‘Tokyo Vice’ is a crime drama television series adapted from Jake Adelstein’s book of the same name, created by J. T. Rogers. The show explores the underworld of crime and corruption in Tokyo, following the experiences of an American journalist as he navigates the complexities of Japanese society. ‘Tokyo Vice’ has a plethora of interesting characters, and one such character is Samantha Porter played by Rachel Keller. Samantha debuted along with the main cast in the first episode of Season 1 and her journey continued in Season 2 as well. Let’s see who she is and what was her journey like.
How did Samantha Porter come to Japan?
American expats in Japan are one of the major themes of what appears to be a highly exciting crime drama with the Yakuza underworld in its center. One of the expats we meet early in the series is Samantha Porter. We meet her as she is working as a club hostess in Kabukicho, Japan. Samantha is really close friends with Polina, who is also working as a hostess in Onyx Club.
As the show progresses we learn quite a bit of details regarding Samantha’s past. She arrived in Japan in 1994 when she was 21 years old, and despite her current career, she is actually a Mormon. Samantha arrived in Japan looking far more plain than we are used to seeing her. She traveled with one additional girl and their primary goal was to teach Japanese English.
Samantha originally lived in Provo, Utah where she learned Japanese. Coming to Japan she and her friend rented a small apartment, Samantha had only a few things in her possession notably ‘The Book of Mormon’ and her notable CTR ring which is a part of her Mormon Heritage meaning “Choose the Right.” We also learn that she has a family back home and siblings.
Despite her humble upbringing Samantha somewhat turned to a life of sex, vices, and Yakuza. In contrast to her Mormon past, she dreamed of opening her own club in Japan.
Samantha’s criminal past began when she stole from her church
We know that Samantha saved money in order to open her own club, her “seed” money was $40,000 dollars from the missionary fund she stole in order to stay in Japan when her mission was over. Samantha never answered for her crimes despite her father hiring a man to track her down and bring her to justice.
Despite having quite a lot of money and quite a lot of connections Samantha struggles because no one in Japan seemingly wants to do business with her, well except for the Yakuza.
What happened between Polina and Samantha?
Polina and Samantha were best friends, as Polina’s life was similar to Samantha’s in many ways. Polina was a European expatriate as well and things were going well for them until in Episode 7, Polina is kidnapped as she entered a mysterious black limousine and vanished without a trace. Samantha desperately looks for her, even asking Sato for help. In the season finale, her fate is finally revealed. Sato has a talk with Akira, Polina’s boyfriend, and both he and Samantha find out that Polina was in massive debt to the club, and due to that, she was loaned to rival Yakuza Clan.
Polina’s fate was revealed on a tape that was sent to Jake just before he was about to depart for the US. A videotape reveals Polina accompanying a guest to their cabin on Yoshino. When the guest attempts to assault her, Polina defends herself, leading to a violent altercation where the guest accidentally kills her. Jake, upon learning of Polina’s fate, decides to remain in Japan.
What happened to Samantha’s money?
Samantha almost lost her money on several occasions, but the most critical moment was when Samantha handed a huge chunk of her money to Akira who promised to use the money to save Polina. As we’ve explained above, Polina was dead and it was actually just a scam but Samantha was desperate. However, not all was lost. Samantha eventually made a dangerous deal with Ishida who promised to finance her club. Samantha loans the money to make a final payment on her club, knowing full well that this can go very very wrong.
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