’t push the subject any further. She leaves and Yuko waits until she is out of sight before falling backwards into the water below the bridge.
What she doesn’t know is that she had an audience. An audience of one. Once Yuko is in the water Chiyo steps out from the shadows, looking pretty undisturbed by the whole thing.
After the opening credits we see Yuko again. She’s very much alive as awakes in a traditional Japanese style house. Complete with tatami mat flooring, sliding doors, and wooden engawa verandas, the house also features a gorgeous garden. The room where Yuko is in has a great view of it. Now that’s one hell of a way to wake up.
One of the doors slides open to reveal it’s Chiyo. She comes bearing gifts of tea and breakfast. Understandably Yuko is very confused. When she probes on how she got there. Chiyo explains that she saved Yuko from the water and that the rest doesn’t matter. Because she’s safe now. Whatever that means.
Yuko seems fine with that excuse for now. She finds comfort in the house, “I feel like I’m back in Japan.” At one point Yuko notices a banner hanging in the room. In its center is a symbol familiar to Yuko. It’s called the Yotsu Hanabishi and it’s the crest of her ancestors. Perhaps these two are distant cousins?
After breakfast, the two take a walk to admire the garden. This is where Yuko has a reaction to a little bridge in the garden’s center. She suddenly remembers the bridge in Terminal Island, the conversation she had with Chiyo and about her baby. The sudden surge of memories gives her a panic. Chiyo quickly swoops in to calm her down.
The next morning starts off the same. Yuko wakes up to the stunning view, Chiyo brings her breakfast and the two chit chat. Although there is something eerie about the atmosphere. First off Yuko catches the gardener staring at her. Then she swats at a fly that lands on her arm. When she pulls her hand away she sees blood coming from the fly. And in the blink of an eye it’s gone. It’s not a proper episode of The Terror without someone having a funky hallucination, amirite?
Later, Yuko gets spooked by the gardener again so she runs towards a door. This requires her running through the sand in the zen garden. As soon as she does she begins to sink. Much to the delight of the gardener. She sinks- no, not sinks! She’s being pulled further in by a pair of hands. A pair of crumbling, decaying looking hands. Love me a sand zombie.
At the last possible moment Chiyo, looking almost irritated by the situation, comes to Yuko’s rescue before it cuts to black. We next see Yuko waking up in her room and it’s feeling like we have a Groundhog Day situation on our hands. Even Chiyo’s dialogue is the same everyday.
Yuko isn’t in the mood for the routine today. She demands to know where she is because she does not remember being pulled from the water. “Of course you wouldn’t. You never left.” Whoa. This just shifted to a Beetlejuice situation. I’m here for it. Chiyo explains that they are in “paradise”, so Yuko shouldn’t worry about something as trivial as leaving or her baby. Instead she should just accept that she’s dead so she can be happy in paradise. With Chiyo, of course.
At first Yuko is appalled at the idea. This annoys Chiyo. After hurling a bit of abuse at Yuko, Chiyo calms herself down. She hugs Yuko and whispers “I’ve waited so very long for you. For one of my own.” Yuko’s gaze drifts back to the Yotsu Hanabishi. The two are related! Chiyo explains that only people from her family can join her in “paradise”. Even if they are so many generations apart. Which just begs the question of how old is Chiyo?
Yuko is clearly miserable about her predicament. Though she eventually settles into playing nice. Just in case Chiyo decides to throw her in with the sand zombie. After an unknown amount of time passes the two women chat during a calligraphy lesson. This humble chat turns into an impromptu interrogation as Yuko learns Chiyo once had a daughter. Well, technically still has. Her daughter is none other than the sand zombie.
Things get heated as Yuko presses Chiyo for more information. We eventually learn that Chiyo is responsible for her daughter’s current residence under the sand. The whole point of building her paradise was so she could forget that fact. The only problem was that it didn’t work. Especially since Yuko reminds Chiyo so much of her daughter,
Things take a righteous turn as Chiyo accidentally steps onto the zen garden’s sand and right into the clutches of her daughter. Who’s probably pretty pissed at her.
With Chiyo gone Yuko is free to roam the garden. She finds a door that opens up to a wall of dirt. After digging for a bit, we see Yuko have her own zombie style resurrection 21 years later. Thus, the Yūrei was born!
