The Essex Serpent Episode 4: Review, Recap & Ending Explained
The Essex Serpent (Season 1), Episode 4 Review, Recap & Ending Explained: After a slump in the third episode, ‘Falling’, the Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes starrer Apple TV Plus series, ‘The Essex Serpent’ tries to infuse some zest into the otherwise mellow proceedings in its fourth episode, which is called ‘Everything Is Blue’. The episode would continue to explore the love triangle or quadrangle with its various players for a meaty part of its duration. There are multiple twists and turns in the path of love and awkwardness for our characters here.
At one point, it would seem that the show has forgotten about its eponymous serpent and all the horror vibes that are associated with it. However, for the last third of the episode, the tension would heighten and the show would have its first promised breaking point by the end of its episode.
The Essex Serpent Episode 4 Recap:
The last episode ended with Cora (Claire Danes) and Will (Tom Hiddleston) getting closer. The palpable blossoming of love between them seemed to break its surface, while both of them were observed by Stella (Clemence Poesy), Will’s wife.
In this episode, the tension of the love triangle between Will, Cora, and Stella starts to heighten, as people pour over at Cora’s house for her birthday party, arranged by Luke (Frank Dillane). Luke clearly likes Cora, and he is the fourth wheel of the aforementioned triangle. This mesh of relationships would be further complicated by the addition of the involvement of Martha (Hayley Squires), Cora’s companion. That in turn would bring Spencer (Jamael Westman), Luke’s friend, into the network as well.
This entire musical chair of love and relationships would begin at Cora’s birthday party. When Will and Cora dance together, after being egged on by Stella (another complication in the tale), they get uncomfortably close. Something that could not be missed by even the daftest of the guests. Naturally, Luke, priding himself as a genius, does not miss that. Neither does Martha.
After Cora goes for a walk in the night, Luke and Martha bond over drinks and making of Cora and Will. A little unpredictably, they hook up and spend the night together. In previous episodes, Martha and Spencer has gotten quite close. Spencer has even taken up Martha’s political cause as his own. So, this creates another set of love triangle in the show.
Apart from this, one significant event that happens at the party is Luke noticing and deducing to Stella’s illness. Something that has been hinted for the last couple of episodes. After the party, Frankie, Cora’s son, visits the old drunkard Cracknell (Christopher Fairbank). The friendship between young Frankie and the village’s outcast and god-denouncing Cracknell has been one of the touching moments of the series. As Cracknell dies under the open sky, with Frankie by his side, this relationship comes to its bittersweet end.
During all these, Naomi (Lily-Rose Aslandogdu) is fearing for her life, as the firm belief that the serpent is coming for her is continually being etched on her mind. Thoroughly disturbed, she tries to speak to Will but gets rebuffed by Matthew (Michael Jibson) at the church. She goes to Cora’s house and sees Will dancing with Cora through the window. She leaves without speaking to Will.
The Essex Serpent Episode 4 Review:
‘The Essex Serpent’ in its fourth episode seems to be losing its way, swerving away from what it promised to be. Like I mentioned in the third episode review, even with a fair bit of time allotted to the relationship dilemmas, most of the proceedings feel a bit undercooked. Especially between Cora and Will. A prime couple of this drama. The continued addition of players in the already convoluted relationship network is also making ‘The Essex Serpent’ look like a Victorian reality show, with two sets of love triangles.
The Serpent has always been a shadow in the show so far. A source of mystery and fear. However, for the last hundred-something minutes, the shadow has become indiscernible. So much so that it would feel like the show has changed its tone. A sporadic and minimal interjection of Naomi’s arc, which is the only arc referring to the Serpent, could do only so much.
On the acting front, Claire Danes and Frank Dillane are consistently superlative. Hiddleston has been a little underwhelming for me. But his lack of conviction could be passed off as the confusion his character is feeling. Michael Jibson’s Matthew is slowly becoming the villain you would love to hate. With two episodes remaining, it would be interesting to see whether Matthew can go full Bev Keane of ‘Midnight Mass’.
The Essex Serpent Episode 4 Ending Explained:
After her failed attempts at a talk with Will, Naomi takes matters into her own hands. She prays to her god, says goodbye to her father (without letting him know of course), and submerges herself in the water. Her conviction of being a sinner drives her to offer herself to the Serpent. Possibly her innocent mind has figured that that would be the only way to save the village from the Serpent’s curse.
The next morning, as Stella is about to talk to Will, either to confront him about his feeling toward Cora or to let him know about her disease, she gets interrupted by Naomi’s father, who comes to fetch Will away as another body has been found. Will, along with the locals that include Matthew gathers near the washed-up body of old Cracknell. Just as tempers start to flare up, Cora enters the scene, which predictably escalates things.
It has been hinted at before, and finally, at the end of this episode, two much-anticipated things happen one after another. First, the entire group of locals blames Cora. Will cannot protect her from them. He orders Cora to leave the scene immediately. Affronted, Cora storms off, and Will also follows her. When Cora confronts him, Will finally admits of being in love with her. This follows an invigorated lovemaking on the muddy fields.
Guilt-ridden, Will takes refuge in his church and Cora starts packing to leave Essex immediately. As she leaves in her carriage, she watches Matthew painting crosses on every door of the villages. All the while, Naomi remains missing.