War Sailor – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3

Episode 3 of War Sailor brings a big reprieve for viewers at its beginning. We jump into the year 1947, just a year before the story actually began in Singapore. Cecilia and the children are alive and healthy, now living in Askoy in Cecilia’s uncle’s spacious house.

Sigbjorn shows up and Cecilia instantly gives him a big hug. Remember, the priest told Cecilia in the last episode that Sigbjorn had died too. She might have a glimmer of hope that Freddy is alive or she might be elated to see an old face after so long.

All the children are grown up now and desperate for answers. Sigbjorn has spread the word everywhere to look for any clues to Freddy’s location. However, he has found no links yet.

Olav is now a young boy and Sigbjorn shows him the same trick with the bed sheet and the noose that he showed Maggie and William before embarking on the trip with Freddy. Maggie asks with a concerned look if Freddy was ever disappointed in her. However, Sigbjorn wrestles away all her doubts. He says Freddy loved and missed his family more than anything in the world.

What affect does William have on the family?

Cecilia and Sigbjorn have a drink at night. The latter expresses his guilt at not keeping his promise and bringing Freddy back. As of now, he is sleeping on the small sofa in the living room but he is actively looking for a job.

William works as a welder and has learnt quickly. At the factory, Sigbjorn helps him out. He gets a familiar visitor in the form of Kjall, who is now a fully grown man. He has a family of his own now, but looking back at things, he apologizes for abandoning his crew, although Sigbjorn thinks it was the right decision.

His presence in the house has cheered everyone up, especially Olav, who seems attached. Cecilia also finds a mature adult’s company refreshing. He is a part of the family and does chores around the house, including building a bed for the kids. Cecilia flirts with him and watches him bathe one night. She invites him up to the bed and they have sex together.

There is hardly any guilt or regret in the couple and the fact is that their togetherness feels right for the viewer also. Sigbjorn gets a letter a few days later which says that Freddy has been found.

Sigbjorn is now conflicted about his moral duty to his dear friend who saved his life and Sigbjorn’s own happiness. He does not tell Cecilia right away. He lets the thought of that conflict marinate in his mind but eventually, he decides to bring his friend back home. Cecilia is happy but there is hesitation on her face.

What happens in 1948?

We then switch to the first visuals of episode 1 in 1948, Singapore. Sigbjorn holds Freddy tenderly in his arms and takes care of him. He feeds him, flushes out the toxic alcohol from his system, shaves and bathes him, and eventually gives him the news.

Freddy breaks down when he hears his family is alive. He has grown frail and visibly weaker. But there is still life left in him. Sigbjorn announces that he will not be coming back with him to Askoy. The sailors have raised money for Freddy to get back home.

Initially, Sigbjorn was not taking the sailor job he found on a ship. But with this revelation, he takes that job. Freddy is received with warmth by the family. Maggie is the most earnest, although Olav has trouble placing him as this is the first time he has seen his father.

How does Freddy adjust?

Cecilia proudly announces what the kids have been up to. Freddy is a little awkward with his family, but everything that he has gone through in those years thinking they had all died is having a telling effect on him. Freddy’s troubles adjusting to the old family life also make the others a little apprehensive of his presence. They have made their peace with his passing and now he is back all of a sudden.

Freddy goes to the naval office to get the money that was owed to him during and after service but due to the change in circumstances, he is denied any money. He cannot get a job on a ship either since he was on a “notoriety list.”

Cecilia comes clean about Sigbjorn and Freddy understands. However, anxiety and frustration grow inside which isolates him further from his family. He has trouble using his hands for work due to persistent weakness, which only infuriates him further and he lashes out at Olav one day when he won’t agree to eat lunch with the family. He’s also started drinking again.

How does War Sailor end?

We then make a steep jump in time to conclude the series, going forward almost 25 years. The family still lives in Bergen and it is Freddy’s 70th birthday. His grandson, Maggie’s son, gives him a birthday gift. She and Cecilia are busy preparing a birthday cake for him. While tying his tie, she tells him to be civil to Olav at his birthday function and stay for the sake of the attendees. They have a surprise guest in the form of Sigbjorn, and this is the first time they are meeting after so many years.

The meeting between the friends is thankfully civil. Freddy tells him that all his children are doing well for themselves with good employment and steady lives. Sigbjorn tells about his adventures and all the places he visited in his time.

After a while, Freddy just goes blank and Sigbjorn expectedly looks at him. There is nothing said between them but there is a sense of unresolved issues about Cecilia. He leaves without saying goodbye to the others, while William is outside and they all leave for the birthday venue.

The Episode Review

War Sailor brings a satisfying conclusion to its short story. The finale did all the right things and gave us a nuanced exit from the emotionally turbulent story of Freddy and his family. The final sequence perhaps needed some more context for us though. It was a little difficult to do all the work and put the sequence as part of the overall narrative.

One pressing issue that nags you right after you watch episode 3 is the question – what if Freddy never came back? Would he and his family be happier? Could Sigbjorn have been a better husband and father? Most probably. And in that way, Freddy’s return was anticlimactic to the story.

I guess in the end War Sailor was about those who survived and those who did not. Freddy’s story is a small piece of a whole spectrum of stories that were never told on the screen.

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