The Terror: Infamy Recap: Now We’re Getting Somewhere Behind The Mask

3.5

Summary

“The Weak Are Meat” finally gets creepy as The Terror: Infamy lives up to its title in the best episode yet.

This recap of The Terror: Infamy Season 2, Episode 4, “The Weak Are Meat”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


It took a while, but The Terror: Infamy finally lived up to its title in “The Weak Are Meat”. This latest episode wasn’t perfect — it still has some creaky, functional writing, and its protagonist remains somewhat less than compelling — but a switch in location to the eerie jungles of the front and a doubling-down on creepiness made for easily the best episode yet.

By following Chester (Derek Mio) to Guadalcanal, “The Weak Are Meat” provides a healthy injection of new mysteries and old myths. Working as a translator poring over Japanese diaries and documents, he’s becoming increasingly unhinged and convinced of an otherworldly presence stalking the landscape. Clawlike slashes let the breeze into his tent, he can’t sleep, and he’s obsessing over the ghostly, demonic yurei who might have possessed his fellow troops.

“The Weak Are Meat” confirms Chester’s suspicions via a traumatized American prisoner who speaks only of “white devils” in cryptic Japanese; when he barbecues his fellow soldiers for attacking Chester, we’re supposed to assume, I think, that the show’s enigmatic demon figure is on our hero’s side. The undercurrent of racism remains in this episode, with the white Americans increasingly mistrustful of Chester’s heritage and superior ability to find hidden messages, but with the increase in traditional genre scares — with more coming elsewhere — this kind of commentary doesn’t feel quite as desperately unsubtle as it once did.

But it’s still hard to pin down exactly what Yuko (Kiki Sukezane) is actually up to. At the internment camp, she’s busying herself with possessing and causing the deaths of American soldiers, which leads all the way to a bootleg sake conspiracy that lands Walt Yoshida (Lee Shorten) in the brig. But she also presides over the birth of Luz’s stillborn twins — both, it’s implied, strangled by their umbilical cords, though we’re mercifully spared any sight of it. “The Weak Are Meat” instead puts Luz (Cristina Rodlo) and her horrified, confused reactions front and center, which is effective after much of the episode was devoted to her slowly getting chummy with Chester’s family. It’s a dark turn that plays on expectations formed from the strained voiceover narration — in the form of letters sent back and forth between Luz and Chester — and scenes of cheery dinner-table acceptance.

The most wonderfully gonzo scene of “The Weak Are Meat” is the reveal of Yuko’s horribly disfigured B-movie horror face, which she reveals to the doctor who was present at the death of Luz’s babies. She, true to form, has him disembowel himself, but the whole scene plays with a kind of gleeful this-is-what-you’ve-been-waiting-for pulp energy that the show could definitely use more of. I hope it’s the start of a trend.

Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.

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