Shōgun Finale: Can the TV Series Really End The Story In Episode 10?

Can Shōgun complete its story in a satisfactory way in Episode 10? Or is the finale not enough? Does the series need Season 2?

Shōgun is coming up on Episode 10 (at the time of writing this), which will be the finale episode of the TV series. While Shōgun Episode 9 has left viewers reeling from a major death, that major twist in the series leaves many things stacked on the table that need sorting out by the end of the finale. 

(Photo: FX / Disney)

In that sense, the title of this episode is somewhat misleading: the question isn't whether or not Shōgun can finish its story by the end of Episode 10 – the question is can the show do so in a satisfactory way in just one final episode. Or, has the show and its characters become so deeply embraced by viewers that Season 2 is now a must? 

Shōgun is a unique case in that the show is an adaptation of the 1975 novel of the same name by James Clavell. The TV series is supposed to finish the events of the book by the end of Episode 10; however, even readers of the book will probably feel like fitting in all the climatic events of the story, and its epilogue, is a tall order – but having the TV series also deal with the weight of the loss that's just occurred is also a major obligation for the finale to fulfill. 

There's also the issue of Shōgun the novel and Shōgun the TV series being two very different things. Even if this TV series adaptation finishes covering the events of the book, that doesn't mean it feels complete in the same way that a TV series needs to deliver its audience to a place of resolution. 

Will Shōgun Get Season 2? 

(Photo: FX / Hulu)

So far, the makers of Shōgun have been downplaying the idea of Season 2 happening. 

"We took the story to the end of the book and put a period at the end of that sentence. We love how the book ends; it was one of the reasons why we both knew we wanted to do it — and we ended in exactly that place," one of Shōgun's showrunners, Justin Marks, explained to THR during the show's launch. Marks also made it clear that Shōgun is "not like a normal TV series, where if we were in a situation like this promoting it, we wouldn't just be in the writers room already, we'd be on set shooting season two by now." 

Editors Maria Gonzales and Aika Miyake spoke to more recently about Shōgun Season 2, echoing that they haven't heard any new buzz about it, in spite of the show's success. 

"At the time of completing, when we were done cutting, there wasn't really any mention of, or any serious plans, about a Season 2," Gonzales explained. "And I think that's kind of where we're at still. I'm not sure if it will happen. Obviously, it's out of our hands [laughs]; we're the last people [to know]." She did add that, "There's definitely plenty to build on, for sure. All these characters were given their due, and it really feels like the show could keep living in that respect. It was really well done."

Shōgun is streaming on Hulu/Disney+ and airing on FX.