The Clearing is loosely based on the Australian cult, The Family, that operated from the 1960s to the late 1980s and was led by Anne Hamilton Byrne. Adrienne, the blonde-haired Maitreya, is based on Anne Hamilton. Born with red hair, Anne always chose blonde wigs to match her divine personality. Just like most cult leaders from the 1960s, Anne believed that the end of the world was near and that she and her chosen family would be the only humans alive in the next world. She proclaimed that she was Jesus, born in a woman’s body. She adopted children using fraudulent methods and bleached their hair to make them all appear the same. The children genuinely believed that Anne was their mother, and they were all related to one another.
The Clearing delves into the notorious past of the cult and, at the same time, explores the present condition of the Kindred. In the first two episodes, we were introduced to Amy, now known as Freya. She was one of Maitreya’s dedicated children who started to question the system once a new girl was brought into their home. She was named Asha, but the feisty little girl wanted to be remembered by her birth name, Sara. Amy was asked to realign Asha, but she failed at the task. In episode two, Asha is made to disappear, and upon questioning, Amy learns that she has returned home. Meanwhile, we get to know that there is someone following Billy, and that person is in contact with Maitreya.
Why Was Freya’s House Sold?
Freya was greeted by strangers in the morning who informed her that they had bought the property she was staying at. The fear of losing her house drove Freya frantic, and she reached out to her mother for help. Adrienne pretended not to know about the sudden change in Freya’s living arrangement. Freya arrived at Dr. Bryce Latham’s house for assistance. While Maitreya was the face of the cult, Latham was the one who headed the operations. It was his presence that made the experiment look legitimate to the cult devotees. After entering his house, Freya looked around and was engulfed by the haunting memories of the past. She went through his study material and found an eerie message that suggested that he planned on conducting the experiment once again.
When Bryce sat down for a discussion with Freya, he seemed to be still lost in the past. He was proud of the experiment and believed in Maitreya’s extraordinary powers. While Freya reminded him that she was not “Amy” anymore, Bryce commented that one could not change their true self. Maybe, according to Bryce, Freya was living in denial, and deep down, she too believed in the stories she was fed as a little girl. In the previous episode, Bryce met Adrienne in the absence of Freya, and perhaps that was when she consented to sell the property. Bryce did not offer any practical solution to Freya’s problem; instead, he encouraged her to give up on the material world and explore spirituality. Bryce suggested that death was certain for most, but a few chosen ones would be spared. This further indicates that Bryce believed in the end-of-the-world theory and was trying to convince Freya not to lose her faith. Freya was now a mother, and all she cared about was the wellbeing of her son. She did not care about the cult’s grand plan; she simply wanted a safe space for the boy to grow up in. The house was sold because the cult needed money, further establishing that the cult was active again.
Naturally, Freya was devastated by the sudden decision taken by Adrienne. It is possible that Freya reached out to Maitreya at a point in her life when she was struggling to keep her head above water. Freya could not brush aside the influence that her adoptive mother had on her. From what it looks like, Maitreya helped Freya get back on her feet by financially supporting her, but as it turns out, her compassion came at a cost. Towards the end of episode 3 of The Clearing, Adrienne promises to find a place that would be “just right” for Freya and Billy. While Freya continued to trust Adrienne, the fact that she was rewatching videos of the Kindred that featured Amy shocked her a little. Adrienne is gathering her devotees, and her call to Henrik confirms it. Freya might have caught a hint of what was going on, but she seems to be living in denial. Freya’s stance with regard to the cult is still unclear. From what we have seen so far, it is possible that Freya doubts the cult members, but when it comes to her mother, she continues to have faith in her.
Who Was Following Billy In The White Van?
At the very beginning of episode 3 of The Clearing, we get to know that Freya had a daughter before she gave birth to Billy. While waiting for Wayne in the parking lot of a mart, Freya felt overwhelmed by her daughter’s constant crying. She tried to sing to little Max, but nothing stopped her from crying profusely. Freya screamed out of frustration, and she got off the car, leaving her daughter locked alone in the car. Even though she felt guilty for abandoning Max, she walked away. Wayne came running to their daughter’s rescue, and an ambulance arrived as soon as he got Max out of the car. Freya watched the harrowing situation unfold right in front of her eyes. She knew she was responsible, yet she could barely move. The past incident reveals the reason behind Freya and Wayne’s feud. He could never forgive her for abandoning their daughter, and she hated him for keeping Max away from her.
Wayne followed Freya by using the GPS location of Billy’s school from Christine’s car. He needed to talk to Freya, and since she ignored all his calls, he decided to confront her. Wayne explained that Max left his house after they had a fight, and she ran off in her cousin’s van. He doubted that Max was searching for her mother. While Freya mocked Wayne for his inability to take care of their daughter, she was worried about Max as well. We get to know a few things through Freya and Wayne’s conversation. Wayne knew about Freya’s past because he instinctively called her “Amy.” It is possible that they had an on-and-off relationship after the Max incident, and that was the reason why Wayne doubted that Billy was his son. After Freya got to know about Max’s situation, she believed that Max was the one following Billy and had tried to make contact with her brother at the park.
