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HomeMovie'Shōgun' Episode 7 Recap — Don’t Run With Swords

‘Shōgun’ Episode 7 Recap — Don’t Run With Swords


Editor’s word: The beneath recap comprises spoilers for Shōgun Episode 7.

The Large Image

  • Toranaga seeks an ally by means of his half-brother on this week’s episode of
  • Shōgun
    provides us a deeper look into Toranaga’s previous, humanizing the character.
  • Shōgun
    proves it could possibly nonetheless pull off a masterfully stunning ending with one character’s surprising demise.

With the ultimate trio of episodes looming for FX’s epic historic miniseries Shōgun, there’ll little question be far more forward when it comes to loss and defeat — however there’s additionally a possible highway to victory, too. Now that Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) has declared his intention to maneuver ahead along with his “Crimson Sky” directive, he is steadily rising his military so as to fight the resistance he is aware of will likely be ready for him at Osaka, courtesy of Lord Ishido’s (Takehiro Hira) personal forces. Within the wake of Episode 5‘s devastating earthquake, although, Toranaga has fewer males in his garrison to assist him battle his conflict than he anticipated to — and on this week’s episode, “Chapter Seven: A Stick of Time,” he decides to hunt allegiance from somebody who might flip the tide of Crimson Sky within the coming weeks: his personal half-brother.

Shogun (2024)

When a mysterious European ship is discovered marooned in a close-by fishing village, Lord Yoshii Toranaga discovers secrets and techniques that might tip the scales of energy and devastate his enemies.

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Toranaga’s Potential Ally Has Different Plans in ‘Shōgun’ Episode 7

That is not to say that Toranaga’s reunion with stated brother is something however tense. That is Shōgun, in any case, the place the trail to success actually is not paved and infrequently runs easily. As Toranaga and the remainder of the group, together with Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis), Mariko (Anna Sawai), Yabushige (Tadanobu Asano), Hiromatsu (Tokuma Nishioka), and Toranaga’s son Nagakado (Yuki Kura), await their visitor’s arrival in a foggy stretch of woods, there isn’t any indication of precisely how this assembly will go. This week, even Toranaga proves to be a lot much less of a mysterious cipher than he has in prior episodes — particularly due to the flashbacks that “A Stick of Time” wields to remind us of simply how lengthy he is been on this battle.

As a baby, Toranaga was thrust into energy earlier than he might have absolutely been ready to understand the obligations that got here with it. However he was additionally identified by the title of the “boy warlord,” which meant shouldering the duty of helping with his enemy Mizoguchi’s seppuku after claiming a large win throughout his first-ever battle. Within the 46 years following, Toranaga’s successes grew to become the stuff of legend, however as we come to be taught by means of the arrival of his half-brother Saeki Nobutatsu (Eita Okuno), not solely is Toranaga much less impenetrable than he usually seeks to be, however the realities of his previous are a lot much less glamorous and heroic. Nobutatsu’s presence in Izu is designed to shake up the sequence in additional methods than one, in addition to humanizing Toranaga in lots of respects, turning him into much less of a large and extra of a person with countless weight and expectations to bear.

Nobutatsu may initially current himself as a prepared ally to his half-brother’s trigger, however his motivations are revealed to be in direct distinction to Toranaga’s goals. Maybe it comes as much less of a shock after a very tense dinner — during which Nobutatsu has already regaled the group with a considerably embarrassing story in regards to the time Toranaga was taken as a hostage — when it is revealed that Nobutatsu has accepted Ishido’s provide of an open spot on the Council of Regents. (Keep in mind: they’re one other member down, after Sugiyama’s demise final week.) He isn’t right here to affix Toranaga in his plan for Crimson Sky; he is right here to personally apprehend the wayward lord and escort him and his allies again to Osaka himself.

