Monday, August 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Terror: Infamy' - Chester Makes a Major Decision to Protect His Family from the Threats of This World in 'Gaman'

AMC's The Terror: Infamy - Episode 2.03 "Gaman"

As the Terminal Islanders struggle with adjusting to their new surroundings, Chester searches for a way to provide for his family and for Luz, and to fend off the evil that he feels is following him. Henry reels from the trauma of his imprisonment. Asako tries to deal with bad omens. Amy takes up a new job.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of AMC's The Terror: Infamy.

"Gaman" was written by Shannon Goss and directed by Michael Lehmann

There are two distinct horrors terrorizing the Japanese-Americans at the internment camp. There is the American government itself which is openly hostile to them. And then, there is the ongoing threat from Yuko, the bakemono. Both present many reasons for the Terminal Islanders to be paranoid. Henry has been abused by the country that once gave him so much to dream for. He came to America hoping to create a better life for himself and his family. He was happy and proud as a fisherman. But now, he is worried that any stranger he meets could be a spy who could turn against those he cares about. He was the one punished severely for eliminating the previous spy. It doesn't matter that the Nakayama family is reunited once more. The men sent away to North Dakota are now brought to Oregon and the community of people they have long known. But this detour was traumatizing for many of them. Henry, Furuya and Yamato have survived. And yet, it has only confirmed their fears that evil exists in this world and is haunting them. They don't have to believe in spirits in order to see that plainly. Humanity is just as capable of heinous acts as anything otherworldly. Yamato wants to believe that all of this is the result of a bakemono. But it can't be as simple as that. Sure, the threat from Yuko absolutely leaves many on edge because it seems as if she can drive people to madness where they are no longer in control of their bodies. Yoshida saw her and immediately rampaged against the American soldiers. He was promptly killed as a result. That was a terrifying sight for his family. It also came with a warning to Chester. He had to leave. He had to run far away from this place. That is the inherent impulse he feels regarding any situation. He has long wanted to explore the world. He didn't want to be confined to the place where his parents built their home. He is still a family man though. He will do whatever it takes to protect his family. He just differs extremely from his father. Henry sees it as a huge betrayal that his son would consider enlisting in the military. It's an affront to their very nature to spy on their own people. Chester sees that as the only way to keep everyone he loves safe. He feels the pressure to abandon his home and community. He wants to believe that they have made this grim reality work. But they shouldn't have to. The government should treat them with respect and compassion. It's not good enough that they kept families together. It's not good enough that they have the process to reunite families easily. This completely changes the Terminal Islanders' perspective on the President. This is the one thing that is completely destructive to their lives and the ideals they believed in with America. Henry has the wisdom to understand that his goodness and compassion won't change minds. It's never that simple. He has to prove over and over again that he can be trustworthy. He isn't a vicious and manipulative Japanese spy. But the burden is always on him to prove that. As such, it's understandable that he doesn't want to get out of bed. He fears what will happen if he steps outside those doors and into this world newly constructed by the American government. But Chester can't make the same decision. He believes the people of his community are being targeted by an evil spirit. He may not believe in that fully. But he feels the need to run away and escape to a place where he can do no harm. Of course, removing himself from the situation doesn't seem to eliminate the threat at all. Chester still has so many interests in this camp. He may be leaving but his family is still there. He still views this as his home. And so, Luz will still be vulnerable to attack and deception. That should leave everyone concerned about her safety and that of her baby. Yuko exerts her influence and will continue to harm anyone who prevents her from getting what she wants - which is Chester for some mysterious, unclear reason.