‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ follows the winding love story of a woman destined to marry Henry, a man who spontaneously and uncontrollably time travels. In episode 3, an elderly Clare recalls how her younger self continued to meet the time-traveling Henry while wondering if they would be married in the future.
The differences between her linear timeline and Henry’s temporally muddled life become increasingly apparent, including some uncomfortable challenges and a few awkward moments. The episode closes on an ominous note where we see another novel use for Henry’s powers — murder. Let’s take a closer look at ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ episode 3 and see how things turn out. SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Time Traveler’s Wife Episode 3 Recap
The episode opens with an elderly Clare recalling how she was six years old when she first met her soulmate. Interestingly, this episode doesn’t feature an elderly version of Henry, and Clare at one point mentions that he is dead. She continues narrating how, through subsequent meetings, the younger version of her became increasingly aware that her future self might be the wife Henry mentions during his visits. By the time she is thirteen, Clare puts together the many clues (including obvious ones like sharing Henry’s wife’s name) that her time-traveling future husband drops and becomes certain that they will be married. However, Henry continues to deny it.
As a sixteen-year-old, we see Clare beginning to flirt with Henry. She refuses to give him his clothes and pushes him even more to admit that they eventually get together. However, she also begins attending high school parties and catches the attention of a popular jock named Jason. While Clare eyes him at a party, Henry sits alone at their spot, waiting for her. However, by the time Clare returns, looking disheveled, Henry disappears back to his own time period.
The next time they meet, Clare is in a dark mood and takes Henry for a nerve-wracking drive. She claims that since Henry knows an older version of her, there is no way they can die. In anger, Henry explains to her that all her choices are still her own and that she mustn’t act as if her life is “on rails.” Later, Clare makes a strange request to Henry. She asks him to murder her classmate, Jason.
The Time Traveler’s Wife Episode 3 Ending: What Happens to Jason? Is He Dead or Alive?
Henry prepares to murder Jason by calling his present-day version and telling him to have an alibi prepared. He and Clare then drive to Jason’s house and abduct the boy using Clare’s father’s gun. Jason is terrified, and even though she plans to kill him, Clare brings along his inhaler. Henry finds it all quite amusing until she shows him the bruises inflicted on her by Jason.
Maddened, Henry ties Jason to a tree and threatens to kill him. Unfortunately, he soon feels another bout of time travel coming on and disappears. Left alone with a weeping and tied-up Jason, Clare calls all the girls from her class who have been hurt by a boy, and we last see them surrounding Jason, writing on him with a blue marker.
Apart from a brief closing scene that depicts an 18-year-old Clare and a 41-year-old Henry at their regular spot for the last time, the end of the episode is quite dark. It is revealed that Jason raped Clare, though she never reveals it to Henry because she doesn’t want to believe it herself. However, Henry knows that Jason has hurt Clare deeply and seems quite adamant about killing him. However, he disappears and leaves Clare alone with a tied-up Jason.
Despite it being Clare’s idea, it becomes clear that she doesn’t want Jason to actually die. However, there is some form of revenge that Clare is adamant about taking from the man who raped her. Ultimately, Jason survives, but Clare leaves him tied to a tree with his skin covered with handwritten accounts by girls who have been hurt as well. Interestingly, it is at this point that Clare realizes that art doesn’t just have to be aesthetically pleasing but can also be used for revenge.
What is the Significance of the Marker?
Before returning to his own time, Henry hurriedly hands Clare a marker but doesn’t explain why he’s giving it to her. He just says that he has a feeling that she’ll need it. When he returns to his own time, where he is married to Clare, we see the same marker displayed on her table. Thus, the marker obviously has some weighty significance and has been preserved by Clare.
The marker that Henry leaves behind becomes Clare’s weapon against Jason as well as an outlet for her rage. She uses it to write on Jason an account of how he assaulted her and then invites others who have been similarly hurt to do the same. The marker is also a symbol of Clare’s new outlook on artistic expression because she realizes after writing on Jason that she has created a work of art. When we meet the 20-year-old Clare, she is already a budding artist and is likely inspired by this experience with the marker.