‘Shogun’ Episode 7 Recap: Death Wish

‘Shogun’ Episode 7 Recap: Death Wish

“When the legend turns into truth, print the legend.” Few cinematic genres have had as fruitful a dialog with each other because the samurai movie and the western, so it’s solely becoming to make use of an epigraph from “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” to sum up the central battle on this week’s episode.

It begins in full “print the legend mode,” because the director Takeshi Fukunaga brings us a dreamlike flashback depicting the aftermath of Lord Toranaga’s first victory in battle, achieved earlier than he’d have been bar mitzvah’d. The rogue warrior whose forces he defeats requires the younger Toranaga himself to function his second within the ritual of seppuku. An overhead shot reveals us the lad getting ready to strike the deathblow from a perspective that feels one million miles away, much less a chicken’s-eye view than a god’s.

But appears to be like will be deceiving. Ask Saeki (Eita Okuno), Toranaga’s estranged half brother, upon whose assist the lord of Edo is counting if his struggle in opposition to Lady Ochiba and the Regents is to achieve success. He’s joyful to inform Toranaga’s adoring son, Nagakado, that his pops severed the pinnacle of the insurgent with a single stroke on the tender age of 12. No such factor occurred — Toranaga hacked away 9 occasions like a miniature ax assassin earlier than lastly decapitating the person.

But Saeki isn’t doing this to flatter his older brother. He’s doing it to taunt him. He is aware of Toranaga’s sense of honor will make listening to exaggerated accounts of his exploits uncomfortable. And he is aware of that by elevating Nagakado’s picture of his father, he can ship it crashing again down all of the extra simply. So he tosses within the story of how younger Toranaga dirty himself when he was despatched away as a hostage. That’s not the form of story that makes it into the legendarium.

It’s additionally not the form of story you inform if you happen to plan to ally your self with the boy who fouled his breeches. Indeed, regardless of initially giving each look on the contrary, Saeki has no intention of taking over his older brother’s trigger. He pronounces that he has accepted Lord Ishido’s provide of membership on the Council of Regents, and has been dispatched to summon Toranaga to his impeachment and execution. It takes every little thing the lord has left in him to forestall his Nagakado from blindly accepting Ishido’s order to commit seppuku over the cannon assault he ordered in Episode 4.

The Toranaga of a long time previous wasn’t match to ship the coup de grâce to the insurgent lord, and the Toranaga of at the moment refuses to do the identical to his nation. He may defend himself, concern the order for Crimson Sky, make conflict on Osaka, declare himself shogun — however he gained’t. “No one has the best to tear the realm aside,” he tells his assembled vassals as he agrees to give up to the Council.

There’s only one downside with Toranaga’s pacifism: It’s not simply his personal execution to which he’s marching. His family, household and lots of of his vassals shall be anticipated to comply with him in demise. “Behold the good warlord,” Blackthorne sneers when he understands what’s occurring. “Brilliant grasp of trickery, who tricked his personal loyal vassals right into a noiseless smothering.” He turns to these lords and warriors and addresses them in their very own language, “You’re all dead.” (He spares a parting expletive for the Crimson Sky plan.)

Blackthorne isn’t the one individual sworn to Toranaga’s service who’d favor to not go gently into that good night time. Elsewhere within the episode, Yabushige makes a failed try to dealer a separate peace; Ishido sends his emissary’s severed head again in a field.

But one character take issues much more immediately into his personal fingers. Acting in live performance with the courtesan Fuji, Nagakado leads a small band of assassins into the teahouse the place Saeki is having fun with Fuji’s companies. But the struggle that ensues ends in catastrophe when Nagakado slips and falls earlier than his personal try to cut off an enemy’s head, braining himself on a rock within the teahouse’s backyard. Even Saeki, who’d betrayed Nagakado’s father and was seconds away from dying by the youth’s sword, feels the sting of the loss. “Where is the sweetness on this?” he says, staring down on the corpse.

Perhaps he may ask Buntaro and Mariko. This sad couple is morbid within the excessive. Buntaro desires nothing greater than to kill Blackthorne for warming his spouse’s icy coronary heart in a method he by no means may. Buntaro got here dangerously near taking out Blackthorne when he interrupted a pleasant sparring session between the Anjin and Lord Yabushige, however opted to submit the problem to Toranaga later as a proper request.

(For his half, Yabushige stays the present’s wild card, as apt to ostentatiously bathe within the presence of Saeki’s troopers as he’s to boil certainly one of Blackthorne’s males alive. You by no means know with this man!)

Even as her husband goals to punish her lover, Mariko needs above all to kill herself, lastly following the remainder of her household. Like Buntaro, she places this request immediately earlier than her liege lord.

Toranaga denies them each, going as far as to slap the ceremonial blade from Mariko’s hand. It’s sufficient to make you marvel if Fuji’s madame, Gin (Yuko Miyamoto), is correct when she notes that it’s out of character for a seasoned warlord like Toranaga to depart his forces so susceptible to these of his brother. If he actually deliberate to meekly undergo his personal demise, why would he be so forcefully averse to Mariko’s?

Maybe there’s extra to the longer term than meets the attention. That’s definitely Gin’s perception. After Mariko brokers a quick assembly between the madame and Lord Toranaga in alternate for Fuji’s companies with Saeki, Gin makes use of her time to ask for the development of a particular red-light district in Toranaga’s burgeoning metropolis, Edo. When he protests that he has no future to supply her, she doesn’t purchase it. Surely the good Toranaga has one final legend in him.



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