Blue Eye Samurai (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

A Fixed Number of Paths

[ominous music playing]
[door closes]
- [sword swishing]
- [woman groans]
[man 1] Ignore her. Do it quick.
[man 2] It's only an infant.
[man 1] No, it doesn't even cry.
What child makes no sound?
Just look at it.
You see? A half-breed.
It's hardly human.
Killing it is a mercy. Do it already.
[woman whimpers]
[man 2] I can't.
[man 1] Oh, coward. I'll do it.
[man 2] No!
[both grunting]
[man 2] Take it.
Take the devil child and go!
[baby crying, echoing]
[tense music playing]
[music crescendos, fades]
[Ringo] Get off of my master!
What did you do to him?
Not me. Not me! The Fangs.
[Ringo] Master, no.
Don't touch him.
There's a shrine up the mountain.
He'll be safe there.
[owls hooting]
[children laughing]
[Mizu's mother]
No, Mizu! No one can see your face.
The bad men will find you.
If that door opens, we die.
[Shindo] Dead?
Which one of the Four Fangs is dead?
[messenger] All of them.
All Four Fangs.
You solve the problem.
Is that an order? [chuckles]
Ten years I've waited for this moment.
Ten years of planning
to make our control
of the shogunate absolute.
It's right there.
On the bed, cheeks parted, waiting.
And you want me to gift my attention
to some malformed half-breed
who's handy with a sword.
So, if you might, my dear, dear friend,
my trusted partner and clear equal,
my right hand
and both feet on land, fondest heart,
spare a cup of concern
towards our purpose.
And do it your fucking self.
[footsteps approaching]
Prepare a tea ceremony.
[Taigen] Hmm. Making soup now?
It will heal him.
It better.
If he dies, you die.
[Ringo] That one's poison.
Snowcap. One bite Dehh.
Two bites Ekkk.
Drink this.
You can barely stand,
let alone hold that sword for long.
[Mizu grunts]
I didn't kill you
when I easily could have.
Now put that down and sit.
I'm nearly finished.
[Mizu grunts]
It's a contract for a duel.
The rematch you owe me
to be registered, legal, and witnessed.
Only thing left is the date.
How many days do you need
before you're well enough to die?
You barely survived our last match.
That was no match.
You're nowhere near my level.
Hmm. I like your hair.
I was blind drunk when we fought.
I was celebrating my engagement.
- Congratulations.
- Which is now broken.
You cost me my station and my honor.
I'll have it all back
when I return with your corpse.
How long?
Two days.
Make it three.
If you wanted me dead, you should've
struck when you had the chance.
The time to kill your enemy
is when you can.
There would be no honor in that.
[Mizu breathes deeply]
You don't want revenge. You want a party.
When I find the men I've set out to kill,
I promise you I won't waste
a second on ceremony.
Then you are not a samurai at all.
Still a stray dog eating out of my trash.
Three days.
[Taigen grunts in the distance]
[Ringo] More medicine.
The first brought your fever down.
This one will speed your healing
and rebuild your strength.
It has vegetables, cod liver, herbs
[Ringo] Oh
[Taigen grunts]
Master Eiji's broken blade
is a good fit for him.
[crows cawing in distance]
[suspenseful music playing]
[footsteps approaching]
[heavy breaths]
[tense music accelerates, fades]
"As I trust you are a man of honor,
I hope you can credit the same of me."
"If you would follow my man, Okiyama,
he will lead you to a medial place
where we can,
in common safety, meet for tea."
"Please accept this gift
as a token of sincerity
from one eager for your acquaintance."
"From Heiji Shindo."
[horses snorting]
Whoa. Wait. Where are you going?
- [Mizu] For tea.
- [Taigen] There's no tea.
You know that, right?
He's leading you to an ambush.
[Taigen] Hey, I need you alive!
We have a contract, remember?
No one gets to kill you but me.
[theme music playing]
[Ringo] Whoo-hoo-hoo!
Right! Left! [laughs]
I'm on a horse!
