‘Harry Wild’ Season 3 Puts the Central Characters First

Rohan Nedd as Fergus and Jane Seymour as Harry in 'Harry Wild' Season 3

Rohan Nedd as Fergus and Jane Seymour as Harry in 'Harry Wild' Season 3

Steffan Hill/AcornTV

Harry Wild’s lively third season brings back the mystery genre’s unlikeliest crime-solving pair in would-be-retiree Harry (Jane Seymour) and 16-year-old Fergus (Rohan Nedd). Join them as their detective agency takes on Dublin’s most perplexing murders, all wrapped up neatly in an hour and usually solved well before the local police. The series is as much about chosen family as about subverting expectations of what women of a certain age are “supposed” to do. Harry’s son Charlie (Kevin Ryan), recently promoted to senior police detective, would undoubtedly be more comfortable if his mother faded into the background and stopped besting his officers. Meanwhile, this season finds Harry connecting more with her stuffy daughter-in-law Orla (Amy Huberman) and her granddaughter Lola (Rose O’Neill).

At one point, Charlie calls his mother “Jessica Fletcher.” He means this disparagingly, but Harry insists that’s no insult: “That woman was an icon.” As one of the most famous cozy mysteries, Murder, She Wrote is the natural barometer for Harry Wild. However, Seymour’s Harry is much brasher, more adventurous than Miss Fletcher, and certainly not well-behaved.

Fergus’s life was upturned at the end of last season when his estranged mother Paula (Samantha Mumba) announced plans to relocate his sister Liberty (Rosa Willow Lee) to America. Fergus is ready to fight for the sister he raised after Paula abandoned them, and Harry has helped him obtain a first-rate lawyer. Although we see Paula through Fergus’s lens of anger and pain, we also see that Paula is not a villain. The show takes pains to demonstrate she’s trying to make up for something unforgivable, albeit going about it in the worst possible way. There’s an intense conversation between Paula and Harry at the end of the first episode where the women battle about Fergus. Both try to protect and step up for him in very different ways. This conversation sets the stage for a sea change in the mother and son’s relationship for the better.

Jane Seymour as Harry Wild, Rose O'Neil as Lola, and Rohan Nedd as Fergus at a concert in 'Harry Wild' Season 3

Jane Seymour as Harry Wild, Rose O'Neil as Lola, and Rohan Nedd as Fergus in 'Harry Wild' Season 3

Steffan Hill/AMC Networks

The first episode unravels the apparent suicide of the lead singer of a popular boy band. It’s a case Harry doesn’t want to take: Lola is a superfan, and she, Harry, and Fergus are among an exclusive fan gathering where they witnessed the pop star’s fall from the roof. (Side note: Fergus witnesses three people at minimum fall to their deaths in the course of this series; please get him some therapy ASAP!) Some pieces of the mystery are a little far-fetched but still entertaining and close enough to believability to appease.

Harry hasn’t been mainly focused on romance since the death of her ex in the second season. This season, the second episode brings us a potential new love interest in Harry Benedict (Lochlann Ó Mearáin), another private detective who quickly makes Harry feel like Dublin isn’t big enough for the two of them. Benedict is clever and frustrates Harry to no end, getting the jump on her investigations after managing to bug her office. He frequently complicates Harry’s life throughout the season, each time getting a little more flirty while she rebuffs him soundly. You almost feel sorry for the guy, but his persistence vacillates between charming and annoying. Harry is pretty sure she wants nothing to do with him – until they engage in Shakespearean quote repartee. Be still her literary heart!

Perhaps the best of the season is the fourth episode, “The Man Who Murdered Himself.” A locked door puzzle in which a mystery writer commits suicide by gunshot; the gun disappears, leaving his life partner and co-writer with one last mystery to solve. To make things more interesting, he’s in a locked panic room. Harry and Fergus take the case and discover that, of course, this was murder. A complex story unfolds involving family secrets and hidden shame. It presents something of a moral quandary, where we have sympathy and understanding of the murderer’s motives. The show is skilled at explaining the perpetrator’s perspective and making us think differently about the crime.

Jane Seymour as Harry W, Lochlann O'Mearáin as Harry B, and Rohan Nedd as Fergus with one too many Harrys in 'Harry Wild' Season 3

Jane Seymour as Harry W, Lochlann O'Mearáin as Harry B, and Rohan Nedd as Fergus in 'Harry Wild' Season 3

Steffan Hill/AcornTV

The season’s finale cranks up the heat with a tense hostage situation involving the whole family and a bomber driven by grief. Even under the most dangerous of circumstances, Harry can’t keep from provoking the bomber with her trademark sharpness and outright insults. Despite literally endangering their lives, Harry manages to solve the mystery with a few well-placed video calls and her incredible intellect. Fergus is doing online research with Lola for most of the story, so this is less of a team effort and more of everyone watching The Harry Show

To pierce the tension, half the episode is a ridiculous homage to Die Hard, with Harry’s pal and bartender Glenn (Paul Tylak) playing Bruce Willis, crawling barefoot through the air ducts with a Zippo lighter. It’s a silly end to an otherwise solid season and features an over-the-top wedding to boot.

Despite a few missteps in testing the limits of suspension of disbelief, Season 3 gives its characters depth and its stories fun and interesting twists. But where Harry Wild really delivers is in the impressive performances of the main duo and their superb chemistry. That’s the reason to watch.

Harry Wild Season 3 airs and streams weekly on Mondays on Acorn TV with a co-premiere on AMC Networks’ linear platform, BBC America, through the end of June.

Marni Cerise headshot

A writer since her childhood introduction to Shel Silverstein, Marni adores film, cats, Brits, and the Oxford comma. She studied screenwriting at UARTS and has written movie, TV, and pop culture reviews for Ani-Izzy.com, and Wizards and Whatnot. You can usually catch her watching Hot Fuzz for the thousandth time. Find her very sparse social media presence on Twitter: @CeriseMarni

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