It took us longer than usual, BUT TERRACE HOUSE IS BACK BAYBAY!
We're finally at the end part of Aloha State. Can I just say this episode was probably the best opener so far among all the parts. And, possibly one of the best episodes from the franchise ever.
The treatment and the storytelling in this episode felt like it was supposed to be the true ending of part 3. But I guess, Fuji TV and Netflix decided to sit on the resolution for a couple of months to boost the anticipation for part 4. Especially, when we had such a surprising cliffhanger from Guy and Niki.
I wrote months ago that the eventual make out scene between Guy and Niki felt undeserved because there wasn't enough build up for the viewers to fully appreciate it. However, it seems that it was again a calculated move from the showrunners as they did their tried and tested move of WITHHOLDING DETAILS (see: Natsumi and Misaki's off-screen fight, and the ending of B&GITC). The initial discussion between the guys with Guy revealed that he and Niki have been smooching off-camera for quite some time now. So the actual make out scene from the finale of Part 3 might not have been the first time they've been super close.
But what really made this such a legendary episode for me was how they juxtaposed Anna and Taishi's talk with Niki and Guy's. Anna went to Taishi, after Wez's advice, to patch things up. Of course, being Anna, she did a non-closure closure. She basically opened up a few memories that Taishi might have preferred not to be reminded of. (i.e. joking about Taishi dating the two new girls on their first day in the house is just tacky) After the scene, Taishi proceeded in languishing about his "love to die for", like he's losing time to find one...
...AND THEN IT HARD CUTS to Niki and Guy talking by the poolside opening up what they feel for each other. Surprisingly, both were candid with their feelings and had a mutual understanding that they do like each other BUT it will just not work between them. Guy knew that his pro-surfing lifestyle wouldn't mix well with Niki's expectations are from a boyfriend. They amicably ended their discussion with an awkward hug, still seeing in their faces how difficult it is to end things this way. It was painful but it was all too real...AND MATURE. It was amazing how the editors intentionally stitched these two scenes together: a 29-year old doing self-inflicted anguish for not being able to find a love worth dying for, while we have two 20 year olds acknowledging their feelings and knowingly understood that they're not meant for each other. CLASS A STORYTELLING.
Guy may have lost the girl but he did win a competition. It was nice to finally finish his surfing story arc after his horrible accident in Part 2. After exploring the psychological fear of going back to surfing after a brush with death in Part 3, we finally receive a fitting cinematic conclusion of Guy overcoming the odds and winning his first JPSA title (dunno what the f JPSA meant tho lol).
Mila seemed to be an interesting new housemate. I can see her and Lauren to have the same art kid vibe. It was kind of cringe-y though, to watch Taishi and Wez not stopping themselves asking Mila about her type, especially when she's only 19 and both guys are practically 10 years older than her. Let's see what happens with the introduction of the next housemate. Episode 02's title is an interesting title!
OTHER STRAY THOUGHTS
The panel’s play-by-play analysis of Guy and Niki’s scene was fantastic paneling! A good breakdown of like what they did in B&GITC regarding Minori and Uchi’s Notice Me Missile
Shout out to that Terrace House shout out of Guy during his winner's speech
Taishi's idea of feeling inspired is to practice his wooden sword stances. Let that sink in...