There is no possibility
this will be anything other than a trap.
Heiji Shindo will be there.
He is a direct line
to one of the men I am sworn to kill.
Revenge does not hesitate.
[shivers] Chilly.
Is it?
You're not used to travel or the cold.
You need extra provisions to keep warm.
I have hot tea and money.
Provisions enough for anyone.
The roads are full of danger, child.
If we turn back now,
your father will never know you left.
You can be on your way to Edo.
The real danger is in Edo.
I have a precise plan to avoid it.
I have four days till Father calls on me
to leave for the wedding.
That gives me two days to find Taigen,
one day to make sure
he fights his demon samurai,
and one day to bring him back
with his honor restored.
I remember a case
when I was a young counsel.
An insane monk went around
freeing pigs from the farms
believing he was saving them
from a cruel prandial fate.
The pigs ran into the woods
squealing with the shock of freedom.
Most ended up
being ripped to shreds by wolves.
The rest starved.
And the villagers went hungry that winter.
Why do men keep comparing me to pigs?
I mean to say,
there are only so many paths
available to each man and each girl.
Fight within your confines,
not against them.
I am not out here to learn a lesson.
[servant 1 grunts]
- [servant 2 whimpers]
- [servant 3 screams]
You're about to learn a lesson.
Count to ten,
then climb out that window. Run.
[door opens]
Gentlemen, you have made
a poor choice in stopping us.
Your expectations,
I assure you, are not worth your efforts.
Just take my purse and go.
I have nothing else of value.
Just some rice balls
and tea for my journey.
I could eat.
[tense music swelling, fades]
Been some time since I killed a man.
I wonder if I still remember how.
[Akemi grunts]
Those pretty feet sure run fast.
But not fast enough.
You're lucky I'm not a man.
[Akemi grunts]
The other shoe, princess.
- Are you
- I'm fine.
[horse neighing]
What did you use to say?
If one god forsakes you,
another one will help you.
[Seki] My friend.
Might you spare a ride to Kyoto?
[Akemi] Not Kyoto!
Mihonoseki, on the coast.
It's important I be there by morning.
I can pay.
[horse neighing]
[theme music swelling]
They scattered
white flowers on the Buddha,
and the flowers they scattered
were piled as high as Mount Sumeru.
[Taigen] I didn't see a mountain
until I was 12 and ran away from home.
Nothing there but cliffs and boats.
Fish guts and fish minds.
Do you remember Kohama?
Why would you? I try to forget it.
My father lived and died
by how many fish he caught
in his net before sunrise.
Enough fish, and he could drink his fill.
Not enough, he beat me instead.
And I could smell the cod on his fists.
I smelled it on him on his deathbed.
Eighty-four thousand Dharma doors.
For me, there were only two.
The net or the sword.
I could become my father,
or I could cut my way free of the net.
And I could forget all about Kohama.
I remember Kohama.
[Ringo humming]
[heavy breaths]
He needs a weapon to kill you
like you need two hands to piss.
He could bite you in half while you sleep.
[Ringo] All of it.
Well, I guess I'll just relax
and wait to be ambushed.
Or maybe we'll get lucky,
and tomorrow we meet Heiji Shindo for tea,
only there won't be any tea.
There'll be an army of soldiers
to cut you into tiny slices,
none of which can duel me.
If you prefer, I can kill you now.
[Ringo chuckles]
Why'd you let me follow you, hmm?
Revenge doesn't hesitate.
You need me because you're weak.
Still a malnourished urchin on the street.
I can beat you with any weapon you choose.
A spear.
A rock.
- Master, your stitches.
- [Mizu groans]
[Taigen grunts]
[Taigen grunts]
[Mizu groans]
The bad men will find you.
[both grunting]
- [Mizu grunts]
- [Taigen groans]
[Taigen pants]
[both grunting]
[Mizu's mother]
If that door opens, we die.
[chuckles] The village kids used to scare
each other with stories about you.
The hut at the end of the woods,
where the monster boy lived
with his whore mother.
