The Resort (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2, 3: Recap & Ending Explained
The Resort (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Fans of the smash-hit HBO series “White Lotus” and/or lovers of M. Night Shyamalan’s polarizing Old, would be pleased to check into creator Andy Siara’s (Palm Springs) clunky but extremely entertaining mystery where a couple on a holiday turn into low-key sleuths trying to uncover a missing case from 15 years ago.
The Resort (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Recap:
Episode 1 – The Disappointment of Time
The Resort opens with Illán Ilberra’s quote from the El Espejo (a book that will feature heavily in the show itself), before undercutting it jokingly with another one of his quotes from years later. The opening also shows us entering some kind of wormhole (which might just be a misleading narrative device or some kind of indication of time travel) before leading us to our protagonist Emma (Cristin Milioti) and her husband Noah (Williams Jackson Harper).
The two of them arrive on their Mexican getaway on the 10th anniversary of a marriage that feels like it has lost all its spark. He doesn’t like how her breath smells and she doesn’t like that he can’t stay up due to jet lag, in spite of promising a great evening out together.
Anyway, after being stood up by a sleeping Noah, we see a foreshadowing that clues us onto key moments of Emma’s unhappiness. She has had a cesarian (which can only point towards a possible miscarriage), and one of her teeth is rotten (which can be a metaphor for something we ought to know later).
Anyway, Emma ends up spending her time alone drinking and enjoying the amenities offered by their hosts, waking up to a day out for holiday activities. Noah, who has slept like a baby is excited, but Emma is visibly distraught. On their quad-biking excursion, Emma gets dislodged and falls down a ravine where she stumbles on an old, abandoned phone that she weirdly decides to keep with her.
Keeping her cellphone find as a secrete for some kind of adventurous excitement, Emma finds a similar phone at a local store that could help her retrieve that data in the now-destroyed phone. She soon discovers that the phone belongs to Sam (Skyler Gisondo) – a young college student who went missing in 2007 from a neighboring resort named Oceana Vista Resort, which got destroyed due to a hurricane soon after.
On digging deeper, she also gets to know that, along with him a young girl named Violet (Nina Bloomgarden) also went missing. To add to that mystery, an unidentified body was also found with the progression of these events in 2007.
The show then cuts to the past as we meet Sam, and his family: his mother Jan (Becky Ann Baker, father Carl (Dylan Baker), and his hot girlfriend Hannah (Debby Ryan). Sam, who loves painting and is visibly anxious all the time, feels like a wrong fit for Hannah. So, we are directly introduced to the place where Sam gets to know that Hannah has been cheating on him with her professor.
Parallelly, Emma starts getting more restless and excited about the mystery she now has on her hand. She is just too eager to finally have something to unravel in her otherwise sorry, boring life. However, before she can go any further with her newfound interest, Noah discovers the mysterious phone in her bag and confronts her about it.
Emma then tells him the story that she suppose could have happened in relation to the phone, and the person it belonged to, and the two of them decide together to work their way through the clue to find the truth. While Noah seems like he is doing it just to keep Emma happy, he decides to not go to the police and help her find out the truth in the lure of rekindling their relationship. Thanks to Noah’s indulgence, and getting into the thrash of the phone, they get to know that the two missing kids knew each other, thickening the mystery a little more.
On the other timeline, Sam starts to keep his distance from Hannah, worried that confronting her would ruin their vacation. So, he takes his skateboard up for a spin around the resort as we also meet Violet (Nina Bloomgarden) and her father Murray (Nick Offerman) who are also staying there.
We are then walked through a mysterious yellow room in one of the corners of the hotel. From the looks of it, the room belongs to someone who is into tailoring. The camera glides and lands on one of the security personnel who looks back at the person who came out of the room – it is the hotel escort that we saw when Emma and Noah arrived at the hotel.
The episode ends with Sam (on his skateboard) avoiding a collision with Violet, only to land head first into a tree nearby.
Episode 2 – A Noxious Toothworm
The time and space continue to merge into someone stitching a logo with the words ‘Frias’ engraved onto someone’s cloth. Episode 2 opens with a flashback to Emma and Noah’s first meeting together. The two of them bond over their mutual interest of not taking a dip in the beach water because they feel like it is an unhealthy practice.
In the 2007 timelines, Violet and Sam are trying to find a solution to Sam hitting his head on the tree and having a major blunt trauma on his head. He doesn’t want to go to the hospital, so Violet applies his father’s trick of supergluing his head back together. The two of them have a nice little moment together and exchange numbers just in case.
We then move to the present timelines where Emma and Noah are reading the texts that Violet and Sam exchanged with each other after that moment. Trying to piece things together, they get stuck at a time-lapse in the text, and a weird text that says “Don’t fuck with the yellow snake. It has four noses,” catches their attention.
On enquiring further, they get to know that people around are quite secretive and possibly scared about Frias – an empire that has the ‘yellow snake’ on its logo. They are supposedly a clothing brand, but their tour guide tells them that there is more to them than just that. He also warns them to not get involved in matters that relate to Firas.
However, despite the warning, Emma is eager to not let the mystery go away just yet. She searches the web and both of them get sloshed over trying to uncover more secrets and land at one of the brand’s boutiques. On plodding one of the apprentices there, they get to know that there was some kind of conflict between the Frias family and the Oceana Vistas Resort because one of the Frias named Baltasar Frías (Luis Gerardo Méndez) – a master tailor, used to work there.
Emma and Noah then narrowly escape when people from the boutique find them too nosy and indulgent in their matters. Back at the hotel after the escape, they get a few more hints that tell them that Baltasar and the hotel escort that we saw in the first episode are connected.
