Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episodes 5 & 6: It’s weird to call a yakuza gang leader the heart of that faction, but Ishida, being the leader of Chihara-Kai, was one of those truly menacing gangsters who were also restrained enough to maintain a form of truce between the yakuza as well as the police department. However, Season 2, while not explicitly stated, had been teasing a massive event that would hinge and pivot the progression towards a full-grown war. If the end of Episode 5 was the event that bludgeons you like a gut punch, Episode 6 is the aftermath, where the lives of the characters all intertwined with the Yakuza start boiling over.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episode 5 “Illness of the Trade” Recap:

How are the police and the press handling the Nakahara death?

When you are faced with a dead body being thrown from the top of a building, you have to admit that it beckons a pretty strong message. The death of Noboru Nakahara has already been proven to be one mired in conspiracy. A suicide note being authenticated and the narrative that springs from that being run by the media. But Jake, in the press conference, asking the question through Trendy whether Nakahara had been murdered and being given essentially a “no comment” is pretty telling for Nagata. As she remarks to Katagiri, his “gaijin friend” is smart.

Both Nagata and Katagiri acknowledge that Tozawa’s brazen choice would mean he would start to clean out the rest of the gumis. The brazen nature of Tozawa understandably scares Katagiri, who confesses to Nagata that Tozawa had threatened Katagiri’s family months ago, and Katagiri couldn’t trust anyone at headquarters to inform her about this threat. Nagata reassures him that she will assign security around Katagiri’s family while officially assigning Katagiri to another case so that he isn’t in danger.

Meanwhile, at the press conference, now relatively empty, Maruyama runs into her boyfriend, whom we learn is named Shingo, the head of Tokyo Weekly. Shingo’s investigation into the fire in the Meicho office room drew up some interesting information. Kazushin Holdings, which are legitimate businesses owned by Tozawa, are also responsible for financially backing several nationalist-leaning political parties, and Baku is a member of one of them. As Shingo admits, this isn’t enough to directly finger Baku as being within the payroll of Tozawa, but it could be enough of an incentive for Baku to pretend not to notice minor events, like “getting rid of a videotape.”

What do Samantha and Ohno plan to present Ishida?

The last episode left off with a major cliffhanger regarding Ohno discovering that Samantha had rifled through his briefcase. As this episode opens up their plot thread, it doesn’t drag the revelation out, but Ohno is quite surprised at why Samantha is interested in a real estate deal and also hurt (unreasonably, I might add) that she took the assignment from Ishida so that she and her club could slide out from under the Chihar-Kai’s yoke. The truth lands her on the couch for the night.

The next morning, Ohno presents a counteroffer. Knowing that failure to complete the assignment would pose a massive problem for Samantha, Ohno presents a solution—another reassuring deal that he had been involved with in its nascent stages. If the Chihara-Kai wants to buy up the surrounding real estate, that won’t be an issue, as the current owners would profit from this trade. Samantha, to strengthen her deal and sweeten the pot, plans to inform Jake about the original land deal that Ohno had been involved in. By leaking that story to the press, the exclusivity of that information would be null and void, leaving the Chihara-Kai nowhere to turn but towards an alternative, the current plan.

And while Jake’s plan to reveal that Tozawa is back and reveal that information such that it would make him pay for the death of Polina is righteous, it also brings forth a death wish, which, as Samantha points out, isn’t the sexiest attribute. He does, however, agree to run the story, though not by his hand, choosing instead to throw Tin-Tin a bone. He advises Tin-Tin to go with swagger, making them wrongly believe that Tin-Tin already has the information and letting them give “confirmation” of the same.

But Tin-Tin flubs up on the final part while questioning the ministry official, choosing to reveal the name of the project for “confirmation.” All it does is lead the ministry to announce the details of the project at a live press conference. The news is out, and the work is done for both Samantha and Ohno, but Tin-Tin loses a story and his pride, and he also starts harboring resentment for the tall American man that is Jake Adelstein.

Do Sato and Hayama complete their mission?

