‘Shogun’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Hiromatsu Dead?


Episode 7 of Shogun largely centered around the betrayal of Saeki Nobutatsu, Toranaga’s half-brother. Toranaga was banking on Nobutatsu’s support to fight against Ishido and the rest of the Regents. But Nobutatsu decided to become a Regent himself and forced Toranaga to surrender in Osaka. John wasn’t happy about this and explicitly said that he disagreed with Toranaga’s plans. That said, Nagakado went a step further and tried to kill Saeki Nobutatsu. Things went horribly wrong, and Nagakado ended up dying by hitting his head on a wet rock. No, the rock wasn’t thrown in his general direction. The dude slipped and fell. Now, it remains to be seen whether this’ll weaken Toranaga’s stance or weaken him.

Spoiler Alert

Toranaga Doesn’t Attend Nagakado’s Funeral

Episode 8 of Shogun opens with Toranaga and his whole clan moving to Edo for 49 days, where the former Regent will mourn his son’s death. Saeki Nobutatsu’s army is stationed on the boundary of Edo to ensure that Toranaga doesn’t try to act smart. After the mourning period is over, they’ll escort him to Osaka. Mariko tells John that Toranaga has been relieved of his duty, and he is free to reunite with his men and sail back home. John asks Mariko to join her, but she says that she is going to stay beside Toranaga until the end. We briefly see Ishido making some romantic advances towards Lady Ochiba. The latter doesn’t give any explicit response to this out-of-the-blue proposal of a marital alliance, but she doesn’t reject it either. So, who knows what’s going through her mind? Anyway, Omi, Yabushige, Hiromatsu, Buntaro, and many others drink to Nagakado’s memory, but only Omi points out that Toranaga is actually dishonoring Nagakado by surrendering. While going to Nagakado’s funeral, Yabushige points out a bunch of things. Firstly, Toranaga isn’t attending Nagakado’s funeral. Secondly, the generals of Edo are in disagreement with Toranaga. Hence, they are wearing their armor to the funeral. And thirdly, they’ve got the artillery to take over Osaka. Hiromatsu tells Yabushige to simply go to Osaka as a part of Toragana’s surrender and also give the aforementioned weapons to Ishido. Yabushige is shocked, but he doesn’t protest. Meanwhile, a sick Toranaga is seen observing his son’s funeral from his castle.

Mariko Refuses Buntaro’s Proposal To Die Together

Mariko and Lady Rin have a conversation about how their fates will be affected by Toranaga’s surrender and Lady Ochiba’s passion for survival. This is interrupted by Buntaro, who apparently wants to make tea for Mariko, thereby seemingly setting up his redemption arc. The focus shifts to Tsuji, who meets John and taunts him for becoming Japanese while abandoning the crew of his ship. Then he goes to Toranaga to tell him how the Christian Regents won’t side with him and that Lady Ochiba is pulling the strings behind Ishido’s back. So, he asks Toranaga to form an alliance with Lady Ochiba. If that happens, then, ideally speaking, the Heir will side with Toranaga, and then they’ll have the strength to defeat Ishido. Hiromatsu agrees with this proposal. So does Mariko. That said, Toranaga makes it clear that he is going to go ahead with his surrender. He tells Tsuji that this isn’t going to affect his promise to him, and he’ll get to build his church. In addition to that, he asks Tsuji to go to Osaka and report everything he has seen in Edo without diluting it. Hiromatsu takes that as a clue that Toranaga has something else up his sleeve and that his sick act is a massive ruse. Then, the focus shifts back to Buntaro and Mariko. Under the guise of making tea for Mariko, Buntaro says that they should kill themselves together and avoid whatever Ishido or Ochibo have in store for them. But he makes it sound like he is giving her a gift that she has always wanted from him. However, thankfully, Mariko calls out this nonsense and tells Buntaro to keep his dreams of killing her and not letting her live the life she wants to live on the back burner. This reduces the horrible Buntaro to tears, and that’s why this is the best scene of Shogun. More shows and movies should have pathetic men like Buntaro crying like this.

John Tries To Forge A Bond With Yabushige

John tries to reunite with his men to ask them to fix the Erasmus and sail home, but it only leads to an ugly brawl with Salamon. The following day, John tries to make an alliance with Yabushige. He says that he can gather the men he needs to make the Erasmus functional. But he requires a banner to sail under. Since Toranaga is walking towards his death, he wants Yabushige to back him up, and vice versa, so that they can secure their future in these tumultuous times. John even reminds Yabushige about the incident on the cliff to make a point about molding one’s fate with their own hands. However, Yabushige refuses to join hands with John because he doesn’t want to betray Toranaga. Elsewhere, Lady Gin looks over the patch of the land that’s supposed to become the protected area for her Tea Houses. When Tsuji gets there, it’s revealed that his church is going to be next to the plot allotted to the Courtesans. If the Christians are progressive, then they won’t mind this arrangement. If they are regressive, then they’ll oppose this arrangement. Toranaga has put the proverbial ball in their court. Back in Osaka, Lady Daiyoin passes away while asking Ochiba to release the hostages and probably lamenting about what she has done to Ochiba’s psyche.

Is Hiromatsu Dead?

Hiromatsu, Buntaro, Yabushige, Omi, and the generals of Edo attend the pledge of allegiance signing ceremony. Toranaga announces that Yabushige is going to go to Osaka and deliver the guns to Ishido and the names of all those who will surrender along with Toranaga. Each of the generals oppose Toranaga’s decision to give up without fighting. Toranaga doesn’t budge and says that he doesn’t want any more bloodshed to happen at his expense. Hiromatsu throws in an ultimatum: if Toranaga doesn’t fight, then he is going to die by seppuku. Even that doesn’t sway Toranaga. So, Hiromatsu calls Buntaro to behead him after he is done slicing his belly. He tells Buntaro that he shouldn’t give up on Toranaga, even if it seems like Toranaga has given up on himself. And on that note, Hiromatsu dies. Later that night, Toranaga reveals that it was all part of his plan to get Yabushige and John on one side and make Ishido and Ochiba believe that Toranaga has his back against the wall. Hiromatsu’s death is apparently a necessary sacrifice. How will this help Toranaga? I don’t know, but I am interested to see if it has any real bearing on Toranaga’s plan to take down Ishido and Ochiba.

Toranaga Hints At His Secret Plot

At the end of Shogun, episode 8, we see Lady Daiyoin being prepared for her funeral. Lady Ochiba seemingly accepts Ishido’s proposal to marry each other and become the power couple in Japan. Yabushige and John are seen preparing to go to Osaka, not to surrender but to attack (or escape). Omi warns Yabushige that this alliance is going to cost him, but Yabushige doesn’t listen to him because he is too glad that he doesn’t have to die in vain for Toranaga. However, Mariko throws cold water over Yabushige’s plans by saying that she is going to ensure that he reaches Osaka and surrenders on Toranaga’s behalf. Now, it remains to be seen if Yabushige has the courage to defy Mariko or not. Back in Edo, Toranaga puts an end to his “sick old sad man” and visits the site of Nagakado’s cremation to thank him for unintentionally giving him the time he needs to gather his resources. It’s obvious that Toranaga has an army sitting right out of everyone’s eyesight, and he totally intends to spill blood. He is just waiting for his enemies to relax so that they are totally unprepared when he begins his attack. The last two episodes of the miniseries are bound to be action-packed. So, be prepared for anything and everything.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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