Understandably, issues turn into a bit tense in Ajiro after that, with Nobutatsu’s military maintaining cautious watch over Toranaga and his garrison till the lord makes his formal resolution about whether or not to give up or resist. Even regardless of these tensions, there’s at the very least one notably pleasant interlude that includes Yabushige making himself comfy on the native sizzling springs, whereas the madam of the native brothel, Gin (Yuko Miyamoto), additionally seizes benefit of her alternative to method Toranaga with a suggestion to fund a teahouse district, so the courtesans can basically kind a acknowledged guild. Though Toranaga initially dismisses her “novel distraction” within the midst of… every part else occurring, he later orders for acres of land in Edo to be put aside for Gin to do with as she sees match. In fact, given what occurs later within the episode, Toranaga’s beneficiant gesture may very effectively by no means come to mild.

Mariko and Blackthorne Are Beneath Scrutiny in ‘Shōgun’ Episode 7

Should you thought that Blackthorne and Mariko’s more and more difficult relationship would see any type of respite this week, you’ve got obtained one other factor coming. The dynamic between the Anjin and the translator has turn into extra fraught with rigidity after their journey to the brothel final week, and they’ve additionally drawn elevated consideration from Mariko’s husband, Buntaro (Shinnosuke Abe), who has requested an viewers with Toranaga to specific his ideas on the scenario. The factor is, there is not any concrete proof of adultery that anybody can level to — and whereas Buntaro is greater than adamant that he needs to assert Blackthorne’s head, he’s much less satisfied when confronted with the potential for Mariko’s unfaithfulness. Toranaga factors out that if Buntaro believes the hatamoto has been soliciting the affections of his spouse, the legislation basically dictates that he’d should take Mariko’s head in addition to Blackthorne’s.

As we all know from weeks prior, nevertheless, Mariko would readily welcome demise if it meant becoming a member of her household, believing that she’s been denied that honor for the whole lot of her marriage to Buntaro. It appears to matter little that Toranaga reminded her of the significance of carrying on her father’s battle final week; she’s nonetheless holding onto the mindset of ready for her finish, which looks like a wierd stagnation for her within the wake of that earlier dialog. As Buntaro numbly professes that he cannot confidently accuse his spouse of any wrongdoing after which excuses himself, Toranaga decides to straight query Mariko about whether or not she and Blackthorne have been intimate.

Despite the fact that Mariko’s character progress proves frustratingly inert this week, it nonetheless makes for a quietly highly effective scene between Sawai and Sanada. In Toranaga’s eyes, Mariko has “confused her priorities” by means of no matter relationship these two have — curiously, he reverts to referring to Blackthorne as a barbarian on this second, maybe signaling that their alliance is on shakier floor than we might have realized. “We’re one factor or the opposite,” Toranaga asserts, after which presents Mariko with a alternative: is she allied with him within the battle towards her father’s enemies, or is she allied with Blackthorne? Not solely that, he orders her to decide on, asserting his authority over her as lord. Mariko tearfully professes loyalty to Toranaga, insisting that she’s solely ever served him faithfully — however beneath that lies the agony of ready for the day when she will be able to declare her personal demise. She even presents a dagger from inside her kosode and affords it to him, begging him to finish her “cursed life.” Toranaga’s response is to smack the blade out of her fingers earlier than striding away by means of the freezing rain. This dialogue between them is way from resolved, even when a return to it may be shifted within the wake of the episode’s most stunning second but.

(Going again to the Buntaro of all of it, do we actually assume he will wait to assert Blackthorne’s head on the battlefield when he is already put a sword to the opposite man’s throat? Luckily, Yabushige intervenes earlier than something worse occurs — although whether or not that is as a result of he is harboring a softer spot for the Anjin today or merely needs to keep away from the headache Blackthorne’s beheading would trigger is unclear.)

‘Shōgun’ Episode 7 Ends With a Stunning Loss

In hindsight, possibly we must always have at all times anticipated that one thing unhealthy would occur to Toranaga’s reckless younger son Nagakado. Even earlier than his impulsive resolution to fireplace that grisly cannon chain shot at Ishido’s males, killing the lord’s retainer Nebara Jozen (Nobuya Shimamoto) and a number of other others loyal to his father’s rival, Nagakado displayed a type of blunt, naive political understanding that straight contradicts Toranaga’s artful sport of subtleties. After we keep in mind Shōgun‘s resolution to point out us extra of Toranaga’s previous this week, it is a disparity that casts Nagakado’s final destiny in an much more devastating mild. Toranaga basically needed to turn into a grasp strategist out of necessity and bloody battles; Nagakado was by no means assigned that a lot duty, and due to this fact believes the one qualities required to be a robust chief are lofty delusions of grandeur and brute shows of energy.