Elsewhere, both Sato and Hayama hitch a ride into town (scaring a family of three, which includes a toddler), and while on the ride, Sato reveals that he had already begun stashing guns for the future of their gumi and that the Soviet surplus might be enough to tide the necessity of the Oyabun over. But Sato is willing to share the success of this plan on one condition: Hayama promises to leave Sato’s brother Kaito alone. As it stands, while Hayama will back off for the time being, the damage has already been done, as we will see and hear through Kaito’s mother that Kaito has been getting into fights.

Sato and Hayama were able to apparently convince Ishida that everything went without a hitch, but Ishida is wily enough to realize that Hayama’s excuse of “slip and fall” isn’t as cut and dry as Sato and Hayama are explaining it to be. But Oyabun has much bigger fish to fry. Dismissing Hayama from the office after praising him for a job well done, Oyabun reveals to Sato that Ohno had texted him about a meeting at Club Polina, and Ishida wants Sato there to guard him.

What is the illness of the trade?

Before Sato goes to the club with Oyabun, he pays a visit to Jake at the baseball batting cages, where Jake gifts him with one sneaker, promising to gift him the other one of the pair if Sato reveals to him some information. Sato begrudgingly accepts, and Jake asks, what do Yakuza’s do when there is a liver issue? Considering the binge drinking and the surplus of needles pricked all around their bodies due to extensive tattooing, it is an “illness of the trade,” as they say. According to Sato, there is a German doctor in Thailand responsible for blood transfusion, infusing healthy blood from young, non-afflicted adults. It’s a process that keeps these Yakuzas viable for six months before they all die out.

Thus, armed with this new information, Jake tries to connect all the pieces together. He believes that Tozawa blackmailed the minister in the first episode to ensure US clearance. Having failed, he had flown to Thailand and been recuperating. Now recovered due to the blood transfusion, Tozawa is back for everything—a theory that Katagiri disagrees with because gaining control of his gang is too small an aim. No, the plan is something bigger.

What is Tozawa’s plan?

Tokyo Vice Season 2 Episode 6
A still from “Tokyo Vice” Season 2

Earlier in the episode, a conversation Tozawa has with his wife, Kazuko, proves especially revealing. Not only is Nakahara the brother-in-law of Kazuko’s father, but Kazuko’s family has also run and financed Tozawa’s gang. Tozawa is quite literally a street thug who has married into the high life. It is perhaps no wonder that his hunger feels unquenchable, and perhaps Tozawa’s self-destructive tendencies towards the Yakuza might be a misguided attempt at leaving a mark within the underworld.

As it stands, Tozawa has a larger plan. Put the entire concept of the Yakuza within the biggest criminal enterprise of them all—capitalism. The Kansai gang would become a legitimate organization, Tozawa would be president of said organization, there would be no tributes, and all the leaders visionary enough to join in on this scheme would benefit. And if they don’t, the police have already found a way to arrest the Yakuza wholesalers. Considering that the opposite side isn’t intent on following the rules, instead creating new rules, Tozawa aims to change the game altogether.

What happens at Club Polina?

At this point, if the conversation between Oyabun and Sato in the car while en route to Club Polina isn’t a clue to the major death about to occur, one clearly hasn’t watched many movies. The fact that Oyabun is considering Sato as the apparent heir apparent to the Chihara-Kai and his acknowledgment that Hayama is full of hot air and Ishida had already been cognizant of Sato breaching his Oyabun’s orders of not procuring guns weeks before he would actually be ordered to was already too much of a good thing.

As it turns out, it is because as Ishida seriously contemplates the new proposal set forward by Ohno and Samantha, masked gunmen enter the club and start shooting the place down. Ordering Sato to cover him, Ishida goes down swinging as he is shot—both us and Sato feeling the loss of the old-school Yakuza and dreading the powder-keg Tokyo is about to become.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episode 6 “I Choose You” Recap:

Does Ishida survive?

