All the Demons Are Still in Hell
After last week’s opening episode, The Terror returns for much of the same this week, with a subdued plot line and a profound lack of outright horror whilst ramping up the threat of the Japanese War Camps. In a way, this offers up its own unique slice of horror and as paranoia and supernatural elements slowly begin filtering into the show, The Terror may just reach the same lofty heights achieved in its excellent first season. Right now though, Infamy hasn’t quite hit its mark.
Following the attack at Pearl Harbour, the Japanese residents are uprooted and forced to find shelter elsewhere, where a few of them begin seeing Yuko, the lady in white from last week.
Meanwhile, Chester visits his Professor to try and understand why his pictures are coming out blurry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a definitive answer. That evening, he awakens to find Yuko staring at him from outside the window, teary eyed. As she hurries off, Chester follows her out only to find the hallway abandoned and eerily quiet. He questions the woman in charge who tells him she’s not had a Japanese lady work for her for years which throws more questions around just who she is. As he returns home to the chaos surrounding the Japanese community, he reassures his Mum that everything will be okay.
Snatched up and separated from his family, Henry reassures himself too, muttering rhythmically that he’s a simple fisherman, as the cold walls of the prison cell surround him. Deciding to test whether he’s telling the truth or if he’s a spy, the guards take him out ice fishing, which he manages to do as the army check on him hours later.
Meanwhile, guards barge into Luz’s ward, rounding up all the children; there really are no limits the government will go to protect the land of the free. As Chester hurries back to her, all the Japanese are rounded up and put into camps. As the various families look upon the poor quality of their rooms, Chester pleads with Luz to leave town, packing her stuff up for her. Unfortunately the FBI arrive before they can go, courtesy of a tip-off from a neighbour, and escort Chester to the camp. Pleading with the guards, Luz tells them to take her too due to her carrying his baby. The guards oblige, scooping them up and dropping them off at the camp, where they greet Chester’s family.
Henry continues ice fishing, this time with the help of Nick and some other men. They discuss the Bakemono – a shape shifting spirit – and accuse him of being one. As the men pound the ice with their pick-axes, causing the ground to tremble and crack, he admits he actually works for the DOJ. Disgusted, they smash the ice and leave him to his fate.
Back at the camp, Yoshido sees the shadowy outline of Yuko in a nearby room and he immediately becomes possessed, snatching the gun from a soldier and walking purposefully toward another group of guards. Unfortunately, he’s shot numerous times before he can fire the gun causing the others to question his uncharacteristic actions.
The episode then closes out with the Japanese moved again, this time to Colinas De Oro in Oregon; a Japanese war camp with guard towers and barbed wire fences. As the camera pans up to the American flag, the screen fades to black.
The Terror: Infamy isn’t scary. Nor is it particularly good at producing memorable characters. As a piece of historical fiction however, The Terror does really well to build a believable world, full of hatred and racism in the midst of the war. As a standalone piece without the same title as the first season, this could easily be a solid slow-paced thriller but in comparison to what’s come before, Infamy can’t quite ascend to the same level as the first season.
Of course, there’s still time for this one to turn it around and all this world-building and methodical pacing could be building up to a scary set of episodes to follow. For now though, The Terror: Infamy is simply okay, although the lack of scares and profound horror may disappoint some people expecting something closer to last year’s series.