The Essex Serpent Episode 3 Recap and Ending, Explained

‘The Essex Serpent’ is a period drama series based on Sarah Perry’s novel of the same name and adapted for television by Anna Symon. It follows Cora Seaborne, a widow, on a quest to uncover the truth about a mythical serpent plaguing the village of Aldwinter. The third episode of the series, titled ‘Falling,’ sees Cora dealing with the aftermath of her class at the local school that creates a commotion among the young students.

With the villagers growing skeptical of Cora, she must find a way to help Will’s daughter, Jo, who is traumatized by the incident. Therefore, viewers must wonder whether Cora succeeds in helping Jo or makes matters worse. If you are looking for answers about the ending of ‘The Essex Serpent’ episode 3, here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Essex Serpent Episode 3 Recap

The third episode titled, ‘Falling,’ opens with a group of fishermen fishing near the Blackwater marshes. However, one of the fishermen is attacked by a mysterious presence the others believe to be the Essex Serpent. The men get scared and narrowly escape with their lives. Elsewhere, Cora wakes up in her house in Aldwinter and discusses the situation at the school with Martha. Frankie goes out for a walk in the village and meets a farmer who teaches the young boy how to milk a goat.

After Cora invites Luke to examine the situation in Aldwinter, the doctor arrives in the village. Cora explains what happened with the girls at the school. Luke theorizes that the mass hysteria could result from the children being exposed to some sort of chemical substance. The duo tries to examine the school but is rebuffed by Matthew, who blames Cora for the children’s condition. Meanwhile, at the Ransome household, Will and Stella grow concerned as Jo has stopped speaking after the incident at the school.

As Luke and Cora travel across the village, the villagers express their dismay for Cora. As a result, the duo focuses their attention on working to collect paleontological evidence. Near the beach, Cora finds a large serpent-like skull. The discovery raises her suspicions about the existence of the mythical beast. In the end, Cora invites Luke to help improve Jo’s condition. Luke decides to use an experimental method of treatment to help Jo. However, there are chances of the treatment adversely affecting Jo’s condition.

The Essex Serpent Episode 3 Ending: Does Luke’s Therapy Work on Jo?

Towards the episode’s end, Cora brings Luke to the Ransome household after growing concerned about Jo’s condition. The young girl is evidently traumatized by the incident at her school and hasn’t spoken a word since. As a result, Cora wants Luke to treat Jo. After learning about Jo’s condition, Luke decides to use hypnosis therapy on the young girl to bring her out of a state of shock. Cora seeks Stella’s consent for the experimental procedure. After Stella agrees to let Luke hypnotize Jo, the doctor proceeds with the treatment.

However, as Luke performs his hypnosis therapy, Jo becomes more restless and blabbers about performing a spell. Luke’s therapy is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Will. Will is enraged at Luke for performing such a dangerous treatment on his daughter and attacks the doctor. Cora is enraged at Will for insulting her friend, and she promptly leaves the Ransome house with Luke. Stella tries to calm Will down. The vicar realizes that he overreacted about the situation after seeing that Jo is not only okay but also speaking again. Therefore, it is safe to say that Luke’s treatment worked.

Luke’s hypnosis therapy reveals a surprising detail about Jo’s connection to the mythical serpent. According to Jo, she and Naomi performed some sort of spell that drew the serpent to Aldwinter, effectively dooming its citizens. As a result, the narrative further blurs the line between rationality and superstition. After spending the entire episode learning rational explanations for the beast’s existence, the episode’s ending gives a slight hint of a supernatural mystery brewing in the marshes of Blackwater.

Ultimately, only time will determine whether the serpent really exists or is a result of the villagers’ superstitions and shared trauma. The episode ends with Cora confronting Will about his angry reaction earlier. However, Will fails to justify his actions. Instead, he and Cora share an intimate moment as Stella looks on from a window. The scene suggests that Will might have some romantic feelings for Cora, thereby setting up another conflict in this gothic tale.

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