REVIEW: ‘The Terror: Infamy,’ Episode 4 – The Weak are Meat

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Episode 4 - The Weak are Meat

The Terror, AMC’s horror anthology series, is in its second season, named The Terror: Infamy. This season, like the last, creates horror from history. By using the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II as the setting it is not only timely but sheds a light on an often-ignored piece of American history. So far, The Terror: Infamy has excelled in portraying the trauma of internment while also bringing established Japanese horror visuals and tropes, living in the Kaidan genre of scares.

In the last episode, Chester made the decision to leave his family and join the military as a translator, but as he leaves the camp, the evil stays. While “Gaman” saw the explicit equating the US military to evil for the abuse inflicted on Henry, Chester’s father, by the end of the episode the bakemono is in the spotlight, and this shift in the focus of the camp sticks in episode four, “The Weak are Meat.”

In “The Weak are Meat,” Chester is now abroad, supporting the military as a translator and helping save lives with his skill, but it means nothing. Chester is treated with hostility by his fellow Americans. To them, he’s a “Jap” or an “Oriental,” he’s anything but American despite the uniform he wears. While it’s still only a high-level investigation of identity, this episode offers up an example of what it’s like to be serving in a military where the men who are supposed to have your back, supposed to be fighting with you, see you as an enemy and ultimately view you as less than human.

While we may spend time away from the camp, the monstrous nature of humans is still on full display as we enter the pacific theater of war. The dead bodies and the racism towards Chester and the other translator all make for an uncomfortable setting that make you scared for our lead character in multiple ways. We fear for him because we know that those he serves with would sooner harm him than save him, and we fear for him as the wind blows through the tent and the presence of a yūrei becomes apparent.

“The Weak are Meat” uses Chester’s identity as a nisei identity, a first-generation Japanese American, to deliver exposition that expands on the lore behind the yūrei. Chester’s questions about the yūrei to his bunkmate and fellow translator, help provide a clue as to why he, his family and their friends are being targeted by misfortune.

The great moment in the episode is when we realize that yūrei are moving and impacting those fighting in the war, expanding the scope beyond just Chester and dropping him into a larger narrative.

For fans of Kaidan horror, we know that yūrei are souls who were wronged in life, whose anger, passion, or thirst for revenge change them into the evil known as yūrei, this much is explained to Chester as well. When coupled with the murder of Furuya last episode in which he recognized Yuko, the bakemono, before she killed him.

Episode 4 - The Weak are Meat

The reveal as to how Yuko was created makes the ending of last episode worrisome, Yuko hovering over Luz’s belly, pretending to be a midwife. Now in “The Weak are Meat” we watch helplessly as she is being taken care of by Yuko. Luz’s pregnancy becomes a tension building point as we hold our breath in each moment the two are together.

As “The Weak are Meat” ends, the formula of each episode comes into the picture. Episodes two through four of The Terror: Infamy opened with historical horror that uses humans as monsters before transitioning to more traditional and shocking elements, and kills that disguise themselves as suicides. The jarring moments in the back half of each episode set the tone of the series and work in tandem with history.

The Terror: Infamy continues its excellent storytelling in “The Weak are Meat” by not only expanding on Chester’s identity and character but also taking time to develop Luz and her dynamic within the Nakayama family that adds an element to the episode and the series. If you’re not watching this series yet, you should be.

New episodes of The Terror: Infamy premiere every Monday night 9/8 CST on AMC.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/AMC

'The Terror: Infamy,' Episode 4 - The Weak are Meat
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

The Terror: Infamy continues its excellent storytelling in “The Weak are Meat” by not only expanding on Chester’s identity and character but also taking time to develop Luz and her dynamic within the Nakayama family that adds an element to the episode and the series. If you’re not watching this series yet, you should be.