Episode 3 brings the harsh reality of fighting with ISIS as the series continues to highlight bloodshed and the ideologies the characters are facing.
This recap of Hulu’s No Man’s Land season 1, episode 3 contains significant spoilers.
We recapped every episode — check out the archive.
Sarya tells Antoine that she wants to trust him, and if he lies, she will kill him. YPJ continue making their way to the bridge. Episode 3 keeps Antoine is a precarious position; if he steps out of line, then he will be in danger.
As for Iyad, Paul and Nasser, they are settling into ISIS strongholds. Iyad plays the piano in one of the houses. The room remains still; it’s the first time they’ve experienced calm since they have arrived. In a flashback, a young Paul is told by his father to tell Iyad to stop playing the piano as he can hear it on the block. Afterwards, Iyad, Paul and Nasser hang outside. They are a close group of friends.
Burning the piano
In the present, Iyad stops playing the piano, and they drag it outside. Iyad tells other soldiers that when he was younger, he was corrupted by sickness by the vanity of the west. He sets the piano on fire. Episode 3 shows how indoctrinated the group has become.
Paul wants to leave
Afterwards, Paul tells the others that his partner Charlotte has been arrested and charged with terrorism and his child Alex is now in social services. Nasser tells Paul that this is a one-way ticket. Paul tells his friends he wants to return to help and fix it, but Nasser advises against it. There’s clearly no mercy in a stronghold like this, and Paul will only be putting his friends at risk by working against the status quo.
A quick marriage
A flashback shows their younger versions fighting a group of teenagers. They have each other’s back. After the fight, Nasser teaches Paul the Quran, explaining how it gives him hope in a place of poverty. In the present day, Iyad is introduced to a woman — they are declared husband and wife. He then sees his wife for the first time without the headscarf in a private room. The pair have sex. Afterwards, Iyad’s wife tells her she loves her deceased husband and states that she will love him as well.
Antoine shows the Saryar and the others how they should blow up the bridge. They appear to approve his plans after a quick discussion. He’s gaining their trust slowly in episode 3.
Suicide and paradise
Iyad asks an ISIS General if they can help Paul with a personal mission to reunite with his boy. He doesn’t get an answer initially. In a flashback, the three friends talk about suicide bombers and paradise afterwards. Iyad suggests that bombs are very easy to make — Paul thinks they should build one. In the present day, Paul is executing innocent people. A general asks Nasser advice on how to take a base in the west. He doesn’t seem to be fully immersed into the ideology as he sees more innocents die.
Nasser is working from the inside
And we find out the reason why in a significant twist…
Nasser updates an American on information that he has; he’s working from the inside. The American wants more — names and targets and asks him to get in touch when he has something more useful. Nasser tells him he’s worried about Paul and Iyad, but Nasser is told he is the top priority and that he’s recruited to save lives back at home.
YPJ blow up the bridge, and it’s a success. Ryan compliments Antoine for the good work, but then they need to quickly hide as ISIS troops drive by. YPJ ambush them. Ryan is shot badly, and he chokes to death on his own blood. But there’s no time to rest as Sarya tells them all that they need to leave — they carry Ryan’s body.
No Man’s Land season 1, episode 3 brings the harsh reality of fighting with ISIS as the series continues to highlight bloodshed and the ideologies the characters are facing.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.