The Clearing Episode 7: While both timelines had been given equal importance in all the prior episodes, Episode 7 is where the present timeline is given primary importance. Part of the reason is that the casting in the past timeline and current timeline is becoming more and more similar, leading to the past timeline finally informing the present as it leads up to its natural end, while the present timeline leads to its eventual conclusion.

The Clearing Episode 7 Recap:

Episode 7: This Too Shall Pass

Amy

Markedly haunting, the episode opens with the court hearing of Amy and Wayne, with Wayne arguing for custody of their daughter. We see Amy sitting in the toilet, her head in her hands, presumably wondering how her world has spiraled out of control, as signified by her vision of a crowbar destroying the car’s window pane where baby Max had been. In the courtroom, we see that Amy’s relationship with her foster mother, Christine, has deteriorated to the point that they have stopped talking in the present, primarily because of this incident, where Christine testifies that Amy is an unfit mother for Max.

Then, we finally get a second time jump in this timeline, where we realize that it is a few years later, with Adrienne finally coming to meet her. We understand that Amy has not interacted with her mother in a very long time, so her reaction is understandable. But her reaction to realizing that it is Adrienne and not Christine is practically chilling from an objective perspective because it again shows how much of a hold Adrienne still has on her “children.” We also learn in this scene that Amy had been admitted to a facility, which Adrienne manages to get her out of and presumably gifts Henrik’s house for her to stay in. As viewers, we finally understand why Freya, in the present, is still indebted to Adrienne. We can also presume that “Freya” is a name Amy might take as a way of rechristening herself after attaining freedom from the facility.

Meanwhile, Inspector Joe Saad tries to continue his investigation after the mistrial. His investigation leads him to discover how Colin Garrison had been Kindred’s inside man. But by the time the mistrial occurs, Adrienne has already announced herself to be medically unfit to stand trial, and the case is dropped. Couple that with the events of 9/11, and Saad is being observed throughout the police force with eyes of suspicion. Joe had seen a photo on Colin’s desk, dated 1989, of a car parked outside Brickmarsh. The automobile was registered to Colin’s wife under her maiden name. Joe challenges him after putting two and two together.

Colin claims that Adrienne had blackmailed him, having kept recordings of their sessions where he confessed that he was living a lie and in a failing marriage. Thus, Colin was forced to comply, and Joe was completely disillusioned. They try to install unofficial wiretaps in the lodge after staking Latham and Adrienne out, but Saad is caught installing the wiretaps, and Adrienne hires lawyers and completely shuts the police department out of any further investigation into the matter. This leads to a massive blowup between the police commissioner and Saad, and as a result, the Commissioner requests his pistol and badge.

A few more years later, Wayne and Amy’s paths cross, and they finally decide to go out on a date. The date progresses well enough for the two of them to become intimate by the  night’s end. The post-coital discussion does not go in favor of Amy, as Wayne refuses to let Amy be a part of their daughter’s life at the moment. However, he also emphasizes that it was not Amy’s fault as much as Kindred’s influence on Amy.

Freya

In the present, Freya goes to Adrienne’s place to confront her about the meeting she witnessed in the previous episode. Her interactions with Anton does not reveal much, but they do reveal that Adrienne and Anton were going to attend Abigail’s (one of the children of the Kindred) wedding. Freya tries to talk to Adrienne about reopening the Kindred, to which Adrienne calmly reminds her, with a hint of malice, what would happen if she opted to tell the truth. That promptly shuts Freya up for now, but her guilt is working her mind into overdrive.

The Clearing Episode 7 Recap & Ending, Explained - hof
A still from The Clearing

She has been complicit in the Kindred starting back up again because she kept quiet about Adrienne’s “Dementia.” That guilt forces Freya to almost threaten Adrienne’s carer when he points out that the bookmark of Adrienne’s book has shifted, proving that Adrienne possesses cognition. When Freya vehemently protests, he threatens Adrienne’s true identity. Freya counters by saying what would happen when someone asked him why he he had revealed this sooner. Freya knows that he would be questioned, and there is a high possibility of him being profiled as well, so she is content in believing that he will keep his mouth shut.

