While it may not feel like a season finale, the eighth episode of Tokyo Vice has a lot of loose ends that desperately need to be tied up in a second season. Unfortunately, this episode isn’t as satisfying due to uncertainty around the second season and the possibility that there may always be unanswered questions for the audience.
This recap of the HBO Max series Tokyo Vice season 1, episode 8 — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.
Read the recap of the previous episode.
Tokyo Vice season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained
Sam wakes and finds a note from Sato; he writes that he is on the hunt for Polina. Miyamoto visits Katagiri, and he makes it clear that all that Katagiri has on him is footage of him walking into an empty room and nothing more. With Polina still missing, Jake suggests they call the cops, but Sam, wise to what the police will pay attention to, says it won’t be a good idea.
Tozawa injects himself as Misaki visits him. She claims that Jake had followed her to the club, so Tozawa suggests making him disappear. But Misaki says that it would be too obvious if Jake simply vanished. But when Misaki doesn’t perform sexually on Tozawa, he punches her. Revealing the truth for the first time, Miyamoto reveals that after he built a reputation in the department, his tips started to dry up. So, as a way to keep his image, he went to Tozawa with a heads up in the hope that they’d return the favor. Miyamoto asks Katagiri whether he intends for him to confess to the “big guys” or to simply hand in his resignation. Neither. Katagiri will go to Tozawa.
Jake returns to the junkie writer, this time bringing Sam with him. They offer him crystal meth in exchange for information. But to gain that information, he wants Jake and Sam to do meth with him. Jake, however, does far too much. The writer claims that Polina is on a sex cruise, and as Sam hasn’t done too much meth, she regains control of the situation and drags herself and Jake outside.
Whilst still high, Jake tells Eimi about Polina’s disappearance. However, she is far more concerned that he is high on meth. Unable to decide whether he is completely insane or the most dedicated reporter she’s worked with, Eimi tells him to leave before anyone notices that he has taken drugs. Akira tells Sam that the people who have taken Polina have said they want ten million yen or they will kill her. (This instantly feels like a set-up).
And there’s a good reason as to why. Once Sam gets the money together, Akira takes the money off her and flees. Jake gets violently attacked and nearly killed, where he gets warned to “stay away from Tozowa, his girl, and his business.” After Sam’s efforts to get a bank loan get rejected, she goes to Oyaburn and asks for his aid in setting up her own business. Whilst Oyabur will loan her the money and pay off her boss, Sato isn’t happy about the arrangement. Jake calls home and speaks to his father while attending to his wounds. His father offers to buy him a ticket home.
Katagiri meets with Tozawa, and with Miyamoto nowhere around, Tozawa tells Katagiri that it’s time they finally speak. Tozawa warns Katagiri to leave him alone, or his wife and daughter will die. As such, Tozawa is now off-limits for Katagiri. After Sato tells Sam that the funds will be sent to her, he gets stabbed several times. Finally, Tozawa meets with Misaki and remarks that whilst he may not be long for this world, he will be here for a “long, long time”.
In the closing moments of Tokyo Vice season one, Jake receives a VHS tape. It shows a woman being sexually assaulted before she is accidentally killed. Armed with evidence, Jake goes to see Katagiri. He tells him that he wants a second chance; Katagiri tells him, “make sure you are not followed”.
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