The Clearing Episode 8 “Island”: Perhaps fittingly, this is the episode where the jumping to flashbacks is limited to one or two flashes of memory. The rest of the episode sticks with the present timeline; a clear conflict beginning this episode gives it standard linear coherency that delivers a poignant, if a tad bit mellowed-down, finale. But compared to the tonality of the whole show, the conclusion is a bit more meditative.

The Clearing Episode 8 “Island” Recap

The episode’s opening reveals a compound near the countryside. Tasmin, now a farmer with her partner Greer, lives a life of domestic bliss by farming broccoli and perhaps animal husbandry. As Tasmin walks over to the field where Greer is working, they both see a car driving over and stopping in front of their backyard. The seriousness on Tasmin’s face is mirrored by the revelation of the car’s driver, Adrienne. We realize that Adrienne had always known where Tasmin had been hiding, and now that the cult’s resurgence is underway, “Maitreya” needs her sisters.

Freya, meanwhile, is in a daze. We see her calling the police after realizing that Billy is missing. Back at Christine’s, where Wayne had been crashing, police arrived to bring Wayne in for questioning. As the police drag Wayne away, he calls out Christine and reminds her to call Freya and figure it out.

Freya had been running around her compound hastily until Leo’s barking stopped her. Looking at the treehouse, Freya climbs up with a half-hearted hope of finding Billy; instead, she finds the sleeping bag, the lantern, and a cassette player playing “Ma Vlast.” This forces Freya to flashback to her childhood of Amy listening to the same tune when she had been to the basement (under solitary confinement).

Realizing that Henrik had been hiding here this whole time, Freya rushes back to her treehouse to inform the lead investigator. However, perhaps because of Freya’s history, the investigator chooses not to believe her accusations and instead asks for any reason why her child ran away. As the question progresses to whether Freya and Billy had combative words before she went underwater and infers that Freya’s prior mistreatment with another child is cause for a plea of mental instability, Christine enters her house and hugs Freya.

She informs the investigator that she wouldn’t answer any questions without a lawyer present. Christine takes Freya to her room and informs her that Wayne has been taken in for questioning. She also reveals that a dog walker had seen a Kombi in the morning shortly before Billy’s disappearance. Freya starts to call Anton and realizes the call has gone straight to voicemail. She becomes convinced that Anton and the Kindred have kidnapped her son. Christine helps Freya escape the house by distracting the police officers, while Freya escapes through the back door and runs through the wooded compound.

Meanwhile, Wayne is being questioned by the same detective back at the police station, with the detective strongly insinuating that the disappearance of Billy is related to Wayne’s supposed custody battle with his ex, considering his ex’s history of abuse and how most cases of kid disappearances are related to custody battles. However, Wayne strongly rejects her insinuations.

Freya arrives at Adrienne’s house only to find that her room has been cleared out. She interacts with Adrienne’s caretaker Mo (who had been strongly insulted by Freya in the prior episode for correctly inferring Adrienne’s fake dementia). As she apologizes, she notes how Mo used to note down words like Corella. Freya then goes down to Joe’s boat to inform him about Billy’s disappearance and her suspicions about Kindred’s involvement.

As Joe asks what would be Adrienne’s reason for abducting Billy, Freya vehemently argues that it is indirectly Joe’s fault, as exposing her secrets at the party led her to take such a drastic decision. Joe, in turn, argues that it is the final chance for him to catch her red-handed on charges of deception, false testimony, and obstruction of justice, and it would be foolishness to let this chance go. Joe then advises Freya to lay low in his boat, as there would be an alert out on her car, while he and Colin uncover and try to solve this case.

The Clearing Episode 8
Teresa Palmer in The Clearing Episode 8

In a conversation with Tamsin (she is driving Adreinne’s car back to their new headquarters), Adrienne reveals that because all documents showed the property and its deeds belonging to Tamsin Latham, a trial would have sent her to prison, and thus Adrienne had “sacrificed” for her sister. Meanwhile, that night, Freya overhears Joe talking with Colin about restarting the investigation into Adrienne.

Mistakingly thinking that Colin is still a double agent, unaware of how Joe and Colin are now allies, Freya slinks out of the boat and drives away to her house. She runs into Henrik there as he searches the area in the dark. He finally confronts Amy and tells her that she is the biological daughter he and Hannah share. In response to Henrik’s claim that all he had done was to keep her safe, Freya recalls the atrocities she witnessed at Brickmarsh and informs him that he had done nothing to protect her.

