‘Tokyo Vice’ Season 1 Ending, Explained: Is Sato Dead? Why Did Tozawa Leave Tokyo?


The finale episode of “Tokyo Vice” Season 1 is all about how Shinzo Tozawa strikes back at his enemies, and turns the table upside down while leaving the battleground with a victorious smirk. However, the fight against Tozawa hasn’t come to an end. The Yakuza leader, Tozawa, believes that he can threaten a police officer, Hiroto Katagiri, and a reporter, Jake Adelstein, and silence them with fear, but that’s not what these two professions are about. Men and women who pursue truth and justice follow the path with their hearts on their sleeves, and thus the end of “Tokyo Vice” Season 1 marks the possibility of a Season 2. The season ends on some shocking cliffhangers, and hence, without any further ado, let’s explore them in-depth and also discuss the possible storyline of “Tokyo Vice” Season 2.

See More: ‘Tokyo Vice’ Episode 6 & 7: Recap And Ending, Explained – Did Katagiri Catch Miyamoto? What Happened To Polina?

Is Jin Miyamoto Dead?

In “Tokyo Vice” Season 1, Episode 7, Hiroto Katagiri set a trap to catch the mole in the police force who was working for Tozawa, and by the end of the episode, Jin Miyamoto took the bait, and Katagiri caught him red-handed on camera. In Episode 8, Miyamoto confessed to Katagiri that Tozawa’s men contacted him with important tips about drug shipments, and he got greedy. He couldn’t deny taking favors from a Yakuza, as eventually, with the help of these tips, he earned a reputation in the department. However, his days of glory were soon over as they stopped contacting him and the tips dried up. Tozawa probably wanted to lure Miyamoto into his den, and for that matter, he first created a necessity, and when Miyamoto got addicted, he pulled back. At this point, Miyamoto was willing to do anything to preserve his glory and started slipping information to Tozawa’s men, believing they would return the favor. The favor came back, but not in the way he expected. When information became scarce, Tozawa sent a stack of cash because he didn’t want his mole to slip away, and in greed, Miyamoto took anything and everything that came through.

At this point, Katagiri told Miyamoto that he might be greedy as a person, but he was indeed a skillful cop, and thus didn’t want him to resign, but instead asked for his help to take down Tozawa. On Katagiri’s order, Miyamoto met Tozawa and assured him that the police didn’t have any evidence against him, but while trying to convince Tozawa, Miyamoto made one grave mistake. He told Tozawa that Katagiri was working for Hitoshi Ishida, head of the rival Chihara-kai gang. Even Tozawa’s right-hand man, Yabuki, knew that a righteous and incorruptible cop like Katagiri wouldn’t ever work for the Yakuza, which was why he set another trap for Miyamoto, who took the bait without giving it a second thought.

Miyamoto informed Katagiri about another drug shipment that was arriving that same night through a port south of Yokosuka and would be stored in an old warehouse in the vicinity. Tozawa wanted Miyamoto to be there when the shipment arrived, and Miyamoto persuaded Katagiri to set up cameras there to get enough footage to arrest Tozawa. Katagiri knew that things didn’t make any sense because a shipment was about to arrive on the same day when Miyamoto made a deal with Tozawa, yet he decided to give it a try.

Katagiri drove to Yokosuka and waited for Miyamoto in his car, while in the meantime, Tozawa’s men confiscated Miyamoto’s phone and took him somewhere else. When Katagiri lost his patience, he decided to search the warehouse alone, and as soon as he entered the premises, he heard the voice of his nemesis, Shinzo Tozawa. He told Katagiri that Miyamoto was lying to him because a man like Katagiri would never ever work for Ishida, and thus, in a way, pointed out that he dealt with Miyamoto so that he wouldn’t become a liability for him any longer. Tozawa probably got Miyamoto killed, and later, he tried to threaten Katagiri and warned him that if he wouldn’t stop investigating him or his associates, then he would execute his wife and his daughters without any remorse. As soon as Katagiri heard about his family, he dropped the gun that he was pointing at Tozawa and left without any further ado.

