The Essex Serpent (Season 1), Episode 3 Review, Recap & Ending Explained: The first two episodes of Apple TV Plus offering ‘The Essex Serpent’ landed on the streaming platform last week. It promised to be a slow but gradually engrossing, mysterious affair with plenty to offer, especially from Claire Danes. The meticulously crafted glimpse of British Victorian society with a dash of gloomy countryside provided the perfect atmosphere to tell a story of one widow trying to find the truth behind the rumors of a fearsome mythical beast’s appearance. 

The latest episode, the third one, is called ‘Falling.’ Directed by Clio Barnard, the third episode is the first to depict a lull in the proceedings. After establishing the first two episodes, ‘Falling’ takes its sweet time in evolving the relationship intricacies that the show had promised to make. The central relationship drama feels a bit undercooked and rushed even after that. Let us look into what happened in the third episode of ‘The Essex Serpent.’ 

The Essex Serpent Episode 3 Recap: 

With hints of horror and mystery, the Victorian drama casually flowed to build tension, culminating at the end of the second episode, when the locals’ fear of the mysterious serpentine beast circling their shore finally peaked. Whether the beast existed or not was still up for debate. The second episode ending saw the children accusing Naomi (Lily-Rose Aslandogdu) of bringing the eponymous Essex serpent into their lives during a class taken by Cora (Claire Danes), where she wanted to provide a rational explanation behind the rumored existence of the monstrous serpent. Naomi got into a fit, Jo (Will’s daughter, played by Dixie Egerickx) ran away from the classroom, and other remaining children gradually keeled over.

The third episode addressed that. The children did not die; they fainted. Cora called Luke (Frank Dillane) from London to help her understand the mystery behind the event in the classroom. Luke thought there could be some food poisoning that could produce some mass delusions among the children. While going back to the event scene, they were immediately confronted by Matthew (Michael Jibson), who blamed the entire incident on Cora, terming her scientific theories about the beast as ‘heresy’. 

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The Essex Serpent Episode 3
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At the Ransome family household, Will (Hiddleston) and Stella (Clemence Poesy) started to get increasingly fearful as Jo stopped speaking altogether since the event in the classroom. Will asked help from Cora regarding that. Cora subsequently asked Luke about the same. As it had been shown before, Luke did not pass up an opportunity to try some medical approach, which might still be at the experimental stage. So, when Luke decided to perform hypnosis on Jo, Cora accepted it after some initial hesitations. However, Martha (Hayley Squires) warned Cora that it might not be prudent, seeing that the hypnosis was going to be performed in Will’s absence and without his approval. But, since Stella agreed, Luke and Cora carried on.

The hypnosis revealed what had been previously shown to us but been a secret among Jo and Naomi. It was that Jo, along with Naomi, did perform some rituals. And Jo started to fear that it was that ritual of theirs that had bought the serpent amidst the lives of the people of Essex. Just as Jo finished retelling her story from her hypnotized trance, Will walked in and got involved in an altercation with Luke and Cora as he thought they were harming his daughter in the name of experimentation. Luke and Cora left the Ransome house, with Cora visibly affronted. 

The Essex Serpent Episode 3 Review: 

As said before, the third episode concentrated more on establishing the relationship complications between Cora and Will. With Luke and Stella being the respective other wheels. The opening ‘Jaws’-esque scene, where a fishermen’s boat was attacked by something mysterious, seemingly by the serpent, reaffirmed and increased the likelihood of the serpent being real. 

But apart from that, this episode mostly navigated through various events that would charter the course of Will and Cora’s journey, now getting ever-so-entangled lives. As a result, this episode became more of a building block and precursor to something dramatic, as the story did not get forward as much as some viewers might have hoped after the first two episodes. Also, somehow the expected romantic turn of Will and Cora’s relationship did not come across as quite organic. It felt like some conversations, or friendly events were still to be held before taking that turn.

The Essex Serpent

The cast had been quite good from the beginning, and now Hiddleston is gradually joining the party. Claire Danes and Frank Dillane are consistently excellent from the very first episode. The direction of Barnard and cinematography keep us engaged with the gradually increasing lure of the imminent arrival of the much sought-after beast on the screen. 

The Essex Serpent Episode 3 Ending Explained

Will, from the beginning, had been supportive of Cora’s endeavors regarding the beast, despite feeling that it might hinder his priestly duties. In the third episode, Will confronts Matthew for blaming Cora for every mysterious bad thing happening around the place. 

However, Jo’s hypnosis quite put a strain on that friendship. It could have been guessed when Will charged at Luke that it was not just Jo’s well-being that dictated that kind of action from the pastor. It was implied that the close friendship Luke also had with Cora played a part in Will’s action.


When Cora came to apologize to Will about the hypnotism on Jo reluctantly, they started to have a row. However, things quickly changed as Will implied that he probably had begun to feel differently towards Cora and drew her closer. Stella observed this from the house. So, that is to look forward to the next episode. 



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