I Want it That Way
So why is an episode of a show set in Japan about its criminal underworld titled after a Backstreet Boys song? Only time will tell. Or, you will find out after reading this quick-fire episode recap. So read on!
Episode 4 of Tokyo Vice starts with Samantha’s visionary club that she dreams of opening. She purchases a plot for the same. Jake, as it turns out, was indeed taken in by Ishida’s men. The oyabun explains to him his predicament. Someone in the police department has started rumors about him bribing cops and becoming an informant for them. The cops confirm it by not drinking the tea he offers him in the meetings. He asks Jake to find out who started it.
Jake talks to Hiroto about it, who says he’ll look into the matter; but no stories about it until then. Jake takes Hiroto’s folder to Emi. She instantly makes a connection to a woman’s suicide in Machiya. The pattern is the same and they take off to meet the widower. Meanwhile, Samantha’s plans are outed to Duke by Malee. Duke threatens her with dire consequences, but Samantha dismisses his claims.
Emi and Jake visit the house in Machiya. They discover the address of the company that kept harassing Hyeon-suk, the deceased. The former feigns being a desperate housewife in need of a loan and procures the contractual agreement to understand how the company makes money off of suicides. A clause mandates the insurances payouts to the loan company in case of a suicide.
Kyoshi Sonodo, the person whose name is registered as the CEO of the company, is actually a vegetable. This means he can’t function like a normal human being. Samantha learns a shocking truth about Matso’s identity. He is actually chasing her for something she did in the past – stealing someone’s money. And now he wants something in return. She walks away from the dinner, horrified and afraid of what’s coming next.
Sato and Jake begin their night adventure. They go to a nightclub, spend time with women, and have dinner. Samantha is upset with Malee, but Polina suspects a more serious issue, which Samantha doe snot disclose to her. Emi continues her probe into another matter involving the murder of a young girl. The details of the confession to the murder are such that she smells some misdoing on part of the police and the Yakuza. Her boss asks her to trust her instincts when he finds her late in the office.
The place where Sato and Jake have dinner is also visited by Tozawa. While he is leaving, Jake comments on his watch and gives him his card. The two exchange a brief conversation and Tozawa walks out. The episode ends with Samantha, who ponders over Matsu’s words to her – “choose the right”.
The Episode Review
The highlight of the episode definitely was Samantha’s treacherous past. Until now, she was sculpted carefully by the writers as a taciturn, dedicated, independent foreigner who made her own way in Japan. Against all odds, she survived and has big dreams. But the revelation about her “stealings” muddle her character arc. Audiences will not see her the same way now.
At the other end of the spectrum is Emi. Episode 4 springboards her in the viewer’s reckoning by showcasing her journalistic drive. In the earlier episodes, her outlook was mostly of a pen pusher and a rule follower. But “I want it that way” also brought out her human side. While Samantha’s star went down, Emi’s shot up. Sato and Jake continue forging their friendship which will be tested for sure going ahead. Jake’s further involvement with the Yakuza, on both ends, signals the beginning of a ruthless game of chess, where he is in the danger of being in no man’s land.
Hiroto has now transformed into a fan favorite. Irrespective of who you’re rooting for, Hiroto will be a common favorite amongst fans after this episode. It emphasized how tough and professional he is as a cop but also how kind-hearted and loving he is as a father. This episode was more about putting more pieces of the puzzle together as opposed to painting exposition about its themes.
Gradually, the softer tones are being wiped out and filled in by darker truths about the protagonist ensemble. The black and white classification that was slightly unfitting in the first three episodes has phased out to become a more tradition inclined grey area, as is the norm for classic television shows. ‘Tokyo Vice’ is step by step turning into my favorite show right now, and I am sure most of you are the same.