Max met Freya and Billy at their house. Freya noticed that her daughter carried all the birthday cards that she had sent over the years in her backpack. Max grew up believing that Freya left her because she struggled to fulfill her duties as a mother, but after watching Freya and Billy, she realized that it was untrue. Freya explained that she chose to leave because she wanted to protect her daughter from herself. Freya contacted Wayne and informed him about Max. After realizing that he had a son, Wayne demanded that Freya introduce him to Billy. But Freya was not ready for it. While leaving, Max mentioned that the police had taken away her cousin’s van. Max did not answer Freya when she asked her how she found her location. Episode 2 of The Clearing ended with a woman getting off the white van and answering Adrienne’s phone call. While we assumed that Adrienne was trying to abduct Billy, in episode 3, we learn that the woman was Max. It seems Max somehow managed to contact Adrienne, or it is also possible that someone has been watching Max closely and reached out to her when she was in trouble. Does Adrienne have an ulterior motive behind reuniting Freya and Max? Does she hope to win Freya’s love by giving her what she has been longing for for years?
What Happened To Tamsin Latham?
Joe continues to obsess over the case, and it seems no one knows yet what happened to Tamsin Latham. From the surname, we do know that Tamsin was Bryce’s wife, and they separated after they chose to serve the cult. Tamsin had trouble getting pregnant, and by becoming an auntie for the Kindred, the Maitreya offered her the opportunity to surround herself with children. She taught Tamsin the meaning of independence and trained her to become a nurse. While she made Tamsin believe it was for her financial freedom, in reality, as a midwife, Tamsin had access to the babies at the hospitals, and she abused her position to bring the babies to Maitreya. Adrienne blackmailed Tamsin; she could have her arrested for the false adoptions and the abduction of Sara, but by showing mercy, she won Tamsin’s complete faith. Adrienne mentioned that she would one day call in all the favors that she had bestowed upon Tamsin.
The fact that Tamsin’s whereabouts remain unknown suggests that she might be involved in arranging for the revival of the cult. She owes her life to Adrienne, and the Maitreya could possibly have called in all her favors as promised. On the other hand, in episode one, Tamsin expressed that she missed the relationship she shared with Bryce, and Bryce reminded her of the importance of staying true to the path. Her conversation with Bryce, in a way, indicated that Tamsin might have second-guessed the cult and its beliefs. Did she realize that she was being used all along? And did she start her life afresh after escaping?
Was Adrienne Arrested? Who Is Anton?
After going through “the clearing,” which was nothing more than a fancy mystic term for an LSD trip, Amy did not completely recover physically. Anton, who was close to Amy’s age, commented that if Amy had truly passed the clearing, she would have known. He experienced ‘the clearing’ after three sessions, and according to him, it completely changed his life. Amy did not care as much about the clearing as she did about Sara. Amy was not suspicious about the explanation she was provided with by Bryce after Sara’s disappearance. She could not help but wonder about the plentiful life Sara lived. Sara’s return to her house confirmed in Amy’s mind that there was a better place where she could have a life like Sara. Before Sara was brought into Amy’s life, she did not know about a world beyond theirs.
Amy became rebellious; she refused to have the bland food that they were served every day. She wanted to eat what she wanted, whenever she wanted, just like Sara. With her diary stolen and the fear of another round of clearing, Amy was desperate to run away. The excursion was the perfect opportunity for Amy to leave Blackmarsh. She got her diary back from Adrienne’s office and ran for a better life. She managed to stay hidden but was spotted by a stranger when she tried to go through his bin for food. He brought her into his house and offered her food. The next thing she knew, the “Blue Devils” entered the house. All her life, Amy was taught to run away from the police, and that is what she attempted to do. Amy was brought to the hospital after she ran into a tree. When she woke up, she noticed a man in a gray suit seated next to her bed. He had gone through the diary and inquired about the new sister that she mentioned. Before Amy could answer his question, Colin entered the room. A devotee of Maitreya, Colin, had warned the cult about the interest of the police. All important documents and video recordings were removed from the premises. By the time the police reached the location, nothing of importance had been left behind. We can expect Colin to silence Amy and divert the police investigation.
At the end of The Clearing Episode 3, we witness Adrienne leave the city as she travels to the airport, and meanwhile, Tamsin leaves off on her own without getting noticed by the police. The children were rescued, but the police could not find Sara. Henrick and Hannah were the only ones arrested. Episode 3 ended with a red van arriving at Adrienne’s house. A man walks out of the car and rings the bell. Adrienne opened the door, and she warmly greeted Anton.
What Can We Expect In Episode 4?
In episode 4 of The Clearing, we can expect to know more about Adrienne’s plan. Alton was Adrienne’s dedicated child who was ready to do anything to impress his mother, and from what it looks like, Anton continues to feel the same way. It is important to remember that Alton was tricked into abusing psychedelic drugs at a young age, and it is possible that its impact was a complete submission that he experienced. After he was rescued, Anton might have struggled to find meaning in his existence, and even though his mother left when he needed her, he could not stop believing in her. She gave his life meaning, and even after all these years he was ready to submit himself to her cause. Adrienne seems to have some plans for Freya and Billy. She wants to restart what she began years ago, but we are yet to find out what role Freya would play in it. By the third episode, it is now evident that the Kindred continues to function and has something big planned ahead.