The episode opens with a flashback depicting the first time Sato was brought in to meet the Oyabun. While Ishida is initially hesitant to employ him, paying Sato for the work, Sato politely hands the money back to Ishida and asks for a job. When asked whether he would remain loyal to Ishida, considering that he had rebelled against his parents and doesn’t have a home anymore, Sato answers that, unlike his parents, this time, Sato is choosing Ishida to be his mentor. And he is open to following any instructions, even killing someone if he has to.

That meeting is squarely in Sato’s mind as he is cradling the Oyabun’s body in the backseat of the car while soldiers of the Chihara-Kai drive to their office, bypassing the hospital because that would prove to be too dangerous, instead driving him to a safe house. While they are trying to lay him to bed, Hayama storms into the safe house, blaming Sato for not bringing enough protection to the club.

Meanwhile, Jake arrives at the club, where he is met by Katagiri. Katagiri informs him that his friend is safe while two masked men shoot Ishida. Jake wonders whether it is Tozawa, which Katagiri admonishes him for asking because there isn’t any proof of that. Jake later calls Sato to ask about how Ishida is doing. Replying that he isn’t doing too well, Sato warns Jake that things will get ugly and that it would be better for Jake if he stayed away. Ishida, unable to be sent to the hospital, passes away soon, with Sato keeping a watch over him.

Meanwhile, Samantha is questioned by Detective Nagata about her lying about her involvement in the shootout. Replying that she had been unaware of Ishida’s reasons to be at the club. She also says that Ohno had been a regular client and that her closeness with him had been purely professional. The prefecture is shocked when Tozawa strolls into the precinct, noticing Samantha, greeting her by name, and consequently creeping her out. When asked, Tozawa officially denies his involvement in the shooting, producing photos of him attending dinner at a restaurant as an alibi.

When he tries to shift gears by pointing out that this unfortunate incident doesn’t change his vision for the Yakuza, Nagata points out that she is aware of his illness of the trade, and maybe he doesn’t have much of a future. Tozawa has a chance to threaten the detectives back when he manages to corner Katagiri in the bathroom, taunting that Katagiri is choosing to hide behind the coattails of a female detective, though Katagiri remains unfazed, warning Tozawa not to underestimate the police at his own peril.

The next day, Katagiri visits the mournful Chihara-Kai headquarters, where Hayama has taken over as leader. Hayama points out that the police should be doing their job and arresting the likely suspect—that being Tozawa—and, if required, could employ the Chihara-Kai to clean up the streets. Katagiri immediately shuts that idea down and warns the Chihara-Kai not to execute plans of retaliation.

What does Jake find out from Samantha?

Maruyama, in planning the coverage of the shootout in the paper, learns from Tin-Tin that Samantha, the owner of the club, is a friend of Jake, and she instructs him to find out what she knows. Upon asking her, Samantha reveals that one of the gunmen had a tattoo shaped like a diorama with an eye in the middle, which she draws on a piece of paper.

Jake takes that tattoo and meets up with Ukai, the addicted Yakuza, with Jake and Samantha having interactions way back in Season 1. Ukai identifies that tattoo as being adorned on the wrists of two gunmen working for the Hishinuma-Kai. Jake passes this along to Maruyama, with him insisting that Tozawa had been behind this attack, and Jake would be able to connect these leads with his hypothesis if given more time. She gives him a deadline of that night; otherwise, they would have to publish a different follow-up, and he would have to resume chasing this story after returning from his trip back home to celebrate his father’s birthday.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episodes 5 & 6
Another still from “Tokyo Vice” (Season 2)

As a last resort to progression, Jake shares this tip with Katagiri and Nagata but refuses to divulge any sources. Katagiri’s investigation into the phone records of Tozawa’s men has had no luck—almost as if they have been instructed not to talk. Katagiri also tries to interrogate Hishinuma in jail, and Hishinuma is reluctant to divulge any information, blaming the police for making the situation worse. Going off of Hishiuma’s lead that the shooters might have been hired by Tozawa because they had been out of a job, Nagata and Katagiri explore an abandoned construction site. They find one of the shooters, whose throat has been slit. Clearly, Tozawa is busy tying up loose ends.

How does the evening with Shingo, Maruyama, and her brother proceed?

