Infinity Train Book 3, Episode 3 picks up with Grace and Simon in an underwater car, Simon pops a bubble with a shell inside. Once popped the shell tries to bite his hand. Grace laughs at his error. Tuba and Hazel play together in the distance while Grace and Simon plan on how to get rid of Tuba and not lose Hazel in the process. Grace says Hazel is too attached to Tuba and starts to talk about Simon and his null when he got on board the train. She trails off when she notices Simon get upset. She says they have time to figure it out before getting back to The Mall Car.
Hazel shows Grace and Simon what she found while playing. Grace and Simon proceed to tell her more about the Apex. They say their group fights for their rights as passengers because an evil robot named One-One has taken over the train. They say that he took over from the “true conductor” who wore a big black helmet with a wave on it. (We know exactly who they are talking about. We met Amelia in Book 1.) The Apex wears the red wave on their faces to honor him. He built the train for humans and no one can find where the true conductor is anymore. They say One-One is trying to get rid of all the humans on the train. Ever since One-One took over, kids have been disappearing as their numbers go down. Hazel gasps and says she hates One-One. Tuba asks where the kids go, and they say no one knows. Grace says because her number is the highest, like the true conductor, she is the leader of The Apex and she makes sure everyone’s number is high. Hazel asks if she can join and Grace says maybe someday.
They reach the Debutante Ball Car and are immediately told to stop. Grace and Simon go into fight mode. The talking chandelier who told them to stop tells them they aren’t dressed for the ball. They ask where the exit is and he tells them they have to be presented before they can exit. Grace tells Simon they’ll play along for Hazel’s sake. Simon moans. They get trapped in a room and Simon says this is what happens when you play by train rules. Grace strategizes the best way to escape. Hazel shouts “let’s learn the dance!” Tuba stresses that they should do what they know will work. Grace shrugs Tuba off but Hazel says they have to so she can join the Apex. Grace feels for Hazel in the moment an you can see it on her face. Grace compromises and says that Simon will look for an exit and Grace will learn the dance with Hazel. Simon climbs to the ceiling to look for an exit and Grace takes a deep breath and begins to learn the dance.
Hazel tells Grace they have to follow the footprints on the floor and that some are backwards, so they have to be partners. Grace asks Hazel how she knows so much about dancing and Hazel struggles to remember anything, or anything about her parents. Hazel gets scared trying to remember anything and runs to Tuba who confirms that she doesn’t remember much. We find out that Grace also knows a lot of dance styles, but she never learned ballroom. She had private lessons when she was younger with no other kids because her parents wanted her to learn from the best. The story leads Grace to recall a time when she did a group dance. Her parents didn’t show up and the other girls in the group didn’t know her, so they didn’t invite her to get ice cream with them after. She quickly turns the story around and says they were just jealous because she was better than the rest of them. She says it got boring, so she quit. Hazel takes her hand and says it’s okay because she doesn’t know any other kids either. Hazel is so innocent and cute!
Simon suddenly falls from the ceiling and says there’s nothing but a black void and there is nothing out there. Grace tells him they’ll have to do the dance and asks him to be her partner. Simon blushes and agrees. Tuba and Hazel follow the steps glowing on the floor, while Grace and Simon smile at each other while doing the routine. Hazel watches gleefully as the two dances together. Suddenly the footprints on the floor begin to burn and the chandelier opens the door, saying it is time. All dressed up, they are each presented to the rest of the room and descend the grand staircase. They begin dancing to the routine they just learned. The audience oohs and ahhs and gasps as they dance. As they complete the dance, the crowd begins to clap. As the crowd moves aside, the exit door is revealed. They walk over and take off their outfits to reveal their regular clothing underneath. Grace pulls Hazel aside and says that she is ready. She takes out red lipstick and draws a wave on Hazel’s face saying that she is Apex now. Hazel says now it’s Tuba’s turn to get the marking. Simon says the wave is just for kids.
As they walk the bridge to the next car, Simon asks Hazel to teach him the song he heard her sing with Tuba. Grace looks back at Tuba with an evil grin and notices Tuba suddenly looks sad. We then see Grace’s expression also change to a worried one, and her glowing number sticking out from her glove begins to change (!), going down (!!) for the first time. The exposed part of the number goes from 90725 to 023. Looks like Hazel and Tuba are having a positive effect on her!
Grace and Simon did a great job manipulating the facts to fit their own narrative and convince Hazel that they are the good guys. We have to assume they don’t know all the facts we learned about the original Conductor that we meet in Book 1 with Tulip. Amelia was never the true conductor. One-One was always the conductor, he just needed help getting back to the lead train conductor car. The reason kids are disappearing is because they are getting off the train. These facts will definitely affect Grace and Simon if they ever learn the truth. At this rate, they’re learning other kinds of lessons, and now we have our first appearance of Grace’s number going down!
We also see that Grace and Simon’s friendship may have an underlying affection for each other that seems to be growing. Simon keeps blushing when Grace says nice things to him or interacts close with him. This time alone without having to be the leaders of The Apex is bringing them closer than they’ve ever been.
I wonder how Grace is going to react once she realizes her number has gone down. Will Tuba or Hazel figure out Grace and Simon are not great influences? I can’t wait to see what comes next!
You can stream Infinity Train Books 1-2 and Episodes 1-5 of Book 3 on HBO Max now!