Review: Glitch, season 3

Emma Booth in Glitch

Glitch season 3 puts the world back to “right” and brings the saga of the risen to a final conclusion. There are a few spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

Some of the characters who were important in the first seasons leave. Elishia (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Dr. Heysen (Pernilla August) are both gone. Gone with them is the talk of stem cells and sound frequencies that somehow explained the risen from past seasons.

Harry Tseng and Jessica Faulkner in Glitch
The newly risen

Mucking around with the frequencies at the end of season 2 brought up two new risen characters. Tam Chi Wai (Harry Tseng) died in a riot at the 1800s Chinese laborer camp. He was murdered by none other than young Paddy (Rhys Mitchell – an amazing look alike for Ned Dennehy). Having Chi in the cast offered a chance to examine the racism toward Chinese immigrants in Australia.

The other new character was Belle (Jessica Faulkner). Her parents were religious fanatics who murdered their own daughter because she was an independent thinker. Her parents were still alive. And still horrible.

Chi and Belle brought talk of prophets and angels and gateways to heaven into the story, which shifted things thematically.

The thematic explanations for the risen and the also-risen-but-different enforcers trying to kill them veered into religion and spirituality. As the season wore to its final conclusion, the idea became more and more openly expressed that you are born, you live, and you die in that order. When the natural order of the universe is disturbed as in Glitch, it produces worldwide chaos and the end times.

The discussion about disturbing the natural order of things felt very much like an explanation for climate catastrophe and how human choices must be made to save the world. It made me wonder if Glitch had been about climate change the entire time, and I was too dense to figure it out.

Glitch lost the thread when they moved from science fiction into the spiritual realm, in my opinion. But maybe that’s where they were heading the entire time because that explanation is the one that prevailed. The science fiction explanation for this story remains its weakest point.

The Action in Season 3

The excitement and action revolved around the efforts of evil Noregard to profit from whatever crazy science explains the risen, the struggles of the risen to escape the enforcers, and the widespread chaos caused by the universe being out of sync with itself.

Enforcers like Phil (Rob Collins) and Sarah (Emily Barclay) were there to restore things to their proper order. They were determined to do in all the risen. More people die and become like Phil and Sarah. Then Phil dies again and stops being an enforcer. He suddenly turns into a nice guy.

Some of the risen die and turn into enforcers. And some of the characters who have been never dead before die and become enforcers. Spoiler alert, the series hero James (Patrick Brammall) was one of the switchers. But, no worries, once a hero always a hero. Even William (Rodger Corser) flip flopped back and forth.

Rob Collins and Emma Booth in Glitch
Phil (Rob Collins) and Kate (Emma Booth) just want to save people.

All the switching around with good guys turning to bad guys and vice versa kept things surprising. My favorite performance among them all was Rob Collins who went from menacing to lovable teddy bear in the blink of an eye.

Luke Arnold and Emma Booth in Glitch
Owen had something up his sleeve after all.

The boundary holding in all the risen expanded dramatically in season 3. Owen (Luke Arnold) and Kate took off together for Adelaide. That did not turn out as expected for Kate.

Kirstie (Hannah Monson) and Charlie (Sean Keenan) headed for Melbourne. Their first night there Kirstie got roaring drunk in a gay bar and Charlie met Raf (Jackson Gallagher). Raf was in drag when Charlie first spied him. He was wonderful and beautiful and sexy and I fell for him immediately (wait, I mean Charlie fell for him). Raf ended up in Yoorana with Charlie before the story was over.

Some very interesting things happened with the deputy, Chris (John Leary), in season 3. He was one of the few who lived to tell the story. I loved his part at the very end. It calmed me right down from all the anxiety and suspense.

With Emma Freeman directing most of season 3 and the majority of the writing from Tony Ayres, Louise Fox, and Adam Hill, I could feel the presence of the female gaze behind the camera in Glitch. From sex scenes to fight scenes there was never anything gratuitous.

Overall, I think season 3 maintains a level of suspense and thrills and wraps up the series nicely.

Gllitch poster

How can you tell when someone switches from one kind of dead to another kind of dead? Their eyes get wonky. It’s the frequency pattern!

