This The Terror review contains spoilers.
The Terror Season 2 Episode 9
The Terror: Infamy is in a race to the finish line, throwing every horror cliche it can at its audience on its way there, as Chester gathers Luz and his parents for one final showdown with Yuko. “Come and Get Me,” which kicks off with the Nakayamas’ final moments at Colinas de Oro and ends in an underground bunker in New Mexico, is a small step up from last week’s clumsy “My Sweet Boy,” but absent is much of the thoughtful storytelling and slow-building sense of dread that have characterized the season’s best moments. Instead, we get a bad attempt at a funhouse horror/exorcism movie inside of a nuclear bunker (which does provide the episode with an interesting and unexpected background).
The final hours have been a bit sloppy to say the least, and at this point it’s hard to see how The Terror: Infamy will stick the landing, especially after such an uneven season overall. While the first half of the season was a slowburn, gun-shy run of episodes, much of the second half turned things around for the show, giving us some of the most thought-provoking (and at times terrifying) hours of horror TV this year. These latter episodes achieved a delicate balance between the drama inside of the internment camp, shining a light on a part of our history so often glossed over, and the season’s scary elements. The otherworldly, Yuko-centric “Taizo” is a definite highlight, as is “My Perfect World,” which focused on the strange triangle shared between Chester, Luz, and Yuko. The supernatural blended into the real world nicely in these episodes, and it’s a shame “Come and Get Me” can’t do the same, because there’s real potential here.
Moments that should really highlight everything the Nakayamas have gone through are boiled down to tired confrontations between Chester and Henry. The script doesn’t allow Derek Mio and Shingo Usami’s characters to do any real healing, either. Instead, they’re relegated to delivering the same contentious banter about “being a man” from the first episode. The bright light here is Usami, whose grave Henry is always on point. His words always sting when he means them to, his stare piercing right through Chester’s skull.
The episode also ignores Luz and Asako’s perspective for the most part, a questionable move (to put it lightly), considering that few characters on this show have suffered more than these two women. Luz, who is blessed with top-notch acting from Cristina Rodlo, is basically turned into a plot device, her pregnancy (a redundant twist that I’m still really annoyed about) a way to push the story to the final credits.
I will say that Asako’s intimate moment with her sister’s spirit (I’m sure she was listening) at the bridge was one of the better scenes of the night, even if the backdrop has an artificial quality to it. But The Terror suffers from this so often that it’s a nitpick at this point.
So, how will it all come to an end? We can cross off “haunted underground bunker” and “possessed priest” from the list. Will Yuko die in some sort of atomic explosion? (The Little Boy reference seems important but that kind of effect is very out of budget for this particular show.) Will Chester have to make a final sacrifice to save Luz and their son? For better or worse, we’ll find out next week.