[Mizu grunts]
[both grunting]
We dared each other to touch the door.
Until one day it was gone.
You let them see you?
Men will come. Men will always come.
Then you were a dog on our streets,
living on gutter scraps.
[Mizu's mother screams]
Mizu! Mizu!
[both grunting]
[Mizu pants]
Your round.
Ahh. I'll get my needle and thread.
Whoa! Whoa!
You know, you picked a ridiculous master,
but you take good care of him.
Hmm. I tell you what.
After I kill him, you come work for me.
You can't be my apprentice.
I mean, look at you,
half-limb to a half-wit.
But I'll certainly
make a place for you in my kitchens.
Oh, I could never work for you.
I always dreamt of greatness.
Gave every coin I ever collected
to the saisen box with a prayer on it.
You think you can be great?
As it says,
there are four paths through the world.
The way of the farmer, the artisan,
the merchant, and the warrior.
Each of these can lead to greatness.
I never even cared which path,
so long as I found mine.
I mean, I thought I'd
at least reach noodle greatness.
But now I've actually seen
what greatness looks like.
And I know I can't touch greatness
any more than I could swallow the sun,
but I can help.
I can help greatness.
What? I'm great!
[mysterious music playing]
[Taigen] Oh no. No, thank you.
We're not going in that death trap.
Heiji Shindo is this way?
Then I go this way.
Hey! What do you think you're doing?
I'm the only one who gets to kill him.
So if he's walking in
to meet certain death,
I'll be there to keep him and death
from getting too friendly. Got it?
You talk?
"Meet me for tea. It'll be fun."
[mysterious music continues]
[Taigen] It opens up here. Get ready.
[tense music swelling]
[Shindo] Hello!
[Mizu] Huh.
I was just in the mood for tea.
[Taigen] It's still a trap.
[Seki] Akemi! Akemi! Time to get out.
This isn't Mihonoseki.
We're nowhere near.
You took us further than when we started!
[farmer] Hyah!
Then you better start walking! [laughs]
After we paid him!
It's called taking someone
for a ride. [chuckles]
[gasps] We're a day's walk
the opposite way.
[Seki] Two.
What do we do?
We have no money.
No way of getting anywhere.
I'm going to freeze to death out here.
Covered in shit!
[gasps, sobs]
[Akemi] I wish we were back home.
Enough to get us there.
You had that all along?
You knew we'd end up like this?
And I'd give up?
Child, who taught you to paint,
to read, to wash, to dance?
I know you.
You're like an orchid.
Lovely and singular
but suited for neither frost nor fry.
And stubborn
as to when to bloom to reason.
Now, thankfully you have.
Let's hire a horse and go home.
I can still find Taigen.
You took a gamble on Taigen and lost.
Now we have to secure
the next best available outcome,
and that is in Edo,
married to the shogun's son.
I wouldn't have brought
your father the match
if I didn't think
it was the best thing for you.
You. You brought in the shogun's man.
This is the world.
It grants women a fixed number of paths.
Proper wife or improper whore.
Don't be shocked.
You're not a child anymore.
You have to see things as they are.
Yes, I picked a path for you.
You sold me to a rich man's son.
How's that any different
than being a whore?
In a tavern like that right now
are purveyors and flesh-traders
traveling village to village
for girls to buy.
And girls are bought,
sold by their own families.
Ask them if it's different.
There is happiness to be stolen
as a wife to the right man.
Even to the wrong one.
Bits and pieces, over time.
To find out only now
you never believed in me.
[indistinct chatter]
These feet were never meant
for the open road.
So soft, like fresh tofu.
[Seki] Akemi.
What is this?
[scoffs] You old goat, stop following me.
You can't afford me.
My fans follow me everywhere.
I just left
Shimabara's most exclusive brothel
to find employment somewhere
worthy of my talents as a courtesan.
You'd fetch an astronomical price!
I've been a purveyor all my life.
Plenty of girls pretend to be a princess.
You really could be one.
I never sold a girl
half as elegant as you.