Why Did Samantha Take a Loan From Hitoshi Ishida?

Samantha’s best friend, Polina, who worked with her at the Onyx bar, disappeared in Episode 7, after which Samantha began a search to locate her friend and found out that she owed huge debts to a bar owner, and thus the owner sent her to Yoshino to make her repay her debts. Samantha contacted Jake Adelstein to find out what Yoshino was, but they only met dead ends. At this point, Polina’s boyfriend, Akira, reached out to Samantha and informed her that Polina’s kidnappers had contacted him and were asking for ransom money of 10 million plus interest in exchange for Polina. Samantha freaked out and decided to hand over her hard-earned money, which she was saving for her own nightclub, to the kidnappers, but in the end, she found out that Akira was lying to her and planned a robbery with his friends. Samantha lost both her money and her friend Polina, but she couldn’t just let her dreams go, and so she decided to take a loan from Hitoshi Ishida after the bank rejected her application.

In a panic, Samantha rushed into things and didn’t even try consulting with Sato before taking this huge step. The couple drifted apart after an argument in the previous episode, and Sato was surprised to find Samantha coming out of Ishida’s office. Throughout “Tokyo Vice” Season 1, Sato portrays a misfit gangster who is empathetic and still in touch with his humane side. He is just another boy from the neighborhood who fell into the wrong company or chose to pursue a career because he didn’t have many options at his disposal. Sato didn’t want another boy to fall into the same pit of crime and thus requested the new recruit to leave the gang while he still had time.

Sato knew that it was too late to stop the horrors that Samantha had brought upon herself, yet he tried to convince his oyabun Ishida not to give a loan to Samantha, as she may end up losing their money, to which Ishida replied that if she lost their money, then they would deal with her, and if her new club turned into a profitable investment, then he would become the full partner and probably remove her.

A similar thing had already happened in Episode 7 when Ishida took control of another man, Naito-san’s venture, who took a loan from them to start a business. It was the law of the lawless land that Sato wanted to warn Samantha about, but she didn’t listen. “Tokyo Vice” Season 2 will further follow how Ishida would exploit Samantha for the money that he loaned to her and if Sato would be able to save her, and most importantly, will he be able to save himself?

Is Sato Dead?

As Sato left Samantha’s house at the end of “Tokyo Vice” Season 1, a shady man came out of the shadows and stabbed Sato near his car. The person who stabbed Sato was probably one of his own gang members, the one whom he thrashed in the earlier episode after he made comments on his relationship with Samantha, and Sato lost control of himself and sent the fellow gang member to the hospital. Maybe the person mentioned was working for Tozawa, as he was the only one who survived the attack on the Chihara-kai gang stronghold when Tozawa sent assassins to kill Hitoshi Ishida. Or perhaps he was just waiting for the right moment to take revenge on Sato and finally stabbed him from behind in the darkness of the night. Nevertheless, whoever stabbed Sato, for whatever reason, it is possible that he will survive the attack, as his character still has many unfinished battles left that will further shape the narrative in the right direction.

Is Polina Dead?

Jake Adelstein had been obsessed with Shinzo Tozawa since the beginning of the series. He was collecting evidence against his nemesis, be it the loan shark company or the Yoshino cruise ship where Tozawa was running his secret operations. Adelstein came across Tozawa from time to time and often made sure that he noticed the reporter who was investigating him. During the drug bust in Episode 6, Tozawa finally found out through Miyamoto that it was Adelstein who gave that information to the detectives, and since then, he has been keeping an eye on him. On the other hand, Adelstein approached Tozawa’s mistress, Misaki, and tried to dig out information from her, and at the end of Episode 7, Tozawa’s men saw Adelstein mingling with Misaki, which finally compelled Tozawa to deal with the reporter before he could dig any further.

