Pending Train – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

Pending Train Episode 4 kicks off with the stabbing of Kato. Shirahama and Kayashima jump to the scene but it’s not pretty. Terasaki decides to patrol on her now, now obsessed with protecting the place she couldn’t wait to leave.

At car 5, they struggle to figure out how to help Kato with few supplies and no expertise. It’s Kayashima who has the guts to try to stitch him with a sewing kit. He passes out with an overlay of backstory of how he feigned interest in plants when he had no friends. He grew older with similar results, his girlfriend eventually leaving too.

As Kato gets worse, it’s Yonezawa who pages through his research, searching for plants with healing qualities. He works determinedly to find something while Kato, in an infection-led fever, dreams of this grandfather, who’s always supported him. Kayashima worries over Kato’s infection, as he’d pushed ahead with the ‘surgery’ while Kato has dreams of deceased relatives but eventually wakes from his fevered dreams.

A tearful Yonezawa welcomes him back, so relieved to see him alive. Now relieved, Yonezawa wonders who would have stabbed Kato in the first place. Are there others here besides them? Kato thanks everyone for their help, especially Shirahama who’d carried him. Kayashima notes he should be thanking Yonezawa who’s figured out how to fight the infection. But no one mentions that Kayashima actually did the stitching.

In all the upset, Shirahama’s reminded of the colleague he injured with his carelessness. As he seeks a moment of peace, dragging himself along, he can’t help but recall his failures. It’s now completely mad and mocking Tanaka that points out his predicament – a leader who is scared to lead.

He also notes that since Roman times, people have been using trenches as a means of defence. Shirahama brings him back to camp but Kayashima is livid, seeing him as the enemy who may have tried to poison them.

Turns out Tanaka worked for a security firm. And that’s just what car 5 could use right now. Tanaka lectures on the things they should be noticing, like broken locks or windows. The things that happen early on – like missing laundry or daily items – are what they should be mindful of and note to each other. And they should set traps – he shows them how.

Everyone gets to work and the kids test their trap on Kayashima. He rolls around with them pretending to attack. The others admire his new-found playfulness. While everyone works, Rena does her nails and worries about her dry ends. She strong-arms Kayashima into giving her a free haircut. Then a recovering Kato guilts him into another one. Terasaki too, can’t resist a haircut at her doorstep.

And with that, Kayashima is back in business, pleased to be using his skills. He’s more than happy to cut Hatano’s hair too, even though he’s closed up shop. As he works, they discuss Shirahama’s obsession with making a fire without a source, determined to make himself more useful after the Kato thing. Kayashima tells Hatano she should tell him to rest. He turns shy when she compliments his work.

Shirahama persists, rubbing a stick into a rock but he’s getting anywhere. He and Hatano hear the trap go off but they’ve caught a kid who immediately takes off running. They follow him to a river they’ve not seen before. Kayashima tries to follow but he’s too far behind, alerted after the fact.

At the station, there’s no information for the families of the missing. Tatsuya loses it over the ineptitude. 133 people in total are missing in an unprecedented accident. Everyone is traumatized, including Shirahama’s previously injured colleague who’s there too.

The kid asks Shirahama to wait so they agree. He continues to work on fire-lighting in the meantime. Eventually, Kayashima catches up, overhearing Shirahama talking about his failures. He comforts him, after all, it was an accident. Hatano says they’re all grateful for him pulling everyone together.

Shirahama can’t take the misbegotten compliments and explains what happened to his colleague, how it was his fault, that his colleague was injured trying to correct his mistake then not reporting it later, making Shirahama feel even more guilty. It’s Hatano who suggests they forget the past and trust the future. They’re there for a reason, aren’t they? Kayashima affirms they should work together, risking his talented hands to make a fire. And together, they finally get a flame going. 

That kid from before returns, leading them to what looks like a village. But it’s car 6 – who seem to have things figured out. And know that the rest are from car 5.

The Episode Review

So the jerks at car 6 know exactly who car 5 is but haven’t bothered to acknowledge them let alone work together. Why?

If we’re keeping score, the heroes of the day are Yonezawa and Kayashima. Yonezawa for figuring out how to make medicine to save Kato. And for befriending him sincerely. They’re sweet together, ‘getting’ each other despite what seems like an age difference. It’s a match made in otaku (Japanese for hobby-obsessed, some may call it geek) heaven.

Kayashima, well he’s becoming less prickly every day. Now he’s not only given several people a treat (sure to drum up more custom) but also helped Shirahama sort his incessant preoccupation – building a fire caveman style.

Pending Train Episode 4 included a nice juicy cameo from Goki Maeda (HiGH&LOW THE WORST X and about a million other shows) as Shirahama’s injured colleague, bringing his backstory to life while Shirahama stews over past mistakes.

Looking at the chapter as a whole and ever mindful of the music in TV and movies, what are we saying with the sweeping – almost uplifting – concerto of Pending Train? Mental rest? A drop of positivity? Or consolation? It stands out, that’s for sure. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. Assessment still pending.


Who can’t stop watching Pending Train? And who’s the character that keeps you glued?

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