Buntaro, Blackthorne, Mariko - Shogun Season 1 Episode 6
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (26 Votes)
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An episode that focuses primarily on the show's richly drawn female characters opens with a deep dive into the pasts of two former friends.

Ochiba and Mariko's backstories are explored through a 22-year flashback.

Mariko's painful past -- and the loss that continues to inform so many of her actions and decisions.

We knew that her youth had been marred by violence and trauma, but only now do we have a full sense of the horrors -- including her arranged marriage to Buntaro -- that shaped her into the wounded warrior that's made such an impression on Blackthorne.

Toranaga tells his troops that Blackthorne has once again saved his life and will be duly rewarded with a fiefdom of his own. He's also been made general of the cannon regiment.

From there, Buntaro reveals to Toranaga that he thinks he's a stand-up guy for sparing Mariko's life and marrying her.

Toranaga interrogates Mariko about her relationship with Blackthorne and then instructs her to hire him a courtesan and accompany him during the "pillowing."

The encounter with Kiku the courtesan, offers insights into the role of women in feudal Japan and leads Mariko to reflect on her past.

Back in Osaka Ochiba chides Ishido and once again takes us back to Azuki Castle -- this time, with the goal of explaining her hatred for Toranaga.

More than any other episode thus far, Women of the Willow World is concerned with the female characters of Shogun.

It fittingly concludes with Ochiba establishing her dominance over Ishido, and Toranaga preparing for war against his rival in Osaka.

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Shogun Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

As a boy, I looked up to the Taiko as proof that even a peasant like me could lift himself to great heights.


Reclaim our family's legacy and become Shogun!