Here’s season 3’s trailer. You will find all 3 seasons of the series on Netflix.

Are you a fan of this series? Were you happy with the way it worked out?

39 thoughts on “Review: Glitch, season 3”

  1. Boooooooooooo…lame…and still too much unresolved…Norgard is just done now? The science was junk science? Some people heal, some don’t? Abandoning story lines and character threads to hurry a show to conclusions not presented before is simply bad writing. The shift in tone to the magic whistle, religion and cremation was a quick way out…a pathetic end to a whip smart and suspenseful 1st season.

      1. Let’s put the science of the first two series to one side. They had to wrap up the story quicker than they would have liked. I enjoyed the characters flip flopping sides and thought the actors did a good job. To me the moral of the story of there was one, was about how we always hurt the ones we love. I found it quite moving at times.

      2. I think you’ve got a good point about a potential moral of story, I gotta disagree with you about wrapping up the story quicker than they would have liked – they could hardly have made a 4th season, if that’s what you’re implying. But i may be misinterpreting your intention there.

    1. Suzann Jackson Smith

      Thank you! I thought I was the only one that felt that this was a horrible way to end this series. I felt so cheated. Like seriously? They just all walk into a fire and die again? Really? Three seasons and they just all just die. What a waste. Like I ended a show I once loved hating it and hating the “hero” James.

      1. I’ve just finished watching the last episode.

        I felt let down and a bit cheated at the ending, I knew they all had to die, but it was that quite stupid , with the whole ‘AHHA the whistle blew and it all clicked suddenly, looks like we have no choice but to die a slow & Painful death by walking into a freaking fire! ‘ thing

        William could have just blown the whistle allot earlier (made them all realise) and saved the bleeding anxiety and heartache…. but then it wouldn’t have been a drama (i know)!

        I loved Charlie (Sean Keenan’s character), and the wild strong Kirsty Darrow, Can’t sleep now, I’m so glad there was such a diversity of character stories, especially of my queer (gay if you wish) brother, Chi’s chinese immigrant gold rush story & Belle’s Christian cult story line (particularly her growth and courage to confront her manipulative Cult leader mother)

    2. Relationship between Dr Elisha and William never revealed, and why didn’t chaos ensue for 4 years after Dr Elisha herself came back??

      1. Johnathon McLay

        I know!! That part of how they loved each other in a past life was never really resolved. (SPOILER WARNING) It just ended brutally and suddenly by being stabbed in the creek, and William falling into intense grief and loss, especially when the 2nd ‘reincarnation experiment’ (in the cemetery) didn’t bring Elisha back.

        I reckon the reason chaos didn’t ensue in the 4 years after Elisha came back; was because she hadn’t done a proper full on ‘reincarnation experiment’ in the cemetery yet. She had been doing smaller experiments and tests in her Norgard lab, and from that had been exposed to whatever energy/materials/etc that eventually led to her coming back to life in the hospital morgue. That’s my thoughts on it.

        When the bigger cemetery experiments happened, particularly the 2nd one, that brought back Chi (Chinese gold rush character) and Belle (the young girl); that caused major ripples in the natural world and space time.

        Hope that helps Jack Bauer

  2. It was a huge mistake to introduce 2 new Risen characters in the final season! They were too recent for anyone to get invested in. All of the others have been around since the very first episode of season 1.
    The rules governing the Risen never made much sense and were very contradictory. William died and came back countless times, yet Phil was killed with a knife in the back? What? And they never explained what made William and Alicia so special, and how they had some sort of connection from the past. That plot point was completely dropped. Not to mention Kirstie’s pregnancy, which they also seemed to forget about…

      1. That was very annoying that they didn’t resolve that one! I was emotionally devastated for a few days after that and felt cheated.

  3. I agree with most other comments. I wanted more focus on the science and the prior story lines. The religious/spiritual angle made no sense. I think the problems started with Vic in series 2, though. His different type of resurrection as an enforcer suggested some kind of teleological drive behind universal forces; purpose and intent to the laws of physics and the lives of humans. That’s never something you can explain without resorting to some kind of supernatural bs.

  4. Raf was beautiful. I’m googling Jackson Gallagher to find out what else I can watch him in. I’m ok with the series ending conclusion. It was a fun 3 seasons.

