Well hello! How are you? It's been a minute, Home Fires, I've been missing you! Let's find out what happens in the second season, shall we? Follow me after the break!
It's June 11, 1940 and England is poised on the brink of war. In greater Paxford, Steph Farrow (Claire Calbraith) delivers vegetables near the butcher shop as a massive group of soldiers marches through the village. She and Miriam (Claire Price) and everyone else looks apprehensive so these can't be British soliders, but I don't see any swastikas, so I will wait to see a sign.
French! These soldiers are French and my elementary school teachers would be sooooo disappointed if they knew how long it took me to recognise that flag.*
The whole gang is around to welcome the allies to the town, Bryn Brindsley (Daniel Ryan) serving up soup as Frances Barden (Samantha Bond) and her sister Sarah Collingborne (Ruth Gemmell) talk about these poor fellas that had to fight their way through Czechoslovakia* before Sarah makes a pitch for Frances to talk at the bell-ringing ceremony? Peez?
OH THIS IS RICH, Laura Campbell (Leila Mimmack) is being run out of the army with a dishonourable discharge for "distracting" and cavorting with a married man, never mind said married man had done this loads of times before with impressionable young women and that he very much took the lead during their "relationship." He's being reassigned, she won't be able to work for any arm of the armed forces because of the nature of her discharge.
For anyone with a lingering doubt about how many men are falling under the axe of MeToo, just remember that this is how it's traditionally been handled since time immemorial.
She tries to argue but there is no due process here, she's escorted firmly out. At least she gets a ride home, from handsome young Thomas (Rob Heaps) which is confusing timing at best. Firstly because it would be unlikely that she would be receptive to the attention of another man just yet and secondly because conventional opinions of her wouldn't exactly engender the "right" attention at this particular time. HOWEVER, sometimes getting under someone is the best way to get over someone if you listen to certain radio stations after 10pm on weeknights.
Miriam Brindsley isn't taking her son David's disappearance lying down, she's been harassing every military person she can find, and now she has a name and address from someone from upper management!
Odious Jenny Marshall (Jodie Hamblet) at the telephone exchange is up to shenanigans again. I love how Pat Simms (Claire Rushbrook) calls her out for listening in on conversations but Jenny is just doing her part on the front line!
She's taken it upon herself to make sure all 3000 of those Czech soldiers (DANGIT NOT FRENCH) are actually Czech and not German. Listen sister, if I can't even tell the difference between Czech and French, you haven't got a hope in a handbasket. But she argues that for sure listening in on her neighbour's conversations are the way to help.
I love how confident Pat is, she's a whole other woman when her abusive husband Bob (Mark Bazeley from Broadchurch season three!) is away and possibly being murdered through friendly fire!
Oh look! Dishy Nick Lucas (Mark Umbers) is back, that has to be bittersweet for Sarah, who got along with him like a house afire before he tried to kiss her. I'm sure it will be fine!
Nobody has heard from Sarah's husband Adam, though...*weighted pause*
My god Nick is adorable.
Pat gets knocked down by a local fighting with a drunk Czech soldier. The Czech Captain is solicitousness himself but Pat would just like to walk through HER OWN VILLAGE and be left alone, fanks!
Erica Campbell (Frances Grey - hmm, not named Claire or Clare, was there a mistake in the resume culling?) is sorting pills in the pharmacy when she hears Laura come in, angry and in tears. Erica tells Laura what has been passed on through the ages when the system is rigged against you:
"If you refuse to be defined by this, you stand every chance of getting through it."
Which is not the same at all as: "screw that bastage, we'll take his lying arse and corrupt system down" but for the second one you need lots and lots of people willing to stand up with you.
Dr. Will Campbell (Ed Stoppard) is making his rounds at the hospital in between being harangued by his other daughter Kate (Rachel Hurd-Wood) who won't stop talking about experimental radiation treatments for cancer. He suggests she instead worry about HER life, which seemed to have stopped when her husband Jack died before the war. It's worth mentioning that Jack died three minutes after they married, approximately 2 minutes after they met.
Bryn is not showing the proper enthusiasm for Miriam's new name to harass, but it's best not to argue with a pregnant person worried about her current offspring. As a general rule.
Erica finally tells Will and Kate what's been going on with Laura, what can they do to help? Will is angry, of course, that's his little girl! How could she be so stupid?
You know all those books that tell us that true love is an actual thing and that everything will be fine if you just have faith, believe and find that right dashing and mysterious partner? Those probably help convince a lot of young people without life experience.
Schoolteacher Teresa Fenchurch (Leanna Best) shoos away a bunch of children hurling slurs and food items at an elderly widow. Mrs. Esposito (Ania Marson) has lived in England for almost two decades. She is aware of the atrocities committed by Mussolini, but how can she be held accountable by her place of birth?
