I was so taken by Come Home's first episode that I had to rush and do the second right away. You could say the first one was He Said, he's see what She Says after the break. Rolling S1:E01.
We open with estranged wife and mother Marie Farrell (Paula Malcomson) visiting her old house. Daughter Molly (Darcey McNeeley) who can scarcely believe her mum is outside. Ah the tears.
Then we're with older daughter Laura (Lola Petticrew) waiting for her mum to come home to her flat, which she does, but with a fella and in extremely high heels.
Marie wakes up and doesn't do any of that fanciful thinking that is the hallmark of all of her estranged husband Greg's (Christopher Eccelston) memories, this is all shouting and fighting kiddos and I.hear.you, Marie.
Ah she loves her Molly so much.
Marie makes herself a quiet breakfast and receives a "BITCH" text from her daughter. Man. Work is better, with a huge bouquet of roses sitting on her desk, awww.
Um. Laura's dad has already had several sleepovers with Brenna Coyle (Kerri Quinn), where's the calling him names, Laura??
Marie's fella wants to meet again; she heads to a pub then ends up under a table when a group of women come in. Literally under a table, which reminds me so much of my twenties and I'll be right back, I need to apologize to a bunch of friends for being a giant arsehole whilst in my cups.
So I'm guessing these women are from wherever Greg lives, they all stare at the table pointedly while making sure to mention Greg's new girlfriend immediately. Whatta buncha jerks, Marie, you don't need them.
Marie's fella is there, so she's off for her date. Jack (Paul Kennedy) was smothering his wife too, but he and his ex still get on okay, meet for coffee here and again. Marie's in her memories, flashing back to those "friends" Fiona (Clara Onyemere) and Janet (Séainín Brennan) telling her to go home: she's their MUM.
Marie snaps back in time to tell Jack she's not looking for anything serious.
Laura wins a match, wooooo! Then gets home to see Brenna's abusive husband waiting outside her house.
WHAT THIS IS NORMAL, NOW? To just follow around and hang outside about women you're no longer with whether you're abusive or think of yourself as the Good Guy???
Laura chides her brother Liam (Anthony Boyle) for being disrespectful to Brenna, who is upstairs making their dad happy in the bathtub.
Garry Doyle (Patrick O'Kane) approaches the house, watch his murdery melon! He's just there to piss on the shrubs, no biggie. Laura runs to tell her dad, who follows Brenna outside in her towel. Jaysus, that's not good that he knows where they live. I guess the van with "BRENNA'S BAPS" lettered across it might be a giveaway.
Liam asks his dad with "is she the best you can do?" and then leaves, wow. Burn
Nobody came to see Laura's match?
Marie gets home alone to her dark apartment to remember looking up a Billy Rockwell (Edward MacLiam) while hiding in the bathroom.
Laura listens on the stairs while Greg and Brenna disagree over whether Garry should be allowed to see his kiddo Davey (Brandon Brownlee). Greg thinks of course yes but Brenna about spits poison: what about Marie not seeing her kids?
Brenna lies awake at night thinking about it, then sneaks into Molly and Laura's room and sends a text.
WHAT.THE.FUCK. She was the one that sent that "BITCH" from Laura's phone! And now she's sent "I HATE YOU" and you need to get out of that house right now, Brenna. Right NOW.
Brenna takes the wee kidlets to school, then has Laura to drop off last. She seems to like her role as stepmum to this gang, not wanting to give up any time soon. I don't know if she should mention that her and Liam's opinion doesn't matter coz they'll be gone soon and she definitely needs to lay off the shittalking about Marie.
Greg goes to ask Garry, man to man, to stop hanging out around the house, it scares his kids. Garry laughs and says Brenna needs to answer his texts, so Greg brings up the police. If malevolence could be beautiful, this it would be.
Meanwhile's Laura's come by the garage with Molly, who has a doctor appointment for a rash. Greg isn't back yet, so young Dex (Rhys Dunlop) offers them a lift. Laura's ears go right back, so this must be the bloke she likes. He's quite a few years older.
It doesn't go well at the doctor; Molly won't sit quietly and Laura is embarrassed. Usually, we're the only ones that notice, but we still worry about it, don't we? The doctor won't see Molly with only Laura because she's not a guardian. They think Molly's rash is stress-related and she's started wetting the bed, too, all since their mum left. The doctor cannot see them without an adult and Laura drags Molly out.
Marie is sitting at home, reminiscing about hiding in the bathroom staring at pics of Billy and his family while her children pound on the door. It's Mothering Sunday coming up, she calls dick-mad co-worker Lucy (Susan Ateh) to see if she wants to do something.
I highly recommend that! I have been struggling without my wee ones, so I went to a movie all by myself tonight and saw A Quiet Place and also bought myself some sale gladrags. Everyone says you just have to get out of the house, goodonya Marie.
But. Then she has the choice. So.
Marie and Lucy will be going kayaking while stoned! It looks like so much fun, except for the kayaking part. And reefer. Seriously, it looks so lovely and peaceful.
Ah Marie hasn't told anyone at work that she has kids, and just as well. I don't think Lucy, who went through 6 rounds of IVF, a miscarriage and a divorce over not having kids would understand anyone voluntarily not spending Mothering Sunday with their kids.
Marie lies and says Greg was infertile and the marriage wasn't strong enough and at least one of those things is true.
Laura finishes yet another match that nobody came to, just as Lucy realises that Marie is a tall, skinny liar. She's got stretch marks and scarring all concentrated in the babymaking area, Lucy's ready to let it go but Marie comes clean.
Lucy does not understand.
Marie begs for forgiveness but Lucy can't see past her own thwarted desire for a family and rejects her as thoroughly as Marie's oldest friends did before.
