What is the Meaning of the Title Triptych?

Netflix’s ‘Triptych’ follows the story of a set of triplets who become aware of each other’s existence three decades into their lives. Uncovering the secret behind their separation leads them on a quest that unravels everything that they held dear. New connections are forged, while old relations are seen in a new light. Over the course of eight episodes, they go through an emotional turmoil that wreaks havoc in their lives. The story, however, remains solidly centered on just them. This is what the title reflects as well. If you want to find out more about how the title connects to the storyline of the show, then here’s what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD

Triptych Meaning, Explained

Merriam-Webster defines the word “triptych” as “something composed or presented in three parts or sections”. It is generally used in art, either in a painting or a literary or musical work, where three different things are connected in a way that feeds into the narrative of the story that is being told through them. The three parts, though different from each other are intrinsically connected, and unless you see all three of them together, you will not get the whole story.

The Netflix series translates this meaning to the story of three people, rather than three works of art. For thirty-three years, the triplets—Rebecca, Aleida, and Tamara— remain separate from each other. They are not aware of each other’s existence and leave very simple and normal lives. They have no reason to question their life or wonder if there is more to the story. Still, there are parts of themselves that they can’t understand. They have visions of other lives that they know nothing about. They consider these things hallucinations and don’t pay much attention to them. That is until they find each other.

It is only when the secret that they are a set of triplets is revealed that the three women start to piece together various things about themselves, that didn’t previously make any sense. Their visions start to make sense as they realize that they had been having glimpses of each other’s lives. They also understand that the sudden shifts in their moods at times, like feeling extremely drunk or pyromaniac when they’d never felt this tendency before, are explained by the fact that they share each other’s moods.

It becomes clear that only when Rebecca, Aleida, and Tamara’s lives are put next to each other that the whole story makes sense. When even one of them is missing, it becomes impossible to piece together the whole thing. In this manner, they work as a triptych, with one part feeding into the narrative of the other. At one point, Rebecca confesses that she always felt like there was a void inside her, like a part of her was always missing. That feeling doesn’t go away until she finds her sisters. Considering all this, it makes sense why the creators of the show chose to go with “triptych” as the title of the story.

Read More: Is Netflix’s Triptych Based on a True Story?