The Terror: Infamy' episode 2 sees the Japanese-American community struggling in internment camps amidst dealing with ghosts from folklore
Informative and terrifying in equal parts, the episode raises an alarm about the vile bias that the Japanese Americans went through on the American soil
This article contains spoilers for episode 2
The horrors of the shameful reality of the Japanese internment camps during the second world war only get amplified with the mistreatment of the members of the community in the second episode of 'The Terror's second season, 'The Terror: Infamy'. The eerie vibe that was introduced with the first episode is steady throughout the second one, but this time, the fear sets in as we come across the truth behind these housing facilities which is quite similar to the deplorable reality of Jewish concentration camps. Informative and terrifying in equal parts, the episode raises an alarm about the vile bias that the Japanese Americans went through as suspicion against them was rife on the American soil, and amidst it all, Chester Nakayama's (Derek Mio) attempt at rising to be the golden boy. But almost as if as payback, it is the ghosts from Japanese folklore that bring in the main element of horror as we find out more and more about their different kind.
The second episode, titled 'All the Demons are Still in Hell', is a fun play on the terminology. The context of the title is a conversation between George Takei's Yamato-san, and Chester's father, Henry Nakayama who have been deployed in Internment camps, away from their family. Accompanying them is also the recently blinded Hideo Furuya who had seen the ghost, Yuko, in the previous episode, and whose wife killed herself in mysterious ritual suicide. Yamato san believes Hideo is being plagued by a 'yurei', which in Japanese folklore is a spirit returning from beyond the grave to haunt the living. Hideo was known to physically assault his wife, and Henry believes he is being haunted by grief and guilt, but Yamato corrects him asking "You think all the demons are in hell?"
The titular hell can also be a symbolism for the state the community has been put in for no fault of their own. In other areas of the episode, we see the Nakayamas and their friends being sent off to dormitories, first, and then barricaded housing facilities later, which are beyond any point of redemption. "Anybody with a drop of Jap blood" gets pretty much deported to these confinements at the border of the town, and for all the lodging it promises, it is mere stables and cow-sheds, splattered across with feces and containing one iron bed in the center where the people have to spend their time until the chaos dies down. And even though Chester's friend Marlon would like to convince him that his dad is safer in the internment camps, the sad reality of it is soldiers shoving the older Japanese men around, making them do odd jobs in the harsh cold outside without a care about their well being.
But while Chester has been rising to the occasion, standing up to the US soldiers in the wake of the unfairness their community is being put through, he also has bigger problems to worry about. The second episode is more or less Chester's internal battle played out. On one hand, he is being the man his father had always wanted him to be - the golden son protecting his mother and also taking care of Toshiro - Hideo and Masayo's teenage son. But on the other hand, his conscience doesn't allow him to leave the pregnant Luz (Cristina Rodlo) alone to fend for herself. Luz, being from the Latinx community, doesn't particularly stand the risk of mistreatment, but the baby growing inside her still contains the ominous "Jap blood" these Americans can't wait to do away with. So Chester leaves his mother to return to run away with Luz, but the two of them get caught, thus sending them back to the barricades whether the Japanese have been lodged.
One would think this is where it all ends and they will finally manage and make do in the harrowing circumstances, but Yuko's ghost keeps haunting people from time to time. At first, it is Wilson Yoshida who spots her at the first facility they had lodged at, followed by Chester, and later even Toshiro, at the sheds where they are finally being confined. At one point in the episode, Luz tells Chester, "There's always someone watching, judging, punishing," and that is exactly what Yuko seems to be doing throughout. After the mysterious encounter with her in the previous episode, Chester does return to the brothel to speak with Yuko again, but to his shock is told that no Japanese girl has worked there in years. Later, when Toshiro spots Yuko, her nails can be seen decaying the same way the insides of her skin seemed to at the ending of episode 1.
The tension in the episode peaks when Henry, Yamato-san, and Hideo corner a strange Japanese man who has been easily working for the Americans, thus raising suspicion. They question him about the existence of a bakemono - a shapeshifting creature, that's more living than a ghost, and he plays innocent. In their own form of rebellion the three older men take the younger man down and that only gives rise to further fear about what lies in their path ahead. But it is Wilson who has the short end of the stick, as Yuko's spirit commands him to march with a gun at the guards stationed near their barricades, and the inevitable happens - in broad daylight, Wilson gets fatally shot in front of his family.
'The Terror: Infamy' airs on Mondays, at 9pm, only on AMC.