Adding and Rebuilding
Creator Matthew Lynn with his new film series, “The Third” brings us a provocative look at gay life that we do not often get since it is the story of a triad relationship. Jason Height, 29, (Sean McBride) was recently displaced on the West Coast. As he made his sexual way through the available men in Palm Springs he comes into a triad relationship with Carl (Corey Page) and David (Ryland Shelton) who are on the outs after being together for several years. They think that perhaps a third might help their relationship and they agree to move forward with the idea. But then they realize that relationship issues only come to the surface once someone else steps in to fill what was missing. As the three men explore their relationship, they also learn about themselves and what love is. More than just a movie, “The Third” is an experience since we look at ourselves while watching it.
When Jason meets the David and Carl, their relationship is at a standstill and they see him as a way to bring some life back into it. They think that perhaps they have found a way to “spice things up” and the three of them become determined to make their triad relationship work until jealousy, secrets and anger emerge.
As I watched the film, I realized that there is quite a strong message here about the need for gay role models and the role of sex in long-term relationships as well as “the universal need for love with its own mix of drama and eroticism.” We face the questions of whether a three-way relationship can work and if it is even worth trying to find out. The lines between sex and love blur and the true meanings of these are questioned here.
Jason, Carl and David see that adding a third person can lead to feelings that they really never thought of ahead of time. Here we see that the excitement of a new sexual encounter brings spice to a dying relationship and while we might think that a deeper feeling is there, it is impossible to know until time passes. It begins as a passionate three-way affair but then there are other emotions to consider. The three try to set their own rules and to find out the real definition of love but not all triangles have three equal sides. The film has drama, comedy and mystery and is very sexy as it crosses boundaries between three gay men and between gay men and society, in general.
We are all aware that being gay might mean that we have to establish our own ideas of what a family means and the result is “non-traditional” relationships. It is the need to belong that drives us into relationships and we are so eager to belong somewhere that we do not think of what this could mean down the road. Director and creator Matthew Lynn shares that when he came out to his family, he was told to leave and was taken in by a gay couple that became his surrogate family and eventually the three became a triad relationship and the inspiration for “The Third”.
Lynn “wanted to show a gay relationship in a way that’s never been shown before. Something that didn’t feel like it was gay first, but human first. But also not shying away from it or being ashamed by it. Many people are now in “non-traditional” relationships and this show is about bringing light to them and their unique stories. All of us are looking for somewhere to belong.” While the film may not answer all of the questions we may have about triads it gives us a great deal to think about as it entertains us and to me that is the function of a good film.