Nagakado’s mindset coalesces much more distinctly this week by means of his chats with Omi (Hiroto Kanai) on the springs and Fuji (Moeka Hoshi) within the woods. Within the former, Omi mourns the way in which issues was, earlier than they needed to claw and scrape for extra energy, and when Nobutatsu occurs to overhear their change, his phrases about contemplating one’s legacy when making arduous selections do appear to register along with his heedless nephew. By the point Nagakado encounters Fuji in a while, he confesses that he ought to have been the one to say himself towards Ishido’s insults to Toranaga in Episode 1, slightly than her husband Tadayoshi. Nagakado is an enchanting conundrum of a personality, the kind of man to make a rash resolution however solely when he is satisfied it is going to work out in his favor. Pair that with the truth that Toranaga shocks everybody — together with a disparaging Blackthorne — by agreeing to give up himself to Nobutatsu and return to Osaka the next day, and it is a recipe for foolhardy catastrophe.

Gaining the higher hand, so to talk, means catching Nobutatsu when he is at his most susceptible. In a show of generosity — one which’s clearly soured a bit since Nobutatsu’s betrayal — Toranaga had coughed up the cash (12,000 monme, exactly) to pay for Kiku (Yuka Kouri) to entertain his half-brother for the week, and Nobutatsu is taking advantage of his time with the prized courtesan. Kiku, for her half, goes by means of the motions of tolerating Nobutatsu’s pillow preferences, at the same time as he professes a need to make her his seventh consort and construct her a palace of her very personal. By the point Nobutatsu finally ends up, Kiku suggests monitoring down a number of objects to “improve” their subsequent spherical and makes herself scarce. It appears she’s been given a heads-up on what’s coming, however by the point Nobutatsu dons a gown — solely to be confronted by Nagakado stepping out of the shadows — he seems much less stunned and extra resigned to the truth that his nephew is “attempting to lastly turn into a person.”

After that, it is a blur of swords between Nobutatsu’s samurai and those who’re loyal to Nagakado, and at first, it seems to be as if the battle goes to be decisively one-sided. Nobutatsu stumbles his manner by means of the brothel, barely avoiding the slashes from Nagakado’s sword, into the backyard pond within the courtyard, unable to get his toes beneath him as he crawls by means of the water. Nagakado, all however sure victory lies inside his grasp, follows, elevating his blade to take his uncle out of the equation as soon as and for all — however as he steps ahead to ship the killing blow, he slips on a moist rock, bashing his head towards one other. Judging by the decisive (and slightly squishy) sound design on this sequence, Nagakado has suffered a mortal damage, and all he can do is die, wetly gasping for air and choking on his personal blood because the pond slowly turns purple.

All through Shōgun thus far, we have been aware of this world’s perception that demise is just simply one other stage of life, the ultimate piece of a puzzle that’s so usually outlined by acceptance slightly than grief. But as Nobutatsu stands over the physique of his nephew, nearly upset by this ending, we’re reminded that there are moments when demise takes an equally bleak kind, one which holds no honor and sweetness in any respect. Generally, demise is only a lonely path within the woods — or a sluggish drowning within the shallow depths of a pond.

Shogun Film Poster

Shogun (2024)

Toranaga seeks an ally by means of his half-brother on this week’s episode of Shogun, however how will a brand new and surprising loss impression his battle?


  • Sh?gun provides us a good deeper look into Toranaga’s previous this week, humanizing the character and including extra layers to Hiroyuki Sanada’s efficiency.
  • Sh?gun proves it could possibly nonetheless pull off a masterfully stunning ending with Nagakado’s demise on the finish of the episode.

  • Mariko appears to be considerably stagnant in her character evolution this week even after her discuss with Toranaga.

New episodes of Shōgun premiere every Tuesday on FX and Hulu within the U.S.

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