Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 4: The slow buildup of “Tokyo Vice” season 2 feels like the fire rising and a match about to be thrown into the fire. With the last episode’s cliffhanger and the wild card character in the show, “Tokyo Vice” is becoming more elaborate in its complications. It works well when focusing on the Yakuza politics as well as the investigation aspect (Katagiri and Jake) but loses cohesion when focusing on Samantha’s plot.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 4 Recap:

How does the Yakuza reorganize?

The new task force organized by the Tokyo Prefecture under the leadership of Sergeant Nagata sends shockwaves amidst the Yakuza. The arrest of Hishinuma-Kai last week and the arrest of a new Yakuza leadership last night were enough to bring about a bead of sweat on the forehead of Ishida. Katagiri, invited by Ishida, reminds him that he is one of the honorable ones and thus warns him that this is a different time.

But perhaps because Ishida’s advanced age belies confidence, his belief in the foundational nature of the Yakuza in every fabric of Japanese society gives him confidence. Thus, he calls for a meeting of the heads of all the “gumis,” or families, advising them to protect themselves. However, he is interrupted by a rejuvenated and refreshed Tozawa, who is not only averse to Ishida’s plan but also to Chihara-Kai taking Tozawa’s territory, and thus he wants nothing to do with Ishida’s plan.

Ishida, worried, asks Hayama and Sato for advice. He berates Hayama for his ploy in taking over Kabukicho, revealing that it had been a ploy by Tozawa. By taking that step, they had walked right into Tozawa’s trap, giving him the incentive to act as a loose cannon. Ishida asks Sato and Hayama to travel and meet with Ota, an ex-Chihara-Kai member who would supply them with guns. Sato is reticent, more so because he is worried about Hayama. Hayama had already taken Sato’s brother to Kabukicho for the “experience” without Sato’s knowledge, and now Kaito has become belligerent. On the ride, Sato tries to convince Hayama to leave his brother alone and not distract him from his studies. But Hayama reveals that he knows about the brothers’ mother, and he emphasizes, much to Sato’s displeasure, that he would take care of Sato’s brother.

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How does Samantha’s trip with Ohno conclude?

Meanwhile, Samantha gets ready to conclude her mission to conduct small espionage by clicking the picture of the land surrounding the mall that Ohno had been contracted to build, such that the Chihara-Kai could maintain their real estate stronghold. As Samantha reminds Karen, she is doing this for the club. She is also happy to learn that Karen’s relationship with Sato is progressing well, albeit slowly. As we see, Sato is connecting quite well with Karen and her son. Still, Karen fears committing to a Yakuza again (giving credence to the kid looking at Sato’s tattoo and remarking that his father had similar ones). 

Samantha, meanwhile, meets with Ohno at his (presumably?) summer house. Ohno, having been to London, studied architecture, and learned cooking, is pulling out all the stops to ensure that he has a good time with Samantha. And Samantha, too, appears to be putting her hair down and slowly relaxing while dancing with him as the music plays in the background. Until she excuses herself to go to the bathroom. While Ohno is busy, he rifles through his briefcase in the office and takes a picture of the topographical map. She manages to avoid detection by running into Ohno, who had cut his finger while slicing through vegetables and offering her services to look at that wound.

How is Maruyama involved in the investigation of the burnt tape?

Emi Maruyama, meanwhile, is involved in investigating who burned the video tape (aka the smoking gun), signifying Tozawa’s involvement. The leads are running into a dead end, and her boss, Baku, asks her to pay attention to her work while he runs the leads down. This is again a bone of contention for both Maruyama and her boyfriend, who incidentally works at a rival publishing company and is suspicious of Baku’s involvement in the sabotage.

Maruyama and her relationship are also at a peculiar stage because she is hesitating to reveal it to her mentally volatile brother. As evidenced by her stories, Maruyama’s brother is prone to violent outbursts, but she is optimistic that this new medicine is working (at the moment because it has been shown to swing at the other extreme). When she returns home, she finds her brother in a good mood, quite cogent, and asking about her relationship, reminding her that since their father isn’t around anymore, it’s up to him to look after his sister. Thus, he deserves to know.

How did Sato and Hayama get involved in their mission?

Sato and Hayama finally arrive at their destination, where Sato is surprised to learn that Hayama is familiar with Ota, the large, pot-bellied, but also intimidating ex-Chihara Kai member. Instructed to drive the truck to his cabin, both Sato and Hayama drive up to Ota’s house on the outskirts in the middle of nowhere. There, they learn that Ota’s supplier hasn’t arrived yet. He is much better at procuring guns than sticking to a schedule. Much to Sato’s displeasure, they have to stay the night there, whereby both Ota and Hayama indulge in a drinking binge and a game of knife-finger fillet while drunk.

