the weak are meat

The storytelling of The Terror: Infamy might be a bit rushed at times, but the show sure knows how to get creepy. “The Weak Are Meat”, the latest season 2 entry, ratchets up the horror movie tropes – jump-scares, significant gore, and even a killer ghoul sporting a spooky mask. And if all that isn’t enough for you, there’s a steadily rising body count to boot.

Oh, Baby

If Chester thought that joining the army and getting away would protect his friends and family from whatever evil spirit is surrounding him, he was sorely mistaken. Daily life in the internment camp continue to be hell, and the supernatural is still afoot. First, Yuko possesses a guard and forces him to throw himself off a tower in full-view of everyone.

Then, poor Luz learns she’s not pregnant with just one baby – she’s going to have twins. This news is met with side-glances by her new extended Japanese family, some of whom are untactful enough to blurt out: “Twins are bad luck! They bring death and misfortune!” As rude as such a statement might sound, it turns out to be prescient. The camp’s doctor is out of his element, and both of Luz’s babies are delivered still-born. It’s a shocking development, and it also raises new questions about Yuko and her endgame. Last week, when it was revealed the ghost was posing as a midwife, it appeared that Yuko was targeting’s Chester’s unborn children for nefarious reasons. But after the babies die, Yuko is pissed.

Her solution: to put on a creepy mask and brutally murder the doctor by forcing him to graphically slash open his own stomach and bleed out. It’s a disturbing scene to say the least, aided by some wonderful practical make-up effects – not just on the slit-open stomach, but also on Yuko. When she removes her mask, we see her true face – a rotting ghoul with a crooked jaw. It’s great.

The camp segments this week are the strongest yet, not just because of the increase of horror, but also because of the character developments. The icy relationship between Luz and Chester’s father Henry finally thaws – a pleasant plot point that sets us up for tragedy. Ultimately, though, we can’t help but wonder: why the hell did Chester have to leave the camp if all the terrible stuff was going to continue to happen?

Heating Up

Speaking of Chester, he’s dealing with his own issues. Tragically unaware that his babies have died, he’s hoping that he’s drawn the evil haunting him away from the camp. This has made him extra jumpy, and he finds himself – currently stationed at Guadalcanal – jumping at shadows. His paranoia increases when he uses his decoding skills to help rescue Sgt. Crittenden, an American soldier who was being held prisoner.

Crittenden comes back very different. He’s in a state of shellshock, and on top of that, he keeps speaking in Japanese. Crittenden continues to refer to “white devils”, and Chester is convinced the man is possessed by the yurei. But is he? Or is he just traumatized, and mindlessly repeating the things he heard his captors say?

Whether or not Crittenden is possessed ends up unresolved for the moment. One thing’s for sure: possessed or not, he’s very dangerous. So dangerous that he ends up picking up a flame-thrower and torching a whole bunch of American soldiers. Chester happens to be among them, but he remains inexplicably untouched by the fire. Pure luck, or some sort of supernatural protection – you decide.

Infamy is still suffering from some clumsy exposition – both Chester and Luz write letters to each other here that spell out stuff we’re already aware of – but “The Weak Are Meat” is the most memorable episode yet, full of chilling moments that have the power to haunt the viewer long after the end credits have rolled. And questions linger: just what is Yuko’s endgame here? Is she not as malevolent as we initially thought? Or does she have very specific plans for Chester? We’ll find out soon enough.

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