You Need an Emotional Support System to Watch This Episode of Terrace House

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Photo: Fuji Television Network Inc./East Entertainment/Netflix

Konbanwa, Terrace House, queens! Welcome back! I know we’re late this week, but y’all know my heart and other beat, so please forgive the delay. To make up for it I’ll be giving you TWO recaps this week! This is just the first, and, boy, is the drama in Japan good!

To start, our esteemed panel of celebrities that your fave could never touch — Azusa Babazono, Yoshimi Tokui, You, Reina Triendl, Ryota Yamasato, and Shono Hayama —  rehash the drama of last week. Regarding the indisputable GOAT of the season, Shion, Ryoto determines that each season of Terrace House has a “Keeper of Dreams,” and this season it’s none other than Shion, since he’s spent most of his time in the house really getting to the bottom of his housemate’s goals. When they get to Tsubasa, You says that her segments feel like an athlete’s documentary, which — and I actively hate to say this about someone I consider a mom — seems a bit sexist. Especially considering we had to endure Aloha State’s Guy in all his Olympic-level surfer brah personality, athletic events, and injuries. That’s just my little two cents, take it or leave it, but honestly you should take it because I’m right.

They also talk about Taka’s random proclamation about Ami being cute “eye candy” at the end of last week’s episode. Will he make a move and steal the pride of his play little brother Yuudai. Let’s see!

The episode starts with Zaddy of the year, Taka, tossing a ball with Tsubasa in the backyard of their Karuizawa home. As one single ball flies through the air, Taka asks Tsubasa when she got into skating and ice hockey. Tsubasa tells him it was “love at first sight” when she was in third grade. She was around that age when she moved to Karuizawa, where her first friend happened to be a skater. By this logic, I’d have been the first Gabby Douglas because my first friend in third grade was a gymnast. But, here I am. Thank my parents.

While tossing the ball, Tsubasa apologizes to Taka for not being “cute” in her athletic state. Taka tells her she’s “fine,” but uses this time to asks about finding love in Karuza. It’s not been easy for her, and Taka understands because he too thinks it’s hard to find a connection in their mountainous hometown. I wonder if they’ve ever seen Brokeback Mountain? Seems to me those two gentleman didn’t have any trouble finding love, but then again I’ve never seen the movie. I’m too young.

Somewhere else in Karuizawa, Shion escorts Yuudai — who’s wearing some sort of tinted eyeglasses or poorly tinted sunglasses — to restaurants for job interviews. Literally, Shion just stands or sits by Yuudai as he interfaces with potential bosses. Not a great look for someone whose main goal is to just be independent.

At the first restaurant, Shion sits and stares on as Yuudai tries to flex like he’s too good of a “chef” to start working as a dishwasher in any restaurant (even though he has no formal training and wants to “learn on the job”). At the second restaurant, Shion doesn’t have any résumé or anything to show for his previous skills, so he’s asked to come back once he has any of the materials required to apply.

After trying to get a job, Yuudai and Shion take a meal break. Shion asks if Yuudai has asked Ami out more directly. Yuudai hasn’t because he can’t get a read on how she’s feeling. He also thinks Ami is out of his league, which, yes she is. Shion, bless his heart, is still trying to get some knowledge through to Yuudai’s thick, thick skull, and reiterates that Ami had no idea Yuudai was even asking her out on an actual date, meaning Yuudai’s got to try again. The conversation’s enlightening for Yuudai, but more enlightening for me, because I’m learning that Shion is even more attractive while sitting outside eating a sandwich in a peacoat and a hat.

Our Karuizawa buddies Shion and Yuudai enjoy some more time with one another in the playroom with Ami. Yuudai’s been left out of Ami and Shion’s conversations about her modeling career, and much like Ami is, he’s confused. Yuudai picks apart Ami’s dream, and laughs in her face because he “really doesn’t get” what she’s trying to do or what she wants out of life. His stream of back-to-back questions causes Ami to fully weep. Looking on, Shion and Yuudai seem spooked and confused as to why Yuudai’s interrogation caused her to break down.

After sobbing to herself for a moment, Ami lifts her head, tears running down her face and says she was only laughing. Shion tries to calm Ami and tells her it’s okay to worry and stress about her future, but that she should give her self some time to think through her plans. The room falls silent, and Shion excuses himself to pee. Shortly after, Ami excuses herself to blow her nose. Left alone, Yuudai hangs his empty head in sad shock.

Not too much later, a still-rattled Ami tosses her food onto the kitchen table and joins Mizuki and Shion for dinner. Mizuki’s now heard about the playroom tears and asks Ami if she knows why she cried. Eyes still wet with the tears from her torturer, Ami says she cried because she was grilled and pushed to her edge by Yuudai. Ami admits that she’s making no noticeable steps toward fulfilling her modeling career goals, but she thinks Yuudai could have been more sensitive toward her journey. That, Shion and Mizuki agree with. But they say that Yuudai didn’t know just how sensitive she was, and would have adjusted his tone or line of questioning had he known. Mizuki, however, says she can’t help but worry about Yuudai, because he’s made so many missteps in a matter of days that it’s hard to think his insensitivity can just be attributed to his age. Shion, responding to Mizuki calling out Yuudai’s insensitivity, says that this has now turned into a meeting about Yuudai.

Ami, the hurting mean girl that she is, has a flicker of happiness bounce across her eyeballs, excited to drag someone. She’s not so lucky, because Shion exits to pee, again (it appears he drank too much beer and his bladder if overflowing with urine). With just Ami and Mizuki left, Ami expresses more confusion over Yuudai’s tone and joy at making digs at her expense.

