Tokyo Vice Episodes 6 and 7: Recap and Ending Explained: Interestingly enough, the strength of Tokyo Vice lies in the inability of Jake Adelstein, Sato, and Samantha to completely wrap their heads around the complexity of the world around them, consequently resulting in them being bamboozled or forced to make choices antithetical to what they started as. Every action has consequences, however minuscule or macro, and as these two episodes showed, surving the intricate subculture of the Tokyo underworld will require fierce determination coupled with strategic planning.

Before we get into the latest episode, have a look at the recap of Episodes 4 & 5 here


All roads converge on Tozawa

Like any prestige show, Tokyo Vice doesn’t immediately follow last week’s cliffhanger. Instead, it focuses on Samantha, who is visited by Jake with a box of chocolates as forgiveness for misbehaving with her, blaming it on having a “shitty day.” As the two start to mend, Jake trips upon a minefield when he warns Samantha about her romance with Sato, citing his recent handlings with the Chihara-Kai as a reference to how dangerous Sato’s life is. Samantha, feeling insulted, refuses to listen to him, returns his chocolates, and asks him to walk away.

Disheartened but putting it out of his mind, Jake instead focuses on digging deeper into Tozawa. This is when he comes across a stack of Yakuza fan magazines, a pop culture relic that does make sense in hindsight, as the yakuza, with their lifestyle of ostentatious luxury, must be alluring like movie stars. He finds three separate fan magazines containing extensive profiles of Tozawa written by the same author, Ukai Haruki. Disguising himself as a tourist and a fanboy, Adelstein visits Haruki and manages to flatter him by asking for his autograph and satiating his ego. Ego suitably satiated, Haruki invites Adelstein to his apartment, where we see one wall covered by newspaper clippings chronicling Tozawa’s appearances in the limelight. As Adelstein looks around furtively, Uraki reveals the presence of a drug called “Shabu” stuffed inside a cigar, whereby he extols the virtues of drug use by smoking instead of the traditional way of using methamphetamine. He also remarks to Adelstein about the number of mistresses Tozawa had over the years, a concept usually taboo in Japan, but more importantly, how one of his mistresses was silenced by Tozawa when she attempted to talk to a reporter. Jake’s interest is sparked when he starts planning to talk with Tozawa’s current mistress, Misaki.

Elsewhere Sato thrashes an airport mechanic, Tsotumo Makita, who is in league with Tozawa. Sato threatens him into revealing information about Tozawa’s upcoming drug shipment, and he informs Ishida immediately. Ishida soon starts formulating a plan to get back to Tozawa for the attack that occurred at the end of last week’s episode. We also see Sato troubled, perhaps because of being forced to kill for the first time in the service of saving Ishida’s life.

The heads of all the yakuza families call in for an urgent meeting with the chairman of this council, Nakahara, who is also revealed to be the head of Kansai. All of the family heads are deeply disturbed by this feud happening between Ishida and Tozawa, which had escalated to Tozawa directly sending assassins to Ishida’s house. Tozawa arrives late and undeterred by the disapproving stares, tries to buy Ishida out as well as buy forgiveness by offering one hundred million yen as restitution. Ishida takes half the money and remarks how some offenses cannot be forgiven by restitution cash, subtly forcing Tozawa to bend his knees in front of the entire council and ask for Ishida’s forgiveness. Tozawa is unable to refuse because Nakahara commands him to, but we can see Tozawa searing with rage even as he bows his head.

As far as predictable subplots go, Samantha’s one is also moving in the direction we more or less expected. As Matsuo visits her at Onyx that night, he doubles down on asking for sexual favors, 12 whole sessions of it. He reveals to her that his mysterious client is none other than Samantha’s father, who is hell-bent on getting his daughter back, as his daughter has disgraced his family by stealing from the mission fund. Samantha reluctantly agrees to Matsuo’s proposal, promising to meet with him the next evening.

Meanwhile, Nakahara and Tozawa are having a heated conversation about Tozawa’s bruised ego, to which Nakahara pointedly reminds him how he was the one to bring Tozawa in and install him in Tokyo, so that their flag could be planted, which so far hadn’t been progressing well, as one botched assassination attempt was enough of a mistake. If committed twice, Tozawa wouldn’t be forgiven again. Meanwhile, Ishida and his close associates are discussing whether to stop Tozawa’s impending drug shipment, with Ishida being advised against confrontation to avoid a full-scale war, so Ishida plans to thwart Tozawa’s proceedings in a far subtler way.

