Warning! Spoilers ahead for The Third Day
The story so far: After stopping to save a girl who has seemingly tried to kill herself, Sam goes to the island of Osea. Despite repeated attempts to leave, something keeps preventing him from leaving. While there, he starts to notice strange things about the people of Osea and the traditions they still follow. After reluctantly taking hallucinogenic drugs, Sam is knocked out.
The first two episodes of HBO’s The Third Day built suspense thanks to it’s intriguing atmosphere. The denizens of the island of Osea and their adherence to tradition allude to pagan rituals. Each episode has led viewers deeper into the mysteries of the island. It has been clear since Sam set foot on the island that he has not been safe. With the first arc about to end, a payoff was inevitable.
But is it satisfying?
Even more than the previous two episodes. The Third Day looks great. Lighting plays a bigger part in “Sunday-The Ghost”. There is excellent use of shadows and some shots have a neon tinge to them. Many moments also use a different color filter. Sepia tones and black and white backgrounds are used throughout The Third Day. The episode throws out a lot of different looks and keeps its audience off kilter.
The episode is a perfect description of what the entire show has been up to until this point. The problem is the first two parts of The Third Day were telling its story. “Sunday-The Ghost” serves as something of a finale. Things are very twist heavy and there is little explanation or build. The Third Day throws a series of admittedly shocking revelations at its audience. Nonetheless, it gets to be a little much. The final moments are filled with emotion, however. The opening and closing bookend perfectly and there is a definite sense of closure to Sam’s arc.
Sometimes, three hours is not enough time to tell a story. That certainly may be the case here. The first two episodes build drama and keep viewers engaged. The third episode of The Third Day may just be a victim of heightened expectations. That being said, there are another three episodes, plus an ambitious live event. This may all just be the beginning of a much larger story.