“It hardly feels real now,” Yamato says.
Because Bowen can’t be found, another official cautions the Japanese American internees, telling them, they have a “heavy responsibility to the nation that gave you shelter” and the nation fully expects them to demonstrate their allegiance.
Amy has her arm in a cast. Asako hopes that Chester will be waiting for them in San Pedro. Henry is thinking about his boat and their house. When Yamato, Chester’s parents, Amy and her mother arrive at Terminal Island, beyond a wire-mesh fence, there is leveled ground. Their homes are gone. Any possessions they thought might be safe in their homes–gone.
Henry now works as a gardener for a well-to-do white man. The man advises Henry on planting because Henry is basically as unskilled worker. The man has rental property and offers Henry a place in Leimert Park which is in South Los Angeles. The area has been known as a cultural art center for the African Americans, meant for middle class families.
Instead, Henry and the rest of this gang live in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles, but don’t seem to have found Little Tokyo. Somehow, Chester figures out where they are and calls them. He needs there help and Chester’s mother and father hop on a Greyhound and make tracks for New Mexico.
In New Mexico, we learn exactly why the writers decided Luz and Chester had to end up there. In the black Packard, Luz, Chester, Abuela and Chester’s parents end up at a secret government facility where Luz gives birth. Chester meets someone talking about “Little Boy” which, for those who haven’t figured it out, refers to one of the atom bombs. The man talks about “wars against the laws and limits of Mother Nature” and then toasts, “Here’s to Little Boy.”
While Chester is gone, Luz gives birth and Yūko takes possession of first the baby, then the Abuela and finally Luz. Chester’s mother pleads with her younger sister, admitting, “You were never to marry Hideo Furuya; I was. You were to marry a man named Henry.” Chester’s mother, Asako, adds, ” I didn’t know you were pregnant.” Asako was jealous because her sister was “perfect” and she wanted a little of what her sister had. As a result of her guilt, Asako says, “I have lived my life for your son and the man who should have been your husband.”
Yūko tells her that all this suffering was her fault, but what happened to her and the soldier who was the father of the kids? When Chester comes back, his mother and the midwife are bloodied. Chester has a plan to commit suicide so that Yūko will take him instead of his son. He’s explained this to Henry, his father. Now Yūko via Luz has escaped with the baby and Henry and Chester must pursue her.
At this point, I was pretty disgusted with the writing. There’s not set logic to this story. Yūko was burnt in “Taizo,” she then took over a doctor’s body and had him sew patches of skin onto her. She must travel from Oregon to Los Angeles which is a 250-hour walk. She then travels from Los Angeles to New Mexico which would be another 200-odd hours. That skin doesn’t rot and attract flies, even though we know of the existence of flies in her “perfect world.” She dumps her body at will and takes possession of other people. She kills without any particular reason. Then she’s able to find her body again.
In the last episode, “Into the Afterlife, we begin with a reference to Hiroshima (and Nagasaki). Yamato is dreaming of meeting a friend while he’s walking on a lonely country road. They haven’t seen each other in 70 years. Yamato suspects that he is dead.
His friend tells him that the friend’s father decided to move to Hiroshima. He married. He had a family. He even had grandchildren, but they were all there with him. We suddenly see that behind him is a line of people. They all have died.
Waking up, Yamato learns that people are celebrating because “we’ve bombed the Japs.”
Later, Yamato speaks with Amy who admits to him, “I wanted revenge once; it consumed me.”
Somehow Yamato knows about the murder and comforts Amy saying, “Major Bowen wanted to kill you. It was him or you.” Then Yamato adds, “It easy to want vengeance” and it is “natural as death.” He also admits, “I cry more tear come back from camp than at camp.”
Back to Luz and her baby, the possessed Luz gets a ride from people in a car–mother, father and daughter. You know this family will die. The kid survives and when found by Chester and his father Henry tells him that “I didn’t do it. It was the woman with the baby.”
Luz is going to have some trouble explaining all these murders, but maybe the law in New Mexico won’t be concerned with minorities. In a shack, Henry and Chester find that inside all the boards have been painted with the names of ancestors. Eventually, the action will move to a graveyard.
To make a long story, short, Henry dies so that Chester doesn’t have to. Chester reasons with his mother. Mexican magic is used to take Yūko back to when she was getting a photo to be a picture bride–she was pregnant, but happy–in 1919 when she looked like the Bamboo Princess. Using that photo, they send Yūko back and promise to remember her (like in their PTSD-nightmares). There’s a funeral (Henry’s) and a baby being blessed with a breeze.
Chester remembers a time when Henry and he were on the boat, Taro. Chester was taking a photo of his father and Henry tells Chester he became a fisherman because “over the water there were none of the cares of the world here.” He adds, “I named my boat Taro, first-born son,” because he didn’t have a son. Yet he then explains, “I felt the same calmness when I held my boy in my hands,” meaning Chester. While this is a nice memory, it doesn’t fully resolve the bitterness between the two men in the plot. It seems too pat.
Amy can’t settle down, she haunted by the past, but she and Yamato return to visit Chester and Luz during O-Bon years later. O-Bon is a Buddhist festival that celebrates a time when the dead return to their hometowns and are remembered by their descendants.