Jamestown, Season Three (2019) 

Reviewer: Charity Bishop

Jamestown has always stretched its viewers to accept some truly crazy ideas, but its final season boasts one of the worst series finales I have ever seen.

If it's the last thing she will ever do, the ambitious and unmarried Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick) will unseat the vicious and psychopathic governor of Jamestown (Jason Flemyng). Unfortunately, her schemes have drawn in the hapless Nicholas Farrow (Burn Gorman) whose treachery against the governor soon comes to light. Rather than put him to a trial, Sir George Yeardley cuts off his head at the dinner table and posts it on a spike in the town square as a warning to anyone else who might try to turn against him.

The slave woman Maria (Abiola Ogunbiyi) foresaw this, and warned his wife against it. In desperation to turn him back to goodness, Lady Yeardley (Claire Cox) seeks the woman's assistance in invading his dreams, hoping to force him to renounce his power. Meanwhile, her husband's exile from the town into the native tribe makes Alice (Sophie Rundle) doubt she has a future in Jamestown. And when a boatload of unruly orphans arrives to work in the fields, Verity (Niamh Walsh) becomes emotionally invested in protecting one of the children, a boy named Tam.

Romantic entanglements, schemes of all kinds, and the arrival of a mysterious hunchback flourish in a solid season that only falters at the end. I can only assume that the cancellation came midway through the shoot, too late for the writer to rewrite more than the final episode, because it is deeply unsatisfying. All the careful plans laid down, most of them in the ruthless governor's imminent downfall, come to naught. We never even see what becomes of him, nor know why he's outside the settlement at the end. The final episode features the horrors of the actual Jamestown Massacre, when the natives almost wiped out the immigrant population. It's a stirring, and dread-inducing climax that simply... peters out, presumably because the show lacked the budget to do it justice. To be honest, it angered me that the show threw away so much untapped potential. The sloppy writing, the dropping of plot lines, the inconsistent characterization, and especially, not resolving the governor's downfall in a meaningful manner (the show made him into such a monster, anything less than his death is unacceptable from a literary standpoint) felt like a spit in the eye.

The costuming is still beautiful, even if it's not always accurate. The Hungarian countryside is equally exquisite, and there are some truly wonderful moments here, such as Verity's relationship with Tam, her heartfelt tears in a church, and how she handles her husband's madness. Jocelyn continues to be a force to be reckoned with, even though her motivations are rather sketchy. And the newcomer merchant with a powerful ring on his side adds in the mystique and mystery needed to make it fun. Seeing them attempt to outsmart the governor is also enjoyable. I just wish it had all paid off better, because the end result is deeply unsatisfying.

Sexual Content
Sexual innuendo between unmarried people. A woman tells another woman if she wants to secure a man, to make love to him and "make sure to fall pregnant. The girl does (off-screen) and happily uses that as an excuse to marry. A woman says she will do whatever a man wants, and he removes his shirt to reveal his humped back; she runs away in alarm. A woman implies she's willing to re-ignite a sexual relationship with a man, but he declines.
 
Language:
Verity is quite fond of the s-word; others use ass, cock (as slang and in terms of describing preening male behavior), piss, and other terms.
 
Violence:
Infrequent but gory. In the first episode, a man is decapitated at the dinner table with an ax; his blood sprays the horrified women present. His head sits on a pike in the town square for days. A man opens a box to reveal rotting pig's tongues. Men are shot, stabbed with arrows, and sliced into with hatchets. Blood often spurts. The local Native American tribe massacres innocent people, battering them in the face, stabbing them, and shooting them. We see a man who has bee recently scalped; his scalp and a severed hand hang from a native's spear. Elsewhere, we see rotting, decaying corpses.

Other:
A woman projects herself into a man's dreams to terrorize him, using Voodoo magic. His Christian wife assists her. All Christians are depicted as evil and/or cruel, using the Bible to justify enslaving the Africans.