Holy banana hammock, Batman, we’ve got a finale of epic proportions to discuss! First and foremost, how many times did the f-bomb appear in my notes while watching this episode? At least four times in various iterations along with other curse words and profanity. My boyfriend was so intrigued watching me watch the finale that now he wants to watch the whole series and I’m gleefully scheduling the rewatch. But first, let’s reconnect with Sam (Jude Law) and Helen (Naomie Harris) and see what this husband and wife have to say to each other after so long away.
There are no loving embraces for these two when they see each other again. No running to his arms, “Oh, husband, are you okay?” There is a distance between these two people, a great, great distance. And I’m so curious to learn more. Sam is of course adamant that Nathan is alive, Helen much less so but she’s willing to believe and wants to see her son. When she enters the room, I knew something was amiss. She’s too quiet, too reserved. This is not a mother seeing her lost child again. Lo and behold, it’s not Nathan! And here’s where we get the sense of how deep Sam’s psychosis goes. This boy isn’t nearly the same age or even the same race. One thing you can see is that both absolutely stunning daughters, Ellie (Nico Parker) and Lu (Charlotte Gairdner-Mihell), are biracial. Or at least look it and were probably cast to look it. Parker’s mother is actress Thandie Newton and her father is writer and director Ol Parker. I’m not sure about Gairdner-Mihell as this is her first role and I couldn’t find anything about her parentage, but when you see Nathan you can tell he is not Helen’s son. This was not a child she gave birth to because he is as white as bread. Mrs. Martin (Emily Watson) admits to Helen they tried to tell Sam the truth, but that’s when they realized how off the deep end he was and how convinced he was that Nathan was his son and everything’s been going to sh*t since then.
23 Minutes and 17 Seconds
The first thing Helen makes comment on is that Nathan was taken when he was 6 years old and that was ten years ago! In “Summer,” Sam said on the anniversary he comes to the woods to mourn but we never got an exact timeline for how long Nathan had been dead. Well, now we know and we also know Sam’s actually crazy. He made off with the money and refuses to sign the divorce papers. Wow, poor Helen. But the part that skewered my heart was when she talked about losing her son. Not their son, her son. Because for 23 minutes and 17 seconds, Sam was talking to a fling and not paying attention to Nathan and now he’s gone. Yeah, if I was Helen, I don’t think I could ever look at Sam the same or forgive him or honestly even be civil. The reason my son is dead is that you were talking to a side piece? Yeah, eff off, Sam. Sign the divorce papers and let it all go. And I mentioned in the last review, Sam kept calling her Cass, but she says her name is Helen and I am starting to suspect in his psychosis, he’s calling her by a lover’s name. Ouch. Doesn’t that make you want to run away from him even more? Well, getting off this island is quite a task anyway and it just got harder.
Jess (Katherine Waterston) having now given birth and named her daughter Epona (aww) is seizing control of the island. Guns have been acquired and now it’s a power grab. Ellie is caught up in the middle as Kail (Freya Allen) reveals she sent the email to Helen about Sam being on the island. Surprise, Ells! Daddy’s here! Everyone is trying to appeal to Ellie’s connection with the island. The reality is Ellie is drifting and needs to find something to ground herself. Before coming to Osea, she was going to prayer meetings with her gran and really enjoying it. And everyone is trying to use that connection. Ellie is smart and I think it was a nuanced moment to not have her poke more. She acquiesces to Jess because she wants belonging, had she stopped to think for just a moment, I think she would have realized Jess did not have Lu and that Lu was not safe. Also, Jess’s comment about fresh starts with kids had me dying. I mean, obviously, she’s trying to appeal to Ellie but also clearly it’s how she feels about her own daughters and new Epona now set to be “Mother of Osea” when she grows up. Jess, you just want to be important and powerful. Call a spade a spade, would ya?
“The dark is here.”
Poor baby Lu is running around the island, just trying to make it. What a brave 9-year-old! She witnesses some terrible violence and does what she can to make it back to a place she knows, finds a weapon, and tries to get some rest. The whole exchange with her mom when she is helping untie her had me in stitches. The utterly pure look on her face as she pulled a knife out of her coat just got me. Helen is determined to get her money and get off the island. And she’s the tipping point for Sam. She’s not losing another kid. So it doesn’t matter if he needs to go murder someone, he better do it and he better do it now before Ells is lost forever too. I believe the exact quote from my notes was “Oh, he MURDERING” because we see Sam go HAM on the residents of Osea to get his daughters out. He gets the money to Helen and she finally gives up on him and readies to return home. Talk about the series stomach-turning moment when “not Nathan” says his goodbye to Helen. But in the end, she goes full mama bear, ties a boat around her midsection, and f*cking swims for it. And admittedly, the island tries. It makes one last effort to get her to stop, to stay for Nathan/not Nathan. But with her girls cold and tired, she pushes and makes it. Ellie looks back on the island and you have to wonder what’s going to happen to Sam now. Is the island really going to be a paradise with Jess leading until Epona is older? I can’t believe there will really be peace. But I also can’t believe we’ll see a second season. This seems fairly self-contained so I would be shocked to hear a second season could be in the works, but if it does, I will gladly make the trek back out to Osea! The cinematography and cast have been outstanding. It kept you hooked and reeled you along on such an adventure.