The harvest is completed and all seems peaceful, which is usually when everything goes bananas.
Shino and Katsushiro continue their Romeo and Juliet thing, with Shino opining that she wished she belonged to a samurai family (the fact that samurai families are on the skids at the moment eludes our heroine).
They're interrupted by Shichiroji, who's spotted three bandits on the road: advance scouts for the other raiders.
They take out the trio, killing two and capturing one alive.
Kambei demands that the prisoner receive fair treatment, but the village engages in a little mob justice, led by the old woman who said she wanted to die (tough as nails she is).
That bit of gruesomeness behind them, the samurai launch an ambitious plan to take the fight to the bandits.