Last episode, we were bombarded with new roommates joining the house, and now it’s time to see how Vivi, Tupas and Kai are settling in. It’s clear that everyone loves Vivi, and who can blame them? Well, everyone but Hana, probably, because that ray of sunshine is after her man.
The drama kicks off when Ryo comes home from a basketball game with a twisted ankle. Seeing him hobbling around with crutches and feeling pitiful, Hana jumps into nurse mode and begins tending to him. Unfortunately, Vivi is too powerful a rival for Hana’s Florence Nightingale act because, even though they just met, Ryo and Vivi quickly bond over their tales of moving to a new country without speaking the language (the United States for him, Japan for her), while Hana pouts in the kitchen. Not only that, when asked why she decided to join “Terrace House,” Vivi says she came to look for a life partner (while also living in a fun environment). Sounds like her goals align with Ryo’s since he previously said that he wants to marry the next woman he dates.
Hana must have realized that she needs to seize the moment and tell Ryo how she feels before he fully falls for the blonde beauty, because she starts going on the offensive. Over a homemade meal of tofu burger patties, Hana tries to lift Ryo out of his funk by telling him he’s like a superhero and she’s inspired by him. She then awkwardly segues into confessing that she has “fuzzy feelings” for him and she would like his help figuring out what those feelings mean. Ryo isn’t over the moon with this development, though. Instead, he looks like he has more pressing matters on his mind.
Afterwards, the housemates throw a Halloween-themed welcome party for the new additions, and they go all out with streamers, a jack-o’-lantern and silly headwear. Everyone laughs at their stained lips from the squid ink pasta, and also when Hana accidentally calls Tupas “Patos” and is swiftly corrected. In the midst of all this fun, Vivi’s face lights up while telling Ryo that he reminds her of an ex-boyfriend. Personally, I would hate it if someone said I reminded them of an ex, but it’s a flirty exchange between Vivi and Ryo and afterwards in the girls’ room, Hana admits that she sees that those two have a connection. Vivi says she likes that Ryo is the kind of guy who can jet off to Miami with her at the drop of a hat, which sounded like a surprising leap to me. Girl, doesn’t he have basketball practice?
Patos, sorry, Tupas, continues to be a bit of an oddball. He keeps using the phrase “the oldest goes first” and addressing his roommates with stoic formality. When he asks Emika to show him around the house, the two sit in near silence in the playroom, sipping their drinks, until Tupas mutters, “I tend to be shy.” Emika doesn’t mind the quiet, though. She says she’s shy too, and she likes having someone to be quiet with. Despite this conversation about mute companionship, the two quickly make plans to hang out in the playroom more (my eyebrows went up at that, as the playroom is where couples usually go for privacy), go out to dinner and catch a movie.
However, it’s not Emika and Tupas or Vivi and Ryo going out on a date this episode — it’s Kai and Vivi. Even though Vivi has already told the girls she’s turning her attention to Ryo and she wants to back out of her plans with Kai, she takes Kai up on his offer to check out a pottery class together. The two throw clay on pottery wheels and it looks like a really good date. An added bonus is that their ceramics teacher has a soothing yogi-like voice. Seems like the perfect afternoon to me.
Unfortunately for Kai, Ryo and Vivi continue to prove they have an easy and natural rapport. Back at the house, after they bump booties while bantering over who will do the dishes, Ryo comments on how Vivi’s exposed shoulder is sexy, and she teases him for being “invincible” despite his injury. It’s enough to make Hana cry. While she sits at the dining room table within earshot of Ryo and Vivi giggling in the living room, she can’t hold back her tears. Even though her panda hoodie is obscuring her face, Kai notices Hana’s sniffles. Needing an escape from the crushing situation, Hana asks Kai to chat with her upstairs, and my rom-com-loving heart is hoping this comfort session sparks a romance between Kai and Hana.
With that, “Terrace House” closes out the year (and decade!) on a somber note, leaving us having to wait until the new year to find out if Kai will help mend Hana’s broken heart. Tom and I will be back with a new recap on Jan. 10. Until then, have a happy new year!
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.