  5. Thanks for the summary. I bailed halfway into the 1st episode of season 2. Just couldn’t take James being an ‘enforcer’.

    1. They lost me for a while there after James ‘slipped in the bathroom’,
      He really sucked at trying to convince Kate that they all had to die ( when he was locked up in the Jail cell) – and ended up calling her the cancer that was causing the end of the world…. as if that or the ‘this is all your fault Kate’ was gonna persuade her.

  6. Disappointing season. No need for new characters, didn’t contribute to story at all. How did Elishia resurrect? Why was William special and how did he see into the future? Did Elishia resurrect him specifically? Did they have a connection of some kind? What about that whistle of William’s actually do? What will happen if someone else uses it? What was Noregard trying to accomplish? Way too many holes to provide any satisfying conclusion.

    1. I think you may have missed a few things, and perhaps zoned out for parts like i did a bit after James slipped over in the bathroom and suddenly became an enforcer.

      They lost me for a while there. I eventually watched the rest of season 3, 4 months later on dvd and still felt rather cheated when they all literally just walked into the fire. Talk about religious/supernatural references, i don’t know how else they could have ended it, better than a murderous bloodbath

    2. Denise Hansen

      Too many holes – like Swiss Cheese. Why wasn’t the connection between Elisha and William revealed? Why did some of the Risen regenerate and others didn’t? I liked the first season but the series fell apart after that.

      1. I think the others and the energy field that brought them back , was the meaning of the “Glitch”
        Alisha or Elisha, wanted only her man, but her science was too new and imperfect , and the glitch brought back so many other gals and guys. And i loved them all, even Paddy,
        And the Italian women , was so beautiful and gentle and self sacrificial, Pity her role was so short .

  7. First season was excellent and really had me gripped, the second season was good, but not so gripping, third season needed burning in a bush fire. The series ended with way too many questions and a really nonsensical climax.

    1. Johnathon McLay

      Den, I think you’ve got it spot on! The 1st season was gripping and it had me hooked, the 2nd almost as much, but the third one, I had to leave it for a few months, and come back because I felt so angry about James (slipping in the bathroom and dying) then turning enforcer and the direction things took.

      There were interesting and good moments like exploring Chi’s gold rush story line – exploring the themes of racism against the Chinese miners, and referencing the documented massacres that happened. These same racist attitudes and values against anyone that wasn’t Anglo, led to the formation of the White Australia policy that restricted immigration and tore families apart for decades.

      I didn’t feel calm or resolved at the end of the final episode, I knew that everyone who had risen (in one form or another) had to die, but it felt so damn brutal (which granted death can be) and like you said, non sensical. Even though walking into the fire was symbolic in so many ways, it still left me emotionally devastated and angry that so many questions where unresolved – that is kinda realistic mind you, not everyone resolves things before their time is up.

      The only solace I found somehow was that most of the risen had managed to come to terms with the unresolved past they had in the beginning. I particularly liked Charlie’s, Kirsty’s and Paddy’s story line (and the way they incorporated an indigenous story within it, which was historically believable too).

  8. A main thing, though, was that most characters came back with some unresolved business and finished it. Kirsty found and confronted her killer. Chi freed the souls of those he couldn’t save. Belle confronted her killer/mother and saved her sister and niece. Charlie came to terms with his sexuality. Paddy revealed his missing will and his other descendants. And so on. Only Kate really didn’t have a clear “thing” that I could see. She was still looking for something, with James, with Owen, but I’m not sure whether she found it.

    1. I feel like her ‘resolved business’ was alluded to at the end, when James said he’d go with her and she said ‘No’ and said that she had a chance to be in control and had the chance to.

      I don’t think her ‘unfinished business’ was ever to do with love – I think she wanted to die on her terms. During her life, she’d asked Sarah to help her die when she felt the time was right. Sarah admitted she hadn’t helped Kate to die – she’d backed out of the plan and Kate had ended up having a painful, slow death where she’d suffered, which Sarah regretted. I think Kate needed to die on her terms, and being able to make the choice to walk into the fire gave her that resolution. An ‘assisted suicide’ could have saved her a lot of pain and trauma the first time around, but at the end of Season 3 she’d had another chance to come to terms with her death and end it the way she wanted.