In a much-needed debrief with the celebs, we hear them talk about about how Yuudai had the audacity to go job hunting in sunglasses. Unclear if his choice stems from generational differences or stupidity, they admit that they could never.

Between this and his shock at making Ami cry, the celebs and I are convinced that Yuudai possesses a dangerous mix of reckless confidence and reckless stupidity. Yoshimi even does a spot-on impression of Yuudai’s face after he brings Ami to tears and You makes a great point that Yuudai’s digs are reminiscent of a boy “flipping the skirt” of a schoolgirl to get her attention. Aside from dragging Yuudai and Ryota, the group can’t wait to see Ami dissect her housemates with her friends again! Bring back the young lady with the eye patch!

Back at the house, Yuudai chats with his mentor Taka about the whole Ami ordeal. Yuudai admits to “failing” by making Ami cry, but claims he’s just worried because she’s a third-year college student with no immediate plans. Um, sir, you’re a 19th-year dud who doesn’t even know how to make a pot of soup. Give me a break.

Taka advises Yuudai to not impose his beliefs on Ami. Yuudai takes Taka’s advice to heart, and heads to the girl’s room to apologize to Ami. Mizuki and Tsubasa are also there to hear Yuudai profusely apologize for saying the wrong things out of worry (even though he’s younger than her). Yuudai bows in sorrow, and Mizuki tells him to buck up and just be more considerate in the future. Low-key, Mizuki will be the person to bring Yuudai down, and I have a bucket of popcorn and glass of wine READY for that show, beloveds! Ami, whose heart seems to have softened to Yuudai, tells him that he didn’t need to apologize for anything and when she knows the definitive steps she’s taking toward modeling, she’ll let him know first. Yuudai says he’ll return the favor once he has a plan for being a chef.

Shion, finally out of the house, is seen at a photo shoot. The shoot is for body wash and shampoo, so his hair is slightly limp as he poses in eyeline and an open shirt. Thank God I have an emotional support system because Shion hitting his angles and exposing his bare chest sent me into an emotional tailspin that only loved ones could free me from!

After a long day’s work, Shion returns home just in time to scold Yuudai for not washing his dinner dishes. Yuudai was going to wait for them to “pile up,” which Shion thinks is stupid especially if he wants to avoid hearing from Mizuki about dirtying up the kitchen. Tsubasa is also in the kitchen, so Shion takes this time to double check that she’s free the following Monday for a foot-bath date — and Tsubasa is still free and excited about their excursion. Yuudai, who seems to be allergic to learning lessons about minding his business, asks why they won’t go to a coed bath with one another instead.

Changing the subject, Shion asks Yuudai if he and the two other “loiterers,” Ami and Mizuki, will still be making a trip to the outlets the following day. Yuudai says they will be, and this trip will actually be special because he’s going to ask Ami out on an official date while shopping. Shion thinks that’s a great idea and promises to take Mizuki aside so that Yuudai can shoot his shot.

Before shopping, Yuudai makes his way to a job interview in town via a bike because he cannot drive. Ahead of the interview, Yuudai runs into Taka in the kitchen, who’s cooking miso soup and looks more at ease than Yuudai ever has around kitchen supplies and food in general. After biking through town, Yuudai arrives for his interview at Harunire Terrace, this time Shion-less and with an unfinished résumé. Apparently in Japan, you need a photo on your resume, and Yuudai tells his potential boss that his photo wasn’t ready in time, so hopefully his pea brain and camera crew will be enough to jog his memory during the selection process. When asked why he wanted to work at this particular restaurant, Yuudai says it’s because it was close to his home and the menu was “beautiful.” When asked about his signature dish, he says “pasta with tomato or cream sauce.” This little boy will just never win in my book.

After his interview, Yuudai heads to the Karuizawa outlet with Shion, Ami, and Mizuki, who ask how the interview went. Yuudai thinks it went well but he won’t know if he got the job for a few days. Knowing he doesn’t have a job or money, Yuudai is asked what his shopping budget will be and he says “2,000 yen,” which is $18.64 American dollars. A noticeable hush falls across the vehicle, and Yuudai fills the silence saying he also has a credit card if need be. From the back seat, low-key savage Mizuki asks “Whose is it?” Of course, it’s Yuudai’s dad’s card, but even with his stolen money Ami says that 2,000 yen is a tight budget, even for an outlet.

Once they arrive, Shion, who is trying hard to save some face for Yuudai, asks if the group should break away and shop separately, hoping he can get Yuudai and Ami to spend some alone time together so Yuudai could ask her out. I don’t even have to tell you, but: Yuudai doesn’t get the hint. Instead, he skips like a kid and screams about how he wants to buy some Gucci sunglasses! Much like Ryoto says later on, I got extreme chills at the thought of this boy thinking he could buy Gucci glasses for $18. Once everyone’s done some shopping, Ami and Yuudai finally have some alone time together and Yuudai makes it clear to her that he’d like for them to go out on a date, just the two of them. He sort of throws Shion under the bus by referencing their conversation about Ami. Ami agrees to go on a date with Yuudai, but keeps repeating “Shion told you?”

Back in our den of celebrities, Reina is a little bit surprised that Ami didn’t seem put off by Yuudai’s second attempt at asking her out. But the group is disappointed that this may mean Ami’s off the table to Taka.

The episode ends with Taka waxing his snowboard in the Karuizawa night with Shion and Yuudai looking on. Ami, for a moment, looks at his work through the kitchen window. But when she leaves, Yuudai tells Taka that he finally asked Ami out on a date. Taka’s little ears perk up and he asks if she said yes. He smirks, knowing that even though she said yes to this date with a boy, he and his 31-year-old brain might just have something else up their sleeves. Until next time.

This Episode of Terrace House Requires Emotional Support