Monsters, Most Familiar
S1 episode 3 Aired on October 27, 2016

Falling Water Episode 3 recap

“Monsters, Most Familiar”

By Benjamin Lindsay

“Why do we create monsters? Zombies and vampires and things that go bump in the night? Perhaps because the real monsters are too close. Too familiar. Too real.”

It was more than fitting to start episode three with this intriguing voiceover; it’s become very clear that the “monsters” are right on our protagonists’ doorsteps—here’s looking to you, Woody! And it took three episodes, but Tess, Taka, and Burton all finally connect mid-dream towards this installment’s close. Find out how below. 

 

Taka connects with Ann-Marie Bowen.

Yes, the real Ann-Marie Bowen. After intercepting the girl with the green sneakers at the end of last week (we learn her name is Alice), Taka does all he can to learn more from the support group’s lead psychiatrist. Firstly, the support group is for “cult deprogramming” for survivors -- Alice’s cult presumably being The Green. The psychiatrist emphasizes that The Green and groups like it act as found families for their members.

With that bit of information in mind, Taka thinks to visit a local funeral home where The Green is probably seeking closure for the deaths of their members. Sure enough, he spots a group of green sneaker-wearing mourners all piling into a white van outside the home. He follows the van into the woods and into a field where the group is undergoing some death ritual, throwing the deceased’s ashes in the air and letting them fall gracefully to the ground. Taka then sees that the leader of this session is none other than Ann-Marie Bowen -- or at least the face of the woman who came up on the NYPD’s database under that name. Hoping to question her about the deaths from the first episode, Taka follows her into the woods further and further, eventually losing her. But what’s that he sees a ways ahead? His mother, mobile and well, walking just out of earshot.

Back at his apartment, he finds a sketch of the young boy folded and slipped into his door with a phone number on the back. Calling it, Ann-Marie picks up, saying, “I thought you’d like to know the Belgian ambassador died in Montreal last night,” before hanging up.

 

That Belgian ambassador was one of Burton’s clients.

Burton’s arc in 103 opens with him and the Woman in Red walking around an art gallery, but he knows this time it’s all a dream. That doesn’t stop him from questioning his company though, and he insists that he knows this woman from the real world, too. Are they dreaming together?

Instead of offering answers, she brings Burton to a photo at the end of the hall: It’s of a man, falling headfirst off of a Manhattan high rise -- the same image Burton dreamt up in the pilot. She tells him to imagine he’s the man falling, romanticizing the rush of wind during the free fall.

When he awakes, Burton is on a plane on the way to Mongolia to oversee an evening of negotiations between Woody, a Belgian (whose guest is the Belgian ambassador), and a Canadian who’s buying nine figures’ worth of Mongolian minerals from the Belgian. (It’s unclear whether or not such details are all that important.)

Fast-forward a few hours, and Burton is collecting everyone’s phones and other recording devices for these top-secret negotiations. He soon learns there’s something else at play here: the same square logo that has cropped up in previous episodes is seen on the clients’ itinerary and on their phones. Chances are, this is something to do with Topeka.

Later on in the episode after Burton has a dream where the Belgian ambassador is suffocated with a plastic bag (more on that later), the ambassador turns up dead while under the watch of Woody. Woody says it was a bad reaction after a night of partying and cocaine, but that seems a half-truth, especially because in the dead ambassador’s pockets, Burton finds a White Sand Equity business card with “His name is…” written on the back, just like the message attached to the recurring sketches of Tess’s son. 

 

Tess gets back to her roots.

Speaking of Tess’s lineage, this episode of Falling Water takes a look at her family by way of her psychologist mother. Tess confides in her agent, who’s joining her on a trip home to visit her mother, that growing up, there were endless records kept on her behavior and personal quirks and ticks. Boxes and boxes and boxes of them. We learned last week that Tess has history with mental health issues and hospitalization, and it’s no wonder -- such scrutiny would drive anyone mad!

While at home, Tess decides to revisit these boxes to look up her files from a two-month period in 2009. The files from her mother’s boxes are missing, and it becomes clear this was when she was hospitalized. Because she has zero memory from this time, it’s hypothesized that this is when she had her son. The boy in her dreams could very well be seven years old, no? So she goes to the doctor with whom she was institutionalized, and he explains that at one point in her stay, she escaped from the hospital and was found some time later lost in the woods, bleeding, facts that were kept secret all these years.

The episode wraps with Tess standing outside her mother’s home admiring bright, fluttering specks in the air. Little does she know that these are the ashes of The Green.  And this is not the only time her storyline crosses with Taka’s this episode. She, Taka, and Burton connect via dream -- finally.

 

So about that dream…

Each of our heroes’ dreams begin differently but end up in Burton’s Italian restaurant with Woody playing waiter and the Belgian ambassador being murdered by suffocation from Alice, Taka’s girl from The Green.

One dream worth noting is Tess’s. She begins in her mother’s home, standing in the dining room and holding a baby’s doll. Behind her is a looming faceless monstrosity of a man, and she flees the house. It, of course, follows her. The chase eventually leads to Marcello’s, and right when the two of them enter, the Belgian ambassador jumps to his feet mid-meal, terrified of the faceless mass behind Tess. And that’s when Alice makes her deadly move.

So are these dreams having real-world repercussions? Is The Green in cahoots with Woody and his enterprise? And still, what does it have to do with Tess, Taka, and Burton? We’ve got a feeling episode will start providing some answers as this trio meet and begin putting