The Third Day Episode 4, Explained

‘The Third Day’ part 1, ‘Summer,’ ended with Sam (Jude Law) assuming the position as the “Father” of Osea. In ‘Autumn,’ we witnessed Sam go through a grueling trial or follow “the path of Esus” to prove his worth as the leader of the islanders. In ‘Winter,’ the story shifts and focuses on a mother, Helen (Naomie Harris), who arrives in Osea to celebrate the birthday of one of her two daughters. The warmth and vibrancy that is prevalent in part 1 and still pulsating in part 2, is all but gone.

The grey and wintery landscape has become as unwelcoming as the people there, who are even more hostile now. The creators ensured that part 3 would be aesthetically different from part 1 by completely replacing the show’s crew. There is a new director (Philippa Lowthorpe), cinematographer (David Chizallet), and even a composer (Dickon Hinchliffe). While the perpetual sense of foreboding is still there, it has changed and feels more immediate. SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Third Day Episode 4 Recap

The first episode of part 3, titled ‘Monday – The Mother,’ begins as Helen and her two daughters, Ellie (Nico Parker) and Tallulah (Charlotte Gairdner-Mihell), come to Osea for what appears to be a short vacation. As the family drives into the village, we see that whatever time has passed in the show’s universe between parts 2 and 3, it hasn’t been kind to Osea. There is a lot of litter on the streets, and many of the walls have been graffitied with the image of Sheela na gig, which is traditionally used to prevent death, evil, and demons from entering the premise.

After the family reaches their destination – a cottage listed on Airbnb – Helen is told that they are not hosting guests any longer. Frustrated, she takes her daughters to the hotel that she spotted earlier. While looking for the proprietor, she sees him being threatened by two men. After the two assailants leave, she walks into the room and tends to the hotel owner’s injury. However, he can’t rent her a room either. This is when she spots Ellie talking to Larry (John Dagleish). She rushes out, screaming, and later nearly has a mental breakdown.

The Third Day Episode 4 Explained

Helen spends the entire day looking for a place to stay for herself and her daughters and getting turned away from everywhere. She takes her daughters to what she believes to be a fully-functioning resort but finds a deserted construction site there. Ellie sees a ritualistically slaughtered sheep, posed with a crown of thorns on its head and a baby doll inside the cavity of its disemboweled abdomen and screams out in horror, drawing her mother to her. The preacher (Amer Chadha-Patel) shows up, prompting Helen and her girls to hide from him. They run as fast as they can through the muddy fields to get to their car.

However, when they arrive at the road, they find it to be missing. Helen thinks that it has been stolen. Their last effort to find a lodging for the night takes the family to the Martins’ (Paddy Considine and Emily Watson) pub. Mr. Martin is more somber and weary than ever before, and politely tells Helen that they are not accepting guests. With her daughters comfortable before the fireplace, Helen stands her ground, adamant not to be thrown out of this place as well. Ultimately, Mrs. Martin comes to her rescue and asks her husband, in her typically unfiltered but affectionate manner, what he is going to do.

He can’t possibly put Helen and her children back out on the streets. Helen gets her car back. It wasn’t stolen after all but towed. Later, inside their room, the girls ask Helen if they are returning home the next day. She evades the question, answering that they will decide in the morning. As the episode draws to a close, we are shown the screensaver on Tallulah’s tablet. It’s a photo of her, Ellie, Helen, and Sam, indicating that this is the family that Sam was forced to leave behind on the main island.

Helen’s Real Reason For Coming to Osea

It is quite evident that Helen didn’t travel to Osea with her daughters just because it’s her eldest’s birthday, and she likes archeology. As Ellie later points it out to her, she hasn’t been interested in the subject for a while, and Helen was aware of this. Helen knows that the last known location of her husband is Osea. She likely has come there to find out what happened to him. The fact that Helen is Sam’s wife explains her outburst when she sees Ellie conversing with Larry.

She is also a grieving parent, believing that she lost her son all those years ago. Her horrible experience has made her suspicious of any stranger approaching her children. But it is also perhaps her motherly instincts that get her to lash out against a man who had been utterly antagonistic toward her husband after he arrived in Osea. Unlike Sam, Helen’s response to pagan iconography that she sees everywhere on the island is much more restrained.

The inherent mystery that we have come to associate with ‘The Third Day’ doesn’t necessarily revolve around the islanders in ‘Winter.’ We now have more or less an idea about who they are, having already witnessed all their traditions and customs, both glorious and gory. It’s Sam’s family that seems to be at the center of all mysteries in the third and final part of the show.

Read More: The Third Day Part 1 Episode 3 Recap/Explained