“Terrace House” served up two shockers this week: the sudden disappearance of Shohei and an unexpected crash course in the mantra of immature idiots, “Bros before hoes.”

After last week’s date with Emika, a lunch where she declared she said she was only interested in hardworking men with goals, our natural expectation was that Shohei would step up in order to impress her. Instead, Shohei decided to move out of the house at the crack of dawn without saying goodbye to anyone. Mind you, this is the most Shohei-esque way to leave “Terrace House.” The night before his sudden departure, Ruka and Shohei indulged in a little night swim in the indoor pool, giving us a nice moment with some innocent fun. But later, Ruka came back to the men’s room to find Shohei packing his bags. After some prodding, Shoehi spilled the beans: He’s leaving Terrace House. He says he didn’t want to tell anyone about his decision because he doesn’t like drawn-out goodbyes. Ruka is understandably sad since he and Shohei have been buds from the start, and he insists on waking up early to see Shohei off.

Early riser: Shohei woke up at the crack of dawn to make his exit from the house and avoid having to see anyone on his way out | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT
Early riser: Shohei woke up at the crack of dawn to make his exit from the house and avoid having to see anyone on his way out on “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.” | © FUJI TELEVISION / EAST ENTERTAINMENT

So what does Shohei do? He deliberately leaves at 5 a.m. to avoid saying a final goodbye to Ruka, and even though he didn’t want to draw attention to himself, the final shot we get of Shohei is him creeping through the house at the crack of dawn and walking away in the rain. When Ruka wakes up, goes downstairs and sees Shohei’s farewell message on the chalkboard, you could practically see his heart sink.

One by one, other roommates came down to discover a sad Ruka sitting in the kitchen. Kaori looked like she was about to cry when she read Shohei’s message, but had to rush off to work. And even though Haruka grabbed a tissue, that poetic single tear just didn’t materialize. Better luck next time on that poignant close-up Haruka!

With Shohei’s departure, we got a brand new member and we sense trouble ahead. Ryo Tawatari is a professional basketball player for the Yokohama B-Corsairs and showed no sign of nervousness in his new surroundings.. He was even self-assured enough to subtly chastise everyone for the horrendous state of the bathroom and suggested cleaning it.


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So the gang is going from someone who didn’t have a full-time job to a guy who is hoping to compete in the Olympics. Quite a change. However, every season of “Terrace House” needs a sport to keep things interesting. “Boys & Girls in the City” had baseball and ballet, “Aloha State” had surfing, “Opening New Doors” had hockey, and it looks like “Tokyo 2019-2020” will be all about basketball.

As part of an introductory tour of the house, Peppe, Ruka and Ryo go down to the playroom, testing out their English skills with each other on the way. Unfortunately, this little cultural exchange brings about the interaction the episode title refers to. In an effort to make sure Ryo won’t make any moves on Emika, Peppe brings up the intelligently phrased philosophy of “bros before hoes.” Ruka doesn’t get what it means at first, but Ryo explains it to him, bringing our sweet Ruka ever closer to the dark side of jock culture. — although it’s questionable if he actually understood a single word.

Of course, Shohei and Ryo weren’t the only ones making waves this week. Peppe and Emika went on a date to Zushi Beach in Kanagawa Prefecture and it had a completely different vibe from the awkward pool scene back in Episode 16 — Peppe and Emika were at ease around each other and genuinely looked like they were having fun. At lunch, Peppe couldn’t resist making Emika swoon a little with a personal anecdote similar to “the orange-flavored kiss,” but this time he mused on how he was too shy to ask out a stranger on a bus after flirting by mirroring her movements for 10 minutes. It was a bit creepy, but also kind of endearing that he shares personal things so easily.

The Japan Times is posting weekly recaps of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.” Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. New episodes of “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020” stream on Netflix and Fuji TV on Demand (FOD) and air on Fuji TV on Tuesdays.

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