Hello everyone and welcome to my first recap of Apple Tree Yard. I am TalksTooMuch, but you can call me TTM because it's way faster. Someone recommended this show but I can't quite remember who....HGM? EB? PL? AT/B? JS? Little help? I know it was one of you! I have no idea what to expect except something about lotsa aged sex and I was SOLD! Rolling E1 after the break!
We open with Dr. Yvonne Carmichael (Emily Watson) reflecting on what life was life before she met "you", she was civilized and now she doesn't even know what that means anymore. She remembers when the basic elements of life drove her, food, shelter, sex and the rest of life is what makes us human. But fear makes animals of us all.
Oh! She means she's uncivilized because she's got handcuffs on and is being transported in the back of a prison van.
9 months earlier!
The good doctor is testifying in front of a board; she's clearly well-respected and leading in her field, given all the nodding during her speaking and the deference to her position of continuing with DNA research. She's a scientist type of doctor! A geneticist, to be specific. But not to worry about her work
She talks a bit with a female colleague and purchases water, when a handsome man of a certain age (BEN CHAPLIN!!!!!! From The Truth About Cats and Dogs!!! I apologize in advance, but he has not aged well. I try not to do that, but the difference is shocking. Has he not been eating? Was there some kind of accident?) chats her up about genetics.
He mentions the Chapel in the Crypt; has she seen? She hasn't! He gets keys while her husband Gary (Mark Bonnar - I see him everywhere! This is my third show with him THIS WEEK!) texts about nose drops.
The chapel is quite beautiful, all stained glass and painted ceilings, but that's not the best bit. The best bit is a little hidden broom cupboard that is apparently fancy? It has a plaque for suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, which is cool but Yvonne and I are already wondering exactly why this stranger (I didn't catch his name just yet) has brought her to this tiny little cupboard in the back of a chapel where nobody is. His "you've already come this far" is not reassuring.
Ms Davison hid herself there on the night of the census of 1911 so she could legally call her address the House of Commons and sure, we're all interested! The air is somehow charged now, though, Yvonne looking across and suddenly he's right up in her grill. Then they're kissing, really?? A whispered "okay?" and then they're to it.
Panties and hose are removed, tongues are met and all of a sudden I remember how long it's been since I knocked boots. Dayum. Holy shite that was hot.
Afterwards, he's helping her with her shoes while she explains in wonderment that she's never done anything like that before. "Then lucky me" makes me smile and her look even more shy, what an odd predicament to be in after a boring testimony at the House of Commons.
She stares at herself in the mirror after, half smirking, half trying to figure out who she is.
She must have showered as soon as she got home, because she's got wet hair and the location of the closest STD clinic on her tablet when Gary comes in. He's so bloody handsome. They talk (across each other), eat supper and chat about nothing while she relives her cupboard encounter.
Later, she waits until Gary is snoring before creeping to her computer and hiding a notebook file letter to her mystery lover, whom she calls X. I was right, we didn't get a name for him and she calls that her most reckless act. "Sex with you is like being eaten by a wolf" sounds AMAZING! He is the only person she can talk to about him.
She's dressed with a little more attention to detail the next day, looking around, thinking about whether or not he will give her a second thought or if this is just something he does. We all wonder that, yes?
At work, she turns down a maternity fill position that her boss Liz (Franc Ashman) was hoping she'd take, then moseys over to the House of Common to see if the scarf she lost is there. It's not (since it's in her bag), and neither is X handy, so she leaves.
Sitting in a cafe, she sees him walking by on the phone and that's it, they're coffee-ing! His phone keeps interrupting, which throws her off and he's super vague about what he does. Civil Service is about as far as he'll explain, she doesn't think he looks like a civil servant. He is married, and so is she, so let's dispense with all that, shall we? Nobody's looking for a parachute.
"Shoot first, ask questions later" is exactly what he did!
Yvonne swims, then meets up with Susannah (Susan Lynch from Happy Valley series 2!) who is having a "very civilized" marriage with Chris. All boring and polite and shite. Not at all like being eaten by a wolf. She calls Yvonne Captain Sensible, which is not exactly the truth these days, is it?
Oh ho, there's something funny with Gary and this "Rosa" he mentioned, she's made accusations of impropriety? Susannah wonders, he's "still an attractive man" and I think she means SMOKING HOT because Mark Bonnar is exactly that; Yvonne wonders if that's why they say about them? All of Susannah's alarms are going off
Walking home after, she leaves X a voicemail ending things, let's just not. Too many people could get hurt. People like smoking hot Gary, who might as well be a stranger for all the interaction they have.
The noise of breaking glass brings them both downstairs in the middle of the night, it's Rosa (Laure Stockley) and she's pissed and has hurt herself. She knows where her professor lives...hmm thinks Yvonne and I. Gary leaves to drive Rosa to the hospital for stitches.
The next day, Yvonne and Gary's daughter Carrie (Olivia Vinall) and boyfriend Sathnam (Assad Zaman) pop in, Gary still hasn't made it back home. He comes in just then, telling everyone what actually happened, which is unfortunate since Yvonne already lied about where he was.
Oh hey, Carrie's pregnant! Congrats! Yvonne's not very happy, though, she wanted better for her daughter and her work. What if she doesn't want to go back?
During a very quiet clean-up after the kiddos leave, Yvonne finally says it: if you're sleeping with her, just tell me.
Gary, I know you're a grown man and probably know this and all, but that is a trap. Owning up to banging your grad student is not going to be okay, however understanding she appears at this moment.
