A surprising reprieve from all that strangeness—or is it?
Episode three opens up where we left off in episode two: there are a few cop cars outside of the rave club Cyberia with the police helping to escort ravers to safety. Quick recap: last episode Lain and the girls were cruising at Cyberia when some guy (who was probably high on Accela) started freaking out and shooting people. In the end, after saying a bunch of random stuff to Lain, he shoots himself in the head. After being escorted from the club Lain and the girls are taken to the police station for questioning where a detective asks Lain if the phone number she gave him was real. Supposedly no one answered even though it was a call from the police. In any case, the detective said that she shouldn’t worry too much about it because when he checked her name into the system her data showed up and everything she told them checked out. Later she is dropped off at her house by a couple of cops.
This guy reminds me of Tommy Lee Jones.
Home, for some reason, is eerily quiet. After walking around the house and looking for signs of her family, Lain finds every room except hers empty. Moreover, each room doesn’t seem to be lived in at all. That night Lain sleeps alone in an empty house. The next morning Lain wakes to the sound of a faucet running and her mother making food in the kitchen. Still in her bear suit, she finds that everyone is back at home moving along as if they were never gone.
After breakfast and during her daily walk to school, Lain sees a black sedan parked on the side of the road. I guess that’s less creepy than some white dude standing behind a telephone pole. Anyway, as she walks by a red laser-like pointer emits from inside the car and starts to follow her movements. Like last time, she runs away. On the train to school, amidst all the noise, Lain hears some guy call out to her. Looking around the train she didn’t see anyone talking to her, instead it seems like the voice is coming from some ethereal realm. The male voice tells her that she isn’t alone.
Hiding in plain sight. *DERP*
In the classroom a bunch of girls surround Alice and the other two girls (whose name’s I can’t seem to remember) asking them about what happened in Cyberia. In what is normal Japanese fashion, the girls are talking about the deaths of the shooter and ravers as if it was some show they watched on tv. They are all hysterical and giggly acting almost as if it were all a game. During lecture Lain can’t seem to concentrate and starts “doodling” in her notebook. Soon enough she starts hearing voices in her head and looks at the hallway door to see the long-dead Chisa staring back at her. Lain then freaks out.
After school, while at their shoe lockers, Alice scolds the other two girls saying that they shouldn’t treat what happened at Cyberia as some new gossip. They watched people die and they should respect that. However, the other two girls try to play it off. In her shoe locker Lain finds a brown envelope. Alice and the other girls mistake it for a love-letter, but Lain tries to tell them differently. Inside the envelope is what appears to be some kind of computer part; the other girls walk away disappoint.
Would you trust random-electronic-in-anonymous-envelope?
While walking home Lain takes out the computer part and stares at it for a while. Suddenly, as if she had some strange epiphany, she says the word Psyche before walking the rest of the way home (note that the name of this episode is “Psyche”). At home she jumps on the Wired still waiting for an email from Chisa. In the next scene, while we are shown random pictures of nothing in particular, we hear chatter from the Wired. We hear conversations about the drug Accela and about a computer part called Psyche that is supposedly made in Taiwan by a group called the “Knights.” We also hear a disturbing story about a girl freaking out after spying a small person (wearing a red and green stripped shirt) standing by her door staring at her on her bed. A little later Tou-san comes home and he comes to visit Lain in her room asking if she likes her new Navi. Lain shows her father the computer part she got from the envelope and after telling her that he didn’t know what it was, her father suddenly rushes out of the room, seemingly irritated or intimidated by Lain.
“Dad, do you have any idea wh— fine then.”
That night Lain decides to go back to Cyberia. While walking out of the house she meets the black sedan again and, like usual, runs away. At Cyberia, while wandering around, some old looking dude in a beanie and shades stops Lain to talk to her. It seems that he knows Lain quite well, however Lain doesn’t seem to know him. After wandering around a bit more, she finds the elementary school kids she met in the stairway in episode two. She shows them the computer part and asks them what it is. They reply saying that it is Psyche, an almost magical computer upgrade that can allow a person to access the Wired from nearly any electronic device. They also tell her how to install it in her Navi. Before leaving, one of the boys tells Lain that information isn’t free and that she needs to repay them. He tells her that he’s seen Lain on the Wired before and that her personality there is completely opposite of her personality in the real world. Lain doesn’t seem to understand. He then tells her that as payment she has to go on a date with him. In an instant Lain’s face flares up in anger, much like the doppelganger Lain from last episode, and the kid says that he’s just joking. He and his buddies then hurriedly leave.
The usual suspects.
The scene then changes to the follow day’s afternoon. We see Mika (Lain’s sister) walking home past the same black sedan that seems content on scaring Lain. At the door to the house, two guys in suits are standing around. After asking who they are, the shorter one turns to Mika and tells her that she “doesn’t see them.” Scared, Mika tells them that she will call the police. In response, the taller one, which turns out to be that gaijin from last episode, replies “that’s why you don’t see us here.” Later in the night, Mika tries to tell her mother about it, but as usual, Mother is off in her own world. Mika then walks upstairs to see what Lain is up to. In the room Lain is in her underwear with her Navi in pieces; she is putting the Psyche inside of the Navi. The episode ends with Lain telling her sister okaeri with a very creepy smile on her face.
I guess staring runs in the family.
End Thoughts: What a strangely normal episode. Well, relatively at least. We didn’t get to see much random strangeness, like smoke-emitting fingers or white silhouettes, but we did get to see dead Chisa-chan again. We do get teased a bit more about the whole “two Lains” thing.
I wonder who those guys in suits were. Obviously they are watching Lain, but why and for what purpose? And why was Lain’s home completely empty the night of the shootings at Cyberia? Doesn’t it seem strange that they weren’t home at night, yet the next morning they were there as usual? Perhaps they all went somewhere else thinking that Lain was asleep…
It’s only been three episodes, but I already hate all of Lain’s friends. Maybe Alice is okay, but she’s pretty annoying too. I wish the other girls would just die, or even better, not get any screen time. I’m more interested in Mika and those three elementary students Lain keeps bumping into. Also, who was that dude at Cyberia that seemed to know Lain? Why did Lain’s father abruptly stop talking to her when she showed him the Psyche? Perhaps he knew what it really was but didn’t want to tell her…
Once again I leave the episode with more questions than answers: there’s so much that I want to learn about. I’ve watched entire series that have been built upon less intrigue, but I’m glad that SEL keeps adding to the pot of mysteries. Can’t wait till they start to unravel.