One of the most intriguing characters in The Clearing is Adrienne, aka Maitreya. In the four episodes so far, we have learned that Adrienne had immense control over the people around her, but we did not get to know about her process up until now. Adrienne offered psychedelic drugs to her followers during their one-on-one session that she termed ‘the clearing.’ She illegally adopted children and dressed them alike to create the illusion of a family, but what was the purpose behind it? The Clearing Episode five delves into Adrienne’s past, and we learn more about her scheming ways and the reason behind her decision to start a cult.
Why Was Ada Unhappy With Her Life?
As a young girl, Adrienne, born Ada, saw her mother light herself on fire to prove that she had the power to guide people to the extraordinary. While the crowd outside the church ridiculed Evelyn, Ada looked at her mother with awe. Perhaps for Ada, Evelyn was not a mentally afflicted woman; she was magical. While Ada searched for magic in her life, she was stuck in the ordinary. She was married to a man with a mediocre job, and she worked as a laundry woman to contribute to the household expenses. While arranging the clothes at the Herzogs’ residence, she was tempted to try on the silk scarf lying in the closet. She wore it around her neck and lied on the bed, dreaming about living in a lavish house one day. The one thing that Ada learned after repeatedly visiting the Herzogs’ was that most women were suffering in their marriages. These sad, lonely homemakers and their frustrated husbands were ready to spend money to achieve a sense of fulfillment.
While returning home, Ada noticed a yoga center promising to help its students find their true destiny. That was the first time Ada attended a yoga class. She returned home to the same drudgery. Her husband, Tom, wanted children, whereas Ada was secretly taking pills to avoid pregnancy. After multiple miscarriages, Ada was tired and wanted to spare herself from living the horror over again. At the yoga class, when the instructor asked the students to imagine their destiny, all Ada could think about was the death of her husband. Ada believed that Tom was stopping her from reaching her true potential. She was convinced that she was born for a greater purpose. Upon returning home, she found out that Tom had figured out her secret. He was furious and left the house. Soon, a police officer informed Ada that her husband had been in a fatal car accident. Ada was pleasantly surprised to find out that her imagination could become her reality.
The day Tom died, Ada decided to change the course of her life. She met Ari and discussed with him the possibility of seeing beyond one’s reality. While Ari believed that reality expands beyond what one sees, he was not sure about Ada’s self-proclaimed capability of predicting the future. While Dr. Herzog joked about her talent, Ada looked into his eyes and spoke about his loveless marriage, where his needs and feelings were ignored. Ari was impressed by Ada’s ability to read people. He handed over a book titled “The Splendor Within,” authored by Bryce Latham.
How Did Ada Develop A Relationship With The Lathams?
Before starting her new life, Ada met her mother. Evelyn believed that she had passed her gift on to her daughter, and while she dreamed of starting a revolution with Ada, her daughter signed her up for permanent psychiatric care at the facility. Ada burned down everything associated with her past and began life anew as Adrienne, sporting blow-dried blonde hair. She met Dr. Bryce Latham at his university and expressed her fascination with his theory. As Latham discussed his passion, she studied every element on his desk to find out more about his personality. When Latham mentioned that he would be traveling to India with his wife, Ada asked him to cancel his plan. She stated that Mrs. Latham would fall sick during the trip, and surprisingly, that is exactly what happened. It was simply a game of luck and probability, but Bryce Latham had already started to trust Adrienne. He wanted to prove his theory, and Adrienne was the divine being sent to guide him.
Meanwhile, Adrienne had also started to gather followers through her yoga classes. Hannah met Adrienne through her classes, and she started to trust her when Adrienne supported her decision to give birth. She asked her to cut ties with her family if need be and focus on her life. Adrienne wanted her followers to be vulnerable; they were easy to handle and were ready to submit themselves to Adrienne’s cause. She visited Tamsin and, with words of affirmation, won her heart. Tamsin believed it was Adrienne who healed her of her sickness. Adrienne was in contact with Ari, and he supplied her with the required drugs. When Bryce was high on drugs (the clearing), Adrienne focused on Tamsin. She encouraged Tamsin to break free from her loveless marriage and build her own career. Since she always wanted to start her own family, Adrienne encouraged her to study to become a nurse. Adrienne’s words enlightened Tamsin, and she decided to follow her advice. By separating them, Adrienne had complete control over them. Tamsin felt liberated, while Bryce experienced a world beyond his reality, and he believed that Maitreya made it possible for him.
Ending Explained: Why Was Hannah Afraid? Is Amy Related To Hannah?
Adrienne’s followers formed what was known as “The Kindred.” They blindly trusted Adrienne and her ability to make them see beyond their reality. The Kindred gathered together to celebrate their Maitreya, and Hannah attended the party with her fiancé, Hendrik. Adrienne expressed discomfort when she realized that Hannah was living a fulfilling life with her supportive partner. In a way, Hannah had all that Adrienne was denied—a caring husband and a baby. She had no reason to seek Adrienne’s help, and that terrified her. Meanwhile, Mariam Herzog followed Adrienne and was hellbent on destroying her. She knew that Hannah was not a Frenchwoman and that she did not travel the world. Everything that she said was a heap of lies, and men such as her husband helped Adrienne because she, as the mother figure, satisfied their souls. While Adrienne’s method did not work on the likes of Mariam, it did on Tamsin and Bryce.
The next morning after the party, Tamsin and Bryce announced that they were separating. Bryce was ready to spend the night at his college while Tamsin was taking up residence at her nursing school. In exchange for her guidance, they offered Adrienne their house to focus on her work with The Kindred. Adrienne had always dreamed of living in a mansion, and she finally had one of her own. At the next meeting of The Kindred, Adrienne expressed her interest in raising children collectively. She wanted to experiment with the idea of parenthood and believed that a family must be a community. The ones who are unable to give birth must also experience the joy of motherhood as a part of the community. Mariam tried to disrupt the meeting and accused Adrienne of being a fake. She was immediately thrown out, but while leaving, she met Hannah. Hannah was afraid that her children would be taken away from her, as indicated by Adrienne. She sought help from Mariam, but unfortunately, Adrienne noticed their interaction from afar. Mariam was immediately admitted to a psychiatric facility.
Adrienne visited Hannah and Hendrik’s house in the woods. According to Adrienne, it was the perfect place to raise children. Hannah tried to contact Mariam for help, but Adrienne informed her that it would not be of any use. Adrienne used the recordings of his clearings to blackmail Ari into supplying her with drugs; meanwhile, as a midwife, Tamsin took care of the illegal adoptions. Bryce wrote about the brilliance of Maitreya and her extraordinary idea of raising children in a community. Away from the modern world, the children would be protected from temptations and disciplined to perfection. He believed it was the greatest experiment of the century, and while Adrienne loved taking pictures with the toddlers, when it came to taking care of them, Hannah and Tamsin had to step in. As their mother, Adrienne was mostly absent, and the children longed to meet her again.
At the end of episode 5 of The Clearing, we are introduced to a little girl named Amy. Amy, who grew up to be Freya, longed for Adrienne’s love, and she was disappointed to see her leave without singing her goodnight. It is possible that Amy was Hannah’s child. To protect Adrienne, Amy lied to the police and blamed Henrik for Sara’s disappearance. Therefore, Amy unknowingly risked the lives of her parents to protect the woman who claimed to be her mother. Now that Henrik will be released from prison, he could possibly try to find ways to bring Adrienne down for destroying his family. It is also possible that Alton is their son, considering the age difference between him and Amy. Adrienne tore apart a family, and hopefully she will pay the price for it.