the terror infamy into the afterlife

The Terror: Infamy failed to live up to its incredible first season. But with this finale – “Into the Afterlife” – the season goes out on a high note, managing to pull off an emotional conclusion that elevates what came before. “We have to make sure we keep remembering,” Chester says in the final moments of the show. “Or else we forget who we are.”

Into the Afterlife

The Infamy finale launches with its most haunting moment yet. In a dream, Yamato-san (George Takei) finds himself in the afterlife where he quickly encounters a childhood friend. The friend tells a tale of how he moved to Hiroshima, and then a brilliant pan of the camera reveals that the man’s entire family is standing behind him. “Your entire family is in the afterlife with you?” Yamato-san asks, confused, as the camera tracks down the row of people and reveals a little girl with a badly burned face. Fireworks awaken Yamato-san, and he and the others on Skid Row stagger out into the streets late at night to find people celebrating – celebrating the bombing of Hiroshima. It’s a powerful, devastating series of events, and if only the rest of the season had matched them.

After this stunning opening, Infamy falls back into old habits, rushing from one moment to the next as Chester attempts to get his baby, and Luz, back. When we last saw Luz she was possessed by Yuko, but Yuko has since transferred her spirit into another body, taking the baby with her and leaving Luz behind. After a series of sequences that add very little to the show in general, Chester, Luz, Henry, and Asako catch up with Yuko, and a bloody face-off ensues

Yuko uses some of her ghostly powers to make Henry shoot Chester (in the leg), and then shoot himself in the stomach. Asako, in turn, stabs her dead sister multiple times, but it does no good. You can’t kill what’s already dead. So Chester does the next best thing: he reasons with his ghost mom. This might seem like a rather simple solution, but it yields emotional results. Chester is able to convince Yuko that letting go of this world and letting Chester and his family live will ensure Yuko is remembered for years to come instead of being forgotten as she’s been for so long. It works, and Yuko is finally at peace. Is this too easy a wrap-up to this story after all the possession and murder? Perhaps – but it still works.

Keep Remembering

The supernatural threat neutralized, the back-half of “Into the Afterlife” gives the surviving characters a chance to move on. Henry dies from his wounds, but before he’s gone, we’re given a beautiful scene where Chester says goodbye to his adoptive father as the two sit on Henry’s boat. “I think today I’m going to sail out into the ocean,” Henry says before inviting Chester to come with him.

“I can’t,” Chester says, sadly. He has to stay alive to be with his family. Henry understands, and the parting is sweet and tender, giving way to a time-jump in which Chester and the survivors have reunited for a series of family portraits. There are still some loose ends. Amy is haunted by her murder of Major Bowen, but it looks like no one is ever going to discover her action. And Chester’s dead twin brother Jirou is pretty much completely forgotten (although when Yuko goes back to the afterlife she’s shown to be pregnant, so I guess Jirou is now a fetus again? Maybe?).

But the gathering of the remaining characters packs an emotional punch, as does a final shot of everyone gathered in front of a lake, sending out paper lanterns to honor those who’ve been lost. It’s here that Chester tells his children that the past, and those who inhabited it, must be remembered. Even if the rest of Infamy failed to live up to its promise, this final moment ensures that this will be a season worth remembering.

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