PEN15 season 1, episode 3 recap: Ojichan


In the last episode of PEN15, Anna and Maya struggled to stick together when they felt the pressure to be cool. This week the girls once again struggle to just be honest and open with each other.

Episode three of PEN15 opens with Maya playing with My Little Pony dolls on her bedroom floor. After making them kiss, there’s a pulsing, “heartbeat” sound coming from between her legs. Maya puts her hand between her legs and masturbates.

Maya has to scramble for her bed when her mom comes in, but she continues where she left off as soon as her mom leaves.

At Anna’s house, Anna comes down for breakfast and sees the couch made up like a bed. In the kitchen, her parents have a petty argument over Anna’s dad making the coffee too strong. Anna tells her mom to just use more cream and then Anna leaves for school.

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In class, Anna tries to make plans with Maya, but Maya keeps getting distracted by everything. She can’t concentrate. She tells Anna that she needs to go to the bathroom, claiming to need to poop.

She doesn’t want Anna to come, but Anna always comes with Maya to the bathroom. Maya relents and says Anna can come but asks her to stay outside and keep watch (presumably so no one can hear/smell her poop).

While outside of the bathroom, Anna overhears a group of kids talking about a radio contest to win backstage passes to an upcoming B*Witched concert in town. She immediately goes into the bathroom to tell Maya the big news.

This interrupts Maya, who was in the middle of masturbating again and forced Maya to give up and pretend to have just finished pooping.

Anna, desperate to find something to do that takes her away from her fighting parents at home, again tries to make plans with Maya so they can both call the radio station and win the backstage passes. But Maya is much more interested in the lunchtime conversation Sam and his friends are having about porn.

After school, Maya makes up a math project that means she can’t hang out with Anna. Instead, she claims, she needs to go over Sam’s house. Anna, again disappointed not to have the distraction from her home life, tells Maya not to forget to call into the radio station.

Maya goes home and closes all of the blinds in her room, goes into her closet, pulls down her pants and yells to everyone in her house telling them not to come in her room because she’s “taking a nap.”

Anna lies in her own bed and puts on headphones and starts to sing. It’s the best she can do to drown out the sound of her parents yelling at each other. Eventually, Anna gets fed up. She packs her backpack and goes over to Sam’s house.

But, of course, once she gets there, she finds out Maya’s not there. (Short cut to Maya humping a pillow in her bed.)

Anna is invited in by Sam’s mom who offers Anna something to eat. Anna thinks she must have just missed Maya. But, as they talk, Sam’s mom tells Anna that Maya was never there. Anna talks with Sam’s parents, trying to figure out why Maya would have lied to her.

Sam’s dad speculates that maybe Maya is going through something that has nothing to do with Anna and that boundaries are good. But Anna can’t see anything Maya could go through that she wouldn’t know about. (Through all this, it’s clear how much Anna covets parents who aren’t fighting all the time.)

Eventually, at the prompting of Sam’s parents, Anna agrees to go upstairs and hang out with Sam and his friends who are supposedly watching Armageddon. When she gets up there, though, she catches Sam and his friends trying to catch glimpses of porn through the static of a fuzzy television station. She calls them pervs and runs out.

Over at Maya’s, her family is remembering the life of Maya’s grandfather (her Ojichan) on his birthday. As they pray over a photo of him, Maya is horrified when her mother mentions that Ojichan is always watching over her. Always.

Later that night, Anna tries to call Maya, but Maya’s mom answers and tells Anna that it’s too late at night to be talking on the phone. Maya’s mom hangs up on Anna.

Overwhelmed, Anna turns on the radio and starts crying. Just then she hears someone win the backstage passes to the B*Witched concert.

Maya, again masturbating in her bed, suddenly sees her Ojichan floating at the foot of her bed, staring at her. She screams for her mom, but her mom is unfazed.

The next day, Maya misses the carpool and is late to class. The class is already watching a movie about the Gobi Desert by the time she gets there. She sits down and tries to talk to Anna, but Anna ignores her. Eventually, Anna tells Maya that she knows Maya lied about being at Sam’s house.

Fixing her attention back on the movie, Maya starts to get turned on by the curves of the Gobi Desert sand dunes. But as soon as that happens, she immediately sees her Ojichan in front of her again. She closes her eyes and tells him to go away. He vanishes.

Maya whispers to Anna that she’s been hiding something about herself, but it has nothing to do with Anna. Maya says she’s seeing dead people. Anna says she sees ghosts all the time and she has an idea.

This cuts to Anna and Maya sitting on Maya’s bedroom floor with an Ouija board. With Anna taking the lead, they call upon the spirit of Maya’s Ojichan. They ask him why he’s there and the board spells out “C-L-I-T.” Both of them claim they weren’t moving it and Maya claims to have no idea why her grandpa would say that.

They try again and this time ask why he’s haunting Maya. The board spells “M-A-S-T-U-R-B-A” before Maya slaps the planchette across the room.

Just then, Shuji comes in and tells them they’re stupid for playing the game. He points out that one of them is moving it and what it spells is based on one of their subconsciouses. As soon as he leaves, Maya starts crying.

Maya finally confesses that she’s been having the same thoughts as Sam. Thoughts that Anna had said were gross when they were at lunch. Maya feels like her thoughts are even worse, though, because she’s a girl. She’s afraid that she’s a pervert.

Anna tries to reassure Maya by telling Maya that sometimes she puts her hands between her legs to feel good too. After Anna assures Maya that Maya isn’t a pervert, the two picky promise to keep this information between the two of them.

This episode of PEN15 ends with Anna in bed listening to her parents fight. She puts her arms between her legs as she curls up on her side. Maya, looking at pictures of desert sand, starts to masturbate again. She pauses, puts the covers completely over her, and continues.

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The final bit of the episode is Shuji downloading porn as his Ojichan floats in the background smiling approvingly.

What did you think of this episode of PEN15? Let us know all of your PEN15 thoughts in the comments.