This The Terror review contains spoilers.
The Terror Season 2 Episode 7
“My Perfect World” gives us the reunion we’ve been waiting for, as Chester goes AWOL in order to find Luz. It’s so great to see Cristina Rodlo again. She’s been consistently a pleasure to watch this season, and she delivers perhaps her most balanced performance yet in an episode that focuses heavily on what she wants her life to be. I’m glad Luz gets to run away in the end, even if it’s very obvious that there’s still an evil spirit tying her to the pain and suffering she endured at Colinas de Oro. By episode’s end, we know that Luz hasn’t escaped Yuko’s wrath. Not yet.
Derek Mio continues to impress as well. While I found his performances a bit dry at first, it’s clear that Mio has grown more comfortable in the role as the season has progressed. His chemistry with Rodlo is top-notch, and he plays off his “parents” just as well. Chester’s painful farewell to the couple that raised him was hard to watch, but it was also great to see Shingo Usami have one last moment with his son. It’s almost funny how stubborn and unaffectionate both men are towards each other, even though there’s clearly love between them.
What Chester lacks in affection towards his adoptive parents he more than makes up for with Luz, whom he offers to help, risking his own life in the process. Chester and Luz’s scenes are sweet, every line delivered with the weight of a massive history. I’d’ve liked to see more of their roadtrip to New Mexico, just to watch Mio and Rodlo spend more screentime together, but the episode is also too busy moving the plot along with a series of insane twists to focus on the quieter moments.
The episode’s biggest twist, of course, is the reveal that Chester actually has a twin. It’s sort of a clumsy plot development, since last week’s episode made no mention of a Jirou Tanabe even though much of the flashback happens from Yuko’s perspective. Wouldn’t she remember that she had twins? Yet, in this week’s episode, Yuko does reference her babies. Was this a last-minute addition to the story? If so, it’s hard not to see right through it. Still, I’m kind of intrigued!
Yuko survived last week’s exorcism and is on a path of destruction once again. The Terror spent a lot of time humanizing the monstrous Yuko in “Taizo,” but that’s all undone tonight, as we watch her rotting and heavily scarred corpse shuffle around throughout the episode. The cold open is perhaps the most gruesome scene featured on the show yet, as Yuko forces a mortician (?) to slice off one body’s flesh and place it on her own. I love the way the man opens the layer of skin like thick parchment and holds it up to the light. The camera is clearly having fun with it, too.
There are moments of gross-out horror all throughout the episode, from the sharp pen that pierces Bart Ojeda’s skull to the clumpy, yellow phlegm Toshiro coughs up in the middle of the night. Yuko’s harrowing scars don’t help matters much, either.
Speaking of phlegm, an outbreak hits the camp, and it’s Amy and Ken who are forced to save the day when the villainous Major Bowen (C. Thomas Howell) refuses to get his prisoners the proper medical attention. Amy and Ken have carried much of the B-storyline in the last few episodes, their romance splintered by their opposing beliefs about what it means to be loyal to one’s heritage. Amy believes loyalty means protecting those she loves at all costs, even when it makes her former beau look like a coward, while Ken thinks he has a moral imperative to stand up against the government, no matter the consequences. This all comes to a head during the medical crisis.
Bowen, who is seemingly possessed at one point by Yuko, seems to be losing his shit, and it’s Ken who pays the price. Demanding that Bowen get the sick the medical care, Ken’s visit to the Major’s barrack quickly becomes a hostage situation. While Bowen hasn’t shown a tendency towards cruelty in the past — at least not on the level of some of his colleagues — he’s never shy about making a racist quip. Still, his order to execute Ken came as a bit of a surprise, although you could probably chalk that up to Bowen being a racist piece of shit as well as Yuko’s influence.
Is Yuko still in there? I’m actually a bit confused about what exactly Yuko’s plan is for the Major. For the moment, it seems she has bigger fish to fry in New Mexico, where Chester and Luz end up as the credits roll. The safety Luz seeks at her grandmother’s house, her perfect world, will be anything but, as Yuko has made it her next stop on her reign of terror.