Freya takes Joe to the Brickmarsh Lodge to prove the resurgence of the Kindred but finds the house completely gutted. As Joe tries to console her, stating that it is impossible for Adrienne to even attempt something like this, Freya finally confesses that Adrienne’s dementia had been a hoax this whole time, and she had been a party to this fraud because if she had tried to confess, they would have taken her back to the facility and Billy would have been taken from her. Joe is understandably upset because this case had taken up his entire life and spat it out, rendering him a broken man, and this betrayal by Freya, proving that Adrienne had been fit to stand trial, further breaks Joe down.

Anton and Adrienne are all invited to Abigail’s wedding, but not all of Adrienne’s “children” are happy to see her there. Joe has also been invited due to his acquaintance with Abigail. There, both Freya and Joe meet Annabelle, one of the children who is now wheelchair-bound. Having suffered from anorexia, bulimia, and other ailments due to malnutrition, she now suffers from osteoarthritis and is unable to walk. She has an intensely negative reaction to seeing Adrienne, and even Adrienne pretending she does not understand what is going on does not elicit any sympathy from the majority of the room.

We realized that the kids, having been freed from the clutches of the cult, had only been forced to face difficulty adjusting to real life, and as we learned through the outbursts of one of the adults, one kid named Aaron took his life because he was unable to continue within the actual reality of their lives. While some of the kids still love and respect Adrienne like their “mother,” Annabelle and Freya despise her because her manipulations have become obvious.

In a moment of anger and intoxication, Joe Saad takes the stage and, while beginning a speech on the values of humanity, pivots his speech to how Adrienne Beaufort is someone who only knows how to destroy families and now is pretending to have dementia but is actually primed to resurrect her old ways. Anton, in a fit of anger, attacks Joe. The resultant confrontation freaks Freya out, and she leaves. As she tries to get into her car, she is met by Ebonie, Anton’s wife, who was waiting with their child in their car. As Ebonie begins to wax poetic about Adrienne, she reveals unwittingly to Freya that they are the “new initiates,” which shocks her, but before she can ask for confirmation, Anton comes out of the party with Adrienne in tow. Anton asks Ebonie to prepare the car for “mother” and that she will have to drive.

The Clearing Episode 7 Ending Explained:

We also touch base with Henrik, who goes to meet with Dr. Latham. His face screams disillusionment, which is further emphasized when he sees Latham talking with a couple; the wife is clearly pregnant. It can very much be construed that he is wracked with guilt, and his asking for the tapes of Amy’s clearing might have some ulterior motives, but towards a more redemptive edge.

We do touch base with Max, whom Wayne had come to see off with Max and Freya in tow. While Max was content with maintaining a cordial relationship with her father and brother, she was still manipulated enough by Adrienne to harbor resentment against her mother. Conversely, Billy’s relationship with Wayne is improving, having spent the night at his place while Freya investigated Brickmarsh. It is also heartening to see that Freya and Wayne’s relationship is slowly and steadily mending. There could be a happy ending on the horizon, or, like most television shows, it is the calm before the tragedy.

As Freya finally picks Billy up and returns home, they do not notice their dog looking up at the treehouse in the jungle and barking. Unbeknownst to them, Henrik had been hiding out here, possibly because, as the last episode revealed, he is Amy’s true father, and this could be his only effort at reconnection. We see Billy count the minutes as Freya holds her breath underwater. But as she breaks the record, she does not realize that Billy is distracted by someone’s presence behind him and follows them. As Freya finally emerges to the surface, her heart skips a beat, and her paranoia (now fully explained and justified after six episodes) takes over her as she realizes her worst fears have come true – her son appears to have gone missing.

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