HBO’s The Third Day: Sunday – The Ghost Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of HBO’s The Third Day, Sunday – The Ghost, Sam (Jude Law) begins to learn the truth about his connection to Osea Island and is desperate to escape it after the islanders’ intentions for him become clear.
If this episode has anything going for it, it’s really disturbing and horrifying visuals. Sam is still riding his high from the drugs that him and Jess (Katherine Waterston) took last week and it leads to some terrifyingly trippy visuals that give off Silent Hill vibes. Hearing the distorted sounds of babies crying and eerie whispers, seeing furniture legs move like insects, and being sucked into all of the bloody and horrifying hallucinations is perfect way to kick off all of the craziness this episode offers. Honestly, all of the camera work in this episode is great and the imagery that ties into Sam’s connection to Osea is even better. From the painted glass mural that Sam finds in a chapel that resembles his possible fate to the use and meaning of crickets that comes into play this episode, this episode really signifies how this series utilizes visuals to enhance the storytelling. It gives the island a presence of its own and offers the perfect kind of visual horror that fits right alongside the shocking revelations that are uncovered here.
We finally get the answers we’ve been craving for with understanding not only Sam’s role within the religious order that exists on Osea, but also their role in Sam’s life. Like any good mystery, all of the supposed facts and things that we’ve been learning aren’t exactly true. The story about Sam’s grandfather being on the island is true, but he plays a much larger role than expected. So, it turns out that Sam’s grandfather was actually the leader of the group, given the title of The Father, but left so that his family could leader a normal life off of the island. However, Sam’s return to the island sparked the idea that a new order could come and restore the island since the current order has diminished the island. Thus, the islanders are caught in a debate of whether Sam should stay to restore the island’s greatness or that he should die because he’s not worthy and has seen too much.
It’s a revelation that fills in most of gaps as to why Sam has faced so much scrutiny from the islanders, especially Larry (John Dagleish), and why there is such a divide. It creates the perfect amount of paranoia and mistrust with every character that we’ve met as he desperately tries to find an escape off of the island. He can’t even trust Mr. Martin (Paddy Considine) as he wants Sam to stay or Mrs. Martin (Emily Watson) is ready to kill him after he rants about how her beliefs are false. There’s no exit in sight for him that doesn’t come with obstacles in the form of someone wanting him to stay. Even when he tries to just swim across the causeway and even gets on Tomo’s (Tom Lawrence) boat with Jess, there’s always this force that pulls him back to the island.
Even the level of belief that raises within the island community goes to new heights as desperation within them becomes clear. Everyone is rattled by Sam’s presence and are willing to do anything to see his journey come to a conclusion – whether he stays on the island as The Father or dies there as nothing. Epona (Jessie Ross) is sadly the perfect example of this as we see that she’s committed suicide and the purpose behind it is equally as horrifying. We learn that Epona hanging herself in the first episode was actually a plea to the Gods for a new order on the island and then Sam showed up. It’s further continues this idea of faith, how far it can go, and how people can be consumed by beliefs that they believe are facts. It’s even worse realizing that Sam is willing to still bring her to safety, but that she killed herself, yet again, to make sure that he stays on the island. However, it’s nothing compared to the bomb that the Martins drop about Sam’s son Nathan that’s mind-blowing and changes everything.
Not only are the islanders responsible for Nathan’s kidnapping as they asked Goltan to do it so that they could lure Sam onto the island, but he’s actually not dead and is on the island. It’s a revelation that’s very unique and actually strips away some of the generic cult qualities of the islanders and Sam’s purpose as he’s left with a horrid decision – stay on the island with his son, leave him here until he can get back to the mainland and get the police, or kill himself in order to not give the islanders what they want, but give him Nathan in the process. At first, he chooses the middle option in an attempt to escape with Jess, but then another betrayal occurs as Jess makes him stay on the island in order to reclaim her daughters.
It’s another big twist that both speaks to the scrutiny that Jess is under with her abusive relationship with her husband and shows how Sam’s fate was sealed the second he came onto the island. All of the pieces have been in place all along for Sam to be unable to escape and he’s left in a hopeless state with a choice that changes his fate forever. Rather than deal with leaving his son alone again and possibly never seeing his face again, Sam makes the decision to stay and be with his son. It’s a decision that’s oddly uplifting as Sam might have just sold his life to be on the island, but he makes sure that Nathan is no longer alone. It’s probably the best outcome he could have since it seems like the islanders have come to accept him and, well, it’s got to be better than dying. However, the onslaught of crickets that consume the lens in the episode’s final moments ensure that things are far from over and Sam might not have escaped death just yet. Not to mention, there’s still another side of The Third Day yet to come as Winter brings a new character named Helen (Naomie Harris), a strong willed outsider looking for answers, is on the way and could have major impacts on the fate of the island.
This week’s episode of The Third Day gives us a thrilling conclusion to Sam’s story arc as shocking revelations and horrific twists and turns gives us an experience that’s legitimately mind-blowing and gives fate a daunting presence. It’s easily the best episode yet as it gives us shocking and satisfying answers that are likely to become a little more complicated as a new person arrives on the island.
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