The Changeling Season 1 Episode 3 Recap – why was Apollo in prison?

By Adam Lock
Published: September 8, 2023 (Last updated: March 20, 2024)
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Apple TV+ series The Changeling Season 1 Episode 3 Recap


The Changeling takes a dark, unsettling turn in its third installment, opening up to the more fantastical elements of the series. The latest episode is a little disjointed, but it carries on that unnerving tone with some creepy developments.

We recap the Apple TV+ series The Changeling Season 1 Episode 3, which contains significant spoilers.

It was clear from the get-go that the Apple Original series The Changeling was going to delve into some pretty dark places, but the third episode really takes that idea to the next level. Emma’s (Clark Backo) breakdown reaches new extremes, leading to death and destruction in the latest installment.

The Changeling Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

The episode begins with Apollo chained up in his apartment. He’s badly beaten and begging for his son’s life to be spared. Emma enters the room, looking practically possessed.

She picks up a scolding kettle and makes her way towards Apollo. Baby Brian screams in the background.

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Apollo tries to reason with Emma, saying how they can fix things and that she’s not alone. But Emma isn’t interested. She intends to harm Apollo and the baby no matter what.

This terrifying opener ends with Emma knocking Apollo out with a hammer blow to the head.

The story moves forward a couple of months. Apollo is dropped off in the city, now sporting a brutal scar on his cheek. He’s been released from prison after three months on the inside.

Apollo looks like a broken man, and we’re about to find out just why.

Apollo attends a support group called The Survivors, where he recalls the horrifying story in detail. Caretaker Fabian found Apollo tied up in his apartment. He was then rushed over to intensive care.

The police continued their search for Emma in the meantime but were unable to find her.

Why was Apollo in prison?

After his release from the hospital, Apollo went on a rampage in Emma’s library, desperate to find his wife. Apollo had lost his mind at this point and was soon arrested for wielding a gun and firing the weapon in the air to intimidate the library workers. He was imprisoned for three months because of this crime.

Back in the present, Apollo goes for a meal with his best friend Patrice and Patrice’s partner Dana. Apollo thanks the couple for attending Brian’s funeral. It would seem the very worst scenario came true: Emma did, in fact, kill her baby boy.

Apollo thanks them for their support and offers to hand them the To Kill a Mockingbird book, which is worth around $10k. Patrice worries that Apollo is acting suicidal.

He urges him to keep pushing on, stating that if he kills himself, then he’ll never know how much the book was truly worth.

READ: What does Emma do in The Changeling?

That night, Apollo returns to his haunting apartment to find his mom, Lillian, there. She has cleaned up the place and is eager to know how her son is doing. Lillian suggests that Apollo visits his son’s grave, but he isn’t ready to go there yet.

Unable to sleep, Apollo ventures into his baby’s room, which still looks like a crime scene. Lillian finds Apollo there, filled with regret and guilt. He tells her that he is still having those awful dreams.

Lillian decides to open up to her son now, telling him the truth about those nightmares.

Flashbacks explore this subplot in more depth. Lillian was forced to work Saturdays, even though she couldn’t afford a babysitter. She left Apollo on his own at the age of four. On one of those occasions, Apollo was visited by his father.

This infiltrated into his dreams, but they were actually real memories to start with.

Why is Apollo angry with Lillian?

Apollo is furious that his father wanted to be a part of his life, and Lillian took that away from him. She chose to be single and alone, which in turn made Apollo feel worthless inside. Lillian defends her actions, but Apollo doesn’t want to hear it. He blames her for everything that followed.

At church, Apollo continues to attend the support group sessions. The other group members seemed to be just as paranoid as Emma was. One woman even has proof that a stalker was sending her photographs, just like Emma claimed.

Apollo worries that this woman will kill her baby just like Emma did.

Who is William Wheeler?

Apollo storms out of the session and runs away, utterly overwhelmed by everything going on in his life and this latest development. He is chased by another group attendee called William Wheeler. William admits that he was sent by Patrice; he is the one who wants to buy Apollo’s book.

The Changeling Season 1 Episode 3 Ending Explained

William offers to buy Apollo a coffee, and they get chatting about themselves and the book. William inadvertently plays a video on his phone, which shows footage of the woman’s outburst at the group session. She mentions the Wise Ones and a person called Cal.

The episode ends with Apollo and William researching the Wise Ones, who happen to be witches in ancient mythology. Here, Apollo joins the dots together, thinking back to Emma’s trip to Brazil and the three wishes that a creepy woman had granted her. Apollo realizes that all this chaos is linked somehow.

What did you think of Apple TV+’s The Changeling Season 1 Episode 3? Comment below.

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