    2. She found her health , reclaimed her body and her independence.
      She reconnected again with James , too young to be a widower.

  9. Could Elisha have been the Priest from William’s flash backs? That is the only thing that made sense. This was the loose end that bothers me the most. The show completely dropped this part of the storyline, which really was the backbone of Glitch. I did not like how they handled the story arch at all and agree it wobbled terribly from SyFy to Religious-Spirituality. Quite honestly, I don’t think the universe really cares a molecule if people come back to life on Earth. That is total inflation of how important humans are to the universe. They had a moment of grace when they brought in the idea that Jesus was a risen… but that didn’t go anywhere too. The whole morality thing — you live, you die, the end… was really weak… leaves no room for wonder or miracles or the unknown. I know I’m late to watching the series, but just finished Season 3… total disappointment.

  10. It is such a dream to have the ability to move between life and death , to come back and go and back again!. To solve past mysteries and repair wrong doings !!!if only!

    The universe has indeed an order , that tempts the scientists to change it . That’s how we all go towards progress . Progress is frightening and the road there is long and painful. , but worthwhile. The first two seasons are alluding to this and they made me happy and thrilled. i wish i knew more about Alisha and her captain . I assume , they were married at some p[point , lovers and she wanted him back . Like the professor who missed her 2 girls. They should have told us how they died .

    There are a lot of metaphors in the series : the fight against unsuspected enemies [sleeping cells] against racism and discrimination of persons all types , like these so called abominations , when they were just different .
    If addresses the violence against women , addresses the ruthless quest for money and fame of the big pharma and research labs,
    and of course the climate change and the fires that crippled Australia for so long now.
    All under the umbrella of a very original scenario, with excellent and beautiful actors and with a them that made me dream and hope that one day , death , so nonsensical and dare i say not really necessary , will be conquered .
    Great series . I loved Alisha the most for being so determined and in love with a man of her past and i hated the hideous mother who did not deserve such beautiful girl.

  11. Elisha’s character arc. So that was never explained? She had a girlfriend. Died. Invented a way to resurrect the dead. Then decided she liked boys – namely William.

  12. There was a lot of unexplained things about Elisha’s character, and why she suddenly completely turned another direction and found William. The story never explicitly said that she was only attracted to women, she could have been bisexual …

    But the more interesting question I thought was: why she seemed liked a completely different person after her coming back from the dead. I felt it was like she had a previous life and was kind of ‘reincarnated’ back to that life when she knew and loved William. I still find it very confusing months after watching all 3 seasons.

  13. The science explanation wasn’t junk as people put it, the science caused the wrong, an exploit in the fabric of the universe.
    The supernatural part was the paranormal bringing balance where the science threw it off kilter. Star Wars sci-fi fantasy if you will, balance in the force of the universe.
    My only problems are the origin of the whistle, Elisha coming back before the science (perhaps she had the science and was called a witch at the time like William said), and the unexplained past relationship between William and Elisha.

  14. Kathy Brinkley

    Off topic, but the woman playing Belle’s evil mother (couldn’t find her name) looks to have a very enlarged thyroid gland and needs to get that checked out, asap!!

  15. Good show, good actors, got VERY convoluted in season 3. We were left with more questions than answers, and the conclusion felt very rushed. As someone else said above: if the whistle caused all the Risen to understand why they had to die again, why not just do that in the first place BEFORE your whole country is on fire?! Lmao.

    And is it theological or is it science? HOW did the Risen Enforcers know what they had to do? Who or what told them? And the whole mouth-to-mouth information transfer….that was just creepy and bizarre and made no sense.

    Also….there was one point where Phil was going into the store to get “nappies and wipes” and then ends up seeing Kate and running after her instead…..and we’re supposed to just believe that Beau’s mom took him back AGAIN after that bs?!? As if. Eyerolls galore.

    Also am I the only one still thinking about Owen’s sister, and did the transfer work to heal her?? She just gets left behind in this house with creepy untrustworthy men who just killed her brother and want to kidnap Kate. GIRL ARE YOU OKAY?!!?!!?

    Too many plot holes 🙁

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