I Am the Night episode 3 recap: Where is Tamar Hodel?

I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media
I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media /

The latest episode of I Am the Night sees Fauna struggling to stay afloat in the chaos surrounding her and Jay learns something about an old murder case.

A whole lot of calmly distributed disordered madness happens in this episode of I Am the Night, which seems to be the best way to describe this limited series; calmly disordered madness. The episode opens in a flashback from 1945, when Tamar Hodel was a little girl. The scene is one straight out of a horror novel featuring a sex driven cult ritual. Tamar watches her father hold a party no child should witness, a full-on Satanic looking sex orgy with George Hodel front and center wearing what looks like an animal skull.

Half-naked women in black and white masks have sex with guests all over the house. One sits in Hodel’s lap while Tamar watches, and her father watches her. The way the scene plays it out, it’s obvious they’ve done this before. Watching daddy at an orgy party is the equivalent to a normal family’s Sunday night dinner.

As this happens, we hear George Hodel’s voice speaking to Tamar, telling her it’s a dream within a dream. Guess we now know why Tamar was unable to differentiate dreams from reality in adulthood.

Jay gets closer

Back in the present, Jay is in a drunken slumber, as per usual, and the police come barging in. Turns out Corinna Hodel saw him tailing her and reported his plate number, and the police are taking this stalking situation very seriously. A lot more serious than they do nowadays. They leave poor Jay in a room to sleep it off until a rough-looking cop, with a cliché scar across his face (so we know he’s bad news) comes in to threaten him.

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This isn’t the bad cop trying to get information type of threatening, this guy is genuinely threatening him. He tries to cut Jay’s eye out! For following George Hodel’s ex-wife, Jay almost loses an eye. Talk about overreacting. Thankfully, one of the other officers who served with Jay in Korea and gets him released and saves his eye. Thank goodness because Chris Pine’s eyes are one of his best features.

This is the moment where we learn more about Jay’s background, about his time in the war and why he’s so messed up. It wasn’t just the controversial article that destroyed him, but also his PTSD. In a battle that killed 184 men out of 200, Jay ran through the line and savagely killed nine men with a tiny shovel, an act that shows the inner demons living within him as well as the torture he puts himself through.

Jay, rightly, figures that the reason why the LAPD went so crazy over him following Corinna Hodel is because they’re protecting the Hodels or covering something up. He assumes it’s got something to do with the illegal abortion clinic George Hodel runs. You’re getting closer Jay! In the right ocean but still in the shallows. No one believes him of course, so, once again, he takes matters in his own hands and decides to look for Fauna.

I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media
I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media /

Fauna gets closer

Last time we saw Fauna, she was reeling from the news that her birth mother was dead and she’s not biracial. Neither of these sat well with her, and she refused to believe either one.

Suspecting Corinne of lying to her, and believing Tamar to be hiding in the house, Fauna sneaks into Corinne’s house and searches the upstairs bedrooms for signs of a second inhabitant. Inside the rooms she finds the usual stuff; family pictures, opened letters, several painted canvases…the animal skull George Hodel wore hanging on the wall like a shrine.

Fauna looks at the pictures of George Hodel and recognizes him as the man from both the bus stop and the museum. She figures out who he is and starts to panic; her own grandfather has been following her.

In the house, she also finds an opened letter to Tamar that was sent a week ago, meaning Tamar is either still alive or someone is receiving letters in her name.

Then as if this wasn’t freaking her out enough, the driver that’s been following her for days, suddenly appears. The man, whose name is Sepp, tries coaxing her out of hiding but luck comes to the rescue when Corinne comes home early, giving Fauna the chance to escape from the house and run outside, where she runs into Jay

I Am the Night
I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media /

Where is Tamar?

Where is Tamar? is the question everyone and by everyone, I mean Jay and Fauna, is asking. After much convincing, Jay manages to talk Fauna into having some pie and coffee with him and hopefully share what she knows. They go to a diner and have an awkward discussion about ghosts and a jarring discussion about Tamar. However, Fauna is, understandably, reluctant to share anything with the stranger she just met.

The conversation is brief and uneventful, and Jay never gets a confirmed yes to his question, “are you Tamar’s daughter?”

Fauna on the other hand learns that her mother might possibly be famous and that Jay wrote about her in a newspaper. Jay keeps telling her that he’s on Tamar’s side, referring to the trial where George Hodel was accused of incest and other crimes, but Fauna has no interest in finding out what “side” he’s talking about.

In her mind, Jay is just another one of the strange men following her around. She ends up sneaking out of the back of the restaurant to get away from him.

I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media
I Am the Night episode 3 photo via TNT Media /

The Black Dahlia murder

Jay can’t catch a break. He’s lost Fauna, and with her his last chance at redemption. After prowling the streets looking for her, he sees an army recruitment office and attempts to reenlist. This is truly a moment of mourning for Jay, you feel his pain, desperation, and loss.

Even though he’s a shell-shocked veteran, much too unstable to survive a second round in a war, he’s willing to go back if he doesn’t have to spend one more day being Jay Singletary, the disgraced reporter. However, he’s turned down because of an age requirement.

That’s when he spots a magazine featuring a picture of Elizabeth Short on the cover. Honestly, this is a little random. The current setting of the series is 1965 and Short was murdered in 1947, why would a magazine bother publishing a story about an 18-year-old murder?

The only logical reason would be, because of the recent Bloody Romeo murders, they’re looking back at another L.A. crime where a woman was mutilated in a similar, but slightly less gruesome, fashion.

Featured in the article are crime scene photos displaying Short’s dead body covered in wounds oddly similar to those of the dead woman in the morgue from the pilot. Jay realizes that the two women were murdered by the same man; two crimes 18 years apart.

George Hodel sees the Devil

The final scenes are a combination of crazy and harrowing. Fauna goes home after her rough day to find out that Nero, the boy who was pestering her for a date, has been murdered. Earlier in the episode, Nero called Fauna to shamelessly hit on her, and Sepp was tailing him the whole time. Now, in what seems to be psychotic attempt to protect who he thought was a threat to Fauna, Nero is dead.

Fauna knows instantly who’s responsible and knows she can’t stay there anymore. She ends up staying at Terrence Shye’s house and it’s not long after this when Jimmy Lee angrily announces on the phone that she’s coming to L.A. to get Fauna.

Next. I Am the Night episode 2 recap: A Hodel and a hard place. dark

Meanwhile, we learn that Sepp is employed my Dr. Hodel to make these creepy violins shaped like women. Hodel praises him on his craft but denies the offer to do more jobs for Hodel, saying his only job is to keep an eye on Fauna. What these additional jobs are aren’t explained but one can only imagine their something awful.

The final moment of the episode shows George Hodel creepy around his own house, listening to subtle animal growls. He follows the sounds to a room, but instead of looking inside he peaks under the door to see bloody black animal hooves facing him. Hooves, especially from black colored animals, are commonly seen as a symbol of the Devil. Clearly, Hodel suffers from more than one mental infliction.

Don’t miss the next episode of I Am the Night at 9:00 p.m. ET Monday nights on TNT.