Pending Train – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3

Pending Train Episode 3 has Tanaka chasing after the unknown people while everyone else sleeps on the train. Except Kayashima – he’s replaying his brother’s arrest in his head while his brother wonders where on earth he is.

Tanaka returns to the train shouting about the other people getting everyone into a tizzy. As tensions climb, it suddenly starts to rain bringing relief as they collect and enjoy the water. Kato points out they don’t know what’s in the rain water but that doesn’t stop anyone from joyfully splashing.

Inside the train, Terasaki sits this one out, thinking about her daughter and despairing that they’ll never get back. She continues to feel downcast as the rest decide schedules and water usage. Next comes food – Kayashima loses it during the discussion, telling everyone they’ll have to work to eat and not just rely on a few. 

He thinks about having had to fight for everything when he took his brother, escaping their abusive father. And after all that, how his brother ended up in juvenile prison, having never lifted a finger in return.

The foraging team, led by Kato, identify edible plants. They talk about what’s happening in the rest of the world – what happened to it. Back at the site, everyone is working to build things, figuring things out, while others are seeking drinkable water. Shirahama credits Kayashima with spurring everyone to act rather than sit listlessly waiting, as it’s restored their energy.

Between the foraging, water retrieval and forging of plates, cups, etc., there’s something for everyone. Cheerfully dining together, there’s suddenly panic when someone spots a poisonous berry in the mix. Kayashima thinks Tanaka may have slipped it in when he was lurking earlier. Shirahama goes after Tanaka to check but insists there’s no reason to distrust him.

Settling in for the night, Hatano encourages Terasaki to have a bite, but she can’t think of a reason to carry on if her family is already gone. The whispered conversation brings the earlier happy mood even lower. Others start to talk about where they would have been if they hadn’t been on the train that day.

Kato is just relieved he won’t have to pay back his colossal loan, finally making Terasaki chuckle. They decide they have to try to get back. The Chinese tourists find their moment, presenting a box of sweets and dragging out real smiles.

Hatano is worried Shirahama hasn’t returned but Kayashima tells her to wait or she’ll just get hurt and cause more trouble. He teases her, calling her a Shirahama fan which she unsuccessfully tries to deny, then eventually shares her story and how she knows Shirahama. Meanwhile, Shirahama has fallen, hurting his leg.

The next morning, Hatano is determined to find Shirahama and Kayashima can’t help but get involved. But before they get far, Shirahama limps back. He manages to find Kayashima’s scissors set, but instead of being grateful, in his general anger, he turns on Shirahama. But Shirahama sees through it all, that he’s angry not at him or even his brother but at himself for how things turned out.

At home, Tatsuya just misses his older brother. Meanwhile, Kayashima breaks down in tears. Shirahama has more news, apart from finding the scissors. He confirms to the whole group that the earth was damp where he’d fallen – so there could be a river. And maybe fish! Everyone cheers and starts to pose suggestions on the next steps.

Flash to the train station where investigators identify a stabbing suspect who got onto the train. Then while Shirahama, Kayashima and Kato check for a river, Kato is suddenly stabbed by someone who runs off into the woods.

The Episode Review

Rena continually proves to be insensitive and selfish in Pending Train Episode 3. She’s one of the characters that makes this fun to watch – perpetually appalling the other passengers and presumably us too. As more backstories are revealed it’s literally a cast of characters, finding some little selfish vice in nearly everyone, some more on the edge than others.

On the other end of the spectrum, Hatano tells Kayashima she thinks he and Shirahama will help each other someday, while he continues to veer between reasonable and furious. There’s something in Shirahama that just sets him off. Perhaps he sees his old self – the one who believed they were alright before Tatsuya went to jail. It’s Shirahama who rightly sees that Kayashima hasn’t yet forgiven himself for Tatsuya going astray.

In the bigger picture, as the survivors make progress in making things more livable, they’re also sadly letting go of the idea that they’ll be getting back anytime soon, some in complete despair. Others are embracing the change, not having to go back to the unhappy things either. They’re having to let go in order to survive.

Who’s bingeing Pending Train? And who’s the character that keeps you watching?

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