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The Third Day Episode 2, Explained

September 22, 2020
6 min read

In ‘The Third Day’, Benjamin Kračun’s camerawork is so zoomed in and invasive at times that it creates a sense of claustrophobia. As we are following an unreliable narrator like Sam (Jude Law), this ultra-focus on his perpetual bewilderment adds to the complexity of the plot. In part 1 episode 2, titled ‘Saturday – The Son’, Sam is still on the island, and his visions are becoming even more vivid and tangible. About halfway into the episode, he gets an opportunity to leave the island, but instead of doing that, he comes right back, drawn back in by everything that Osea promises to him.

The Third Day Part 1 Episode 2 Recap

After the startling revelations that were made in the closing scenes of episode 1, including the fact that Sam had the allegedly-stolen money all along, episode 2 shows him and Jess (Katherine Waterston) in bed together. He once more misses his chance to take the causeway off the island. Later, he witnesses a sermon in which a preacher pleads for redemption for Jason (Mark Lewis Jones), as he has made his sacrifice. Sam opens up about his son’s death to Jess, telling her that he was murdered by a Romani immigrant. When he shows an interest in Osea’s anthropological history, she speaks to him about Mimir, the island’s “archaeologist”, a man who seems to be connected to Sam’s past and his son’s death.

The Third Day Part 1 Episode 2 Explained

Episode 2 begins with a new vision, of a burning wagon, for Sam, before it morphs into what he saw earlier, him in that abandoned water tank surrounded by the remains of the ritualistically slaughtered children. It is later revealed that the wagon once belonged to the same Romani man who killed Sam’s son. This scene again enunciates that Sam cannot be trusted as a narrator. He is not just gradually losing his grasp on reality and can’t seem to separate it from his increasingly lucid visions, but he is not entirely forthcoming about the details about his personal life as well. We already know that he has been lying about the stolen money, and as he admits to Jess later, he was filled with rage after the tragic incident. Despite asking the people not to blame immigrants in general in the media, he has been harboring violent thoughts. It’s possible that Sam may have had at least some form of interactions with his son’s murderer.

The Attraction of Osea

A whole world awaits Sam beyond the shores of Osea, his wife, other children, his job, and the responsibilities that accompany each of the aforementioned aspects of his life. But he just can’t seem to leave. Most of the time, it’s just timing, like when the second episode begins, he oversleeps, with Mr. Martin (Paddy Considine) feeling that it will not be prudent to wake him and Jess up. Other times, however, he is just not ready yet to make his departure. There are two definitive anchors that are keeping him there. If one is Jess, and the growing bond between them, the other is Epona, whom Sam found in the previous episode in the same area as his son’s murder. As Mrs. Martin (Emily Watson) tells him, he may not acknowledge it, but there is a connection between him and the teenage girl.

Coping with Grief and Loss

Sam is perhaps acknowledging the fledgling bond between him and Jess when he opens up to her about his son’s death. She tells him about her own children, and the complicated relationship she has with her estranged husband. “Agony is bespoke. Yours is yours. Theirs is theirs. Mostly grief’s just lonely,” he says to her while trying to explain how exclusive grief can be. Later, he sees that mysterious boy once more, and the child is wearing the same striped t-shirt that Sam placed in the waters of the creek in episode 1. After being chased by masked figures, he is saved by Jason, who seems to be dealing with the grief of losing his own child. Sam is horrified, believing that he is speaking of Epona, but the Martins later tell him that, just like him, Jason has lost a son.

Does Sam Die?

Throughout the episode, we are given bits and pieces of the history of Osea and its continued adherence to its Celtic past. This episode even makes a reference Frederick Nicholas Charrington’s speculated link to Jack the Ripper. During the festival, the surrealness and the ambiguity of the plot are amped up to 11 after Sam and Jess take LSD pills. Soon, the Martins approach them, cautioning Sam that Larry and others are after him. Larry (John Dagleish) has seen Epona kissing a perplexed Sam earlier. That can explain his behavior. Although Mrs. Martin promises to protect him, she leaves him by an abandoned and dilapidated church. He has a vision of his abdomen cut wide open, just like he has seen in the pictures at Mimir’s home. He is then attacked by Larry, wearing one of the masks belonging to the assailants earlier. He hits Sam with a crowbar and puts the mask over his head. As the episode draws to an end, the splotch of red grows bigger on the material.

There is still an episode left in part 1, and it is highly unlikely that the producers will kill the main character at this juncture, so we can pretty much safely conclude that Sam is still alive. The real question is whether the attack actually happens or it is one of Sam’s hallucinations. Considering that he is already on an LSD trip, it is likely the latter. But, as we are shown time and again, reality is multi-layered in the island. The other possibility is that the attack does happen, but our judgement is so clouded due to following Sam’s point of view, that we can’t also figure out what is a vision and what is not.

Read More: The Third Day Episode 1, Explained

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