'Shogun' Episode 9 Is The Best Hour Of Television You'll See This Year (2024)

“SHOGUN” -- "Crimson Sky" -- Episode 9 (Airs April 16) Pictured: Cosmo Jarvis as John Blackthorne. CR: Katie Yu/FX



An impeccable hour of television builds to a shocking, powerful climax.

Episode 9 ofShogun, “Crimson Sky”, is an hour-long funeral march. Its outcome is, in many ways, inevitable, and we’re thoroughly prepared for it throughout. And yet it’s still a devastating climax at the end of an installment so steeped in anxiety that I felt a year older after sitting through it.

Mariko, we’re reminded by a cold open, has been trying to die for at least 14 years. Even while pregnant, she wasn’t above wandering into the blustery night and hoping the cold would take her. The Catholicism she has clung to since then has been a coping mechanism more than anything, not a new purpose in life but a pastime until death.

This is why we understand, intuitively, that Lady Mariko has come to Osaka to die. After setting sail with Blackthorne and Yabushige at the end of Episode 8 on Toranaga’s orders, she has resigned herself to a meaningful death in pursuit of a larger objective. And, needless to say, she achieves it.

Arrival In Osaka

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Pictured (C): Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko. CR: Katie Yu/FX

The audience — and, it turns out, the Jesuits — know why Mariko, Blackthorne, and Yabushige are in Osaka, but Ishido, in his arrogance, grossly underestimates the purpose of the visit.

Remember, he thinks that Yabushige is there to formally declare Toranaga’s surrender. Mariko’s arrival is a shock. And her opening gambit is more shocking still.

Mariko presents herself to Ishido and declares she’ll be leaving the next day — and with the hostages. If you recall, Ishido is only able to rule with an iron fist in Osaka because he has the families of the other Regents held hostage. However, he can’t publicly acknowledge that they’re his hostages, or it’ll cause a revolt, so he keeps them around under the pretext of being honored guests.

Mariko puts Ishido in an impossible position. She’s under orders from her liege lord to return to him. If Ishido won’t let her, he has to justify that — and he can’t without admitting he’ll be keeping her against her will.

Ishido Reveals His Hand

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Pictured: Fumi Mikado as Ochiba no Kata. CR: Katie Yu/FX

Mariko calls Ishido’s bluff by trying to leave with her retinue and a couple of the captive ladies. Predictably, Ishido prevents her from doing so, thus proving that he is preventing her from following Toranaga’s orders and keeping her against her will.

A fight breaks out between Mariko’s samurai contingent and several of Ishido’s guards. Almost all of them end up dead. Another fight breaks out between Mariko and the remainder of Ishido’s men, who’re under orders from Lord Kiyama not to kill her. Mariko is unharmed, but can’t fight her way through.

“Defeated”, Mariko has proven her point. She explains that due to the offense of not being allowed to leave, she will take her own life at sunset, and formerly requests Lord Kiyama to be her second. As a fellow Catholic, he understands that suicide is a sin to Christians and that Mariko will be met with eternal damnation without his presence. Ishido doesn’t want to hear it.

Lady Ochiba points out to Ishido that Mariko has already won. If he lets her die, the high families in Osaka will revolt. And if he lets her live, the other hostages will demand to leave also, stripping him of his bargaining power.

Permission to Leave

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Pictured: (L-R) Fumi Mikado as Ochiba no Kata, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko, Cosmo Jarvis as John Blackthorne. CR: Katie Yu/FX

Ochiba manages to meet with Mariko briefly by summoning Blackthorne on the pretext of the Heir wishing to meet him and then inviting Mariko along as his translator. They discuss their shared childhood, and Ochiba wants Mariko to translate so Blackthorne understands their relationship.

Ochiba would like to talk Mariko out of committing suicide, but she realizes midway through the conversation that her mind is made up. “Flowers are only flowers because they fall,” says Mariko of her impending death, implying that it will define her more than her life has. A lonely tear trickles down Ochiba’s face as Mariko and Blackthorne leave.

Shogun Episode 9 Has A Shocking Climax

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Pictured: Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige. CR: Katie Yu/FX

In an extended and shockingly tense sequence, Mariko prepares to commit seppuku. Kiyama is not in attendance, so Blackthorne reluctantly offers to be her second. At the last moment, Ishido arrives with Mariko’s permits to leave Osaka. Predictably, the other hostages wish to leave too, and Ishido has no choice but to allow them to do so.

Thoughts of a happy ending are quickly put aside, though. Yabushige pledges his service to Ishido, and his first task is to allow a contingent of shinobi access to the castle. Mariko and Blackthorne, who have spent the night together, are able to fight many of them off, but they’re eventually cornered in a storeroom as the ninjas try to gain access from outside.

Mariko finds death after all, pressing herself against the door so that the breaching explosion will only kill her and not everyone in the room, including Blackthorne, Yabu, and the hostages.ShogunEpisode 9 ends with the explosion and Mariko’s demise.

