When They See Us season 1, episode 3 recap: Part 3


As time moves forward, When They See Us shows the Central Park Five’s journey whilst imprisoned, and what life would come to be following their release.

When They See Us is a four-part limited series and as a result, the story has to move along to cover all parts of this tragic story. After being wrongfully convicted, each of the Central Park Five was imprisoned, with four of them in juvie and one of them in Rikers Island. It’s disturbing to see how the punishments were doled out, especially considering the one that was not in juvie with the rest of them was the one kid that was the least involved in anything from that night.

The episode focuses a lot on what each kid’s journey was during their time in prison, and how it impacted so many aspects of their lives. Their families were put through the wringer financially, physically, and emotionally, and like it or not, everyone had to move on in their own way. The world didn’t stop because of the wrongful convictions, and this is a harsh truth that Ava DuVernay doesn’t shy away from shedding light on.

We spend the better half of the third episode of When They See Us following Raymond Santana. The episodes pushes time forward and eventually brings us to the point where the Central Park Five are now grown adults. And the first of them to get out is Raymond who returns home to meet his father’s new family and wife. It’s not exactly the welcome he had been hoping for, but as I said, life had moved on without him.

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Getting out of prison has its perks, but it also comes with the unfortunate reality that your conviction never stops looming over you like a dark cloud. And that is exactly what we see with Raymond.

He needs to find a job, he needs to register as a sex offender, and he has to stay on the straight and narrow to prevent himself from heading right back to jail.

As his arc develops and forms, we see him connect with a woman he met through letters while in jail, and both of them eventually have a relationship. Of course, Raymond’s need to take care of himself and his boo becomes a problem when he starts to sell drugs to make money.

And of course, inevitably, he’s caught red-handed and escorted back behind bars. I can’t tell you how frustrated I felt at that moment!

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The third episode of When They See Us focuses on the other boys that get out as well but show a more happier ending for the rest of them as they try to move forward with their lives. It’s difficult and it’s unfortunate, but they’re trying to get close to their families, start their lives over, and do what they can despite the circumstances.

And now, we head to the final installment of the limited series—perhaps, the most emotionally draining of them all.

Grab. Your. Tissue. Box.