Adelstein and Sato commit to rash decisions

In the dead of the night, when Adelstein is returning from the Meicho, Sato meets with Adelstein and brings him to Ishida, where Ishida informs Adelstein about Tozawa’s upcoming shipment of “Shabu.” Excited, Adelstein goes to Katagiri to share this information, but Katagiri, in his typical zen fashion, asks Jake to trust him and be patient, and that he would investigate this tip in time. Jake, impatient and after getting the green light from his editor Maruyama, who strongly reminds him that he doesn’t work for Katagiri and the story comes first, makes one of the biggest impulsive decisions we have seen him make so far. He takes the tip to the other friendly cop he knows on the force, corrupt cop Jin Miyamoto, who acts on the tip and moves into the airport with full force to conduct a raid. They are, however, unsuccessful in procuring anything. Katagiri arrives at the scene and reprimands Jake, stating that due to his impatience and greed for a story, they are back to ground zero, because now Tozawa is mindful and will change his routes and double his security. More importantly, Jake has burned all his bridges within the force, with Miyamoto stating emphatically that no cop will talk with him again, while Katagiri stops replying to Jake’s calls and messages.

In the meantime, Samantha tells Sato about her father, the “Choose the Right” organization, and Matsuo’s request for favors. Promising to make this right, Sato visits Matsuo the next morning and tries to intimidate him. The tables are turned when Matsuo reveals he knows Ishida’s boss and can easily call him and ensure Sato will get into trouble for harassing him. Sato tries to reason with Matsuo, but Matsuo, intent on getting the upper hand, refuses and makes an off-handed comment about Samantha. Flying in a fit of rage, Sato attacks Matsuo and beats him to a bloody pulp, and then takes one of the heavier vases from the floor and crushes Matsuo’s skull. In a way, Sato is inevitably becoming the person he was worried about becoming, and as the killings increase, he will start to become less bothered about the moral implications.

It is revealed at the end that Miyamoto had been in league with Tozawa. The tip supplied by Adelstein was good enough that it had spooked Miyamoto, who had informed the airport engineers to hide the shipment in other parts of the plane. It is also made inevitably clear that Katagiri was cognizant of a mole in the police department, and he asked Jake to be patient because he had wanted to build a big case away from the prying eyes of the other departments and suspected moles, but to no avail. This would be revealed in the subsequent episode as well.

Maruyama’s secret case is finally revealed

Episode 7 shows the Tokyo Police Department calling an impromptu press conference where they inform the public about the recovery of the dead body of a 24-year-old girl named Kaori Shoda. According to the company line, Shoda’s ex-boyfriend was quickly identified and arrested, and he was charged with murder. Maruyama had been suspicious of such a quick turnaround regarding a case that the police had been very lax on, as seen in Episodes 4 and 5, and interviewed Miyamoto while having lunch with him. She realizes that the closure of this case was Miyamoto’s way of regaining his standing after the failed drug bust at the airport. Maruyama also reveals that the girl had filed a complaint against her ex-boyfriend a while ago, which the police had studiously ignored. And now her murder makes the police retroactively liable. Miyamoto in turn asked her question about the organized crime department’s having solid evidence against Tozawa, enough to arrest him. Miyamoto wanted to know whether Adelstein had any news about it via Katagiri. Maruyama declines to play “be the messenger” and advises Miyamoto to ask Adelstein himself.

The secret evidence

Katagiri can identify the body of Tsutomo Makita, implying that he was Ishida’s mole, having caused the failed airport bust, and thus Tozawa had to kill him. Katagiri thus manages to leak that there is important evidence that would be sufficient to put Tozawa in prison, hoping to catch the mole taking the bait. Miyamoto, having learned from his department head, is expectantly curious and asks Katagiri about the evidence gathered. But while all the preliminary details are given to Miyamoto, the actual details of the evidence are withheld from him by both Katagiri and his department head. The only clue, surreptitiously planted as a seed in Miyamoto’s psyche, is that the evidence is in the basement under lock and key.

Sato and Polina

Polina had been a recurring supporting character in Tokyo Vice since the pilot. A failed model, she befriended Samantha while working as a hostess at the Onyx Club. Her Japanese boyfriend, Akira, used to take advantage of her hard-earned income and while away on expensive gifts. As a result, her savings always used to be non-existent, which is kind of in line with Pollina’s personality as well, who chooses to live in the moment. In Episode 6, we see Akira taking Polina to celebrate their three-month anniversary at a nightclub, where she manages to buy “Magnum” and other expensive drinks for her boyfriend and her friends, drinking the night away. As episode 7 opens, we see Polina getting into a limousine and driving away, and that is the last we see of her throughout the episode.

