Hulu’s Monsterland Episode 3 New Orleans, LA Explained- Guilt Takes Shape
All it takes for evil to root are good people to do nothing. In Monsterland Episode 3, that purposeful ignorance comes at a hefty price.
Apathy is a terrible thing. Comfortability, in certain circumstances, can be dangerous. In Monsterland Episode 3, a woman trades financial security for safety. The monster, in this case, similar to Episode 2 Eugene, is internal. The evil of ignorance and shelter for a truly terrible person is a shared burden by both the abuser and the person who knew and turned a blind eye. Even though Annie did not commit the acts, she was complicit in the abuse. Her inaction caused genuine harm to others, including her son.
Monsterland revels in the sorrow of humanity. It isn’t pretty, and it is rarely forgiving. New Orleans, LA, is no different. Annie is a young mother who is barely making ends meet. We first meet her with a new husband and her son George at a carnival. The stepfather and George go off together, and shortly George comes running back, insisting he was chased and hurt by a monster. Predictably, there is no actual monster, just a child abuser who chose a desperate woman who would keep her mouth shut in exchange for wealth.
At a dinner party, a man confronts Joe and accuses him of sexually molesting his sister who subsequently committed suicide. At first, Annie tries to deny the claim and encourages Joe to do it as well. The next morning more victims come forward and she can no longer ignore what she has always known. As she slowly begins to admit what she has allowed to happen under her own roof she sees a strangely terrifying jazz player. That dapper man haunts her over the next several days, resulting in one of the season’s scariest episodes.
Who is the jazz player?
The jazz player is seen and heard many times. He is seen first at the carnival when Joe abuses his stepson. The man later appears outside Annie’s home. He horrifying then with sharp teeth he uses to bite her shortly after. The music he plays is chaotic and hurts Annie’s ears. It also appears to have the ability to break things in the physical world. Windows and furniture break in Joe and Annie’s house. This person who only Annie sees doesn’t exist.
He is a manifestation of the guilt Annie feels for allowing her husband to abuse her son and countless other children over the years. She leveraged a life of luxury for her child’s happiness. It is a hard pill to swallow. The jazz player is similar to Bob from Twin Peaks. Bob is the vision Laura Palmer sees every time her father molested her. Her child’s mind was incapable of rationalizing what her father was doing to her, so she invented a monster. The jazz player is the same thing for Annie.
What happens in the end?
George comes to the house and pleads with his mother to admit she knew all along. When faced with the truth, she becomes completely unhinged. The jazz player’s music drives Annie mad. She tried killing the player, but that did not stop the noise. She pierces her eardrums with an icepick, which curiously appears in Episode 1 as an instrument to do a bedroom abortion. That brutal gesture does not stop the music, and as the credits roll, she sees the jazz player outside playing his horn softly.
Episode 1 and 2 callbacks.
There is a through-line in every episode. In Monsterland Episode 3, there are two. The first is the ice pick which Annie uses to pierce her eardrums. The second is Toni herself, who appears at the party in the beginning. She has reinvented herself as a dental hygienist and is living in New Orleans. Her appearance does make the possibility that the episodes do not happen concurrently or even simultaneously. They instead appear to be non-linear or out of date order. In Episode 8, Toni is working as a waitress, but in Episode 3, she is working with a dentist. Coincidentally, Nick’s mother from Episode 2 was a dental hygienist before having her stroke.
Concepts of personal responsibility and broken people continue in Monsterland Episode 3. Our actions have consequences, even if those are passive. Once again, you must live with your choices. Follow all our Monsterland coverage here.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.