She further adds that he ought to have been under life imprisonment. Henrik, who has struggled with guilt his entire life, can only concur. A phone bill is in the mailbox as Freya exits the already-sold property. She peruses through it and realizes that Corellas’s repetition in this list is no coincidence. Freya remembers that term from her conversation with Mo and deduces that this is the final destination. When she finally arrives on the island, she learns that Latham and Adrienne have revived the Kindred out of sight of the authorities. There are recruits as well as their kids. When Freya eventually runs into Adrienne and Tamsin, she is informed that Billy wasn’t there and never had been. Instead, Freya might be responsible for Billy’s disappearance or death.

As Freya explores the compound in shock and confusion, she passes through and from buildings and rooms that call back to her “clearing” and the kidnapping of Sara and her indoctrination of Asha. As Freya walks through the house resembling their old mansion, she comes across the basement. This reminds her of the time when she tried to help Sara, Tamsin, and Adrienne and tried to control them.

Amy is already under the effects of LSD. The episode finally reveals the one niggling piece of the puzzle that viewers knew was missing. Adrienne had assigned Amy to punish Sara by submerging the other girl’s head in the water-filled stone tub. Amy obeyed Adrienne’s repeated commands to do so despite being shocked and afraid. As soon as Adrienne realized Sara was dead, she took Amy into the bedroom, where a hidden camera had already begun recording.

Amy inadvertently provided Adrienne with a weapon to hold over her parents as she sobbed uncontrollably and claimed to have killed Sara. Adrienne compelled Henrik to admit guilt and serve 22 years of his life in prison when the police showed up looking for her. When Freya runs into Henrik earlier in the episode, Henrik is searching for this videotape.

The Clearing Episode 8 “Island” Ending Explained

Distraught at the thought of having killed Sara and perhaps also having killed Billy, Freya goes into a fugue state, comforted by “her mother,” Adrienne. But Latham already knows the risks and instructs Anton to ensure Amy doesn’t leave the island. Meanwhile, Joe and Colin are hard at work examining Adrienne’s finances. They uncover that Adrienne began moving her money out of the country following the mistrial and putting it in several false bank accounts. All her properties were sold, and the proceeds totaled $80 million. This only proved that the phony religion had all been a huge sham, and Adrienne Beaufort had always been after money. And now they needed to follow the money to finally arrest her. And that’s when Joe sees that Henrik has come to visit him.

Meanwhile, Anton, under the pretext of comforting Freya, drugs her so that she is unable to escape. He brags to her about how he indoctrinated one of Amy’s children into their cause. That bragging, however, had the adverse effect of opening her eyes and making her realize that Max had been the one who had taken Billy, as Max had Anton’s Kombi. She also reveals that Henrik and Hannah were their biological parents who had given up on them.

Once the effects of the drug had passed, Freya tried to escape but couldn’t escape the attention of a sleepy Tasmin. Their subsequent conversation reveals how broken Tasmin is and how much of Adrienne’s “belief” in her is still controlling her, forcing her to be by her side even though she knows what Amy is speaking of is true. “The light” never did fill her life, but it led her astray, knowing full well that Adrienne would never love her back.

Anton is pursuing her as she runs. She dives into the water when she realizes her boat is nowhere to be found. The latter attempts to shoot her but fails. The police eventually show up, and Joe picks up Freya. As Joe holds her to keep her warm, he reveals to her Henrik’s confession of Asha’s murder on the condition that Adrienne wouldn’t reveal the tape, which had revealed that Freya had killed Asha. But Joe corrects her, implicitly placing the blame more on Adrienne than on a child.

Henrik also hangs himself on the same tree with both Amy and Sara’s names embossed on it. As Henrik’s confession galvanizes the police force, a helicopter surrounds the island, and the ringleaders realize that the game is up, Latham holds “Maitreya’s” hand and urges her to look towards the spiritual realm as a way of escape. But now “Maitreya” doesn’t exist anymore, only Adrienne, and as she tries to run away, Latham’s face shows disillusionment as the veil finally breaks. The wind removes Adrienne’s wig in the only scene of comedy in a mostly somber and meditative series.

Anton, too opens the book titled “Across the World,” and as he brushes his hands across the name scrawled on the top, we realize that he believed in the deepest depths of his heart that what Amy had been vehemently professing is true: Henrik and Hannah were his parents. We finally see Amy and Wayne managing to locate Anton’s Kombi with Max and Billy. Wayne and Amy embrace their children, and as Wayne begins a lively conversation with Billy, Max reveals that she took Billy to protect him because “he doesn’t belong to them.” This finally becomes a validation of Amy’s self-worth, as she too holds Max’s hands and concurs, stating, “Neither do we.”

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The Clearing Episode 8 Show Cast – Teresa PalmerGuy PearceErroll Shand, Anna Lise Philips, Miranda Otto

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