The Burning Girls – Season 1 Episode 3 “Three” Recap & Review


Episode 3 of The Burning Girls begins with Jack finding a dead crow in the church and a news clipping about herself. Did that mystery man leave it behind or does someone else also know about her secret?

While cleaning up the mess, she runs into Clara, on her early morning jog. They chat for a bit about Mike Sudduth, the bereaved journalist who lost his daughter, Izzy, in a freak accident. Clara explains that Izzy died while playing at a friend’s house. That friend was Poppy Harper. Fiona, Mike’s wife, was heartbroken and blamed Emma for leaving the children alone with Rosie to supervise. In a frightening moment of introduction to the character, we see Rosie inhumanely dressing Poppy as the slaughtered Peppa Pig.

Jack is getting more embroiled in the investigation of the missing girls. We keep seeing flashbacks building up to what happened to them. Jack learns that Reverend Marsh, Aaron’s father, thought the girls were “trouble.”

The article she reads from Fletcher’s pile is written by none other than Joan. Things get stranger as we see Flo heading out into the market. She leaves her camera with a good Samaritan who is moved when he learns it belonged to her father. She sees Wrigley pace past her without even stopping to notice. Flo is approached by Rosie, who offers an apology. But Flo is not ready to be friends with her. To spite her, Rosie tells how she sodomized Wrigley once and that he was forced to move on from his last school because he locked a girl in a cupboard.

In a flashback we see Merry resorting to hard drugs after her breakup with Joy. On one occasion, under its effects, she screams at her mother, Judith, in a demonic way that further convinces her Merry is evil. Joan explains to Jack that the girls’ disappearance was not a big issue as they weren’t liked enough by the villagers. Benjamin Grady was a curate at the chapel who often visited their homes for prayers and Bible studies. It is confirmed that not only did Benjie and Joy have a physical relationship, but she also became pregnant. Interestingly, the alibi for Grady on the day Joy went missing was Clara Rushton, who was unmarried back then and “infatuated” with Grady.

Joy went to Merry after Benjie threatened to talk about their relationship with Pauline. Merry was gushed to get her friend back and promised to run away together. Five people – Joy, Merry, Judith, Jacob, and Benjie – disappeared from the same village in the same year, and no one suspected foul play.

Later that night, Jack joins the Rushtons, Mike, and others for a quiz night at the pub. Simon and Emma Harper are there as well. From their earlier interaction, it is apparent that Emma feels threatened and scared by Simon and Rosie, who are clearly not right in the head.

She is also deeply concerned for Poppy, whose mental state must be absolutely shattered by now. Emma alludes to Jack about her feelings outside the pub and she looks genuinely dishevelled. In yet another flashback, we see Judith call Benjie to exorcise Merry after her outburst. It is also possible he might have killed her using the knife in the exorcism kit.

Mike tells Jack at the bar about the news clipping he received that morning. Jack narrates the story about Ruby, the young girl we keep seeing in her visions. Ruby was orphaned after her mother died. She was fostered by her aunt and her partner. Jack used to notice Ruby coming in with signs of physical abuse. The evidence was clear. But when she confronted the aunt and the partner, they accused her of being homophobic. Cognizant of her position at the church, Jack took a step back and didn’t press the authorities…until one day, Ruby was left murdered at the altar. The aunt and her partner had killed Ruby. That is why Jack was called a murderer by everyone involved.

In yet another frightening conclusion to an episode, we see Flo getting confronted by the spirits of the burning girls at the church as she lies helpless at the altar.

The Episode Review

I am beginning to think that the “lost spirits” of the burning girls want something from Jack. There is an earthly obligation that has kept them from passing on from their mortal plane. We don’t know yet what it is but it has deep ties to the central mysteries of the show. Once again, the creators use the interconnectedness of the past and the present to conjure intrigue.

All the flashbacks in this episode confirmed our worst fears about what happened to Merry and Joy. It might be the case that they aren’t missing after all. The show is getting quite interesting although there are stretches in the episodes where literally nothing happens. This may be problematic for a show only six episodes long.

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