In Episode 8, Tozawa sent two of his men to Jake’s apartment to thrash him down and break his spirit so that he would never dare to investigate Tozawa again. And the punches did their work. Adelstein lost all hope and finally called home, while entertaining the thought of returning. He wanted to call Katagiri or maybe tell him about the assault, but Katagiri had been ignoring him since he committed a mistake in the drug shipment case. Adelstein had been struggling for a very long time and thus decided to rest for some time before making a final decision to stay in Tokyo or return to his home country. He woke up the next morning with a series of thoughts troubling his mind, but suddenly he found something on his doorstep that made him focus on his sole motive again, which was to put Tozawa behind bars.

Outside his apartment, Adelstein found a video cassette that was a recording of a room on Tozawa’s Yoshino cruise ship. In the video, Adelstein saw Samantha’s friend, Polina, with an old, affluent man who tried to sleep with her forcefully, to which Polina resisted, and soon the man called in the guard. The guard tried to pin down Polina, and as she struggled, the guard kicked her. It could be speculated that Polina died on the spot from the fatal blow, and thus Adelstein didn’t waste any time and brought the tape to Katagiri, the only man he could trust now. After the incident with Tozawa, Katagiri sent his family away for their safety, and as soon as he witnessed Adelstein’s bruised face, he allowed him inside the house. In the next season, Katagiri and Adelstein will use the video evidence to frame a case against Tozawa. However, it is a long way from hereon as they will have to first get proof of the fact that Tozawa is running a high-class brothel on the Yoshino cruise ship where he sends girls after getting them into debt through his own misleading ways, like the way he used to trap people into getting loans from his fraudulent loan shark company.

See More: ‘Tokyo Vice’ Episode 4 & 5: Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Was The Mole In Chihara-kai Gang? Is Ishida Dead?

Who Sent The Tape To Adelstein?

Adelstein didn’t have many friends in Tokyo, but a few people respected him for his courage. While it was Ishida who gave the information about Tozawa’s upcoming drug shipment, it is unlikely that he would know anything about Yoshino, but Adelstein knew one man who did know about it, and it was Tozawa’s publicist, Ukai Haruki. It was Haruki who first told Adelstein about the illicit operations running on the Yoshino cruise ship and, probably through his sources, Haruki got the tape out of the boat and delivered it to Adelstein.

Another possibility is that Polina recorded the tape herself and asked someone on the inside to send it to Adelstein in case anything happened to her. Polina and Adelstein shared some pleasant moments near the shrine, and maybe she believed that Adelstein would be able to save her. However, it is doubtful whether she will survive or not.

Why Did Tozawa Leave Tokyo?

As soon as Shinzo Tozawa was introduced in the series, it was established right away that he had been suffering from an incurable disease or illness. Season 1 has been really secretive about the nature of his illness, yet if the narrative is following Jake Adelstein’s memoir (while taking some cinematic liberties), then as per the actual incidents, Shinzo Tozawa is Tadamasa Goto, the Yakuza boss whom Adelstein exposed through his investigation.

Goto, head of one of the largest Yakuza syndicates in Japan, had a malfunctioning liver for which he needed an urgent organ transplant. He came to America for an organ transplant and used his power to jump the queue, coming under the radar of the investigative authorities, especially the FBI. At the end of “Tokyo Vice” Season 1, Tozawa told his mistress, Misaki, that he would be leaving for some time and promised her that he would not die too soon, as everyone around him was expecting. Tozawa probably had been trying to arrange an organ for a long time, and as soon as his connections in the foreign country confirmed the availability, Tozawa planned the last-minute trip. He will probably return to take over Tokyo. And before leaving, he made sure that his enemies wouldn’t dare raise a voice against him in his absence.

On the other hand, Ishida isn’t brave enough that he will ever try to strike back at Tozawa, and thus, Tozawa doesn’t have anything to worry about. But in his absence, Katagiri and Adelstein will get some breathing room and may be able to come up with a plan of action against their mutual rival to take him down and arrest him. But is it possible to put the fierce Yakuza leader behind bars? ‘Tokyo Vice’ Season 2 will follow further.

See More: ‘Tokyo Vice’ Episode 1, 2, & 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – Why Did Ishida Want From Adelstein?

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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