‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is a mystery drama set in an uber-exclusive wellness retreat that seems to break the boundaries of experimental therapies. Catering to a group of 9 guests who have each come for the 10-day program hoping to rid themselves of their personal demons, the Tranquillium House retreat seems to be heavy with secrets and ulterior motives.
At the center of it all is the enigmatic Masha (Nicole Kidman), who minutely plans and voyeuristically observes her patron’s activities but maybe pushes them too far in episode 3. The dramatic episode closes with an explosive allegation against her and some heartwrenching details about the Marconi family’s tragedy. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ episode 3 and make sure we picked up all the details. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 3 Recap
The episode opens with the retreat’s guests getting ready for breakfast, a peaceful affair until a squabble between them breaks out, ending with Carmel physically attacking Lars. The group is then prepared for their “Earth Day,” which involves a potato sack race, hiking, and foraging outdoors for food. The guests protest when they are told that the only food they will get will be what they can find on their own in the retreat’s vast grounds. However, the potato sack race soon raises everybody’s spirits, and the group subsequently divides between the men (led by Yao) and the women (led by Delilah) for the rest of the day.
The womens’ group finds their way to a pool where they gingerly get in. Heather, following Delilah’s lead, gets in naked, much to the embarrassment of her daughter. Soon, secrets and inner feelings begin to pour out, and Carmel admits to Jessica that she feels violently angry at pretty young women like her after her own husband ran away with a younger woman. Frances also admits how she is unable to live in the moment but is compelled to keep mentally recording all her experience so she can use them in her writing in the future.
Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 3 Ending: What is the New Protocol?
The men’s group, frustrated at not being able to find any food, begins to share aspects of their past, and it is revealed that Tony was a famous professional football player who retired after a disastrous injury. Ben also opens up and tells the group that he is merely a lottery winner and has done nothing to earn his riches. On their way back to the retreat, they spot Masha’s pet goat. Delirious and hungry, Tony chases after the goat, hoping to kill it for food. The group returns with the dead goat, much to the shock of the others. Masha, however, commends Tony for following the spirit of the task, which was to forage for food, and promises that there will be a celebration in the evening.
As promised, a large outdoor celebration takes place at night, with all the guests dancing and mingling. As an exception, there is also wine, and the goat is being roasted on an open fire to feed the hungry party. As they sit down for dinner, Napoleon gets up to make a toast. However, his words are slurred, and he begins to talk about the day his son, Zach, committed suicide. As the group wordlessly listens, he finishes by admitting that it wasn’t Tony but Napoleon himself that killed the goat. His wife Heather then stands up and asks Masha whether she’s been drugging them, to which the group leader only smiles.
Though Masha still hasn’t confirmed it, it seems like the New Protocol involves giving her unsuspecting patrons drugs. Despite her assistants Yao and Delilah being seemingly apprehensive about initiating the new procedure before the guests have been completely detoxed, Masha confidently tells them to go ahead with it. Considering Napoleon begins to hallucinate during his time in the forest and the womens’ group becomes strangely amenable to sharing their inner fears, it seems like they were drugged at breakfast, and the substance began to take effect sometime after the potato sack race. The guests are probably all kept hungry to ensure maximum potency of the drug they have ingested.
Interestingly, Napoleon and his wife Heather seem to be more affected than the rest of the group, which hints at the possibility that Masha is giving them different doses at different times. Since the episode closes with Heather blaming Masha for drugging them, we will likely get to know more about the mysterious New Protocol soon enough.
What Happened to Napoleon’s Son? Why Does the Father Finally Reveal His Inner Emotions?
In his stupor during dinner, Napoleon finally admits how deep his emotional wound about his son committing suicide actually is. Despite explaining the tragedy in a clinical, matter-of-fact way to Masha earlier in the day, he now bares the regret and responsibility he feels for it happening. He blames himself for sleeping in on the fateful day and pressing the snooze button on his alarm, during which time his teenage son committed suicide. Napoleon sorrowfully explains that had he got out of bed and gone into his son’s room like he usually did, his son would still be alive.
The unexpected revelation likely comes because of the drugs that he has unknowingly ingested on Masha’s orders. Although Napoleon has also been drinking wine, it is unlikely that just a few hours of drinking alcohol could dredge up such a deep secret from the grieving father who, up till now, has done everything in his power to hide behind a sunny disposition. It is unclear whether Masha meant for the revelation to occur, but it is almost certain that she and her mysterious plan are behind it.