Shogun Episode 9 Will Break the Internet

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 9, 2024
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Shogun Episode 9 Preview - A Major Death Is Coming
Shogun | Image via FX/Hulu

Shogun is gearing up for an all-time great ending. The final two installments, starting with Episode 9, “Crimson Sky”, on April 16, will bring the story to an explosive and calculated close, and a lot of the vital groundwork was done in Episode 8.

After the revelations of that episode, chiefly that Toranaga is playing a very nuanced long game and has no desire to surrender to Osaka whatsoever, a lot of the show’s key narrative throughlines and character dynamics have shifted irrevocably. Yabushige, Blackthorne, and Mariko are on their way to Osaka, and not all of them will leave.

In the last of these previews, some people got upset that I spoiled things from the book. I’m going to do that again, so please, continue reading at your own peril.

There Will Be A Major Death In Episode 9

As implied above, not everyone will leave Osaka alive. In the book, Yabushige betrays them, and this results in Mariko’s death.

I expect this to happen in the ninth episode. There have been deviations from the book so far, but this will be such a powerful moment that it would make little sense to change it. It’s also central to Mariko’s arc. She is determined to be released by death, but only for the right cause, which in a roundabout way is what she explained to Buntaro in Episode 8 when he pitched a husband-wife suicide pact.

Don’t worry — Yabushige does pay for this treachery, but I expect this to happen in the finale.

Toranaga Is Playing A Long Game

As was made very clear in Episode 8, there’s much more to Toranaga than meets the eye. His surrender and worsening health were all a plot — notice how in the final scenes of the episode he was stood proudly upright, not hunched like he had been earlier — to usurp Ishido, carry out Crimson Sky, and install himself as Shogun.

It should be obvious at this point, but this was clearly Toranaga’s plan all along, despite claiming otherwise, and this will definitely manifest in the next two episodes. Again, most of the payoff will occur in the finale, but Episode 9 will nonetheless yield plenty of clues that he always knew what he was doing — and that there is nobody he won’t sacrifice or manipulate to achieve his ends.

Ishido Will Release The Hostages

The reason Toranaga needs Mariko in Osaka is so that she can force Ishido to release the hostages of the other regents, which will significantly reduce his power in the court. I fully expect this to happen in the ninth episode, although the machinations of Lady Ochiba might complicate things.

Either way, this is a major step for Toranaga because it will ultimately allow him to assume power as Shogun. With Ishido defanged, the only remaining matters for Toranaga to clear up in the finale will be dealing with Yabu’s treachery and keeping Blackthorne as a useful tool, having consolidated his own influence beyond measure.

Shogun Episode 9 Release Date and Where to Watch

Shogun Episode 9 is scheduled to release on FX on Tuesday, April 15, 2024. The release time is 10 PM EST on FX and 12:01 AM EST on Hulu. Episode 9 is titled “Crimson Sky” and will have a runtime of 58 minutes.

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