Wednesday season 1, episode 3 recap – who is Joseph Crackstone?

By Adam Lock
Published: November 23, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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The mystery continues to unfold in another fun, amusing installment. There’s some clever word play and more tantalizing clues on display as Wednesday takes a trip to Pilgrim World.

We recap the Netflix series Wednesday season 1, episode 3, “Friend or Woe,” which contains spoilers.

Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega believes she is somehow entangled in all the horrible atrocities that are underway in Nevermore Academy. Because of this unknown connection to killer monsters and apocalyptic predictions, she has brought it upon herself to solve the mystery once and for all. This mystery has led her into an underground lair, and in “Friend or Woe” she actually comes face to face with Nevermore’s secret society. The third chapter continues to unravel this complex mystery in a fun fashion while exploring the history of Jericho and its enigmatic founding father Joseph Crackstone (William Houston).

Wednesday season 1, episode 3 recap – who is Joseph Crackstone?

As the bag is lifted from her head, Wednesday finds herself surrounded by hooded figures. It doesn’t take her long to realize that Bianca is their masked leader and the teens all begrudgingly reveal their true identities. Nothing fools Wednesday and while they chat, she’s already untied her binds. The students have revived the infamous Nightshades Society, which was disbanded thirty years ago when a normie kid was killed. The cult is a lot more harmless these days, made for social events and the odd skinny dip. Xavier invites Wednesday to join their elite club, but she refuses.

Wednesday continues to investigate the many mysteries of Nevermore – Rowan rising from the dead, the prowling monster in the woods, and the foreshadowing drawing in the Nightshade book. But school just keeps getting in the way. In this installment, it is Outreach Day, where the Nevermore students volunteer in the local community. Wednesday has been assigned to a creepy antique shop, whilst most are set to work at Pilgrim World. Principal Weems has also signed Wednesday up for a performance with the local marching band at a ceremony later that day, stating how impressed she was with Wednesday’s cello playing. This principal seems to have eyes everywhere.

The students are dropped off in Jericho, ready to attend their jobs for the day. This gives Wednesday time to catch up with Xavier. They discuss Rowan’s odd disappearance. Xavier is still pretty sure that his old roommate is still very much alive and scoffs at Wednesday’s conspiracy theories. She shows him the drawing, and he points out that the other figure in the picture is Joseph Crackstone, the founding father of Jericho. Wednesday decides to swap jobs and attend Pilgrim World for more sleuthing. She trades with Enid, who is desperate to hook up with Ajax, the stoner.

Pilgrim World feels like another respected homage to the Addams Family movies, particularly Addams Family Values, in which Wednesday was cast as Pocahontas in the Thanksgiving play. This historic amusement park is just one big cash cow, with the students sent to work at Ye Olde Fudgery. Wednesday scares off the customers with her usual antics and then sneaks out to inspect the Old Meeting House for further clues. In the cordoned-off building, she finds a painting that features that blonde Wednesday look-alike and a book called Codex Umbrarum, but it is a replica. Her new boss, Mistress Arlene, finds her snooping and orders her to leave. They clearly have many secrets they want to remain hidden in this place.

Wednesday ditches her duties and heads to the coffee shop. She asks Tyler for the location of the original meeting house, which is positioned in the woods. He warns her of the ruins and how they attract homeless people or meth heads. She declines his assistance and heads off in the rain with Thing. Her trusty sidekick strangles a squatter, and Wednesday inspects the grounds. There is nothing of any interest here, but she has another vision as they leave. This vision explains how the meeting house originally burned down. Joseph Crackstone burnt all the town’s outcasts alive in this building, including Goody Addams’ family. Goody is the blonde Wednesday look-alike we have seen a couple of times before now. Wednesday’s ancestor was labeled a witch but escaped the burning to later exact revenge.

Wednesday season 1, episode 3 ending

Returning to the land of the living, Wednesday glimpses the monster once more, but the creature soon disappears. In a surprise twist, she spots how the monster’s footprints turn back into a human. Xavier then appears, but her evidence is lost in the rain. He now believes Wednesday’s theory about Rowan, having received some unusual text messages from the old roommate. They discuss Wednesday’s psychic abilities and he confesses that his father, Vincent Thorpe, is a famous psychic. He advises her to not fully trust in these visions. They are not rooted in logic but are triggered more by emotions. Wednesday isn’t deterred, she needs to stop the ensuing tragedies from becoming a reality.

The rain clears and it’s time for the unveiling ceremony for a new town monument. The Mayor and the Press are all in attendance for this significant event. Crackstone’s bronze statue is revealed and the band plays a Fleetwood Mac cover. Things are going a little too well though and Thing lights a match to stir up some more trouble. The statue is dramatically blown up, and as the crowd disperses, Wednesday continues to play. Principal Weems gives her an evil glare as the chaos erupts around them, with sirens blaring in the distance. Wednesday is clearly the prime suspect.

A furious Principal Weems scolds Wednesday for her obvious involvement in the explosion. Although the student says her hands are clean. The Principal calls Wednesday a trouble magnet and warns her that she’s on thin ice. While they argue, that homeless man is attacked and killed by the monster. A montage whizzes through more important plot points. Enid organizes a date with Ajax, but he gets caught up. If you were wondering what the stoners’ clique was all about, Ajax reveals himself to be a gorgon, with Medusa-like qualities, and he is frozen in time by his own reflection. Marilyn sneaks into the secret lair. And Xavier is seen hiding something, with large claw marks on his neck. Is he housing the monster or is he actually the monster after all?

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

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