“The Code” piles on even more mysteries, much to the show’s detriment, as questions start to drastically outnumber the answers.
This recap of The Stranded Season 1, Episode 3, “The Code”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
There are lessons to be learned in the opening of The Stranded Episode 3 – a flashback to pre-tsunami school questions what is normal, and what makes a new thing become the new normal, and so on. The past leads back into the present, and a new arrival in Professor Lin (Sinjai Plengpanich), being tended to by May (Chayanit Chansangavej).
Of immediate concern in “The Code” is the now-free boat and its sputtering motor. Anan (Chutawut Phatrakampol) is its captain and is a member of the priority list of names to set sail. Ice (Kittisak Patomburana) begins to be troubled by visions while Kraam (Papangkorn Lerkchaleampote) is taunted by similar instability and flashbacks to childhood. The lesson from the episode’s opening returns in the present day, with Jan (Pamiga Sooksawee) leading the other students in cutting up their clothes to make sails. Cloth might be their salvation, and errant pieces of it might bestow more answers.
Arisa (Chaleeda Gilbert) spends much of The Stranded Episode 3 attempting to decipher the titular code, which leads her to the library and a hardback version of Gone with the Wind, its date of original publication the next clue. Kraam’s relationship with May continues to develop too, as they bond over their cynicism of the boat launch’s success.
The deciphered coordinates lead Arisa into the jungle, and she departs alone after leaving Ying (Ticha Wongthipkanont) behind. The Stranded Season 1, Episode 3 concludes in typical fashion, with a couple of cliffhangers. A fight breaks out on the beach as Ice begins seizing, and Professor Lin’s eyes snap open.
It’s a lot – arguably too much. The Stranded is piling random mysteries atop new subplots and suggestions, and you can feel the whole story bow under the weight. The show’s last-minute reveals feel like a cheap way to lead viewers into the next episode, but the meat of the storytelling feels much too cluttered and unfocused. Where it’ll all lead is anyone’s guess, but some kind of direction needs to be made clearer sooner rather than later for the whole journey to be worthwhile.