Last Day – The Dark
The season finale of The Third Day begins with Helen finding Sam on the dock and questioning him over exactly what he’s doing there. Sam mentions Nathan being alive and calls himself the Father of Osea.
Midway through talking, Mrs Martins arrives and reveals Jess has had a girl, which is a direct challenge to Sam’s authority and the reason everything is coming unraveled.
Sam is unperturbed though, and brings Helen inside the house so she can see Nathan. Upstairs, she finds the boy safe and sound. Well, at least physically. His pictures and drawings on the ground tell a very different story. Numerous sketches depict murders and torturous images.
Helen takes Sam aside and rasps at him – it turns out this isn’t Nathan. It’s a completely different child and “isn’t even the right colour.”
Helen’s true purpose for coming to Osea is actually to get the money back that Sam took. Once she has that, she’ll leave forever as they’re not a family. As Sam looks up and tells her he loves her, Helen scoffs and walks away.
There, Mrs Martins finds Helen and reveals the real truth. Nathan was taken by the island inhabitants. They never meant for him to die but an accident occurred. The consequence of this saw them putting Nathan out at sea.
Meanwhile, Jess tasks Jason with closing the causeway on Osea to prevent anyone from leaving. As she does, down on the shore Lou learns that Sam is alive. Helen knew about this but didn’t bother telling them.
While Ellie heads up to the church, Lou sees things she shouldn’t, including the island inhabitants coming to blows and their car being destroyed.
As Lou heads back to the house and closes the door, she remains desperate to find her Mum. She clutches a knife and hides under the bed.
That’s just as well too, the villagers begin collecting up guns and look set to fight over Osea. Biding her moment, Lou charges across to the pub.
Back at the house, the fight starts as the two sides wage war with one another. Mr Martins is smacked in the chest with an axe while the rest of the group are forced to scramble outside and away. With Lou on the run and Ellie back with Jess, Helen and Sam work together to get their girls back.
Well, they don’t have to wait long. Ellie sends a message to her parents asking to talk, intending to settle things without bloodshed. Ellie is caught in the middle of this conflict as Helen and Sam both come to blows over Nathan.
Unfortunately Ellie betrays them both as Danny and the others arrive and take Sam away. With Helen and Sam tied up, Jess cradles her baby and addresses the group. She wants them all to live happily together “despite which side they chose.”
As the crowd disperses, Jess’ demeanor changes. This happily ever after apparently doesn’t apply to Mrs Martins, who Jess allows to be killed. Even worse, none of them are able to leave the island either.
Thankfully, none of them accounted for the wildcard of Lou. She appears from under the bed and helps untie Sam and Helen. Together they head out in search of Ellie. Sam grabs a knife and stabs Jason repeatedly in the back when they find her.
With blood spattered up the walls and ceiling, he appears before the rest of the family and “knows what to do now.” He leads them all up to the church with a shotgun and shoots Larry n cold blood.
He grabs the bag of money and hands it over to Helen, telling her to leave at dawn. Only, Helen seizes her opportunity and finds a boat to get them off the island right now.
With flashlights shining in the distance, Helen begins swimming in front of the boat while dragging the girls along. Determined to save her girls, she continues swimming. As she does though, Helen looks back and sees Nathan back on the boat in place of her girls. It’s a momentary thing, but enough for her to keep swimming with more urgency this time.
The group make it to shore but Helen is freezing. Despite wrapping her in blankets, she can’t stop shivering. As the sun shines on the girls, everyone huddles together as the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
When it comes to art-house, The Third Day certainly pushes unconventional ideas and does so with a lot of symbolism and ideology. Unfortunately it also does that at the expense of a linear and straight forward story.
The idea of a war on Osea is fascinating but after so much build-up it’s over before it’s even begun. There’s sprinkles of slasher-film moments here but not enough to keep this tonally consistent with the eerie vibes this one plays with for so long.
Where the show thrives though is with its characters and both Jude Law and Naomie Harris do an excellent job with this mini-series.
The idea of a character changing completely and warping our perception of someone we’ve come to know over 3 episodes is a great idea and easily the strongest element at work here.
However, the open ending will almost certainly disappoint people looking for something more definitive or answering all the questions raised. This is definitely one of the more unusual and intriguing TV projects this year but it’s also perhaps a little too niche for its own good.