Bryn waits at a bus, the unknowing is as hard for him as it is for Miriam, but perhaps more difficult to share. Society doesn't necessarily give men a lot of tools to deal with emotions openly.
The Czech Captain Marek Novotny (Leonidas Lolis) has come to Pat's house bearing flowers and an apology, my goodness! They chat and get to know each other a little bit, my goodness he's adorable, isn't he? She offers to mend his shirt, hmmmm mmmmm hmmmmm.
Teresa has rounded up the cruel children who were taunting Mrs. Esposito, of course they got it from their parents, but they will be writing a letter of apology to poor Mrs. Esposito.
Awwww, Clare (Daisy Badger) and Spencer Wilson (Mike Noble) have tied the knot after all this time! She's Mrs. Pudding!
Pat and Marek walk in the woods together, smiling at each other and I hope hope hope for some love for her. They talk a little about Bob, there were no children because Bob "required a lot of care" and you could say that. Marek's wife died and he's just adorable, I hope Bob dies soon!
Will confronts Laura's former paramour Richard Bowers (Philip McGinley) who isn't at all helpful, but looks great on the ground with a broken nose after Will pastes him one.
Sarah returns home to a telegram....
Alison Scotlock (Fenella Woolgar) is not enjoying her fourth visit to the police station about the illegal bookkeeping she was forced to do, but this time there is good news. They are dropping the charges against her and requesting politely that she assist them. Not insisting, they won't revive the charges if she disagrees, but requesting her help.
Ohhhh, Clare and Spencer's wedding was secret! I didn't realise, although it was sparsely attended, now is time for the wedding night!
If I ever get married again (IT IS NOT LOOKING LIKELY) my ceremony will very much be of the same stripe.
Sarah shares the telegram she received to Frances and Frances's husband Peter (Anthony Calf), have we met him before? I don't fink so. ANYWAY, Adam has been taken prisoner, which could be worse, but is still awful. Frances urges Sarah to share this news with the village at the Bell Ringing, but Sarah is still trying to process.
Hey, Kate finally did make a move with her life, she's going to London to train to be a nurse as she always wanted to! Now it's Dr. Campbell's turn to look into radiation treatment and that hardly seems completely equitable: when's the last time you heard of nursing training killing you?
At Clare's urging, Spencer calls home to tell his mother of his recent marriage, guess who listens in? NO, GUESS??!!
Marek comes to collect his mended uniform from Pat, who sneaks a teeny tiny peek.
Will she make a move? I shouldn't hope so, but I do! With any luck, Bob will die super soon.
Peter leaves and Jenny pops 'round to the Bardens to spill the beans re: Clare and Spencer's marriage. Jenny is a smug ahole.
Oh no, Mrs. Esposito is being dragged away by the police as the children watch. I can't believe Alison says something along the lines of them not knowing Mrs. Esposito, who has, once again, lived in Paxford for 19 years. That's a long fcking game, Alison, get your head out of your bum. The children are upset because they didn't get a chance to give Mrs. Esposito their apology letters, but Teresa is worried for all the other reasons.
Time for the church service! Looks like a lot of those 3000 Czech soldiers showed up at Pat's invitations, yay! Frances stares and stares at Peter's empty seat, where is he? Her head is practically on a swivel as she looks around, as is Pat's, staring at Marek.
Sarah gives a taut and emotional speech about Adam being taken as a prisoner of war, leaving most everyone crying as they listen to the bells ring on and on.
Frances confronts Clare and Spencer after the ceremony, what did they think they were doing, going and getting married and not telling anyone. Jenny watches with a nasty smile and then
Everybody's cheering and happy! Except Jenny, but we've talked enough about her already.
And then PAT!! PAT!!
And we cut to Bob in the hospital near the battlefield, where he's been injured gravely.
Let's everyone join hands in a non-denominational prayer circle that Bob develops sepsis and dies a painful death leaving all kinds of shirts behind for Marek!
Oh sorry, is it bad to wish that a narcissistic abusive ahole gets his on the battlefield far away from the woman he's abused physically and and emotionally her entire adult life?
A loud bang is heard outside the church, everyone runs to see that Peter's been in a car accident and it looks BAD. A young woman is on the grass, thrown clear during the accident and she doesn't look alive either. What? Who is this young woman? What kind of accident occurs on a dry road in broad daylight in the summer with no other cars around? WHAT'S GOING ON??
And we're out.
Until next time, cheers!
*Look at all the clues there were that these soldiers were Czech and not French? Right now several elementary schools in southern British Columbia are distinctly disappointed with what I've retained of my geography and history lessons.