When The Terror: Infamy started nine weeks ago, we were taken to a world where actual history met the supernatural. In the meantime, we’ve been given spectral photography, possessions, historical atrocities, zombies, and a unique look into the afterlife. What we had not received is any real clarity on why all of this was happening. Sure, we knew that Yuko was thrown out of her new home and forced to live on the street with her children, but we didn’t know how she managed to get into that situation in the first place. Also, we weren’t sure why her sister, Asako, felt so guilty about her role in the debacle.
After this week’s episode, we finally know why she has felt this much shame. Asako, essentially, stole Yuko’s life away from her. It was Yuko who was set to be married to Henry, not Asako. It was her that was originally set to be wed to the drunk Hideo Furuya, not Yuko. When she learned that Furuya was not an honorable man, she had someone make the switch, causing all of her sister’s pain and misery.
“Did you discover what I did? Is that why you came back? Did you find out that all of this is my fault?” -Asako Nakayama
Once we learn this, it makes us all the more sympathetic to Yuko’s plight. Asako spent her life with Yuko’s son, with Yuko’shusband, and filled with all the love and joy that should have belonged to Yuko. As the episode came to a close and we see Yuko, now controlling Luz’s body and carrying her newborn son into the desert, it was hard to not cheer for the yurei and wish that she gets to ascend to her afterlife with her love intact.
Look, I get it. She’s stealing a baby so that she can kill it and live happily ever after in her garden heaven. It’s not ideal, but at the same time, this woman had been wronged at every turn in her life. For the majority of the season, I have been firmly in the Pro-Yuko camp (I stan, as the kids say), because everyone else around her were such colossal pains in the ass. Nothing in Chester, or Henry, or Asako’s story led me to believe that they were anything more than selfish assholes who either lied their way to a good life or ran away from every problem they ever faced.
That is, until this week. After weeks of being a whiny man-baby about his life, Chester finally made the move that I had had been waiting for him to make all this time. After seeing his son for the first time, he reveals to Henry his plan to get rid of Yuko. She wanted a child, and nothing was ever going to stop her from getting one. Specifically, she wanted her Taizo back, to replace the loss that she endured all those years ago. Chester, finally becoming a real character, decided to give her what she wants. He gave his father a picture of him as a baby and told him to give it to Luz’s abuela. He was going to kill himself, then give himself to Yuko, like what happened with Jirou in last week’s episode.
I know that suicide is never the right answer, but the fact that this was his plan is a huge step forward for Chester in his relationship with the audience. We have spent two months with him, and we have never cared for him for a single second. What he showed here, in revealing his plan to his father, was the first true emotion I have seen from him. As a father myself, I can guarantee that this is the exact plan I would come up with. There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do to keep my child safe. I would plunge my hands into the earth, tear apart the very fabric of reality and destroy a thousand universes in the process to keep my son from harm. To Chester, the only way to do this was to give Yuko what she wanted. My guess is that now that Luz is being controlled by the yurei and has possession of their son, he will have to come up with a different plan, but the fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself for his son finally made him an understandable and likeable character.
That’s what has finally become apparent in this episode. Yuko, having lost everything, will sacrifice anyone to feel her child in her arms again. Chester, having felt his son in his arms, is willing to sacrifice himself to keep his child safe. It’s the same choice any true parent in the world would make. It’s the difference between being a protagonist and a villain, and even though it took nine weeks for us to get here, the season became exponentially better once that delineation was made.
“Don’t follow me. It’s the last favor I’ll ever need from you.” -Chester Nakayama
The Terror: Infamy airs every Monday night on AMC. Keep your eyes on Nightmare on Film Street as we continue to recap each episode and give you the latest and greatest horror news available on the web. While you’re at it, join our Facebook group, Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street and let us know what you think!