It would be a mistake to categorize this episode as simply filler based on the immediate previous episode in terms of tonality. “Tokyo Vice” (Season 2), Episode 3 covers a lot of ground in terms of showing how the tendrils of the Yakuza and crime, in general, intermingle every character’s decision. It also continues the intelligent decision to put Adelstein on equal footing with the rest of the cast, especially Sato and Katagori, because they are objectively more interesting as archetypes and as full-fledged characters as well, while also focusing on and unraveling the relationship dynamics at play.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episode 3 “Old Law, New Twist” Recap:

How is Hayama complicating the events of this season?

Hayama, the new number two of Ishida, Oyabun of the Chihara-Kai, is the new thorn in the side of the tenuous businesses within the Yakuza, as well as the personal dynamics of the majority of the characters. Perfectly emblematic of what a wild card character is, Hayama’s antics in the previous episode, where he forcefully collected protection money from the Kabukicho club, come back into play. The Tozawa gang comes to collect their usual, only to be stopped by the club owners.

Unfettered, the goons break the nose of one of the hostesses and collect the protection money. However, that doesn’t sit well with Yabuki, the number two member of the Tozawa gang, who is currently running the gang with a tenuous truce with the Chihara-Kai. He instead punishes the two goons, instructing one of them to punch the other before declaring Kabukicho Club to be off-limits. When asked by the bodyguard of Tozawa’s wife why he is letting the Chihara-Kai run ramshod all over Tozawa’s businesses, Yabuki sternly orders them to keep following orders.

The big effect of Hayama, though, occurs in Samantha’s Club Pollina, where Hayama is mostly being an unruly customer with his soldiers, but Sato, Samantha’s point person with the club, doesn’t lift a finger to stop Hayama. Instead, Onho, the architect who used to be Claudine’s big customer but is now smitten with Samantha, sends Hayama’s table a bottle, effectively calming the mood of the club down, though Samantha’s worries remain consistent.

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Hayama is also the tempting angel who is capable of seducing the younger, gullible brother of Sato, Kaito. The sneaker business of Sato and Kaito is a major success, and while Sato is happy because it brings him added capital away from the Chihara-Kai, Hayama sees in Kaito’s intelligence a “goldmine.” For him, while Kaito should listen to his big brother’s interests, nothing is stopping him from taking Kaito alone on a sightseeing tour of the “town” (read red-light area) and educating him. The question is how much of a wrench Hayama would prove to be in Sato’s life, especially considering Sato is also open to exploring a relationship with Karen, Samantha’s new hostess.

What does Sato want with Samantha?

The Hayama issue sticks a craw with Samantha, and she wishes Jake to talk with Sato and help straighten it out for her, which he staunchly refuses. Instead, he advises her to talk with Sato as a friend and ask him to explain her difficulties. As it turns out, Samantha’s difficulties only worsen when she learns that the Oyabun wants Samantha to take advantage of her growing closeness with the architect and learn about the price of the land currently surrounding the shopping center that Ohno has been contracted to build.

It is a sound business decision, albeit a pretty slim one, but Samantha refuses to spy on a client, and when she threatens to say no, Sato informs her that Claudine (the hostess Samantha had fired for cheating out of her earnings) had been working for the Chihara-Kai and spying on Ohno. And now Samantha needs to take her place to ensure the smooth functioning of her club.

What are the relationships plaguing the characters of Maruyama and Adelstein?

Eimi Maruyama (Rinko Kikuchi) was shown in the last episode to be in a relationship with the chief editor of a rival newspaper. It is a relationship that has been seriously progressing for a number of months, but Maruyama has been hesitating to reveal this important development of her life to her brother, whom she has been caring for for a very long time. It turns out that Maruyama has also discussed the mishap at the lab that led to the burning of the VHS tape during the events of the season 2 opener, and her partner strongly believes that somebody inside Meicho is responsible for the sabotage.

Meanwhile, the last episode ended with Jake sleeping together with Misaki, Tozawa’s mistress. This episode reveals that the relationship had been progressing in secret for a couple of months, with Misaki sneaking over to Jake’s apartment to sleep over. Jake finally has a chance to fulfill his dream of going on an actual date with Misaki when he is handed an invitation to the US Embassy along with Tin Tin and Trendy.

