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Shogun Episodes 5 and 6 Review


Ishido sits.
Ishido tries to figure out how to best Toranaga.

Source: FX


Overall 8.2/10


Story 7.9/10

John reaches the status of Hatamoto. He gains a household and servants. He’s learning how Japanese society works. But just as he thinks he has it all figured out, Toranaga upsets the new status quo.


It not only affects John, but it also upends his house. Everyone has to be careful to make the right moves. The slightest misstep could spell the end.


The writers keep the tension high. Characters squirm under the pressure to keep their heads attached to their necks, as they reach for more power. All the while, viewers sit on the edge of their seats, rooting for their favorites.



John Blackthorne stands next to Mariko.
John Blackthorne asks Mariko how he should plan for Buntaro.

Source: FX


Character 8.5/10

John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) learns a valuable lesson. There is a reason that those around him are very meticulous in the things they say and do. John starts to understand why. He immediately dislikes Buntaro because Buntaro is disrespectful, and because Buntaro has something that John wishes he had. But moving forward, this viewer thinks that John will choose his words and deeds more carefully, even if it means a rift between him and Mariko.


Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) is trying to keep a handle on things. But it's tough getting people to stay in line. When he solves one issue with the coming war, he finds that his house is out of order. He's a resourceful man. But at every turn, something seems to stand in his way. Even nature shows its displeasure in a way that makes it seem that heaven itself conspires against Toranaga. He can't do anything about nature. But he will make sure that people in his camp follow orders.


Buntaro (Shinnosuke Abe) might be a Trojan horse. His feat in reaching Toranaga is unbelievable. It's not even plausible. Aside from that, he is hateful. He doesn't see Mariko. Instead, he sees what her father did. He thinks she should be grateful that she is allowed to live at his side. He doesn't understand why she isn't grateful.  He senses the chemistry between John and  Mariko. He and Mariko have never had an easy rapport. That's something he has always wanted. He's jealous. And he makes Mariko pay.


Usami Fuji (Moeka Hoshi) isn't happy to see her uncle. What type of evil person do you have to be that your own family wishes you were dead?


Yoshii Nagakado (Yuki Kura) is ashamed of his actions. Or, at least, it seems that way. Perhaps, he’s just embarrassed that Papa Yoshii wrapped him on the knuckles for allowing himself to be manipulated. 


Mariko (Anna Sawai) has feelings for Blackthorne. He sees her for who she truly is. With him, she can be something outside of her duty, tradition and the sins of her father. But this is Japan. And Buntaro reminds Mariko that a past cannot be so easily put behind her.


Kashige Yabushigi (Tadanobu Asano)—still a rat. And he’s nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. 


Ishido Kazunari (Takehiro Hira) is trying to stay ahead of Toranaga. But deep-seated divisions amongst the other regents are proving difficult for him to solidify his plans. To make matters worse, the heir’s mother makes her presence felt. 


Lady Ochiba (Fumi Nakaido) believes in taking matters into her own hands because fate is what you make for yourself. She has a bone to grind with Toranaga for a past grievance. She will not consider it settled until he draws his last breath.


Sugiyama (Toshi Toda) is descended from Japan's oldest and wealthiest samurai families. He is about order and tradition, even more than everyone else. So he will not abide by doing things the wrong way. But his unwillingness to do things the wrong way may cost him dearly. 



Kashigi stands.
Kashigi tries to worm out of his treachery.

Source: FX


Final Thoughts

These writers certainly don’t disappoint. Each episode is better than the last.  Everything that can go wrong for Toranaga and Blackthorne does go wrong, leaving viewers wondering how they'll escape this one. That alone will keep viewers watching.

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