HBO’s The Third Day: Monday – Mother (Episode 4) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of HBO’s The Third Day, Monday – The Mother, we get a new tour of Osea Island in the winter time that delves into new lore, more horrors, and introduces a new protagonist.
With Sam’s (Jude Law) story seemingly coming to a close, it’s time to head to back to Osea in a new season with a new set of protagonists in the form of Helen (Naomie Harris) and her two daughters Ellie (Nico Parker) and Talulah (Charlotte Gairdner-Mihell). Looking for a holiday escape that’s perfect for Ellie’s birthday, Helen brings the girls to Osea to stay at the college for the weekend, but she seems like she’s hiding an ulterior motive for going. Although Helen has a good chemistry with her daughters and clearly cares for them, there’s clearly some family issues that has sparked this sudden trip to Osea. They’ve gone through some kind of “tough year” and Helen has some issues with their grandmother trying to impose family religious beliefs on Ellie. Regardless how much good chemistry and care there is between Helen and her daughters, it looks like they have issues that this island is going to prey on.
Helen also faces a lack of acceptance that’s much worse than what Sam faced. Upon arriving, she finds that her cottage reservation has mysteriously been canceled and is met with disapproval everywhere she goes to find a place to stay. At first, she thinks it might be because she’s black since there’s a comment made about her kids that their father must be white, since they’re lighter skinned, and it’s understandable since she’s really not getting a warm welcome. Honestly, her welcome is about as frigid and cold as the winter season as everyone looks at her like she doesn’t belong and with unwanted stares. Even the Martins don’t really want her around since Mr. Martin (Paddy Considine) tries to have her not stay at the pub only to be overruled by Mrs. Martin (Emily Watson). Although they’re easily the most hospitable people on the island, we know they’re not to be trusted. Helen’s presence on the island seems to have thrown everything in disarray and the reasons why don’t seem clear – until the last shot of this episode.
The bomb that gets dropped in the last moment of this episode is literally perfect as it is unexpected and puts all the pieces together. It turns out that we already know about the tragedies that Helen and her family has face because they’re the same as Sam’s – Helen is Sam’s wife and Ellie and Talulah are his daughters as well. The islanders trying to push Helen out of staying makes total sense now since they know who she is and are likely worried that she’ll run into Sam and that he’ll want to leave. It add so much more impact to her arrival that continues the story we already know in an unexpected way. Since we know how important Sam staying is to the islanders, the backlash she’s likely about to face is going to daunting as hell and the opposition will be far greater than when Sam tried to escape. It’s the kind of twisty bomb drop that turns a good episode into a great one and has revitalized my excitement to what’s coming up for Helen and Sam.
Helen’s arrival on the island also gives us a glimpse as to what’s going on with the islander’s religious horror lore as there seems to be new life on the way. Gross graffiti of a woman, I guess, giving birth can be seen all over the place, there’s talk about a woman wanting to have her baby on the island, and Ellie and Helen come across a sheep gutted open with a baby doll in its gut. Honestly, things are getting creepy as hell on the island and the portrait of Jesus with his organs exposed doesn’t spell anything good. Even the overall atmosphere of the island feels much darker in its winter setting and some of the new faces, including a suspicious cowboy, makes it feel like there’s a much darker presence this time around and more mistrust within the island community. Some of the islanders are even arguing with the island preacher showing that Sam’s presence and now Helen’s arrival have started a divide.
With the island in a new season and the arrival of a new presence, The Third Day finds unexpected ways to carry the incredible momentum of last week’s excellent episode. New mysteries and new reveals show that Sam’s story was far from over and that Helen’s arrival could change everything within the island forever.