Black Bird season 1, episode 3 recap – “Hand to Mouth”

By Adam Lock
Published: July 15, 2022
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Black Bird season 1, episode 3 recap


The lines are blurred in episode three, as the cast and viewers alike ponder Larry’s credentials. It’s another gripping installment, dripping in gritty authenticity.

This recap of the Apple TV+ series Black Bird season 1, episode 3 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Black Bird is another crime drama that is loosely based on true events, with James Keene’s autobiographical novel working as the blueprint for the entire series. This personal touch brings a gritty authenticity to proceedings, allowing for the minutest detail and an elaborate plot to effortlessly unfold. In “Hand to Mouth” the show builds on this groundwork, exploring the possibility that Larry Hall may not be a serial killer and Jimmy may not be as endearing as he once thought. Episode three is all about second guessing not just yourself but everyone around you.

Black Bird season 1, episode 3 recap

Jimmy meets with his shrink and recounts his first week in the new, maximum security prison. They both agree that this prison is unpredictable and brutal, with flashes of stabbings and violent fights to back up this notion. He is subscribed anti-depressants to fit in with the other inmates and has to memorize the shrink’s phone number in case of an emergency. I’m guessing that number is going to come in handy in the not too distant future.

The detectives rework the case on the outside. With Lauren and Brian looking over old material and delving further into each separate murder. In this chapter Lauren starts to second guess Larry’s infamy and one particular killing confirms her suspicions. Larry actually planted evidence in one case, just to become a suspect and was only saved due to an ironclad alibi. This serial confessor is desperate for any and all of the attention, which doesn’t bode well for Lauren and her team.

Back on the inside, Jimmy struggles to even strike up a conversation with Larry, failing on three separate occasions to garner a verbal response from the killer. Larry likes to keep to himself and Jimmy finds it tough to appear natural or approachable with the murderer. Jimmy’s day is about to go from bad to worse, when his father pays him an unplanned visit. Jimmy Senior told the guards that he was a police officer and showed them his badge. This completely destroys Jimmy Junior’s new identity, placing him in a dangerous predicament. The father apologizes and explains that he’ll be renting a hotel nearby in support of his son, ready to visit at a moment’s notice.

Jimmy tells the guard to keep his dad’s career a secret, but Carter evidently plans to use this knowledge to his own advantage. You can’t trust anyone on the inside and Jimmy learns this the hard way. Carter wants ten grand to keep schtum. He knows Jimmy is a snitch and even researched the former drug dealer. Snitches get more than stitches in prison and Jimmy is furious. He manages to make friends with a powerful mob boss though and then seizes an opportunity to befriend Larry. Larry was watching television when an inmate changed the channel, Jimmy assaults this criminal, winning the serial killer’s attention.

The two criminals spark up a friendship from this moment forwards and Larry lets loose, talking endlessly about his war re-enactments, his brother and work. With a whispery, creepy voice, Larry moves onto the subject of females and delivers a spine-chilling performance. Larry’s experience with women hints at his psychotic tendencies, which Jimmy sees as irrefutable evidence of the killings.

Lauren visits Jimmy for an update. She’s now in the murky waters of self-doubt and asks Jimmy if he thinks Larry is actually the killer. Jimmy is adamant the man did it and more determined than ever to gain his confession. He mentions the ten grand threat from a prison guard and Lauren states that they can’t pay him off, but they can get Jimmy transferred again. The FBI agent tells Jimmy that Larry confessed to at least one crime he didn’t commit, but Jimmy isn’t deterred. Therefore, Lauren demands Jimmy accelerates his operation. He tells her to be ready for a call.

The writers just keep throwing more and more obstacles in Jimmy’s path and his mission seems more impossible with each new dilemma. It’s a fascinating concept that looks set to lead to an explosive finale. We’re at the half way point in Black Bird and viewers are still unsure whether Larry is the murderer and if Jimmy has the gall to succeed.

You can stream Black Bird season 1, episode 3, “Hand to Mouth”, exclusively on Apple TV+.

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