“Into the Afterlife” is the tenth and last episode of the second season of the TV show “The Terror”, which was named “The Terror: Infamy”, and follows “Come and Get Me“. It’s broadcast in the USA on AMC Studios and in other nations on Amazon Prime Video.
Note. This article contains some spoilers about “Into the Afterlife”.
During his sleep, Nobuhiro Yamato (George Takei) sees his childhood friend Kazu (Sab Shimono), who tells him that many years before he had moved to Hiroshima, where his descendants were born. The war is nearing its end but Chester Nakayama (Derek Mio) has to fight to save his son from Yuko Tanabe (Kiki Sukezane).
In a season in which the historical element was crucial, it’s appropriate for the last episode to begin showing events that followed the destruction of Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb. George Takei had a limited role as an actor but in this season finale his Nobuhiro Yamato becomes a central character. His contribution begins with what can be considered a vision of the afterlife and ends by reassuring Amy Yoshida (Miki Ishikawa).
The subplot about Chester Nakayama and his family has an ending that after all seemed good to me, managing to bring out the best of the season and connecting to the central theme of memory. That’s not enough to make up for a season in which this subplot was sometimes a little convoluted, also in the intertwining with the other subplots, but at least it offered some evocative and emotional moments.
The epilogue of this season is a meeting of the characters for the festival of Obon (or Bon), a tradition in which Buddhists honor the spirits of their ancestors. In this season, for various members of the cast and crew this has a personal meaning shown in the credits with their photos next to those of their ancestors who were interned in the camps. In George Takei’s case, the memory is direct as he himself was interned when he was a child.
With all its flaws, “The Terror: Infamy” was still interesting for putting a dark period in American history at the center of the story. Personally I discovered the existence of internment camps for Japanese-Americans thanks to George Takei and following this television season led me to look for more details and information. From this point of view the judgment is certainly positive, it’s a shame that from the artistic point of view the season hasn’t been up to par with a story and characters developed too often with little balance.