Samantha is worried about Pollina’s disappearance and broaches the topic with Sato, who is currently in an emotional dilemma of his own. As we see Sato rush to the hospital after learning that his father has had a stroke, it becomes increasingly difficult for Sato to keep this relationship and his professional commitment as a Yakuza separate. When he tries to help by paying the bills, his mother pushes him away and rejects accepting his blood money. For a person who is trying to be an internally tough person but devoid of affection or a father figure, it does make sense that he would look at his relationship with Samantha with a suspicious glance, wondering whether the relationship is only a tool for Samantha to fulfill her dreams.

Adelstein meets with Tozawa’s mistress: 

Adelstein, after getting interested in interacting with Tozawa’s mistress regarding Tozawa, tries following her to a shopping mall, but other than some flirtatious and knowing banter, she fails to extract useful information. Primarily because Tozawa’s guards surround her like shadows. In Episode 7, Adelstein has a surprising meet up with a friend from Missouri and invites him to an expensive nightclub. There he again comes across Mizaki sans bodyguards, as all the bodyguards are busy during the celebration of Tozawa’s 52nd birthday across town.

Miyamoto also attends the birthday party, where he informs Tozawa of the evidence gathered against him, to which Tozawa instructs him to find that evidence by any means necessary. As Miyamoto leaves, Tozawa suffers from an attack and falls. He has been suffering from an incurable disease since the beginning of the series, possibly due to the failure of one or two of his internal organs, and is in urgent need of a transplant. Before losing consciousness, Tozawa instructs his bodyguards to bring Mizaki to him, much to the visible displeasure of Tozawa’s wife. As Adelstein and Mizaki were slowly hatching up a conversation and setting the mood, Tozawa’s guards reached the nightclub and tried to drag Mizaki away, almost threatening to kill Adelstein’s friend in the process. The hurriedness with which this entire event occurs raises Adelstein’s suspicions of something being rotten in the state of Tozawa.

TOKYO VICE EPISODES 6 AND 7 Ending Explained

At Samantha’s urging, Sato tried to locate Polina. When he was unable to, he located Akira and threatened him with bodily harm. Akira finally reveals that Polina had accumulated a large debt with the bar where Akira frequents, and as a result, the manager had finally taken matters into her own hands. Sato meets with the manager of the night bar, who emphatically agrees only to talk with Sato and not with the “gaijin” Samantha.

There, the manager reveals that Polina had been sent to Yoshino by Tozawa’s men to pay off the debt that she owed. It comes as a shock to Sato that Tozawa’s men could roam freely at a bar owned by Chihara-Kai, to which the manager breaks his bubble, stating that she is a free citizen who pays her taxes to the yakuza, and thus whichever guests she welcomes or strikes deals with is her decision.

Blindsided, Sato reveals to Samantha that she is in Yoshino, but refuses to divulge further details, be it its location or what’s happening there. Sato certainly wants to keep this relationship as off the radar of the yakuza as possible, but seeing how Tozawa’s men are involved gives Sato cold feet. Couple that with his doubts about their relationship, Sato refuses to help her, stating “sometimes they just disappear”. A very neo-noirish line, almost reminiscent of Chinatown.

Meanwhile, Adelstein is returning from the club when he buys the morning edition of the Tokyo Meicho paper. There he finally realises that Maruyama’s story about Kaori Shoda’s case and the liability of the police is on the second last page of the paper, effectively buried. Distraught at all the events, he goes to Maruyama and enquires as to how to endure this injustice.

Pragmatically, Maruyama states that the truth has a funny way of being revealed sooner rather than later, no matter how much they try to bury it or shut it down, and that she would not stop. Adelstein returns home in the pouring rain, only to find Samantha sitting on the stairs, asking him for help.

Finally, Miyamoto waits for Katagiri to leave before he steals the key from the basement where the evidence is supposedly kept. As Miyamoto enters the basement and rummages to find the evidence in a singular carton, he realizes that the carton is empty. Worse, a camera is recording his entire movement in the basement, and we reveal Katagiri looking at the computer screen showing the camera feed with a sense of glee at having caught the mole in the department, thus effectively managing to catch the rat in the trap he had set since the beginning of the episode.

Final Thoughts: 

The narrative of the episode is slowly taking shape, with the mystery involving tertiary characters coming into sharper focus as well as coherently connecting to the main plot thread. Ella Rumpf’s Pollina’s story arc finally gets well-deserved attention this week, which is poised to be developed in the immediate following episode, titled Yoshino. Similarly, Maruyama’s case is shaping up to be far more interesting than a case of disconnected murders. Most importantly, it shows how the Tokyo underworld’s tendrils are connected so intricately with every strand that the series is having a ball, but then exploring every plot thread and developing them. Whether they are successful in developing all of them to their fullest potential is a cause of debate, but the show as a whole is engaging and surprisingly strong seven episodes in. Here’s hoping it sticks the landing in the final three episodes.



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