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The Terror - My Sweet Boy - Review


SPOILERS AHEAD: Please don't read until you've watched the episode!

 Episodes like The Terror: Infamy 2x08 My Sweet Boy made me regret skipping reviewing 2x07 last week. I really thought the season was starting to come to a satisfying conclusion after a string of outstanding episodes after finally picking up the pace 1/4 of the way through. It seems that was just wishful thinking (but what a lovely run it was!). This episode showed the pacing limits of giving a basic cable horror series only ten episodes to wrap things up after revealing most of its secrets prematurely.

First, I didn't think a lamer twist was possible after last week's big revelation that Chester is actually a twin. Clearly, there must be a big payoff for that, but it didn't really resonate with me. I also didn't think it was necessary since Jirou was never mentioned in the entire first part of the season. Now, we discover that Luz is pregnant again at the end of this episode. To me, this is as big of a cheat as it comes. Fair enough, Cristina Rodlo's performance has been consistently fine, but the writers have really done her and the audience a disservice since they spent so much time laying the groundwork for the poignancy of her miscarriage, only to squander its resonance with this. I might have accepted it had it happened at the end of the season. However, with only two episodes left, it feels like a potential twist that should have never left the writer's room.

Next, the big deal with the Jirou storyline that was started last week getting wrapped up felt unnecessary. The catching scene was almost unintentionally hilarious. Some have compared it to the football catching scene in Tommy Wiseau's The Room. I wouldn't go that far in comparing it, but the writers didn't need to include that. We get that Chester went back in time to meet Jirou for a reason. After all of the work the writers put into with the Yuko storyline, why did they decide that now was a good time for Yuko to possess Chester? I get that she is using him to get to Jirou to bring him to the underworld, but it seems like she had ample opportunities to do this before. Like a lot of the previous episodes, a lot of unexplained laws of physics and storytelling logic are thrown out of the window for Yuko to make seemingly arbitrary powerful decisions based on literally no catalyst. Yuko has had several chances to nab one of the children she needs to rest in peace. Why didn't she get Chester in the brothel scene before? Maybe it was just convenient for the writers to have it happen in episode 8. I guess we will never know for sure.

The only positive things about this episode for me was C. Thomas Howell's performance as Bowen. Sure, the writing was pretty lazy since they have him repeat some of the same lines, like, three times concerning the flickering power grid at the camp. I saw no real dramatic reason for them doing that. I was enjoying how the payoff for Amy recording him was going seeing how she was abducted and forced to listen to his rambling. I am guessing the writers did this to make the audience dislike him even more (and enjoy his comeuppance even more) whilst giving C. Thomas Howell more lines so he didn't regret recurring in this season. By the end of the episode, it felt like the writers were grasping at straws while we witnessed some serious TV and horror tropes being flashed in our faces.

With only two episodes remaining, I am becoming concerned that all of that effort in being faithful to the historical context that we saw was all for naught. Writers: prove me wrong!

 

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