Episode 3 of Tales From The Loop sees us follow May as we peer into her life and learn more about this quiet girl. She heads down to the lake with her Father and while she looks at the tranquil water, contemplates just why she can’t hold onto that feeling of falling in love. She find a strange contraption in the water and decides to take it home with her.
Discontent with her current life, May decides to head off for a walk with the boy she saw earlier in the episode – Ethan. As they talk, May requests to see his foot which is badly swollen. Despite them getting on well together, Jakob (who is really Danny, remember) calls for her and distracts them from their conversation.
They do meet up again later that day though. In her garage, Ethan and May talk about her hobby of taking items apart and he enthusiastically comments how interesting this is. In particular, she continues to tinker with the contraption she found down by the lake. They then head to her room where Ethan comments on the drawing Jakob made of her. Things are awkward at first but the two start to grow closer. As they start kissing and things get heated, May’s Mum bursts in and sees the two of them together.
That evening, May manages to get the strange device to work and after snapping the silver bracelet on her wrist, everything in time appears to freeze. After testing it at home, May heads to school and shows Ethan, with them both wearing similar rings as a way of “being together” during this frozen moment in time.
Out in the street they take advantage of everything being frozen and make love right in the middle of the road. May heads to the top of a car afterwards and tells Ethan that this moment can last forever, with the duo sharing in this eternal splendor.
They spend over a month like this, in each other’s company but when the time comes to switch the machine back on it doesn’t work. As May looks around the neighbourhood, she finds her Mother midway through having sex, cheating on her husband. It’s something she can’t stomach seeing and ironically echoes her own situation with Jakob and Ethan.
Outside, she and Ethan get into a fight and she calls him a cripple. It’s a horrid thing to say and something that sees him leave in silence as she heads back inside the house to mull over what she’s done. Now all alone, May is overcome with fear, given she hates being alone, and subsequently ends up wandering around to find him.
She eventually does find Ethan up on the tower but unmoving, she realizes he’s taken his bracelet off. Unwilling to be along, she does the same and their momentarily lapse in time is over. Unfortunately it’s too late, and he walks away.
As May and Ethan return to their familiar lives, they run into one another on the street they made love. As they talk, Ethan recites the Chinese he learnt from her but it’s no good, that fleeting moment of happiness is gone and they walk away on their separate paths.
With beautiful themes around forbidden love, time and happiness, Tales From The Loop delivers a really interesting and well written episode that stands out as one of the best here. Seeing May discontent with her real life and come alive during the time freeze is a great bit of character development, while seeing her Mother cheating on her husband echoes exactly what she’s doing with Ethan. This particularly important to note as well given Ethan asks her to break up with Jakob and she dances around the idea.
The exploration of fleeting moments of happiness, played out in this “what if” scenario of time freezing, prove that you can’t dwell on the past and have to make the most of time, even if everything is frozen around you. If there’s one lesson to take from this it’s to make the most of every second of your life and that is certainly a great lesson to take from this excellent episode.