‘Tokyo Vice’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap Summary: Has Tozawa Finally Returned?

The landscape of the Tokyo underworld was massively affected by Tozawa’s presence, whose dastardly acts created unrest among Yakuza and changed the existing dynamic with the cops. In his absence, situations took a significant turn yet again as a false sense of security momentarily grasped everyone. However, the third episode of HBO Max’s Tokyo Vice hints that Tozawa has possibly returned sooner than expected, which will put several lives in mortal danger, starting with our protagonist duo, Jake and Katagiri.


While the first episode of the second season of Tokyo Vice revealed Polina’s death to be connected with the vice minister’s high-profile scandal, the deliberate destruction of evidence in Meicho by unknown perps resulted in the case being dropped. Tozawa had left the country previously, and Katagiri learns that he might have moved to the States for reasons unknown. On the other hand, upon learning that Detective Miyamoto’s death was connected with Katagiri’s investigation of Tozawa, the TMPD demotes him. Sato had survived the stabbing and decided to forgive Gen, and devastated by her friend’s death, Samantha started a new chapter in her life by starting her own club, naming it after Polina in her memory.  In the second episode, which takes place almost three months after the events, Jake and Katagiri seem to have moved on from the Tozawa case in their own way, but not really, as they unknowingly keep getting drawn into the mess.

Jake covers a Bosozoku biker gang case, the leader of which turns out to be a teenager with a tendency to steal bikes, and later gets intimate with Misaki, Tozawa’s mistress. After much hesitation due to concerns for his close ones, Katagiri joins the Yakuza crackdown task force, adhering to the requests of the team leader, Shoko Nagata, Superintendent of NPA. At the Chihara-Kai front, the return of a notorious member, Hayama, threatens further clashes with Tozawa-Gumi, and Sato starts preparing for the worst-case scenario, all the while trying to be there for his teenage brother Kaito. These multiple plot threads branch further in the episode “Old Law, New Twist,” which ends with hints at the possibilities of Tozawa’s return. 


Spoilers Ahead

What Is Happening On The Yakuza Front?

Another month has passed, and at the beginning of the episodes, we follow two Tozawa-Gumi members who visit Club Miralina and extort monetary donations from the owner. Previously, Tozawa had seized control of the club from Chihara-Kai, but in his absence, upon Hayama’s return and subsequent coercion, control went back to Chihara-Kai, which is why the owner initially appeared unwilling to send donations to Tozawa-Gumi. However, upon their return, the members are reprimanded by the acting head of the clan, Yabuki, who commands them to return the amount and stay away from Kabukicho, which is Chihara-Kai territory. Previously, Yabuki shared his willingness to make a truce with Ishida, Chihara’s oyabun, and he is still determined to follow through on that. This causes a bit of disappointment and frustration among members, who believe that Tozawa himself might never have approved of this, and that shrinking their territory will affect their clan’s influence. 


Meanwhile, Jake’s Bosozuku coverage turned out to be a significant personal milestone for him, and he got interviewed on national television. His fling with Misaki has turned into a full-fledged secretive relationship, and he wants to put a label on it, completely ignoring how dangerous it is for both of them if their relationship becomes public. Honestly, at times, Jake’s recklessness and utter stupidity make it increasingly difficult to take him seriously as an investigative journalist. Anyway, on the other hand, at Club Polina, the rich architect Ohno gradually gets more candid with Samantha and even helps her diffuse a heated situation escalated by Hayama’s tantrums. Sato is unable to help Samantha in this regard, considering Hayama outranks him in the clan. Later, as he goes on his usual duty of dropping Erika off at her home, the duo gets closer. It’s good to see Sato and Samantha moving on with their lives, as the timely realization that they shouldn’t mix business and relationship seems to have worked well for both of them. 

How Did Nagata And Katagiri Destabilize Hishinuma-Kai?