The big night where Maruyama reveals and introduces her current beau to her brother is underway, and she is understandably nervous. While Kei is mostly silent and sullen, he still asks pertinent questions, especially regarding why Shingo had left his wife and child, with Shingo explaining that their careers made maintaining a family extremely difficult.

It apparently satisfied Kei, Maruyama’s brother, enough that she felt happy that the evening had gone well. When Shingo finally leaves, Kei reveals that he wants to show how much of a loser Shingo is by leaving his family for another woman and that he wouldn’t allow Mei to be divorced and alone in her later years. Maruyama looked heartbroken at that revelation.

What was Hayama planning to do with Kaito?

Meanwhile, Hayama wanted to take a crack at Tozawa without implicating any known Chihara-Kai members. To that end, he visits Kaito and manipulates him to accept the order to assassinate Tozawa because it would keep Sato out of danger. Kaito accepts it only to help his brother more actively, and Hayama looks pleased if only to have located an expendable soldier for the cause.

Unbeknownst to Hayama, one of Sato’s loyalists had followed him and reported back to Sato. While Kaito was approaching with the gun to shoot Tozawa as he had been coming out of a restaurant, he was forcefully stopped by Sato. Sato yells frustratedly at Kaito for undertaking what is essentially a suicide mission, while Kaito angrily replies that he did it all for Sato before walking away. Sato angrily goes to confront Hayama, coincidentally in the same office where he had first met Ishida. He drops the gun that Hayama had given Kaito for the kill shot before warning him to stay away from his brother. Hayama, now finally angry and at a seat of power, retaliates, stating that Kaito is not Sato’s brother anymore.

To even attempt that mission required guts, and now Hayama is free to use Kaito as his soldier. And if Sato interfered in his plans again, Hayama would start killing everyone he loves, starting with the “gaijin” who owned the bar and the pretty hostess whom Sato is fond of hanging around. Realizing that his hands are tied, Sato bows in acceptance, not toward Hayama but towards the emblem, signifying Chihara-Kai.

What does Jake decide to do with the story?

Meanwhile, Jake is frustrated at the dead end facing him. He chooses to call home and inform his family that he will be unable to visit America and attend his father’s birthday as he wants to continue his work. He gets a surprise visitor at his home in the form of Misaki. After the consequent consummation, Misaki admits it was a reckless decision to come and meet Jake here.

Then again, Misaki is quite confused about her current position regarding Tozawa, as she is confronted with the knowledge that Tozawa has hired a new escort. She wants freedom from Tozawa, but she is still confused and scared that Tozawa is watching her. Jake is still frustrated because of Tozawa’s stranglehold on her, but Misaki leaves her bracelet, making him promise to hold onto it until they meet again.

Tokyo Vice (Season 2) Episode 6 Ending Explained:

What does Jake decide to do as he is met by dead ends everywhere?

The episode draws to a close, with Sato trying to make a suit of armor around himself by pushing everyone away. The relationship between Karen and himself is easy enough, as Karen has been involved with a yakuza before and is knowledgeable about the drill. They have an amicable division, with Sato saying a heartfelt goodbye to Karen’s son.

Samantha, on the other hand, is furious at the Meicho, running with the news regarding the shootout at Club Polina, putting her and her relationship centerstage. A similar sentiment is shared by Jake, who angrily confronts Tin-Tin about the sensationalism of the story before being brutally reminded by his boss, Maruyama, that their job is to report on the news, however unnecessary it might seem in terms of the bigger picture. Jake, disgusted with himself, leaves the Meicho.

The final moments are intercut, with Samantha shocked to find Sato waiting for her at the front of her house and Sato trying to say goodbye to her, but both of them inevitably fall in bed together as passions overwhelm them. Meanwhile, frustration forces Jake Adelstein to search for a change of pace, whereby he quickly decides to rush to the airport and catch a plane to America to attend his father’s birthday.

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Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 5 & 6 Link: IMDb
Tokyo Vice (Season 2), Episode 5 & 6 Cast: Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller
Where to watch Tokyo Vice

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