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Article by Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon is one of the co-founders of Ready Steady Cut and has been an instrumental part of the team since its inception in 2017. Jonathon has remained involved in all aspects of the site’s operation, mainly dedicated to its content output, remaining one of its primary Entertainment writers while also functioning as our dedicated Commissioning Editor, publishing over 6,500 articles.

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'Shogun' Episode 9 Is The Best Hour Of Television You'll See This Year (2024)


Is the Shōgun series finished? ›

Viewership remained high as episodes aired weekly, which is a major accomplishment for a series that's mostly subtitled. Still, Shōgun's season finale marks the end of Marks and Kondo's planned miniseries.

Why is Shōgun so good? ›

Perhaps the greatest success of “Shogun” is in its characters. Hiroyuki Sanada plays the imposing Lord Toranaga with such regality and honor that you can perfectly understand and respect the character's honor while the writing demonstrates the aspects of his cunning and his potential for brutality.

Is Shōgun hard to follow? ›

This is lavish, demanding drama, to be approached with care and focus. It is largely in Japanese, partly in English, which stands in for Portuguese, at times – this is not as hard to follow as you might think – but it is not the kind of series you can watch in the background as you scroll on a second screen.

How many episodes are there of Shōgun? ›

Shōgun premiered with its first two episodes on February 27, 2024, on FX on Hulu and FX. The remainder of the 10-episode series was released weekly. Internationally, the series was available on Disney+ and Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in other territories. An English dub of the series was available on Hulu.

Is there any Romance in shogun? ›

Blackthorne is also torn between his growing affection for Mariko (who is married to a powerful, abusive, and dangerous samurai, Buntaro), his increasing loyalty to Toranaga, his household and consort, a "Willow world" courtesan named Kiku, and his desire to return to the open seas aboard Erasmus so he can intercept ...

Who is Lady Kiri in shogun? ›

Consort wife to Toranaga, Kiri no Kata, portrayed by Yoriko Dōguchi, is a steadfast partner to the great warlord. She is an affectionate, yet vigilant, mother hen to his large family.

Is shogun kid friendly? ›

There is an implied sex scene between two characters (both with other partners). Finally, there is a man who proceeds to have brief sex with his wife, but we only see her face and his back. Honestly, this show is not for teens. This is strictly for adults.

Is shogun 2024 worth watching? ›

Yes. Top tier television. Writing is great and the acting is also amazing. Slow build up and you're thrown into the middle of a story but watching it through the Englishman's eyes is really interesting.

Is shogun 2024 accurate? ›

Yes and no. Yes, Shōgun was inspired by real-life events, but no, it's not an accurate retelling of those events.

Is shogun historically accurate in Japan? ›

Yes and no. Shōgun is based on James Clavell's 1975 historical fiction novel of the same name – yet its major characters are loosely inspired by real historical figures, and the larger plot points are based on real events from Japanese history.

Is shogun historically accurate? ›

The scholars agree that “Shogun” is basically a Western romance fantasy and facts are embellished, but overall, they seem to agree that as a historical fiction, Shogun is a fairly accurate depiction of feudal Japan in the 1600.

Is shogun assassin banned? ›

Heavily cut by the British Board of Film Censorship for its original cinema release and subsequently banned as a video nasty, this bloodthirsty 1980 martial arts flick has since become a chanabara (samurai cinema) cult classic.

Will there be a season 2 for Shōgun? ›

Despite the show's massive success, it will likely not receive a Season 2 renewal. Co-creator and showrunner Justin Marks told The Direct in February that Season 1 concludes "exactly where the book ends.” "I think we tell the complete story of the book. And we get to the end.

Who is Toranaga based on? ›

Yoshii Toranaga is based on the historical figure Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of Japan's most famous warlords. Born at Okazaki Castle in 1543 as the eldest son of Matsudaira Hirotada and Odai-no-kata, he was given the name Takechiyo as a child.

How violent is Shōgun? ›

Set in 1600 Japan, this limited series has brutal, graphic violence, including decapitations and characters being boiled alive. A baby is taken from his mother and sentenced to death, a man shoots himself (off-screen), and multiple characters consider the act of seppuku.

Will there be a season 2 of shogun? ›

FX has not yet renewed Shōgun for a second season. Despite the show's massive success, it will likely not receive a Season 2 renewal. Co-creator and showrunner Justin Marks told The Direct in February that Season 1 concludes "exactly where the book ends.” "I think we tell the complete story of the book.

What happened to the last shogun of Japan? ›

The last shogun survived the first modern emperor by sixteen months, dying in November 1913. He lived most of his life in retirement, in reclusion even.

What happened to blackthorn after shogun? ›

As Blackthorne prepares to leave Osaka, he discovers that his life was spared thanks to Lady Mariko's intervention. Father Ajiro reveals that Blackthorne wasn't supposed to survive the chaos in Osaka, but Mariko's deal with the Church secured his safe passage by trading the Erasmus, Blackthorne's ship, for his life.

When did the shogun end? ›

The Meiji Restoration of 1868 toppled the long-reigning Tokugawa shoguns of the Edo period and propelled Japan into the modern era.


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