How can you judge someone you don't even know like that?
We're back to the beginning with Marie coming to Greg's house, opening up a Mother's Day card in the cab that has "F*CK YOU" written across is. Is that more of Brenna's handiwork?
Molly runs to get her dad after they touch hands through the window and Marie walks away, fast. She's off to the pub, a glass of wine in hand and a fingers flashing through a dating app. She texts random dude after random dude, taking shot after shot, someone wants to be obliterated.
She meets and makes out with a really cute young guy, meeting him in the bathroom for 'a bit of fun, yeah?' and then the condom's on and it doesn't LOOK like fun but that might be because Marie can't stop staring at the baby changetable and randomdude is pulling her hair.
She walks home alone, drunk and unsteady with makeup everywhere but where it started, I hope it blocked out some of that pain. She's still drinking and just when I'm worried she's going to fall down, she gets hit by a bloody car!
Oh no, Marie works at a hospital! Who's her next of kin?? Ah shite, it's Greg and he's off, which pisses off Brenna, who's used to manipulating men exactly this way and doesn't understand that isn't what Marie is doing. She threatens to walk out if he goes to her, it will mean he still has feeling for her.
UM YEAH. He is stalking her daily. He broke into her place.
Greg goes to the hospital where she is medicated and asleep. Damnit, I knew that bastage just wanted to get into her personal effects, and why would she lock her phone when she lives alone?
He reads all her messages then takes her hand, waking her up. Her sigh makes him drop her hand. He's ready to let her go, to cut the cord. Her leaving f*cked them all up, she's the love of his life but he doesn't want to ever see her again. He doesn't want her to see the kids either, it's over.
He leaves, taking off his wedding ring for the first time, crying the whole time.
For some reason, a police light kept flashing over that scene, I was wondering if that meant something but apparently not!
Brenna didn't leave after all, she's fully taken over the house and children now with a chore list and punishment for Liam if he doesn't follow the rules.
Liam takes it about as well as a 17 year old boy is wont to do. He's off to stay with Dex from work!
A bruised and bandaged Marie gets home to crawl into bed, her life is all her own now. She flashes back to the scene that ended last episode, with her angry and lashing out against "lying prick" Greg with a pregnancy test in her hand. Liam and Laura are listening on the stairs.
The next morning she remembers Molly's birth again, but it's not as happy as it seemed initially. There's also something up with those Billy Rockwell pictures, they lost their daughter?
Marie takes the train to sit in a cafe and watch Billy cut hair? Laura heads to Dex's house to try and convince Liam to come home. Is he just going to leave like mum? Leaving her and Molly stuck there? He'll come back home tomorrow, whew!
Marie makes a move across the street to talk to Billy, we're about to find out why he's so important to her.
Ah his wife was the one who died, not his daughter and they chat about her children while he stares at her face. She asks: what was she like when they were together?
Completely the opposite of who she is now: so much fun! So unpredictable. Does he think it was real? The passion? The way they felt about each other?
"Regret's a terrible thing, it eats away at you."
Ah, they had an affair and were in love. She didn't want to leave Greg and ruin everything but she couldn't stop thinking about Billy. He blows it off, "It was an affair, a bit of passion. Kind of meaningless, really."
You can actually see her heart break.
He liked the sneaking around, the sex in the car, an escape from reality.
She thought when they were together she was herself, but it wasn't real. They're not strangers, but they aren't real either.
Oh shit, but Laura is real and Laura is Billy's daughter.
She made that choice 15 years ago, she left them all and now it's time she went back.
But. You can't go back,
Dex drives Laura home, I do NOT like how he looks at her. He's an adult and she's barely 14. He does give her a bit of comfort, his dad left too a long time ago and he worried whether it was something he did or not. He's a great friend. THEN SHE INVITES HIM IN.
And he says no, hallelujah!
Oh shit and now Garry's at the door and he punches 14-year-old Laura in the face!! He's looking for Davey and beats the shit out of her before she clocks him and gets away.
Now Marie is remembering the good times of family life, because it's never one of the other. She spies Laura running down the street with blood steaming from her nose, she jumps out. She's got her and she'll never let her go again. And we're out.
Huh. Wow, well, we could dig right into where you feel like you lose your personhood when you have children. Suddenly you're an adjunct to everyone else's life, a nursemaid, maybe an actual maid and if you're lucky, you have a supportive partner and you form a team to get through the most difficult bits. Other times you end up with a partner who feels left out and finds their comfort elsewhere, the difficult part is that you don't know which you've got until you've already had the baby.
Just like marriage, as Marie says: she wanted to feel like herself again, BE herself again. There is a shift when you give away your own identity and tie it to someone else, maybe you take a name, maybe you don't. But you are made both stronger and more vulnerable by it, women rarely achieve economic parity and so you trust. You trust that someone won't take advantage of your vulnerability and that they value what you contribute to a marriage, but you never really know until you're out of it and then, of course, it's too late.
Poor Marie, lonely and miserable in her marriage and falling disastrously for Billy, who did not feel the depth of feeling she did, not at all. What was a bit of fun for him was life-changing for her, and now she needs to take it back.
I guess people, especially women, really can't understand how a woman could leave their kids but nobody as much as raises an eyebrow when it's a dad, do they? For the record, I understand Marie's need to take a year for herself after a long time looking after everyone else. She was clearly miserable being away from her kiddos, though, and I'm glad she's ready to see them again. There's a culture built around children and their needs these days, it's like we've forgotten that parents are people too and ALSO have needs.
Until next time, which is the last time for Come Home.
Side note: there are THREE fecking last names for Brenna and her gang on IMDb, is it Coyle, Doyle or Boyle, you lot?