The Terror: Infamy Recap: If The Show Doesn’t Care About Its Demon, Why Should I?

September 24, 2019
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, TV Recaps
1.5

Summary

“My Perfect World” provided a bizarre and nonsensical revelation in what was otherwise a time-killing, go-nowhere episode.

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1.5

Summary

“My Perfect World” provided a bizarre and nonsensical revelation in what was otherwise a time-killing, go-nowhere episode.

This recap of The Terror: Infamy Season 2, Episode 7, “My Perfect World”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


In the pre-credits sequence of “My Perfect World”, a possessed mortician stitches Yuko (Kiki Sukezane) together from offcuts of skin. The resulting patchwork abomination applying lippy in the mirror is easily the creepiest image of the episode and one of the most gruesome The Terror: Infamy has been able to conjure. But what struck me most about it is that it’s basically a visual metaphor for the entire show, which continues to feel cobbled together out of random odds and ends, doing things sheerly for the sake of it or in the hope that a singularly unpleasant image will feel like sufficient compensation for an hour of rambling nonsense.

This is the seventh episode of a mere ten, let’s not forget, and since last week’s — the season’s best — finally got around to explaining who Yuko is and what her connection is to Chester (Derek Mio) and his family and friends, “My Perfect World” bizarrely decides to introduce a new wrinkle: Chester has a long-lost twin, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

I’m hardly a medical professional, but I’m reasonably sure twins are born at more or less the same time, so it’s inexplicable that Yuko wouldn’t have had Chester’s brother with her when she was forced to abandon Chester to the nuns; even less likely that she’d never mention the existence of this child to anyone at any point, even during her vengeful supernatural resurrection. Chester’s mother (Naoko Mori) and father (Shingo Usami) have never mentioned it, despite knowing all about Chester’s heritage. And Chester, upon discovering this news, starts feigning some kind of long-held belief that he has always, on some level, known part of himself was missing, even though he has never expressed this at any point.

I shouldn’t be surprised. The Terror: Infamy seems determined to overcomplicate both its supernatural menace and its essential thesis for no good reason, so its plot particulars getting muddled up seems a small price to pay. What began as pointed historical fiction that clearly equated real-life prejudice with made-up ghouls has bizarrely decided to separate those two elements, positioning Yuko as a folkloric bogeywoman entirely of Japanese making, and leaving the ugly reality of internment camps as simple set dressing. Yuko doesn’t even seem to have a bee in her bonnet about the jingoistic mistreatment of her people for no good reason; she has possessed and then arbitrarily left alive bigoted Westerners but then possessed and arbitrarily killed people who haven’t done anything to her, including Luz’s (Cristina Rodlo) father in “My Perfect World”. Her behavior seems only to be governed by whatever makes for the nastiest act of violence. Getting a soldier to shoot himself is boring; getting a man to viciously headbutt an upturned fountain pen is not.

The subplot in “My Perfect World” that involves the camp being swept by a mysterious illness and Ken (Christopher Naoki Lee) taking Major Bowen (C. Thomas Howell) hostage — and, for that matter, Yuko possessing Bowen for basically no reason — was just a go-nowhere time-killing story strand in an episode full of them. The only stuff that felt like it might be a big deal going forwards was stuff that didn’t make any sense. And amid it all, nobody seems to be taking the show’s very conspicuous supernatural menace seriously. The whole thing’s just bizarre.

I have no idea where this is all going, and to be honest I don’t much care. At this point what’s keeping me involved with The Terror: Infamy is morbid curiosity; I’m interested to see just how stupid it can get before it ends.


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