We reviewed the first two episodes of The Terror: Infamy and then left it. The story-arc structure works against stand-alone episode reviews. Here we consider the final eight episodes together.

Titles: “Gaman,” “The Weak Are Meat,” “Shatter Like a Pearl,” “Taizo,” “My Perfect World,”
“My Sweet Boy,” “Come and Get Me,” “Into the Afterlife”

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Directors: Michael Lehmann, Lily Mariye, Evardo Gout, Meera Menon, Mitch Engel, Frederick E.O. Toye,

Writers: Shannon Goss, Naomi Iizuka, Steven Hanna, Max Borenstein, Benjamin Klein,
Danielle Roderick, Tony Tost, Alexandra Dimonda, Alexander Woo.

Derek Mio as Chester Nakayama
Naoko Mori as Asako Nakayama
Shingo Usami as Henry Nakayama
George Takei as Nobuhiro Yamato
Miki Ishikawa as Amy Yoshida
Cristina Rodlo as Luz Ojeda
Kiki Sukezane as Yuko Tanabe
Hira Ambrosino as Fumi Yoshida
C. Thomas Howell as Major Bowen
Reed Diamond as Colonel Stallings
Eiji Inoue as Hideo Furuya
James Saito as Wilson Yoshida
Christopher Naoki Lee as Ken Uehara
Lee Shorten as Walt Yoshida
Alex Shimizu as Toshiro Furuya
Reed Diamond as Colonel Stallings
Marcus Toji as Arthur Ogawa
Ruben Garfias as Bart Ojeda
Kazuya Tanabe as Tetsuya Ota
Peter Shinkoda as Sergeant Ishinabe
William MacDonald as George Nicol
Natuski Kunimoto as Chiyo
Naomi Simpson as Sister Agatha
Christopher Naoki Lee as Ken Uehara
Alma Martinez as Rocio Trujillo
Aya Furukawa as Sachiko
Nathan Houle as MP Gimbel
Robert Corness as Rosevelt Pug
Alex Rose as Private Withers
Kurt Oslund as Private Locke
Sarah Hayward as Nurse Rigby
Thomas Nicholson as Private Theodore
Raf Rogers as Julio
Juana Lerma Juárez as Paula
Hugo Ateo as Hector
Mia Garcia as Elena
Pierce Kang as Jirou Tanabe
Francisco Trujillo as Father Ysidro
Gabriela Reynoso as Doña Maria
Garry Chalk as Delaney
Gerard Plunkett as Dr. Shaw

Premise:

A yūrei appeared to be haunting a Japanese internment camp during World War Two. In fact, she’s stalking our protagonist. She follows him to Guadalcanal when he gets a position translating for the American army, and returns to haunt his family stateside.

This is a strange show, with two disparate parts that don’t entirely cohere….

High Points:

The internment story would work well without the yūrei, and the yūrei story only loosely ties into the internment story. However, the strongest moments of either work. “Taizo” abandons the internment story entirely to give us Yuko’s backstory, and it may be the strongest episode, with a disturbing blend of real and after-life.

“Shatter Like A Pearl,” a strong war-related episode, gets addressed under “Acting.”

Low Points:

The first season had the advantage of focusing on one historical incident as the context for its terror story. This season has internment camps, the Pacific Theater during World War II, early-twentieth century immigration, and Hiroshima– on top of the characters’ tortured family histories. I grant that these events bring at least one excellent moment each to the show. Who can forget, for example, George Takei’s Nobuhiro Yamato learning about Hiroshima? The terrific clutter, however, at times kludges and warps the plot, undercutting the horror and the thematic elements along the way.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 The blending of religious, magical, and cultural traditions in the final episodes works surprisingly well. If these traditions come together in the service of confronting a horror-story spook, they nevertheless all get treated with respect.

Effects: 6/6 The visuals worked consistently well, and the showmakers obviously took considerable effort to recreate a range of times and places required by the story.

Story: 4/6 The story has some excellent moments, but it rambles and, in the final episode, shambles to its conclusion, with an epilogue about remembering history that it has only partially earned.

Acting: 5/6 Most of the cast is exceptional. Derek Mio gives his best performance when confronting the Japanese prisoner in Guadalcanal.

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 5/6 Perhaps we shouldn’t mention the scene with the creepy mortician. Oh, wait…. Dang. Sorry.

Overall: 4/6

The Terror: Infamy, Episodes 3-10, receive 33/42.

Note

American Horror Story, that other well-produced anthology horror series, lost me entirely. The Terror, second-season flaws notwithstanding., finds me still intrigued about what they might do next year.