‘The Clearing’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending, Explained: Was Carrie Anderson Kidnapped?


After the police raided Blackmarsh in episode 3 of The Clearing, the children underwent medical examination. Adrienne’s children were malnourished, suffered from PTSD, and had bruises all over their bodies. Most of the children could not fathom what was going on; they simply wanted to be reunited with their mother. Even though their mother tortured them, they were made to believe that she was their only hope. While the children wanted their mother back, Detective Joe received news confirming that Adrienne had fled the country and traveled to Paris. Joe did not know that his colleague, Colin, had tipped her off about the raid.

Spoilers Ahead

Why Was Henrik In Prison?

Anton was furious upon realizing that Amy (Freya) was responsible for the police raid. He stormed into her hospital room and accused her of ruining their lives. With Anton present in the room, Amy chose to remain silent about Sara (Asha). But the minute she was told that Sara was never brought home after the kidnapping, Amy could not help but express her shock. According to Amy’s diary, Henrik was the one who took Asha home, and Joe wanted Amy to make a concrete statement about it. Amy blamed Henrik for the entire operation to protect Adrienne and Tamsin.

After twenty-two years, Freya visited Henrik in prison. It is clear that Henrik accepted his fate and chose to protect Maitreya as well. Freya connected Adrienne’s sudden decision to sell her house with Henrik, and she wanted to find out what Adrienne had discussed with him. For all these years, Henrik tried not to lose faith in Adrienne, even though she did not keep her promise. She had told him that he would be free in a couple of years and had lawyers look into his case, but none of that was true. Henrik was the scapegoat that the Kindred needed, and they abandoned him once he was locked in prison. But things recently changed when they found out that Henrik’s parole had been approved. They were afraid that Henrik would change his statement and reveal secrets, so they decided to pay him to maintain silence. Freya was about to lose her home because of the sudden change in arrangements. Her motive for visiting Henrik was to win his sympathy. But Henrik could not care less. He perhaps believed he deserved the little compensation that he received in return for playing along with the lies that Amy (Freya) mentioned in her police statement and her diary. While Freya defends herself by stating that she was just a child, her decision to look after Adrienne speaks otherwise. Before leaving, Freya asked him about Sara, turning Henrik furious. He asked her to stop looking for answers when she was not ready for them. Deep down, Freya knew the truth, and it was her choice to remain ignorant.

What Was Anton’s Connection With Max?

Anton visited Freya and her son, Billy. He immediately bonded with Billy, and Freya was happy to see the joy on his face. Anton lived in Thailand, and from the pictures he showed Billy, it looked like he continued to depend on drugs. While Anton said that he returned due to a lack of opportunity, Freya could sense that he was hiding something. He sneakily checked Max’s message to Freya, further indicating that he had a secret reason for visiting Freya. Anton lied to her, stating that he did not meet Adrienne after returning. He perhaps wanted to know Freya’s perspective on the entire situation. It becomes clear that Adrienne was not sick; she was pretending to be mentally afflicted to get away from any legal scrutiny. Anton pulls out a packet of pills, confirming that he was addicted to drugs after the many LSD sessions he was forced to go through by Adrienne. Anton resents Amy for receiving financial help from their mother even though it was he who was by her side throughout the trial. In a way, looking after Adrienne was Amy’s way of repaying her debt. In the past, Anton was the one who suffered the most after the police raid. He refused to believe that their mother had left them and was convinced that it was all a lie and that everyone was scheming against them. In episode 4 of The Clearing, we also find out that Christine, who became Freya’s adoptive mother, worked for Social Service, and that was how she met Freya.

Anton met Max the morning after he stayed at Freya’s. It was obvious that they were in contact with each other even though they had never met. Anton was not too happy about Freya and Max’s reunion, and he planted seeds of doubt in Max’s mind about her mother. He reminded her that Freya had truly been irresponsible, and had it not been for her father, she would not have survived. Max knew about the Kindred, she was aware of all the sinister means Adrienne used to control her children, but Anton rubbished it all. He told her that whatever she read online was just a bunch of lies. Max chose to trust Anton because she, too, had a pleasant interaction with Adrienne. She found out about the Kindred while searching for her mother, and she contacted Adrienne to find Freya’s address. Max did not realize that she was being manipulated by Anton. Anton distanced Max from Freya and made her feel closer to Adrienne and him.

Did Anton Kidnap Carrie Anderson?

Freya noticed the same jacket at Adrienne’s home that she saw the kidnapper wearing in the CCTV footage of a convenience store that was circulated on television. She concluded that it was Anton who kidnapped Carrie Anderson, and she immediately informed Joe about it. Joe was not sure if Anton was capable of participating in a kidnapping, but Freya knew the kind of person Anton was. The fact that he had been gone for ten years and that the moment he arrived, a little girl was kidnapped made Freya all the more suspicious of him. While Joe did not have any evidence that proved Anton was the kidnapper, he decided to inform Colin Garrison about it. After contacting Colin, who continues to work for the police force, he learned that Carrie Anderson had returned home. The police did not think there was any foul play, considering that she returned home safely. It was believed that she lost her way in the woods, relied on the water from the lake, and took shelter in the abandoned fish shacks and holiday homes. Freya noticed the Kindred house tucked away in the woods in the television footage, and she decides to visit the house that she once called home. Episode 4 of The Clearing ends with Freya entering the now-abandoned house. She found a bottle of water, food, and a toy kept in the hole, suggesting that Carrie Anderson was held captive in the abandoned house. Freya was right to doubt Anton, but we do not yet know why they decided to release Carrie. Parallelly, in episode 4 of The Clearing, we witness Bryce Latham conduct a meeting with Maitreya’s believers, and Anton joins the meeting. They intend to restart and rebuild the world they once envisioned, confirming that the Kindred are active once again.

Freya had lied about Henrik because Adrienne had asked her to write in her diary that he was the one responsible for the abduction. She knew that the police suspected them, and she wanted to divert the blame on Henrik using Freya (Amy) ‘s diary. She had planned the entire operation well in advance, and she advised Henrik to lie about his involvement by promising to help him. Henrik lied to the police, stating that he had kidnapped Sara out of his interest in becoming a father. According to his statement to the police, the Kindred were not involved, and he operated all by himself. When he realized that he was wrong, he returned Sara home one night. He left her at the doorstep of her house, and he did not know what had happened to her after. Joe did not have a case against the cult, and he failed to find Sara as well. Joe’s frustration and obsession with the case make sense now that we know what transpired. Henrik has a lot to regret, and maybe money cannot make him forget how he was abandoned by the cult. Freya is unaware of the operation, and we are yet to know what Adrienne has planned for her beloved daughter.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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