The Third Day Part 1/ Summer: Season 1 Episode 3 Sunday- The Ghost Recap

The Third Day S1Ep3 Mrs Martin & Sam

Episode 3, The Ghost, answers many of the questions that the first two episodes set up, but it can be a difficult hour of television to watch. Sam starts the hour as a kidnap victim who’s still high on a hallucinogenic drug. What follows is somewhere between a prank-filled ramble through the Fairy Realm and a torturous scramble to escape the Island of the Dead before he’s killed by one of its insane residents. At least Sam is still wearing Mrs Martin’s magic shoes.

There are three competing mythological strands in Part 1 which are being pushed onto Sam by various factions of islanders. In some ways, Sam is on the classic Hero’s Journey, following in the footsteps of Odysseus and the legends of King Arthur. There are also elements of the Christian Stations of the Cross, based on Jesus last day before his crucifixion, in Sam’s weekend events, and those continue on Sunday. And the islanders have pushed Sam toward the heroic Threefold Death all weekend.

The Threefold Death is an ancient Indo-European rite which involves death by hanging (or strangulation or falling), drowning (or poisoning) and by wounding (or fire/burning). The death might involve all three injuries happening to one person or a different person experiencing each injury. Combined, the human sacrifices made to Esus (god of war/hanging), Teutatis (tribal protector/fire) and Taranis (god of thunder, sky, sun and wheel of the year/drowning) were Threefold Deaths. Some on the island want to kill Sam, either for real or symbolically. Other want him to do the killing, either for real or symbolically.

For two days, Sam refused to take the bait and also avoided capture by the more violent islanders. At the end of episode 2, the island’s main instigators seemed to have finally forced the issue, drugging/poisoning Sam, then leaving him alone in the woods like a child in a fairy tale. Are Mrs Martin and Jess acting as Sam’s Judases? Is Mrs Martin the island’s fairy queen, leading Jess and Epona to tempt this Odysseus into staying an extra year or 20? Or are the islanders preparing to act out the Osea version of The Wicker Man?

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The Third Day Part 1/Summer: Season 1 Episode 2 Saturday- The Son Recap

The Third Day S1Ep2 Jess & Sam

In episode 2, The Son, Sam and Jess spend another day and night together on Osea Island. We learn more about Jess’s situation with her daughters and the death of Sam’s son. Sam visits the island’s historian to learn more about local customs, then in the evening, he and Jess take part in a dry run of the upcoming festival.

It’s all perfectly normal and nothing strange happens at all.

Recap

The episode begins with Sam’s nightmare from episode 1, which could be a recurring dream. Sam is in a moonlit, open field. He’s not trapped or encumbered- maybe he wishes he still was. In the distance, he sees the boy through a rounded opening in a wall of forest branches and greenery. As Sam calls out for him, the boy runs away and disappears through the portal, into whatever realm is on the other side- purgatory, death, uncertainty, H*ll.

This is a living wall, instead of a wall of stone, suggesting that some part of Sam hasn’t accepted his son’s death. It’s also a reminder that the islanders inherited the Druids’ belief in reincarnation, with its fluid boundaries between life, death and rebirth. Death is not necessarily an impenetrable wall here.

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The Third Day Season 1 Part 1/Summer: Episode 1 Friday- The Father Recap

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This is a recap of Part 1, episode 1, The Father, which includes full details of the plot. My non-spoilery review of the season is HERE.

The Third Day takes place in a remote part of the UK, on an island that’s cut off from the mainland for most of the day. Osea Island is accessible by car for only a few hours a day at low tide by driving across an ancient Roman causeway that floods when the tide rises. It’s inhabited by a small community of year round residents who have their own traditions and beliefs which blend the old Celtic religion with Christianity.

Sam (Jude Law), a grieving father, stumbles into this community accidentally after saving the life of a young woman from Osea. He feels a connection to the community that he doesn’t understand, but also a sense of chaotic urgency as various obstacles prevent him from leaving the island and returning to his own troubled life.

Osea Island is a real island off the coast of Essex which takes on a life of its own in the story. The characters seem to travel over every inch of this tiny paradise as the show progresses through summer, autumn and winter. This allows viewers to get to know Osea’s tempestuous personality and beauty up close and to get a sense of how its natural elements affect the direction of the community.

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