He says he isn't sleeping with Rosa, but quietly, without any rancor. There had been a possibility of that, see, and he shut her down and that's why the backlash. Yvonne wants to know more about this "possibility."
It seems they were getting drunk and then...nothing happened, that's all she needs to know. So it wasn't all in Rosa's head but we knew that. Someone doesn't show up distraught at your house in the middle of the night unless you're familiar with at least one of their orifices.
She calls X
Footsie under the table, you can see her decide to go forward and all it means. Not into a cupboard now, in the bathroom and at some point, she's got to ask him his name. If she waits much longer, it will be too awkward.
They talk about her work, and his hand drifts under the table under her skirt. In the bathroom, mid-coitus, he turns her face to the mirror so she can see them and it's that she needs. "You're beautiful" he breathes.
She writes to him at night on her computer notebook, he has two phones and a lot going on, none of which he is telling her. He's also got an eye for detail; this is definitely not his first infidelity rodeo. He has instructions re: getting a pay-as-you-go phone and not establishing patterns, let's make sure nobody gets hurt!
Yvonne and Liz sit at a genome lecture (is that the beverage guy from the House of Commons?), but all she can think about is X, who's texting her about a meeting. Schlumpy colleague George (Steven Elder) brings her fancy coffee.
Outside, the young guy I thought I recognised stops her: he's been stalking her! She has his dream career; he'd really like to talk to her about his career. And he's very discreet! Ha! He was hitting on her!
Telling Gary later, she says the young man made her skin crawl but uh uh lady, we were there! That was the biggest smirk EVER. She's not giving him the position anyway, so screw you Jamie (Robin Morrissey)! But not actually screw you, so there.
Their son Adam stopped by, Yvonne almost runs to hear news of him when she hears that. She misses him like air.
A smarmy phone call with X later; what will she say if her husband notices the extra phone? I used to think an extra phone was a big deal, but everyone at work carries two, so I can't see it being a problem. She has a pretty good cover lined up, anyway, but then he asks her to tell him something that really bugs her about her husband. She hangs up good naturedly, no parachutes, right? What's he after?
He sends a sexy text as boring Gary sits on the couch and nowhere near her face 🙁
She's finding the adultery addictive and hey lady, I get it, when you live knee deep in surburbia it can feel as though you'd sell off an ambulatory limb for a bit of excitement, but treating a bad marriage with infidelity is like prescribing ice cream to cure cancer. It tastes good and fills your brain in a really fun way, but doesn't get the root of the problem and in fact: makes it worse because it causes all these side effects and extra pain and not dealing with what's actually wrong. Plus he's like a professional cheater and that's unsexy AF.
They spend a day wandering around, reading statues and kissing in public, which leads to almost screwing in an alley until a gaggle of passersby interrupt. He really only likes it in public, yes?
They get into a fight about it, no, she's not into outdoor sex and doesn't like a breeze on her fanny, it's just him.
The simpleness of that statement and how much it must have cost her to say that resonates. She storms away as he calls after her; she's insecure about herself, her body. She says she's like a"jelly baby" when he calls her gorgeous, but doesn't follow her.
WHAT HAPPENED TO BEN CHAPLIN'S FACE?????
She doesn't answer his calls to the InfideliPhone, but she keeps it and has it turned on, so it's probably just a matter of time. She gets a hang-up call in the middle of the night, is that him or Rosa calling?
She gets VERY dressed up for a trip into town, but it's not for Jonathan's "leaving do"; it's to meet X, who wants her to take her knickers off in the bar. She is going to the party after, and during banter, she mentions Gary twice, both times bringing a frown to X's face. Poor form, love.
She really is glorious to look at.
She can't seem to resist doing anything he asks, including taking off her ginch, which is slightly worrisome
Making out in an alley, he's got me looking for security cameras now too! And there is one, pointing directly at them as they kiss. Off he pulls her to another enclave and that's it, they're banging in public again.
They pull up by a sign that says "Apple Tree Yard" but it's all cement and stone: where's the apple tree? Long gone. But there is a camera there, which she calls attention to and he dismisses as a dummy camera. He's off again and she's laughing "I'm f*cking a spook." Time for the party!
She arrives at the party, all aglow and happy and still giddy from the outdoor shenanigans
She gets a text from X during the party, he calls her JBILF, which means "Jelly Baby I'd Like to.."It goes on from there, her calling him "007" and hanging with her face in her phone all night in between knocking over bottles of champagne. I think George might have seen her screen at least once.
He offers to share a cab home with her, he just needs to grab something from his office. That something is HER and he makes his move, going in for a kiss and asking if Gary knows she's f*cking someone else.
Then her colleague beats and rapes her????? What the hell??????? Where did THAT come from????
We're back the beginning in the court house with Yvonne in handcuffs and a magistrate coming in and we're out.
Okay. Emily Watson is amazing at portraying a woman whose sexuality, indeed her entire being is being roused from slumber by this exciting, enigmatic man who takes far too many chances in public. A prematurely-aged Ben Chaplin is doing a solid job so far, but she's the one we really want to watch. Poor Mark Bonnar probably could have filmed during breaks on Unforgotten, there's not much to his role.
Where the HELL did this George storyline come from?? And why is she in jail? I hope she killed George. I probably shouldn't say that, but that was a premeditated attack and we were both very shocked. I have been very vocal about hating rape as a plot device in shows, but this does not seem the same. For one thing, there is no emotional manipulation or heavy-handedness here, just the shock of an unexpected attack and presumably it's aftermath, so I will not shout until I see more.
Until next time!