We jump ahead to the internment camp in July of 1943. Chester returns from his stay in Guadalcanal. When Henry and Asako rush to greet him we learn that Walt (Lee Shorten) has also joined the army and is currently stationed in Italy. After a sweet homecoming Chester learns of Luz’s departure.
After he reads a letter Luz left him Chester visits the grave of his son’s, Enrique and Hikaru. He eventually drifts off and is promptly woken up by Fumi Yoshida (Hira Ambrosino). Instead of welcoming him home, Fumi blames him for every bad that’s happened in the last couple of years including her husband dying, Chester’s sons dying and Luz going mad. All because of the spirit that follows him. Asako is quick to come to his defense.
Fumi is quick to mention that Asako also has a hand in this, “You brought this on him! If only you hadn’t been so selfish, none of this would have-” She is quickly silenced thanks to a slap from Asako. Hell yeah, mama bear.
Fumi storms off in a huff. This gives Chester the perfect time to question his Mother. He demands to know what Fumi meant but Asako doesn’t answer. Instead she embraces her son. The tender moment is short lived as Yuko possesses Asako’s body, she begins to grip Chester tightly and insists they must go find Luz, “The babies are dead. But your line…our line must continue.” Our line? No. Freaking. Way!
Chester can tell just by looking in his Mother’s eyes that she’s been possessed. When he demands she let Asako go she instantly becomes enraged, “You call her mother? She is no mother. She’s a thief!” Hm, a thief. What in the world could Asako have taken? Let’s think about something Yuko lost or gave away shortly before her death.
Yuko chokes Chester before realizing what she was doing. She releases him and her hold on Asako. After she recovers Asako explains what it was like to be possessed. “She was inside me. I was there too. I had to watch my hands, my own hands…I fought so hard.” Sounds like a real bummer. At this point all three of the Nakayama’s are hiding out in one of the barracks to talk. When Chester prompts what could Yuko be after it’s Asako that answers: “You.”
Sh*t is about to hit the fan, y’all. Get ready.
Asako reveals that once upon a time she had a sister. Her name was- can I get a drum roll, please? Yuko! Henry and Asako recalls Yuko’s tragic experience as Furuya’s bride, how he shunned her and how she killed herself. And, of course, that she was pregnant when she arrived to the island. You can see some of the pieces fall together in Chester’s mind. Though it isn’t until Henry’s confirmation that he’s sure. “Taizo is the name she gave you.” Chester a.k.a Taizo is the baby Yuko gave up. I KNEW IT!
They continue on by explaining how Asako found out about Yuko’s death. “I was in Japan when I found out…I vowed that I would never let my sister’s child be an orphan.” We also learn that Chester’s biological father was a solider who died at war. And Chester does not take the news well. He feels so betrayed that he lashes out at his- mainly at Henry- parents before storming off. Which is a pretty difficult watch.
Now, while all this is going on, we see Yuko walking through the camp participating in her favorite hobby: baby snatching. She steals an infant from a young Mother. Once she’s got the baby in her clutches, Yuko attempts to bring the baby into Chiyo’s paradise. It doesn’t work. All because of that little golden rule about bloodline. “Only my blood can join me.”
Chester wonders back towards the cemetery. This is where he discovers Yuko’s intact body holding the crying infant. Her body is carried back to an empty room where they seek out the advice of the wise Yamato-san (George Takei). Chester, Henry and Yamato-san come up with a plan to set Yuko’s body free. It involves destroying her body. Asako is opposed to the plan at first, though she manages to convince herself it’s not her sister. Not anymore.
With her blessing, the three men bond together to perform an ancient kind of exorcism, with Chester happily setting the body on fire. Yuko’s soul in paradise can feel the ritual happening. It even appears to be working, the deal seemingly sealed with a small explosion. At least that’s everyone’s hope. right? Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. We travel to the next morning where, among the ashes of the burnt barrack, are several footprints leading away from the scene of the failed exorcism.
Just for good measure we even hear a very familiar voice whisper “Tazio.”
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR/ THOUGHTS:
- Wow, wow, wow what an episode! This has to be my favorite so far. The twists, the turns, the messed up connection between Yuko and Furuya. Now we know why she was particularly brutal when killing him.
- What will these new revelations mean for the Nakayama’s? Will they, specifically Chester, be able to come to terms with this new information? I really hope so.
- What will Yuko do next? If she really survived the ritual, what could possibly be the next step in her plan?
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.
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