At the US Embassy, Jake has a wonderful time with Misaki, who accompanies him under an alias as a choreographer of modern dance. Tin Tin apparently recognizes her, but the show doesn’t choose to follow up on that end. It, however, chooses the predictable route of Misaki apparently recognizing one of Tozawa’s associates at the party (even while Jake tries to reassure her that no one is involved with Tozawa) and leaves the party, pushing Jake away.

Who do Detective Katagiri and Superintendent Nagata arrest?

Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 3
A still from “Tokyo Vice” (Season 2), Episode 3

Following Nagata’s decisive plan to eliminate the influence of Yakuza once and for all, both Nagata and Hisaki formulate a plan to raid Yakuza boss Hisinuma’s place under the pretense that the arrest of one of their foot soldiers, Shibuya, gives them leverage to produce an arrest warrant for Hisinuma. It is a flimsy plan, but it allows them entry through the door without asking for an “appointment.”

The underlying reason for their arrest would be “obstruction for police duty,” which Nagata sanctions when one of the goons lays a hand on her, prompting Katagiri to call in the cavalry armed with riot shields and SWAT gear. In the ensuing commotion, Katagiri chases after one of the goons. There is a scuffle, and Katagiri doubles over, falling flat on his back with his revolver pointed straight at him. Katagiri pleading with the young Yakuza not to “become a cop killer” stops him from getting killed, but it disturbs Katagiri to the core.

Even as Nagata’s plan works, with 24 men from within Hisinuma’s gang arrested and that gang almost wiped out, Katagiri doesn’t feel celebratory. He is a man hardened by crime and gang war in Tokyo, and he warns Nagata as such: “There is a cost.” But Nagata refuses to back down, urging Katagiri to make it all worth it. But is the battle against the Yakuza worth Katagiri’s marriage, which is beginning to strain? (Considering that the show wouldn’t exist otherwise, it’s hard to understand why this dilemma exists.)

What happened to Tat?

The next morning, after the part at the US Embassy, Jake is woken from his drunken slumber by furious knocks on his door. He opens it only to find Chika, the sister of Tat (the leader of the biker gang). It turns out that Adelstein’s story had only served to embolden the Tokyo police in increasing crackdowns on motorcycle thefts. Tat had been arrested while stealing a motorcycle, and he had been sent to a holding cell for hitting a cop, waiting to be transferred to a juvenile detention center.

Jake visits Tat at the holding cell only to find him sporting a buzz cut and his face already bruised after a single day. Fearing that he won’t survive and being urged to look after Tat’s sister, Jake visits Maruyama and implores her to help in this case, but she declines, stating that the paper can’t get directly involved. Jake finally finds a solution in Sato. He meets up with him and apologizes to him due to the misunderstanding at the Onyx club last season.

Having dinner later, Sato informs Jake that the juvenile detention center is significantly worse and far crueler than the actual jail. Realizing that Sato’s intimate knowledge might help him, Jake asks him for a favour: to protect Tat inside the detention centre. Sato agrees to the favor and also promises that when he is out, Tat will have a spot on Sato’s team. Jake’s hesitation about that “overpromise” does spell trouble because it effectively entails Jake making a deal with the devil to protect his friend.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episode 3 “Old Law, New Twist” Ending Explained:

This episode of “Tokyo Vice” also opened with a scene at Tozawa headquarters showing an older female figure shrouded in shadow, being waited on by the Tozawa clan. From the respect being accorded to her, it could be inferred that this is Tozawa’s wife, but the underlying question hasn’t yet been answered. Before that, we witness the pivotal scene between Samantha and the Oyabun of Chihara-Kai, where Samantha agrees to spy on Ohno-San on the condition that once the work is done, she will regain full ownership of her club and no member of the Chihara-Kai will be entertained. The Oyabun agrees but adds a caveat that she should pay a percentage of the profits for six months, which Samantha, unfettered, negotiates down to three. Impressed by her business acumen, the Oyabun agrees to her proposals and wishes her luck.

Meanwhile, Jake tries calling Misaki, who we see is driven to a secret location. As the show ends, we see Misaki wearing a bathrobe, hanging up Jake’s phone, and switching it off. The door behind Misaki opens, and we see a fully tattooed body enter the frame and hug her from behind, the shadows breaking open by the yellow light of the hotel washroom, revealing Tozawa, seemingly alive and well, and the original wild card still very much in play.

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Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 3 Link: IMDb
Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 3 Cast: Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller
Where to watch Tokyo Vice

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