When the couple actually approaches her about the connection, she avoids confrontation and accepts that it is her in the photo that they have discovered and that she did know Baltasar. However, before they can enquire any further, she avoids them and gets on with her work.
They then approach detective Silverio Narro – the person who was assigned the case back when the kids disappeared, looking for more clues to figure the mystery out. That’s where Noah tells Emma that it’s their anniversary, and Emma, for a split moment realizes that she is so wrapped in solving the case, and constantly distracted that she forgot a key moment in their lives.
Anyway, Narro tells them that back when the case was ripe, he found the kid’s skateboard in Baltsar’s room (who was their prime suspect). He also tells them that he used to live in one of the rooms in the Oceana Vista and was not convicted for the case because the storm washed off every kind of evidence he could find. Emma makes some connections with the photo she has on Sam’s phone and Baltasar, but the old detective warns her to stay away from the case because it will fuck with her head.
Parallelly, we get to see why there’s a lag in the texts shared by Violet and Sam. Violet, who kinda has a thing for Sam sees him with Hannah. Meanwhile, Violet’s father Murray (Nick Offerman) gives her now-dead wife’s car keys to her as a present. Time shifts again and we see Violet grieving after her mother’s bed is moved out of her room. It is also where she finds her mother’s book – the one written by Illán Ilberra with her mother’s writing ‘Meet me here – Love, Mom.’
The episode ends in the present day when Emma and Noah go for a night swim in the pool before Emma’s rotten tooth comes out. Simultaneously, we see Luna (Gabriela Cartol) – the hotel escort, visiting Baltasar to warn him about the tourists who have found the phone.
Episode 3 – Tempus Exhaurire
Episode 3 finds Noah and Emma trespassing into the abandoned Oceana Vistas property. They are there to find the yellow room that Baltasar used to stay in so that they can match it with Sam’s photo and prove that he is directly or indirectly related to their disappearance. We see them playfully engage with each other – a sign that they are, in fact enjoying this hunt more than their boring vacation has to offer, before failing to find the yellow room.
The sequence then moves back in time when Sam is avoiding Hannah, and Violet is given a map to a secret party in the resort post-Christmas eve celebrations. Just then, Sam comes clean about Hannah to Violet who seems to be upset with Sam for leading her on. He tells her about his situation with Hannah where she is cheating on him and Violet understands his stance. They then bond a little over drinks before making the decision to join each other for the party that night.
Before going to the party, Violet sits down with her father to have dinner, wherein she notices a guy dressed as Santa Claus riding Sam’s missing skateboard. She then meets up with Sam in the hotel lobby where the duo decides to pursue the quest of the missing board and the Santa riding it, but before that, they first take a detour to the staff party.
Following the secret map, they reach the party. There, they meet Luna and dance their hearts off together. Meanwhile, Violet’s dad Murray is asked to leave the bar by Baltasar because it is supposed to be closed for Christmas. Murray, who is sad and alone tells him that his wife died recently and that his daughter doesn’t have time for him. Baltasar makes an exception and gives him a bottle on the house.
Back at the party, Sam and Violet are having a blast and are surprised to see Baltasar enter the secret bash in style. He feels like the real life of the party (completely opposite to what the show has been misleading us towards). However, the Santa with the skateboard (played in a cheeky cameo by showrunner Ben Sinclar) appears at the party and assaults Sam who is trying to get the keys to his room.
Violet and Sam escape the party in a rush and decide to pursue the case of the skateboard since they now have access to the rooms above. The two of them kiss in the lift before reaching the mysterious Santa’s huge-ass suite.
Parallelly, Emma and Noah also reach the same room but are surprised to see that it has no resemblance to the picture. Emma then stumbles onto a secret floor that is hidden from plain sight and can be reached only through an abandoned elevator shaft. For the first time, Noah shows his apprehension about Emma’s decision, who decides to go ahead with climbing the ladder anyway. Noah reluctantly follows as they finally reach the room they have been looking for.
The Resort (Season 1), Episode 3 Ending Explained:
The ending of the third episode finds both the couples in both the timelines in the same room. While Sam and Violet decide to have sex on the couch, Noah and Emma are trying to figure out if their whims have gotten them to the right place as they desperately look for the next clue.
In the 2007 timeline, Sam and Violet are disrupted when someone is about to come into the room. To avoid confrontation they run into a different room, hiding in the closet. Emma and Noah also reach the same room and discover posted notes all over the wall, with a weird painting of the people of Oceana Vistas hanging on the wall.
They recognize Baltasar and Luna in the painting, and creepily enough Sam and Violet’s figures can also be seen in the painting (hinting toward them being possibly trapped in the room they are in right now).
Emma then tries to click pictures of the painting and the room when her broken tooth (which for some odd reason was in her pocket this whole time) falls out of heṛ. Noah discovers it and inquires her about the reason behind her not telling him about it. While this hints toward the show’s more pertinent theme of marital insecurities and feeling trapped in a long, boring cycle (read: marriage), the show could have used a more interesting approach to delve into it.
Anyway, before the marital status quo and one person shutting the other off could be explored any further, they hear a loud thud from the other room. It is Baltasar Frias, who is now in the possession of the phone, while Emma and Noah are hidden in the closet. However, instead of being scared, Emma pounces out of the closet with a golf club in her hand, running towards Baltasar.
He tries to escape with the phone but Emma cuts him off with the golf club. However, the episode ends when the cellphone slips out of Emma’s hands and drops into the elevator shaft, while Baltasar gets unconscious.