The Vanishing Triangle – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3 

Episode 3 of The Vanishing Triangle begins with Lisa taking the police to Bulger’s cabin. They soon arrest him and bring him in for questioning. However, there is a fundamental problem: Teresa won’t testify against him. Bulger’s chequered history with uncooperative witnesses lives on. Teresa is petrified. She has suffered a lot at his hands. When Lisa talks to her, Teresa confirms Bulger raped her and kept her hostage for many days. 

Lisa beseeched her to testify against Bulger by mentioning how she thinks he killed Janice. Teresa is moved but still does not want to testify. Lisa is off to meet her father in prison. Burkley tells Lisa that one of the persons previously arrested with Bulger, Billy Miller, was a gang drug runner. The gang he worked for was the same one as Chris, Lisa’s father. Suzanne rushes to the Garda to enquire about Bulger. She is angry at the officers for not making any progress and not updating her about the developments in the case.

Parallelly in the episode, we follow a young girl, Mandy. She lives with her grandmother and it is indicated that she secretly provides escort services. With no evidence against Bulger, he will once again go free. But Brennan might have found something that can indict him for abduction. Chris rejects the idea that Bulger killed Janice. He is a low-level thug and the man who murdered her is more calculative.  

Lisa then turns to Shiobhan, who was supposedly married to Bulger. She is now separated but still refuses to engage with Lisa’s questions about her former husband. Acting upon Chief Gill’s instructions, the Garda officers clamp down on male escorts. Joe, the escort we had been following in the previous episodes, is apprehended and badly beaten. Brennan has struck a deal with Wade, the cab driver who saw Bulger kidnapping Teresa. Wade was caught moving stolen video tapes and has agreed to testify in exchange for Brennan not pressing charges. 

We see Mandy being followed by a man who is possibly the psycho-killer behind all the murders. Lisa informs Barbara, her editor, that Bulger isn’t a suspect in Amy’s kidnapping. That possibility has been ruled out. She advises Barb to run an advisory on the radio for young girls to stay wary of the psycho. Tommy, a male escort, unexpectedly shows up at the hotel. Burkley is livid and talks to him in private, something that Lisa witnesses.

Tommy is feeling unsafe after the clamp down and Burkley agrees to place him in the room for a while. As Lisa leaves for Susan’s home in Castle Moy, we see Mandy and her grandmother being attacked by the murderer. Tommy and Burkley discuss their future together, which does not bode well for them. Burkley recognizes his obligation to Mary and Rachel. He doesn’t want to hurt them for his selfishness, even though Tommy asserts he doesn’t owe them anything.

The killer asks Mandy to call Susan under the guise of updates about Amy. She lures her into a parking lot, where the man kidnaps both the girls. Lisa reaches Susan’s home a few minutes late as she finds Susan’s headband in the parking lot after driving to the location. She receives a horrifying call from the killer in her hotel room.

The episode ends as Lisa is tasked with making an impossible choice. He asks her to pick the girl whose life he will spare…something that triggers yet another panic attack for Lisa.

The Episode Review

The creators try hard to keep the momentum of the first two episodes up in the third. While in the doubleheader The Vanishing Triangle looked to be a bit of everything, things have been considerably streamlined in this episode. The investigation into Amy’s disappearance should pick up from the next episode. We will surely see a semblance of background on the killer himself…or if not him, perhaps more buildup into Lisa’s confrontation.

One thing I particularly disliked about the episode was the oversimplification of Susan’s decision-making. Despite the knowledge of everything that has happened, how could she still go all alone on a stranger’s call to a deserted area? Both Frances and she have not had any sort of arc or involvement in the investigation.

Lisa and Burkley remain the focus of the storytelling. The latter’s secret love affair adds another layer of tension to the fore, though the creators must be careful to not overdo it. 

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You can read our full season 1 review of The Vanishing Triangle here
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