The English season 1, episode 3 recap – how do the Clarkes make a living?

By Marc Miller
Published: November 11, 2022 (Last updated: February 3, 2024)
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Full of bushwhackers, hucksters, and old-fashioned killers, The English has its most intriguing and tension-filled episode yet.

We recap the Prime Video series The English season 1, episode 3, which contains spoilers.

The episode “Vultures on the Line” begins with a woman crying and yelling. She is running for her life, and as she tries to jump a barbed-wire fence, a bullet enters her back and blows out her chest. Standing a couple of dozen feet behind her is a man holding a pistol. He is in tears and upset. The man then turns the gun on himself near Billy Meyer’s (Nicholas Aaron) house.

Yes, The English continues to be that kind of show.

The English season 1, episode 3 recap – how do the Clarkes make a living?

Cornelia comes across one of those know-it-all types who mansplain to her why ticks are causing smallpox. They bite the cattle, and one can kill an entire herd. He misquotes Darwin for Tenison; she corrects him and further explains how these tiny creatures are what the white man needs to do to the Native American population. As he comments on her knife, which makes Cornelia defensive, he stands and is shot dead. By who? Most likely, he was an “Emigrant Indian” (Kansas at the time had a mix of tribes in the area because of the Indian Removal Act of 1930) who tells Cornelia he shot him because the man went where he should not have.

Meanwhile, the man who shot the woman is Billy Meyers’s business partner, Timothy Flynn. Meyers is upset and asks the sheriff if she has any markings on her. He investigates and finds a branded “B” on her after she is dug up. Meyers and Flynn own cattle in the area, but they are unmarked per Trafford, so he takes them for his own. Meyer’s wife tries to get them back but is denied. Any of Meyers and Flynn’s cattle are open season, it seems. They do not have excellent reputations. Meyers’s son looks for him later that night when his mom returns home, and he finds his father dead. He was hanging from barbed wire, hands and legs tied together, and his intestines poured out of his stomach.

We also find that Whipp hasn’t left the Clarke homestead because he owes him a debt. Why? Clarke gave Whipp the compass he gave Cornelia. Whipp has his suspicions about the Clarkes. How do the Clarkes make a living? They survive when farming is nonexistent. He finds they are “hucksters.” They are the cleanup crew for bushwhackers, including getting rid of the bodies. Whipp says that he has overpaid his debt and attempts to leave, even though the older gentleman knows he is holding a secret. But Mrs. Clarke shoots him with a blowdart before he gets far.

Meanwhile, Cornelia is being chased by a man with a horse, and they yell for her to stop. They come across a camp of German Mennonites. The man chasing them is related to the children she is carrying. She has finally found the group. While talking to them, there is a discrepancy between what the Clarkes told her about meeting the Mennonites. The older adult woman of the group says something about the horse with white painted hooves. This alerts Cornelia to something she sees, and she grabs a saddle from the German family.

She races back to find Whipp nowhere to be found. Cornelia locates the wife, who says Whipp left with the money. Mrs. Clarke tries to take the rifle away from her. As soon as she does, our English woman quickly grabs her knife and stabs her in the torse. She passes out a few seconds later. Cornelia finds a wrapped-up dead body in the barn, but it’s with the chap who shot at the beginning of the episode.

Cornelia later pulls a gun on Mr. Clarke in his kitchen as he gathers all the money on the table. This English woman weaves a tale about how she fell flat on her face the first time she stood up to the man in the States. And now, his wife has a stab wound in her stomach and only has very little time left, so she suggests he tell her everything. Then, in an impressive sequence, Blunt’s Cornelia pulls up her weapon and looks as intensely as Clint Eastwood did in Unforgiven. She asks him, “Where is my friend?”

The English season 1, episode 3 ending

The Bootleg compound of Kills on Water is where our man Whipp is at. He is introduced to the man, and he doesn’t see him. However, Kills on Water has been looking for Whipp for a long time. He taps a skeleton head of a bird and keeps tapping it until he asks Whipp if he wants it back.

Finally, he tells the Pawnee scout that he will tell him everything he knows about the massacre at Chalk River.

What did you think of The English season 1, episode 3? Comment below.

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