The Terror: Infamy Episode 9 Come And Get Me-Review and Recap
A much more fast-paced episode than most, Come And Get Me is both a taunt shouted into the dark and a desperate plea to leave Chester’s child alone. The unfair resolution to internment camp imprisonment played out as past and present collide leading up to the showdown we have been waiting for. The injustice of camp, however terrible, gave way to the supernatural terror stalking them. More than any other, this was a tension-filled episode brimming with creepy industrial settings, fast getaways, and demonic possession.
Season one was as much a character study as it was a horror story. Tuunbaq was a formidable beast bested only by the sacrifice of a clever and kind Dr. Goodsir. Cornelius Hickey was even worse than the mythical beast. A man with the power to corrupt and the scruples to not care about doing it, he was the real evil. A killer before the ships left, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing lying in wait. Every episode was filled with dread. From the opening credits, you waited for Hickey to make his move as much as Tuunbaq to take his next bite of flesh. The Terror: Infamy has been a much more civilized horror. The gentle perversion of a soul over time left to wither and die. The yurei is a person who, through circumstance, has become the goal-oriented baddie she now is. Yuko is as sympathetic and scary as Tuunbaq. I find myself relating to both monsters, even if I don’t condone their behavior. That doesn’t mean I want to meet either in a dark alley.
One final look at life after camp showed just how little Japanese Americans were left with. If the fact that they were interred for years for no reason wasn’t bad enough, there were those including the government representative who came to see them off, that wanted them to feel grateful for being jailed. Their homes and property seized and sold off for the war effort is an indignity that was all too common. In the case of the Terminal Islanders, the entire village was raised. In some cases, those spaces were used as military storage, factories, and makeshift barracks. In others, they were left empty as if even the sight of the community that once thrived there was too much.
Henry is a proud man who has endured so much. He wants nothing more than to return home to his village and boat. He knows they were neglected and would need hard work to fix. The thought of that work is a comfort to him as he has fought for everything all his life with hard work and perseverance. Equally strong but much gentler in her approach is Asako, who wisely quotes back to Henry, “Without maintenance, things fall apart.” Henry was speaking about his home and boat, Asaka asks him to apply that to his relationship with his adoptive son that soon will come calling.
After realizing their property and home are gone, the Nakayama’s are housed in what appears even worse than the camp housing. He works as a gardener for his old boss, who is the epitome of white privilege. He is not an unkind man, just a somewhat oblivious one who has never had his possessions ripped away or his right to be a citizen questioned. If nothing else, The Terror: Infamy has shown even well-meaning people can be complacent. When Henry gets the call to help Chester, he responds begrudgingly that Asako would insist they go. He is hurt and angry understandably. He is also a father who loves his son and will do anything to help him. Asako gives a tantalizing glimpse inside the past as she stands on the bridge Yuko once did and asks for mercy for Chester. The episode is laden with parental parallels as both mother and son attempt to protect their family from things chasing them.
As the Nakayama’s arrive in New Mexico, it is clear Luz and Chester are preparing for a spiritual war. They have the entire house boarded up and a song password to enter the house. Luz’ Abuella knows it is difficult for Yuko to do more than rudimentary communication. The full 360-degree pan shot in the house is very effective in building the paranoia and claustrophobia they are feeling as they desperately try to fortify the house against the yurei. Some of the strongest scenes have been the melding of the Japanese and Mexican religions. It has also created some of the most harrowing. As the extended family fights for the life of Luz and Chester’s unborn child, the priest enters the house imitating the song password. It is a tightly shot scene with little waste that brings central just how precarious their situation is and how alike we all are. How do you fight a demon? How do you fight something that hides in plain sight? As the small party makes their daring escape to a government facility, the wide shot of the group getting out of the car at the facility conveys their feeling of being watched.
What should have been a sweet moment is spoiled by the ringing of the bells announcing Yuko to the group. Even Henry is touched by the scene before the demon comes to take Luz’ child. Such a simple sound more commonly associated with happy things like Christmas and store doors this bell is ominous in this industrial setting with haunted house flickering lights. Even the gift of life is stolen as one by one, the members of the family fall prey to Yuko’s unstoppable power.
That is what real terror is. The inability to help those you love. When you can not protect your family, there is nothing left but surrender, and that is just what Chester decides to do before Yuko plays one last cruel joke on the couple. Asako tries one final attempt to connect with her sister and atone for her betrayal. She is the one who started it all. She was to marry Hideo all those years ago, but upon meeting him and Henry, Asako knew Hideo was not kind or honorable and arranged for her sister to marry him instead. If she had left Yuko to marry Henry as she was selected initially, he would have raised the same baby, Chester, as his own just as he did with Asaka. The entire course of events may have been altered. We are all responsible for our actions; however, and Yuko’s decisions are her own for better or worse. In the aftermath of the battle between the women, Luz’ Abuella may be dead, Asako is bloodied, and Luz now houses the yurei as she carries the baby off to paradise. Chester’s final act of defiance is still possible, and we could see him make the ultimate sacrifice in the finale condemning himself to eternity with Yuko but sparing Luz and his baby.
Warring emotions and sentiments combine to produce an episode that was tightly scripted and perfectly paced. Admittedly some of the previous episodes lagged a little. That was not an issue this week when life or death stakes were on the line. We have lived with these people, grieved with these people, and now feel we are fighting alongside them. A television series lives and dies by its characters, and the Nakayama’s and Yuko are as well written as any. They are believable and likable, even when doing disagreeable things.
There is no way to stop a yurei. They will continue on their quest until it is fulfilled. Asako has revealed her guilt in Yuko’s sad end, but that is not what drives Yuko. Her desire to have the family she should have had is her paramount goal. The yurei who took Yuko, in the beginning, was only thwarted by her daughter, making me hopeful she could also hold Yuko if Chester can find his way to Paradise and get her into the trap. Burning hasn’t worked, and ofuda will only work for a time if at all. With nowhere left to turn, time is running out for Chester, Luz, and their baby.