The Terror: Infamy – In the Afterlife (Season Finale) Review
The season finale of The Terror: Infamy, Into the Afterlife, offers fans a deserving finale with emotional and horrifying payoffs as “the bomb” is dropped and Chester (Derek Mio) must stop Yuko (Kiki Suzekane) once and for all.
The episode’s opening is perfectly haunting as we Yamato-san (George Takei) talking to a friend from Hiroshiyma in a dream. Things seem normal at first with the Yamato believing that they are just simply meeting in the afterlife, but as he sees that his friend hasn’t come alone, he discovers that something far worse has happened. It’s interesting to have this perspective of the atomic bomb dropping as we never really see how it affects Japanese Americans whose friends, and possibly family, are wiped out.
The image of the group waking to find everyone cheering that the bomb drop has ended the war, but at the cost of innocent civilians who never saw the battlefield is legitimately sad and incredibly disturbing. It’s a unique side to the situation that’s never shown and, while I did wish that this was a stronger part of the episode because it’s so rarely shown, there’s a great conversation between Amy (Miki Ishikawa) and Yamato that summarizes the horrors they’ve gone through and likely won’t escape. It’s great to see the show finally utilize Yamato more, even though Takei has definitely been playing a big role in the background of the show, and it’s great to see him and Amy have such strong arcs and feelings that come through between Chester and his family putting an end to Yuko’s plans.
With the last episode leaving things on a cliffhanger with Luz (Cristina Rodlo) taking their new baby while under Yuko’s influence, I was really excited to see how things would come to a close – and the finale did not disappoint. Chester’s determination is the full driving force for this episode and his plan to how to defeat Yuko really works for the more tragic villain that she is. It was cool to see the sutras that Yamato introduces to Henry (Shingo Usami) come back and play such a pivotal role in the big battle with Yuko at the burial site. Honestly everything with Henry and Chester was perfect throughout the episode and their relationship really tugs at your heartstrings. While seeing Yuko take over Henry and have him take a gut shot, a moment where I was having my fingers crossed that he might’ve been out of bullets, was a true gut punch, it leads to one of the most heartwarming moments of the show with a final moment between the two. It actually got me a little choked up with Chester taking some final photos of him and the Henry saying how he will find his own peace away from the world in the afterlife. Usami and Mio give great performances and it’s one of the reasons this finale is so great.
Now, back to Yuko, the way Chester decides to end this battle with Yuko was actually quite interesting and a nice workaround as the biggest question is acknowledged – how things with Yuko are going to end if she cannot die. Well, rather than use force and hate, Chester decides to use his heart to bring Yuko into the past with the help of Luz’s family’s magic to help her reconcile with her inner demons. It’s a great way to end Yuko’s story as a tragic character and it presents the kind of the ending that’s rarely seen – one that focuses on heart and understanding rather than force and finality. Not to mention, it perfectly strings together the flash forward the show presents at the end with viewers getting to see how things turned out for Chester and the rest of the group. It brings both sad and pleasant feelings out of viewers that makes for bittersweet but satisfying end to a great season. Also, I love the inclusion of the cast and crew’s family that spent time in internment camps because it was a major part of the season’s creation.
Infamy ends on the perfect note with some strong emotions and horror that shows why this series is one of the best of 2019. While it’s definitely sad to things end, In the Afterlife makes everything The Terror has to offer worth it and raises the bar for any future seasons. Frankly, there needs to be more historical horror offerings like Infamy that presents a culture and a perspective that’s not often seen in media. While I’m waiting for that, though, I’ll just revel in the fact that Infamy doesn’t disappoint and needs to be on your watchlist.