Tokyo Vice: Who Stabbed Sato and Is He Dead?

What's next for Sato on Tokyo Vice? Is this disillusioned Yakuza gangster's story over?

Tokyo Vice Sato
Photo: HBO Max

As the credits roll on the final episode of HBO Max’s Tokyo Vice, we know that Jake (Ansel Elgort) and Katagiri’s (Ken Watanabe) quest to take down ruthless Yakuza leader Shinzo Tozawa (Ayumi Tanida) is far from over. Whether HBO actually green lights a second season of this excellent, neon-tinged crime drama is another question, especially now that Warner Bros. Discovery is in charge and cleaning house when it comes to original TV programming across the media company, but it would be a shame if the story ended here. There are just too many cliffhangers to resolve.

While it’s clear that Jake and Katagiri will continue to build their case against Tozawa, thanks to a flash-forward in the opening scene of the first episode that shows the duo meeting with his men about a “story” that the Yakuza leader wants buried, we don’t know the fate of several other characters put in danger in the season 1 finale. For example, now that Samantha (Rachel Keller) is in business with Chihara-Kai, how long before the gang takes control of her new club? And what really happened to Miyamoto (Hideaki Ito) and Polina (Ella Rumpf)?

Then there are the biggest questions of all after the finale: who stabbed Sato, the Backstreet Boy-loving gangster played by the scene-stealing Shô Kasamutsa, and is he really dead?

The first question is easy enough to answer: it was Gen (Nobushige Suematsu), his fellow Chihara-Kai brother whom Sato beat within an inch of his life earlier in the season. On the surface, the stabbing, which happens right after Sato and Samantha part ways, seems to be completely fueled by revenge. Sato almost killed Gen so now Gen is returning the favor. But what if this betrayal goes deeper than that?

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What if Gen is secretly working for Tozawa? After all, the new gang leader in town would love nothing more than to eliminate another one of Hitoshi Ishida’s (Shun Sugata) top men. Perhaps Tozawa learned about Gen’s grudge against Sato and offered him a bit of money and encouragement to take the higher ranking Yakuza out. Gen may have also just been a Tozawa mole the whole time, taking Kume’s (Masayoshi Haneda) place as Tozawa’s man on the inside

Of course, Sato has made plenty of other enemies throughout the season. It’s possible someone hired Gen to kill Sato in retaliation for the death of Matsuo (Jundai Yamada), the disgusting private investigator who was tormenting Samantha. If you recall, Sato strangled Matsuo after he refused to leave Samantha alone, even though the investigator hinted that he had friends in very high places within the Yakuza. Perhaps, Matsuo’s Yakuza friends didn’t take too kindly to Sato killing him off.

Whatever the case, the last time we see Sato, he’s bleeding out on the pavement, his fate yet to be determined. He’s not confirmed to be dead…but he’s clearly not doing too well, either. This will be one of the key questions the season 2 premiere will have to answer. Now, let’s just hope that second season actually happens.

All eight episodes of Tokyo Vice are streaming now on HBO Max.