the terror infamy episode 8 review

We’re in the home stretch now, and yet, The Terror: Infamy is still throwing curveballs. The two most recent episodes – 7 and 8 – offer up some new twists to keep things going, but one can’t help but feel like the show has run its course by now.

My Perfect World

I had such high hopes for The Terror: Infamy. The show’s premise – ghosts in a Japanese internment camp during World War II – was rife with possibility. It was also unsettlingly timely, a premise that could be tied into our increasingly, depressingly jingoistic times. But as Infamy nears its end, it’s become apparent that the internment camp element has very little to do with the story. It’s simply a setting. You could transplant this season to any other location, and the story would be more or less the same – and that’s a bit of a let-down.

Still, episode 7, “My Perfect World”, has its moments. For one thing, it opens with a wonderfuly ghoulish moment in which a possessed undertaker tears skin off of one corpse and stitches it, Frankenstein-style, onto the burnt corpse of Yuko. This enables her to come back to life yet again (I guess she needs fresh skin to live? Who knows), and continue her quest for Chester.

Chester, meanwhile, is on a quest of his own: to find Luz. He’s sent her a ton of letters, but she hasn’t opened any of them. His solution? To simply try to walk out of the camp. When that doesn’t work, he breaks out entirely and heads off to find her, which he does, rather easily. It results in a somber moment in which Luz admits that she wanted to ignore Chester because all he reminds her of is pain. It’s a scene that features strong acting from Cristina Rodlo, and serves as another reminder that this season has pretty much wasted her character.

Back at the camp, an outbreak is in full swing, plunging the detainees into sickness. Amy goes to Major Bowen to ask for outside medical help, but since he’s a piece of shit he turns her down. Ken, Amy’s revolutionary ex-boyfriend, takes matters into his own hands – he takes Bowen hostage, thinking this will somehow help matters. It really doesn’t. And besides, Amy gets the job done herself, calling up some ambulances using Bowen’s authority. Afterward, she helps talk Ken into releasing Bowen, and Bowen makes it sound as if he’s going to take it easy on Ken. He isn’t – he has the young man shot.

It’s worth noting here that Bowen also encounters Yuko lurching around the camp at some point, and seems to go crazy after she touches him. But he gets over that craziness really quickly, and it makes one wonder why they bothered to include the Bowen/Yuko counter at all. It goes nowhere. But Ken’s death spurns Amy into action, and she starts secretly recording Bowen in hopes of getting him in trouble with his superiors.

As for Chester and Luz, they run off to New Mexico. And even though Luz gave an emotional speech about how being with Chester causes her pain, she asks him to stay anyway. It’s again a credit to Cristina Rodlo that she’s able to make the dialogue here work, because it goes against everything else the character has said. Mark Korven’s beautiful, aching music does a lot of heavy lifting here as well. In any case, there’s hope here – Chester and Luz can start a new life. Although it’s kind of a dick move for Chester to totally forget about his parents back at camp, even if they are his adoptive parents.

But he’s got other family matters in mind. Because after busting into the orphanage where he was left as a baby, Chester discovers he had a twin brother. Dun dun dun! It feels way too late in the game to drop this twin brother subplot into the narrative, but hey, here we are. And if Chester wants to find his brother, it stands to reason that Yuko wants to find the character as well. And sure enough, she possesses Luz’s father in Los Angeles long enough to make him draw out directions to the New Mexico house where Chester and Luz and staying. Then she makes the poor man kill himself, as seems to be her custom.

My Sweet Boy

The latest episode of The Terror: Infamy breaks some fingers, throws in some twists, and ultimately asks: what more is there left to say? I will continue to defend this show, and the first season remains fantastic in my eyes. But this season has started to wear thin, and I can’t help but wish things had panned out differently. But this is the story we’re stuck with, and this is the story I have to cover.

After running off to New Mexico with Luz last week, Chester is now happily working on her family’s farm. And it’s only a matter of time before he and Luz have fully made up, and jumped back into the sack together. Good for them, those crazy kids! Unfortunately, Yuko is lurking about, biding her time, waiting for…something. Can you be any more vague, Yuko?

Three years have passed since the show started, and, oddly enough, Chester hasn’t brought up the whole Yuko thing to Luz once. This seems like a huge oversight on his part, but he finally lets things slip after Luz finds out her father is missing (we, of course, know he’s dead). And also after Luz reveals that her abuela knows magic. Luz’s abuela uses that magic to transport Chester to some sort of spirit realm where he learns his twin brother is dead. The reunion is sweet, but the sweetness doesn’t last, because Yuko works her way into the scene and kidnaps Chester’s brother, Jirou, into that creepy afterlife she was stuck in a few episodes ago.

Back at the camp, Chester’s adoptive parents are on the verge of finally being released. It’s cause for celebration, and Major Bowen is ready to throw a party. The major is strutting around the camp in high spirits – an attitude that’s making Amy nervous. You see, she sent her secret tapes off to Washington, a move that got Bowen summoned up by his superiors. She thought that would take care of the vile man, but he came right back, happy as can be. At first it seems like Bowen thinks someone else recorded his conversations and that he still trusts Amy – but that’s a ruse. During the party, he drugs her and then ties her up in some muddy basement. This scenario gives actress Miki Ishikawa plenty of time to shine, and makes us wish the show had been about Amy the entire time instead of Chester.

At the same time, the Bowen/Amy scenes don’t amount to much. Bowen breaks some of Amy’s fingers (ouch), but Amy is eventually able to get free of her bonds, beat Bowen with a chair, and then drown him by smashing his face into the muddy earth. It’s doubtful anyone will mourn Bowen – he was a piece of shit, after all. Still, Amy is a murderer now, which might cause some problems further down the line.

Amy isn’t the only person with problems. Chester and Luz are about to face a big one: Luz is pregnant again. And after putting all the pieces together, she realizes that Yuko’s ghost is no longer after Chester – she’s after their unborn baby instead. These poor lovebirds just can’t catch a break.

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