[chuckles] No one has.
My koto playing once brought
an entire room of samurai to orgasm.
[Seki] Hmph.
[Akemi] Didn't have to lift my hem.
That's enough. Akemi, come with me.
Take your shriveled old dick
and go cry for some other girl.
This one's in Goro's care now.
You were saying
you don't have a contract now?
My last employer
tried to have me entertain a man
I knew would raise a hand to me.
He told me a woman has no choice
but to accept her fate.
But I know there's another path.
One I choose for myself.
I hear there's a fine parlor
in Mihonoseki.
Oh, miss. You are in luck!
You need someone to negotiate for you.
Get you the best price!
Goro knows everyone.
All the best brothels from Kyoto to Edo,
uh, or Mihonoseki if you like.
We can be there in a day!
You take my horse. Please.
Have to keep those feet supple.
[Seki sighs]
Akemi, you don't know what you're doing.
In my youth,
I saw enough flawless swordsmen
to know I'd never be one.
I put my effort into other arts.
Commerce. Tea.
That kettle has been
in the Shindo clan for 300 years.
Beautiful ironwork.
We have no secrets here.
You were meant to be alone.
Fair. You expected an attack.
I am unarmed,
but for a small knife to cut bean cake.
We have our swords.
Maybe I have 500 archers
hidden in the cliffs around us.
You are Heiji Shindo.
You trade in flesh, opium, chiefly guns.
Middleman to illegal traders
from the West.
You have been looking for me.
For a man you are connected with.
I am connected with many men.
The white man.
There are no white men in Japan.
That's the law.
No one would break the law.
Abijah Fowler.
Abijah Fowler.
That is his name.
And what business do you have with Fowler?
He was one of the three white men
who were in Japan when I was born.
I will kill all three of them.
There were four white men
when you were born.
There are three now.
Fowler and I have dealings.
Long-standing arrangements.
Your business is unimportant.
You can't muster
the appearance of concern for your host?
I look your way and don't even see you.
[Taigen] Mm.
You mean to kill my partner.
I am bidden to prevent that.
I sent the Four Fangs.
I killed the Four Fangs.
That proves you formidable, uncommonly.
Now I can keep hiring more
and more expensive cutthroats,
and you can keep killing them,
which will cost us money, and you, time.
This benefits no one.
But you're lucky.
I am wise. Experienced.
I know some problems
you simply can't kill.
An offer.
A very pretty one.
Fifty thousand ryo.
And we appoint you
the new lord of the Sendai-han.
Rich in lumber, sake, and silk.
The current lord is a debauch.
The shogun will appoint
a successor at our request.
He does most things at our request.
I have the letters prepared.
Lord Mizu of Sendai. Why not?
In return,
you would have to offer an assurance
you will let go
of all ill intention toward me
and Fowler.
An assurance.
Well, it's a small thing.
Nothing at all, really.
[breathes deeply]
Your right thumb.
I take it with me as a promise
that you will never
grasp a sword against us again.
Your knife cuts more than bean cake.
[Shindo] There's no shame in it.
Many of the most powerful lords
have reason to wear long sleeves.
Oh, hold on, hold on.
You owe me a fight first. Me.
What do you think they're doing?
You cook?
Then cook.
[suspenseful music accelerates, fades]
I refuse.
I have no interest in money or power.
I have no interest in being happy.
Only satisfied.
This you expected.
Did I?
A man for whom commerce is art.
This you planned for
with an attack or a second offer.
Perhaps not so pretty.
If I may, how do you intend
to reach Fowler in his island castle?
Through the front door.
Really. He would.
He won't.
As a white man, Fowler is tolerated
only so long as he remains unseen.
Fowler's castle is impenetrable.
To reach him,
you'd have to cross violent waters.
Eight levels to reach his chamber
at the top,
each with a signature defense.
And there is no door.
The defenses are absolute.
If you attempt an assault,
you'll die before you see his face.
Unless someone were to help you.
Personal. You want to kill Fowler.
I want my partnership with him ended.
