Multiple plot lines came to their messy conclusions this week as the housemates opened up and let their emotions flow. And boy, there were a lot of tears.
Ryo’s suggestion that the roommates go out to eat barbecue finally happens, with the gang gathering at a rooftop spot in the high-class neighborhood of Omotesando and having a great time digging into grilled meat and seafood. Just as spirits wind down, Ryo makes an announcement we all saw coming: he’s leaving “Terrace House.” His reason? He wants to focus on basketball, but seeing as how he’s been at the center of multiple love triangles for weeks, he probably wants a break from the flurry of flirting that has been thrown his way. His big reveal has all the women crying, some more than others. Vivi even gets a close-up moment, sobbing dramatically on a staircase. Watch out, Claire Danes.
Hana grabs Ryo for a private chat inside a cosily decorated tent because she wants to clear the air. She confesses that she’s been crushing on Ryo for a while and asks him if he had noticed. “Well, yeah, of course,” he says. We all noticed, Hana. Ryo explains that, while he thinks Hana is beautiful and has a bright personality, they just weren’t meant to be as a couple. He assures her that it has nothing to do with her being a wrestler — something her ex had a problem with in the past — before laying down the classic “let’s be friends” line. That hurts more than a piledriver.
Back at the house, Vivi is preemptively mourning Ryo’s departure but isn’t throwing in the towel just yet. She invites Ryo up to the playroom, which is almost always an invitation for a romantic rendez-vous, but Ryo isn’t sure what she wants. Is she going to confess her love? Is she going to beat him up? “If you had asked me an hour ago, I did want to punch you,” Vivi says.
She then scoots in front of Ryo, pulls out earbuds from her pocket and voices a request: to listen to the first song they ever heard together, one last time. She takes his hands in hers, but the way they are positioned makes it look more like a seance than romantic hand-holding.
But then … suddenly… they’re kissing! It’s a full-on make-out session. Vivi doesn’t hold back, climbing onto Ryo’s lap, passionately kissing him — and Ryo responds in kind. (Note to self: Watching “Terrace House” in public is not always a great idea.)
Some viewers may think Vivi just wanted to have one intimate moment with Ryo before he leaves, but I think this is her way of punishing him for never pursuing her. After they give their lips a rest, Vivi’s face seems to say, “You could have had this for the past few months, but you missed out.”
She cuddles up to Ryo and proclaims she’s ready for bed as Ryo embraces her, looking perplexed. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you,” she mutters, although she clearly means “I love you” … it’s confusing. They may not have made it to coupledom, but at least they got one hot and heavy scene together.
Ryo departs the next day, leaving the members sniffling and wiping away tears, before Kai breaks the tension by chastising Ryo for knocking a painting he made for him against the wall. “Hey, don’t be rough with my art!” he yells.
But after Ryo leaves, the lives of the other “Terrace House” members must go on. The remaining housemates decide to see Hana in action at a wrestling match and are in for a shock: Before the referee gives the official OK to start the match, Hana and her cohorts beat their opponents senseless. Hana even knocks a wrestler out of the ring, causing nearby spectators to quickly grab their belongings and get the heck out of the way.
Afterward, Hana and Kai head out for monja-yaki (a runny pan-fried dish) to catch up. Hana rehashes the Ryo drama as Kai patiently listens, but after a while she stops overthinking her love life and becomes more fun and lively. It’s working for Kai because he’s all set to go trampolining the next time they go out, the two quickly set a date. Ryo who?
In a very meta scene, we see Emika, Hana and Tupas watching Ep. 24 of “Terrace House” together in the playroom. Hana has a sheepish look on her face when they show a clip of her badmouthing Emika and, in the clip that follows, the panelists rip into Emika after her infamous sushi date with Ryo. Present-day Emika is understandably not pleased with how she’s being portrayed. While the panelists continue to throw insults at her, calling her manipulative and rude, Emika marches out of the playroom.
Through her tears, she calls some friends to vent over what aired to millions of Netflix subscribers around the world: “Living in this house is excruciating,” she says. “I never should’ve chosen to be here.”
Back in the playroom, Hana and Tupas debate whether or not to console her or to let her be. Tupas rattles off all of the things he likes about Emika and how she is truly a good person deep down when Hana tells him to stop telling her that and to go tell Emika. Tupas finds Emika crying on the couch in the living room and does his best to give her a pep talk. “Seeing that episode doesn’t change my opinion of you,” he says.
Unfortunately, comforting words from Tupas aren’t enough to make up for public humiliation, and the next morning Emika has an announcement for Tupas — she’s leaving “Terrace House,” too. Emika says that she’s upset about how she behaved in front of the cameras and that she’s now being trolled online.
Tupas is genuinely shocked that he only has one more week with Emika, since it seemed like their relationship was so close to becoming official. He tries to hold back tears when he says, “To tell you the truth, I wish we had more time together.”
The two confess that they do have feelings for each other and agree to go on one final date before Emika moves out for good. Here’s hoping she wears her jaunty leather hat for old time’s sake.
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.