PEN15 season 1, episode 9 recap: Anna Ishii-Peters


The first season of PEN15 continues with Anna spending two school nights at Maya’s house while Anna’s parents go on a couple’s retreat. Things are all fun and games until Maya starts to think her parents like Anna better than her.

The penultimate episode in season one of PEN15 opens with a phone call between Maya and Anna where Anna lets Maya know that she gets to sleep over at Maya’s house for two straight school nights. Anna’s parents are going on a couple’s retreat.

The retreat, they later tell Anna, will hopefully help them get along better. Which is good, because they’re still fighting (over something stupid, of course) even on their way out of the house.

Over at Maya’s house, she’s dancing around, incredibly excited that Anna will be staying over. She begs her mom not to be too strict while Anna is around.

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Anna arrives and she and Maya immediately start running around the house and playing, pretending they’re sisters—much to the annoyance of Shuji, Yuki and Fred. But things get a little weird after dinner when Maya wants to go play, but Anna would rather help Yuki do the dishes. Anna, being a good house guest, also compliments the food and jokes around with Maya’s parents.

Maya, annoyed, demands they go play.

They get back to Maya’s room to play Sylvanian, but Anna is uninterested. After a little pushback from Maya, Anna convinces Maya to go mess with Shuji with her instead. As they joke with Shuji, Maya starts to feel left out.

She always wanted a sister, but with Anna pretending to be part of her family, Maya sees how her parents like Anna more and her brother jokes around with Anna more too (including using a nickname on Anna that he had only used on Maya).

The next morning, Maya seems to be in a better mood, joking around with Anna again. Well, until Yuki takes some of Maya’s breakfast and gives it to Anna, since Anna likes it so much. Maya is still in a bad mood in class when Anna asks if they’re going to practice their dance after school.

After school, Maya keeps getting annoyed with how Anna is doing the dance and eventually says she wants to stop and just talk to her boyfriend. Maya’s very short with Anna and asks for privacy to talk to FlyMiamiBro.

This cuts to Anna in the kitchen with Yuki, helping to cut up vegetables. Maya comes in and tries to force her way in and cut up a tomato herself, but doesn’t do it the way Yuki wanted them done (the way Anna was doing it). Frustrated, Maya storms out. She peers around the corner and watches as her mom continues to bond with Anna.

At dinner, Anna jokes and has the whole table laughing and paying attention to her—only increasing how jealous Maya is becoming.

Things really boil over when Anna asks to use the phone to check in with her parents. Maya, who has never been allowed to use the phone during dinner, loses it. After Anna walks away, Maya curses under her breath and her parents send her to her room.

Meanwhile, Anna can’t even get her mom’s attention on the phone long enough to tell her what she’s been up to.

When Anna gets back to Maya’s room, Anna offers to talk to Maya about why Maya is finding her parents annoying. But Maya says she’s tired. And since she is still in a mood, Maya says she wants to sleep in the bed alone that night, so Anna has to sleep on the floor.

The next morning, Maya and Anna are even tenser. Maya stares coldly at Anna as they eat breakfast and then the two argue over an eraser at school. Eventually, a teacher has to separate them so they stop arguing during class.

After being moved to the front of the room, Anna plays with a stapler and (accidentally?) staples her finger. It’s possible she did this to get a reaction from Maya, but Maya doesn’t flinch.

Later, Anna is on the phone with her mom as Yuki bandages Anna’s finger. Anna’s mom, blowing past her daughter’s injury, tells Anna to ask how she’s doing. Her mom is so distracted by her own life and husband that Anna can barely get a word in about what’s going on in her own life. From the other room, Maya overhears the conversation.

Yuki, seeing how Anna is struggling to get through to her parents, tries to comfort Anna. There’s a brief montage of Yuki taking care of Anna (brushing her hair, helping her get dressed) as Maya looks on, stone-faced.

Maya finally snaps and asks why Anna can’t just go back to her own family. Yuki tells Maya to stop being a baby, she’s not a little girl anymore. Maya tears up and Anna’s parents honk outside.

Maya starts crying as Anna leaves.

Anna gets into the car and she and her parents both lie and say they had good experiences over the last couple of days.

Maya, still sniffling, sits on the toilet and notices some blood in her underpants. She wads up some toilet paper to place over the spot and leaves the bathroom to find her mother sitting on the edge of Maya’s bed.

As they sit and talk, Yuki tells Maya that she needs to be there for Anna since Anna is going through a tough time. Maya then says that she’s going through a tough time too and says she feels like her mom hasn’t been there for her. Maya breaks down and cries again. She puts her head in her mom’s lap as Yuki sings to her.

At Anna’s house, her mom and dad come in her room and tell Anna that they’re getting a divorce. The retreat showed them it’s the right way to go.

Anna starts crying as her parents hold her.

Later that night, Anna tries to call Maya, but Maya and Yuki have fallen asleep in Maya’s bed, so no one answers.

Desperate to talk to someone, Anna pulls out her school directory. This episode of PEN15 ends with Anna calling Heather.

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(In a post-credits scene, Maya sings about not being a little girl anymore as a spotlight shines on her.)

How will Maya deal with knowing Anna called Heather? How will the first season of PEN15 end? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.