I can get you inside the castle.
A sake barrel.
You want him to get in that?
The ride will be long and horrible.
But upon my return to the castle,
having failed to negotiate with you,
the ten casks of sake
I purchased along the way
will be set in the kitchen stores.
You're not actually considering
getting in that.
Any path
that leads me to Fowler is a good one.
That fever must've cooked your brain.
That's not a cask. It's a coffin!
He probably has a room full of barrels
stuffed with dead,
shriveled, stupid enemies.
[Mizu] I have questions.
You must.
How do I trust
you don't leave me in there to die?
You weigh
the inane complexity of that plan
against the simpler ambush you expected.
Why do you want Fowler dead
when he makes you so rich,
you can bribe me with 50,000 ryo?
My reasons are my own.
No. No, they're not.
Twenty years of that face.
That stink.
I hate him.
I hate him so much.
Hmm. Why does the sake smell
He wants to die in a fancy barrel.
Ah. That's the cheap sake
we serve to the prostitutes.
If you'd like, I have a cask
of my preferred sake. It's very dry.
I have a question.
Let's say he gets through all that
and guts your white man.
How does he get out of the castle?
I can guarantee your life
within a blade's length
of Abijah Fowler's neck.
Our business ends there.
I wish you luck in your escape.
[Mizu] A final question.
That flower.
Who cut that flower?
The line is exquisite.
Only a master could make that cut.
It couldn't have been you.
Enough questions.
Get in the barrel.
What happens if I refuse?
You can't.
I told you the truth about our situation
except on one point.
I'm not here alone.
On the cliffs surrounding this vale
are 500 of my best archers.
My small joke earlier was no joke.
It is an ambush. See?
If you refuse to step in the cask,
I drop this ribbon,
which is the signal for my archers
to blot the sun with their arrows,
and you die where you stand.
And Fowler lives.
Knowing him, probably forever.
- Now get in.
- [Taigen] No!
You can't get in there.
There aren't any archers
Shut up! You have no choice.
Get in! Get in or die now!
[groans, screams]
For a minute, I thought you believed him.
There aren't any archers.
You bed with the devil.
[both panting]
[both grunting]
Huh. He wasn't lying.
[Mizu] They're reloading. Count!
- One, two, three, four
- [both grunting]
five, six, seven, eight.
Bad sign.
[Taigen] Reloading. Two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight.
[pants] Two, three, four
five, six, seven, eight!
[Taigen groans]
[both panting]
[Mizu] We'll never make it.
We're trapped.
- Two, three
- Stop counting seconds till we die.
Hell with it.
Hold me over your head and run.
No reason for us both to die.
[horse neighing]
[gasps] Ringo.
[dramatic music playing]
[screams, laughs]
[laughs] This guy!
Some greatness in you, after all.
What did you do to the giant?
[Mizu groans]
Your shielding. That was
Your timing. You're deeply skilled.
The broken blade fits well in your hand.
Well, it's yours.
You won it.
You were never getting in that barrel.
Men like him like to talk so much,
they eventually tell you
how to destroy them.
He told you how to get into the castle!
How? What was it? The flower?
The cheap sake.
[laughs] The prostitutes!
You know,
it's a shame our duel's set for tomorrow.
I have to kill you
before you can get your reven
[Shindo] The man I met
is no man.
A demon.
Eyes empty.
Eyes like yours.
Nothing can stop him.
He'll come.
He'll stand right here,
and he will open your throat.
He'll watch you die.
[Mizu] Your skill as a swordsman
merits an opponent
with full strength and focus.
I will be able to supply you with both
after I have fulfilled my task.
On the second day of autumn,
I will meet you at the appointed shrine,
and you shall have the duel you deserve.
Thank you.
As a surety, please accept this blade
which so well suits your hand.
[Fowler] I want to know
everything there is to know
about your demon.
[Shindo] I only know his name.
But someone knows more.
He will tell us everything.
[Taigen grunts]
[grunts, screams]
[closing theme music playing]
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