The Days – Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

A Scenario Of Japan’s Collapse

Episode 8 of The Days starts this finale with footage released on the news of the Fukushima disaster aftermath. As a helicopter flies overhead and shows off the devastation, it seems like Japan will never be the same again. There are still workers at ground level, near Unit 2, and the team work furiously to try and pump the water. It’s a desperate, seemingly impossible task, but as they work, those stuck within the Unit radio through to Yoshida with an update. 730 kilopascals is what’s registering on the monitors and the firetrucks don’t seem to be pumping the water at a rate that will bring the levels down.

Over at Mutsu City, the office phone through to Kirihara and drops the devastating news of what’s happened to their son. Koki’s body has been found among the deceased. This is but a taste of the chaos and fear gripping Japan, as we see from the Prime Minister, who’s up to his eyeballs in stress.

The latest word from across the pond is that the US government have issued a mandate to bring back all US citizens as quickly as possible. There’s chaos at the airport as a result of this. The Prime Minister is stuck though, given Japan could well become seriously contaminated beyond the initial “meltdown range”. In fact, it’s not good news.

The latest figures show that there’s an area of around 170km in radius from Fukushima and anyone inside that area could die. So to evacuate, it’s possible that a third of Japan will need to be evacuated and will not be suitable to live in for decades. They will lose their homes and have to relocate. And that’s before even mentioning the many businesses and industries currently operating there. The Prime Minister realizes with sinking horror that it will completely ruin the country if that were to happen.

The air measures around 247 millisiverts per hour around the power station and the operation proposed seems impossible. The Prime Minister gives the order though, to fly in numerous helicopters and drop water from the air, while the “giraffes” (makeshift firetrucks) on the ground help to spread water to that area too.

The news report that white smoke has been rising from the units but as water in the pool starts to evaporate, a chain reaction ensues as white smoke begins to dissipate. Yoshida is in a bit of a bind here but Akari volunteers to help out. He’s forced to say no, unwilling to put his life in danger.

Well, he shows up regardless and decides to get back to work. He’s there with his team and has accepted the risks, willing to do what he can to protect his family and everyone else in Japan.

As they prepare to hit the ground running, the 104th air force squadron are briefed, taking their potassium tablets, and prepare to fly into the proverbial jaws of death.

With water hanging in large buckets, the helicopters fly one after another to hit their targets, hoping to cool the reactor down. They’re joined by the fire truck by the Unit 1 Reactor Building, which tries to release as much water as possible.

Kinoshita and Yoshida can only watch and pray as they huddle around TV screens, like many others. Akari’s arrival with his team seems to have helped but it hasn’t dissuaded Obama’s decision with the Prime Minister. Despite getting the situation under control, Obama will not waver on the evacuation order.  In fact, he extends it to an 80km radius.

Despite the media reporting fractures and hostility between Japan and the US, in reality the two sides work together to do as much as they can to try and solve the issue, working harmoniously to assist in stopping Fukushima from becoming a bigger disaster. As we soon learn thank to the helpful expository text, a total of 200 members were separated into four different project teams.

Yoshida breathes a sigh of relief, reflecting back on the devastation as the days pass, and how they managed to inject water inside the reactors through the pipes. Thanks to these efforts, those workers stuck under the Unit, and having spent most of the season trying to turn valves and find solutions, manage to get out. They’re thoroughly checked of course but not everyone has made it out in one piece. As we know from earlier on, Koki has passed away in the basement of Unit 4, several episodes back.

The clean-up operation continues though, even extending to cutting down the beautiful cherry blossom trees en-route to Fukushima as they’re irradiated. But what of Yoshida? Well, unfortunately we learn that he ends up diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. He’s chalked it up to the stress of the entire Fukushima situation though.

With the time he has left on his planet, Yoshida is determined to tell as many people as possible about the story of this major disaster so future generations can learn from this. Everything he saw on that fateful date, including his own feelings of horror, despair and everything in between, has been recorded down in a revealing and shocking memoir.

As the episode closes out, we do get some intriguing expository text to flesh out what we’ve seen in more detail. On July 9th 2013, two years after the accident, Yoshida passed away at the age of 58. His post-accident testimony was actually released under the name of ‘The Yoshida Testimony’, along with TEPCO’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Analysis Report, which have proven to be an unprecedented record of what happened.

Journalist Kadota interviewed more than 90 people and his findings were published in his book “On The Brink”. This series, The Days, was based on all of those events together and has tried to given an accurate assessment of what happened during that time. As we eventually learn, the decommissioning of the power plant continues to this very day.

The Episode Review

So The Day’s final episode rounds things out with a harrowing and unnerving final chapter, one that closes out this tragic event in devastating fashion.

Although a bit long-winded and perhaps too complicated and fact-orientated for its own good, The Days does Yoshida justice, even if the people around him don’t quite get the same treatment. There’s no getting around the fact that this show will be compared to Chernobyl, which is perhaps a little unfortunate given how amazing that show was – and the budget it had to work with.

As for The Days, this Japanese drama does well to keep things intriguing and the sound design and acting have both been great across the board. The story certainly does justice to portraying events that occurred during this disaster and there’s enough here to make for a decent watch too. It’s not perfect, but if you’re after a comprehensive breakdown of what happened during the Fukushima accident, you won’t get a better account if it than with this show!


Read More: The Days Season 1 Review

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