The scene moves to the TMPD anti-Yakuza task force office, where Katagiri is seen assisting Nagata in building a case against a small Yakuza clan, Hishinuma-Kai, by using one of their foot soldiers’ murder charges as a link. Eventually, the duo raids the clan’s head office—moments before their Oyabun Hishinuma is able to seal a deal about merging the clan with Chihara-Kai. Nagata is able to provoke one of the thugs into attacking her, thereby making a justifiable charge of obstruction of police procedure, and as the task force begins nabbing the members one by one, a brief scuffle ensues. 


Katagiri chases one of the Yakuza members, and as the duo struggles, Katagiri loses his gun and finds himself at gunpoint. Cornered and helpless, the veteran detective tries to appeal to the young adversary’s better judgment and pleads with him not to take a rash decision. The nervous, shaken clan member drops the gun and flees, while Katagiri starts pondering his life choices. Back at TMPD, the destabilization of Hishinuma-Kai is celebrated as a victory, as the authorities have one less Yakuza clan to worry about among the twenty-four existing clans operating in Tokyo, but Katagiri cannot bring himself to enter a celebratory mood. The close encounter with death had rattled him, and the first thing he does after returning to the precinct is to call his family to check up on them. Later, Nagata congratulates Katagiri, stating that one of the members has ratted out their Oyabun, and with the evidence they have gathered from the raid, building an extortion case will be rather easier, thereby ensuring that Hishinuma-Kai leads don’t get to leave the prison cell for a long, long time. However, Katagiri knows that a change this massive will entail consequences, and fear of what the future holds keeps him depressed and anxious. 

Has Tozawa Finally Returned?

Meanwhile, Emi Maruyama discusses the Meicho arson case with her boyfriend, Shingo, who is of the opinion that someone from inside—an employee—must have orchestrated the incident and surely has ties with Tozawa. On a personal note, Shingo advises Emi to let her brother’s mental illness be treated and stop being so fearful of outsider perception, and later, as we see her unwind with her brother while cooking and chilling to tunes of K-rock, it appears that she will follow through on the advice. 

Disturbed by Hayama’s antics at her club, which can prove to be detrimental to business, Samantha goes to Jake to ask her to talk with Sato about it, but Jake advises her to try to approach Sato once again as a friend. This time, in exchange for keeping Hayama out of Club Polina, Sato asks a favor from Samantha on Ishida’s command, stating that he wants to extract valuable information from Ohno about his latest project, which can help the clan monopolize the real estate surrounding the location. Samantha has no other option than to comply, as the club belongs to Chihara-Kai anyway, and she also learns that Claudine, whom she had fired previously for stealing money, was working for the clan in secrecy for the same purpose. After a bit of soul-searching, Samantha meets Ishida to inform him that she is willing to take the deal, but in addition to keeping the clan members out of her club, she also wants complete ownership, as she knows how valuable the information is to Ishida. Samantha’s steadfast nature impresses the Oyabun, and he agrees to the deal. On the other hand, Hayama learns about Kaito’s tech skills, and against Sato’s wishes, he plans to enlist him in Chihara-Kai as well secretively. 

Jake learns that the Bosozoku biker gang leader has been arrested thanks to the attention his feature has brought them, and feeling a sense of responsibility, he meets up with Sato to let him be protected inside prison. Later, Jake, Treny, Tin Tin, and Maruyama get invited to a gala at the US Consulate, where Jake brings Misaki as his plus one. At the gala, Jake gets introduced to Jason Aoki, assistant to the US legal attaché, who seems to have taken a liking to Trendy. Misaki notices one of Tozawa’s acquaintances being present at the gala and immediately freaks out, which results in her storming off from the event and seemingly cutting Jake off for the time being. As the episode ends, Misaki is seen to be with Tozawa, who seems to have apparently recovered from his illness and has apparently returned to Japan. Although it is not clear whether it was a vision projected by Misaki’s fear, on the off chance that Tozawa has indeed returned, the equations between the media, underworld, and cops in Tokyo will be re-shuffled yet again. Katagiri and Nagata’s plan to bring down Yakuza, Jake’s foolhardy attempt to woo the Yakuza boss’ mistress while getting entangled in situations he still can’t assess, and Chihara-Kai’s attempt to seize the opportunity—all might result in severe blowback, which will be the prime focus in upcoming episodes. 


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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