Poor Sato, meanwhile, would have to bring in firewood and would be further humiliated by the size of his “knife.” As a joke, when Sato relieves himself and walks out, he is attacked by Hayama while Ota starts playing the finger game within him until he suddenly stabs Hayama in the knee. Enraged, Hayama starts laying blows on him before losing his temper and stabbing him. Sato is shocked and berates Hayama, stating that there is now a way they could drive him to a hospital.

A still from Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episode 4.
A still from “Tokyo Vice” (Season 2) Episode 4.

What does Jake find out while investigating?

All the reporters of the Meicho are instructed to figure out how the police are arresting the Yakuza. Jake thus goes to Katagiri to find out any information, only to be stonewalled by Nagata, who categorically states that Katagiri would be unable to comment to the press about any ongoing investigation, even off the record. However, Jake comes to know about a crucial piece of information when Misaki, who had ghosted him for a week, finally calls to meet him at their “usual place.” In the restaurant, Misaki informs Jake that Tozawa is back. When he left, he had been seriously ill, but now he has returned “a new man.” Jake is concerned about Misaki’s safety, and Misaki reassures him that she won’t be returning to her old life. Knowing how television storytelling is constructed that only bodes worse tidings for her. 

Jake immediately informs Katagiri and asks whether he has any idea where Tozawa has gone. It could be inferred that Jake was unaware of the vigilante-like step Katagiri had taken in the season opener, but Katagiri informs him that unless they have confirmed where Tozawa had been, they would need to wait. “Patience” doesn’t mean “weakness.” Unfortunately, Jake Adelstein is not one for patience. When Katagiri returns home the next day, he finds an envelope in his car containing pictures of his kids on the playground.

Jake learns about how the Tokyo police have been arresting the Yakuza for “obstruction to police duty” while questioning their lawyers. It is an extreme step considering that the clause had only been utilized to arrest political agitators until now. Jake, excited, calls the Meicho office to inform him of his findings when he suddenly sees Tozawa leaving that same law firm. Throwing caution to the wind, he follows Tozawa in a non-descript taxi, arriving at a hotel only termed “The Imperial.” He immediately notes the address and calls Tin-tin, who had been busy making cakes. Tin-tin’s joking betrayal of Jake immediately stops when he learns that Tozawa is back, noting down the address and promising that he will call with relevant information.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 4 Ending Explained:

Who are the casualties in this episode?

There are two casualties in this episode, which results in this hour of Tokyo Vice being a rather consequential one while also teasing curveballs in the next hour. On the one hand, Ohno discovers that Samantha had rifled through his briefcase and questions her directly about what she had been searching for. Meanwhile, Hayama takes the easy way out, keeping in line with the axiom of not taking the stress and cutting the neck of Ota, killing him.

Jokingly asking Sato to wipe the place for fingerprints, he instead douses the wooden cabin with gasoline and then instructs Sato to burn the place down. Both Hayama and Sato are beginning to leave when Sato realizes that he has left the car keys inside. Hayama sneers and tells him to get them. Realizing that there is no other feasible option, Sato resumes walking with Hayama on the cold night as Ota’s house burns down.

Meanwhile, Jake had followed Tozawa to a securely guarded mansion (it seems like). He tries to come up with a suitable excuse to enter but is barred from doing so. Meanwhile, we learn that this is the headquarters of Tozawa’s gang, and Nakahara has been running it in his absence. Tozawa states that he is grateful, but now it is time for Nakahara to step aside and for Tozawa to take over the reins permanently. Expectedly, Nakahara declines, informing Tozawa that he wouldn’t be in this high position within the organization if not for Nakahara’s involvement, and this isn’t how things like succession are conducted.

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Unfortunately, Tozawa disproves his statement, bypasses Nakahar’s orders to his soldiers to throw Tozawa out, and instead orders the exact opposite. In a twisted callback to Tozawa jokingly asking Ishida whether he was planning to throw Tozawa overboard, Tozawa’s soldiers throw Nakahara overboard. The body falls just in front of Jake, and like Ishida warned him, it wouldn’t solve Tozawa’s problems. Instead, this will serve as the match to the flame that is a gang war.

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Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 4 Link: IMDb
Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 4 Cast: Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller
Where to watch Tokyo Vice

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