The Gift season 3 review – an ambiguous if mostly satisfying final season

June 18, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
3

Summary

The Gift season 3 doesn’t manage to answer every question or tie up every loose end, but it’s a mostly satisfying final outing with a fittingly ambiguous conclusion.

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3

Summary

The Gift season 3 doesn’t manage to answer every question or tie up every loose end, but it’s a mostly satisfying final outing with a fittingly ambiguous conclusion.

This review of The Gift season 3 is spoiler-free.


Turkish Netflix Original The Gift, or Atiye, has prided itself on being a bit weird ever since it debuted in 2019. Since then it has enjoyed a moderately successful second season that toyed with a number of high-minded genre-bending concepts, and evidently earned enough goodwill among fans to be greenlit for a third and supposedly final season — thus, here we are. What started out as the story of an Istanbul painter discovering mysterious connections to her past at an Anatolian archaeological site has become something else entirely at this point, but throughout it has maintained a recurring theme of humanity’s connection to the mystical and the spiritual; a fine line between real and imagined, grounded and otherwordly, that we have brushed back and forth across in each of the show’s now 24 episodes. The Gift season 3 might not provide a watertight conclusion — it leaves some questions unanswered and leans a little on contrivance to wrap things up — it does manage to pull off an engaging final outing that should satisfy fans who have stuck with it for the long haul.

It’s clear from the opening episode that the show’s deep sense of symbology is still its stock in trade; pine cones particularly form a visual motif, but there are callbacks to longstanding aesthetic patterns in shots of dense woodland, spirals, the symbol that has been used in all of the show’s marketing since the very first season, and so on, and so forth. There’s a lot to chew on, as ever, but some viewers might find the show’s insistence on enigma a bit wearing. Then again, those people would have surely been put off by the first and second seasons; for anyone who stuck around for the third, this is probably precisely what they’re looking for.

So too, one imagines, are the relationships between the now-familiar characters. Atiye and Erhan, and their search for their daughter, Aden, is a core emotional anchor to proceedings, while other familiar characters like Cansu and Ozan return and go through new arcs tinged by the implications of old symbols and new possibilities. As ever, eight episodes feels like just enough for all this drama; perhaps their length is felt more than it was in the previous season, but this still isn’t an overlong show, mercifully given how Netflix tends to do things.

And there’s an ending! The dreaded Netflix cliffhanger stays away from The Gift season 3, and while the ending veers into cliche and contrivance, it is very much an ending. That, for the dedicated binge-watch crowd, seems like something of a privilege. Longstanding fans of the show will get some value here in an imperfect but fitting final outing.

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