The Clearing Episode 3 Recap: Suffer the Little Children

Image Credit: Ben King/Hulu

Developed from JP Pomare’s 2019 novel ‘In the Clearing,’ the Disney+ (Hulu in the US) series ‘The Clearing’ is an Australian thriller drama series. Pomere’s book is inspired by what happened to the people involved in the Australian cult known as the Family. ‘The Clearing’ has two primary timelines. In the past, a young girl named Amy lives in a cult-like community in rural Victoria. In the present day, Amy, now known as Freya (Teresa Palmer), struggles to deal with the persisting trauma associated with her past. Painful memories resurface as a young girl disappears in her neighborhood.

In episode 3, ‘Suffer the Little Children,’ Amy tries to figure out what happened to Sara, the young girl whom members of the Kindred abduct and tries to assimilate into their community. When they fail to do so, the girl mysteriously vanishes. In the present, Freya is stunned to discover that Adrienne Beaufort / Maitreya (Miranda Otto) has sold her home. She also reunites with someone she was once forced to leave behind. Here is everything you might want to know about the ending of ‘The Clearing’ episode 3. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Clearing Episode 3 Recap

The third episode begins by depicting a critical moment in Amy/Freya’s life. In the timeline of the series, this incident is situated somewhere between her past with the Kindred and her present with her son Billy. She is in a car with her baby daughter Max, who keeps crying. As she rapidly becomes overwhelmed by the situation, Freya shouts at her child and leaves her alone in a locked car. When she returns, Wayne (Mark Coles Smith) has come back and is frantically trying to break through the window to get to the infant. He finally manages to do it just as emergency services arrive. Wayne and Freya’s eyes meet across the parking lot, and that was effectively the end of the relationship between the two of them.

In the present day, Freya discovers two strangers on her property, claiming that they have bought the place. Refusing to accept this, she rushes to Adrienne’s home, demanding to know why the older woman has effectively thrown her and Billy into the streets. Freya later visits Dr. Bryce Latham (Guy Pearce) to convince him not to sell the property, but he doesn’t listen, claiming that their organization requires funding.

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In the past, after Sara’s mysterious disappearance, Amy begins to slowly rebel against the control the cult had on her. The aunties become agitated and punish her by throwing her out of the house. One day, Maitreya declares her plans for a picnic by the lake. All the children, Maitreya, the aunties, and Henrik leave the house to spend a precious few moments outside. Suddenly, the aunties discover that Amy has gone missing. Soon enough, the Kindred camp is filled with panicking adults as they search every inch of Blackmarsh, hoping to find Amy. The young girl encounters their neighbor, a kind elderly gentleman, who calls the police. For their entire lives, Amy and her siblings were taught that the police were blue devils and one had to stay away from them. Predictably, Amy tries to escape when she sees the police but loses consciousness after bumping into a tree.

When Amy wakes up, Yusuf Joe Saad is at her bedside. Although Amy doesn’t say anything, the entries she made in her diary are enough for the authorities to launch a raid on Blackmarsh. The children are rescued, and Henrik and one of the aunties, Hannah, are arrested. Maitreya manages to evade capture and leave the country. Another aunty, Tamsin, also goes on the run. While the group was out for a picnic, Latham came to the house, packed incriminating evidence, including LSD and videos of various members during their Clearing, and left. When the police come, they don’t find any of this. This probably explains why Adrienne is a free woman in the present day.

The Clearing Episode 3 Ending: Who is Billy’s Father?

Although ‘The Clearing’ focuses more on the protagonist’s trauma than the mystery elements present in the plot, they are still used masterfully. We are introduced to Wayne in the previous episode and presume that he is Billy’s father, but it turns out that things are a bit more complicated than that. In episode 3, it is revealed that he and Freya had Max together, but after the incident with the car, Freya left, and Wayne brought Max up on his own. It seems that this is the first time he meets Billy and wonders whether he is the boy’s father.

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While that is indeed a possibility, we glean from the conversation between him and Freya that they have been estranged for a while. It’s likely that someone else is Billy’s father. Toward the end of the episode, Anton returns to Blackmarsh. He is about Freya’s age and one of the most devoted followers of Adrienne. It’s possible that after Freya came back, Adrienne forced her to sleep with Anton, and Billy was the result of that.

Who is inside the White Van?

Since the disappearance of the young girl from her neighborhood, Freya has seen a white van in the area, and that brought back memories of Sara’s kidnapping. After she informs Joe about it, he asks around and discovers that no white van was involved in the girl’s kidnapping, leading him to conclude that Freya might be imagining things. But in episode 3, Freya discovers that there is indeed a white van. She learns from Wayne that her daughter, Max, wanted to meet her. So she stole a van and found her biological mother, despite the fact that Freya never added a return address to the birthday cards she sent every year.

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Confronting her mother, Max demands to know why she left her. She has seen Freya with Billy and knows she is a great mother. This leads Freya to tell her daughter that she left because she wanted to protect Max from herself. Max, who likely has heard of Freya’s past with the cult and the car incident, seems to understand what her mother means to say.

Read More: Is The Clearing’s Kindred Based on Australia’s The Family Cult?