Tales from the Loop Episode 3, “Stasis”, takes the idea of being stuck in a moment in time and makes it literal, as May is vying for long-lasting love.
This recap of Tales from the Loop Season 1 Episode 3, “Stasis” contains significant spoilers.
In the opening of Tales from the Loop Episode 3, “Stasis”, May is listening to James Carr’s “Dark End of the Street”. There are flashes of Jakob kissing her and saying how much he loves her. May narrates over the memories, and wonders why the special moments end and never last.
The whole purpose of the opening scenes is to present how May is a hopeless romantic who enjoys small moments; she enjoys peace, showing how much she partakes in open sea fishing. It allows the audience to understand the remainder of the chapter.
May attends a wedding ceremony with Jakob and Stacey. At the bar, she meets a man named Ethan and after a few exchanges, he asks her if she wants to go for a walk. while working, she asks about his foot and if it hurts while he walks. Ethan goes on about how time tends to go slower in the woods, and moments last longer. Jakob and Stacey interrupt their walk, so May leaves Ethan alone.
But she continues to hang out with Ethan and likes his presence, eventually holding hands. Of course, the elephant in the room is Jakob. May reveals that she likes putting old technologies back together with tools. Eventually, they both head to her bedroom and listen to a song, leading to them both kissing — their moment is shortlived as her mother catches them and kicks Ethan out.
Later that night, she fixes a piece of technology and turns it on — all sound stops. Everything in the house, including her mother and father, are still.
So she’s figured out a way she can be with Ethan — she places one of the devices on Ethan and activates it. Everyone in school is frozen. Ethan and May enjoy the still town together and bravely have sex in the middle of a busy street — “In the future when you think about this street, you’ll think about what we did here”. Both of them are enjoying their long moment in time together where there is no pressure for it to end — this is exactly what May wanted.
But May’s insecurities still come to the surface in Tales from the Loop Episode 3, “Stasis”, and she asks Ethan to promise that he will never leave her. Eventually, they forget how long they’ve been stuck at this moment in time. Ethan asks May if she will break up with Jakob when she turns the device off and wonders if it will be strange when they go back to normal, which clearly scares May that Ethan is thinking this. May turns off the device, but it doesn’t work — she needs to fix it or they will be stuck forever.
While stuck in time, she finds her mother stuck in a sex position with another man, which clearly upsets her because her mother is cheating on her father and she continuously lectures May about men. May and Ethan argue with all frustrations boiling her; he calls her a b**** and she cruelly calls him a cripple.
After he walks off, she tries to find him. Eventually, May does find him and she apologises, stating she was scared that he was going to leave her — “I need you”. She realises he is now frozen in time. May fixes the device and time resumes again. She realises that Ethan had removed the device and frozen himself, going against his promise of leaving her.
Tales from the Loop Episode 3, “Stasis”, ends with Ethan and May seeing each other across the road where they had sex when time was still. May is annoyed that Ethan broke his promise. He says something in Chinese which has an effect on her and she walks off again.
The purpose of the story is that being stuck in a moment is not realistic, and you have to work together with time, regardless of how much the world stands still.
- May’s mother said she was her age when she got married.