Monday, September 16, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Terror: Infamy' - Yuko's History Is Explored as Chester Learns About the Struggles of His Parents in 'Taizo'

AMC's The Terror: Infamy - Episode 2.06 "Taizo"

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.

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.

"Taizo" was written by Max Borenstein & Benjamin Klein and directed by Everardo Gout

This season is shifting into a conversation on how the choices made by previous generations can have a lasting impact in the lives of the current generation. There has long been a great deal of reverence throughout these stories. The community of Terminal Islanders huddle close together and look out for each other. They are not beyond turning on each other though. In fact, people see Chester as being cursed. He has a spirit following him around willing to do dangerous things. Many people have died as a result. Chester is discharged from the army here. He learns so much about his past and the choices his parents made. That's only one facet of the story though. This hour delves further into Yuko's backstory and provides a motivation for every single thing she does as a yurei. It may be a little simplistic. But it shows the dangerous extremes people are willing to go to in order to get what they want no matter who might get hurt in the process. Yuko is actually Asako's sister and Chester's biological mother. She arrived from Japan first but was shunned because she was already pregnant. She was turned away from a potential life in a new country. As such, she was forced out onto the streets trying to protect her newborn son. She had a rational thought in giving him away to a convent because she couldn't provide for him. She was in a dark headspace that ultimately ended in her death by suicide. But there is a profound sense of mythicism that swirls around this family. Yuko has the perception of being saved by an ancestor who went through something similar. She too yearns to be a mother but also wants her child to be respectful and obedient all of the time. There can be so much pressure and rigidness when it comes to crafting a new life in this world. Yuko isn't new though. She is very suspicious of this new place she calls home. She never falls into a sense of safety and security. She doesn't want a new mother either. She wants to be a mother herself. As such, she quickly deduces that her ancestor failed as a parent and should be punished as a result. This allows Yuko to also reach out from beyond the grave in order to stalk the generation that comes after her. Sure, she has been in the ground for over 21 years. Her child is no longer a baby. He is a grown man now serving in a war and expecting babies of his own. Of course, that story ended in tragedy. Everyone believes that the yurei had something to do with the twins being stillborn. She didn't. She was instead furious at the doctor because it's clear she no longer had a life she could take back with her to this world beyond reality so she could actually be a mother. She is falling into the same exact pattern that her captor orchestrated. She was able to outsmart her. And now, Chester has the support of his community to fight back against the yurei. Sure, he is absolutely devastated to learn that his parents have been lying to him for his entire life. He still has some love and respect for his mother because a biological connection remain. But he has lost all hope and trust for his father. Henry and Asako still help him though when it comes to deciding what to do with Yuko's body. It's a little orchestrated by the plot to create a situation in which the yurei is vulnerable and can be destroyed. It's ability to hop from body to body has made that difficult. It's a monstrous presence because it can take over anyone and cause a great deal of harm. It's unnerving when it jumps into Asako's body. It's terrifying to see her even being willing to kill Chester to get what she wants. That's the grim state of the world. The family has to destroy Yuko's body to severe its connection with the spirit. Even that may not be enough. That may be a given considering the season isn't quite close enough to its conclusion to eliminate this threat completely. But it's enough to make Chester and his family feel a sense of security even though this threat is still out there. Yuko won't let anyone stop her from getting what she wants. Now that that is clear, the action is much easier to follow and invest in. It probably shouldn't have taken this long to get to that point. The show simply wanted to build it up as some shocking and stunning surprise. It works but there were some understandable struggles earlier this year.