Ordeal By Innocence season 1, episode 3 finale recap: “Episode 3”


Ordeal By Innocence reveals the true murderer in an explosive finale.

Amazon’s latest series has definitely been an interesting character study about the lasting trauma a parent could leave a child with. Every single Argyll sibling has plenty of reason to snap at their mother but instead, their lives are haunted by the guilt of their unsaid pain. Ordeal By Innocence isn’t the best murder mystery, in fact, viewers probably narrowed down the true killer pretty quickly, but it’s certainly entertaining.

Along with Jack, it’s a shame the series didn’t spend more time with Rachel. We mainly get to see glimpses of her through her children’s eyes and the effect she had on their adult lives. Yet, there’s something lurking beneath her cold surface which actually seems loving. Yes, she pushed her kids too hard and hurt them by her distance. But could that be to prepare them after her death? She can be seen taking drugs and one has to wonder if she was always going to die anyway.

Of course, there’s no defense to Rachel’s actions. She affirms to Mary that she never loved her, something that has left the eldest daughter desperate for love and affection. Tina is easily the favorite, but only because she seeks gratification by being a successful and independent woman. However, Hester’s relationship with her mother is truly heartbreaking.

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As the youngest, she has her siblings’ footsteps to follow in. After another critique from her mother, Hester chooses to run away to start a new life. Here, we finally get to see Kirsten’s special relationship with the young girl. She begs Hester to return home, something Rachel sees as “playing directly into her daughter’s hand”. However, on Christmas Eve Rachel intercepts a letter to Kirsten that reveals Hester has gotten married.

Like any mother, she storms down to Hester’s flat to meet her new son-in-law. She pays him to disappear from Hester’s life, something which might have actually been good in the long run. Yet, the truly despicable act is when she drugs her daughter and forces her to get an abortion. It’s hard to watch, and even imagine a parent doing, but it also leaves Hester near death as she needs to recuperate from a quickie surgery.

As the two storm back into the house, Rachel discovers Leo and Gwenda locked in a passionate affair. She demands a divorce, knowing it will leave her husband penniless and embarrassed. Ordeal By Innocence adds another wrinkle into the fray when Jack gleefully confronts his mother. He’s witnessed her anger at seeing her husband have an affair, and the cruelty which she treated Hester. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of his relationship with his sister considering he was the only sibling invited to her wedding. Nevertheless, he finally hopes to see his mother break by also letting her know Tina and Mickey are seeing each other.

Yet, Rachel finally has some ammo with which to hurt him: his true parentage. Yes, Kirsten is, in fact, his mother and a throwaway line about Leo’s love of sleeping with the staff all but confirms he’s the father. So the events play out as Jack claimed, he leaves the house and hitches a ride with Calgary. Leo frames his son for murder, and when Jack lets him know that he’ll tell the world of Leo’s proclivity for raping girls (Kirsten was fifteen and did not offer consent) to discredit him. Luckily for Leo, Gould was looking for a reason to murder Jack anyways which allowed the two to make a new deal.

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Realizing their father murdered their mother and had their brother killed, the siblings rush to save Calgary. They’re not quick enough and the asylum collects the doctor to drag him back to the hospital. Meanwhile, Leo tries to convince the kids that Calgary was in fact lying. They’re not buying it though and make it appear as though their father committed suicide. When in fact, they actually lock him in the bomb shelter where no one will hear him for the rest of his life. Gwenda is mostly innocent because she didn’t actually have a hand in the murder but was aware Leo committed it.

Was it a happy ending for the Argylls? It seems like Ordeal By Innocence gives them the best ending possible with the siblings finally getting their revenge. What’s almost sad is that the kids probably would’ve forgiven their father for their mother’s murder but Jack’s was the one they wanted justice for. Nevertheless, the ending also hints the siblings get Calgary out of the asylum so everyone wins except for Leo and Gwenda.

Did you like Ordeal By Innocence? Tell us in the comments below!