The Nest S1:E1.2 The Past Recap

Welcome back to our psychological thriller (subsection: surrogacy) The Nest from BBC One starring our Sophie Rundle of Gentleman Jack and Martin Compston late of Traces. We’ve only got five parts to dig in, but we went a long ways just in one, so let’s keep going! Rolling The Nest S1:E.1. after the break.

We open with concerned looking social worker James (James Harkness) trying to figure out what pregnant Kaya (Mirren Mack) is up to with her fancy new clothes and manners. She’s been implanted with the last embryo of wealthy couple Emily (Sophie Rundle) and Dan Docherty (Martin Compston), living the life of Riley and is about to make bank when their baby is born.

The only thing is…she’s not told them the truth about her past, represented by James, who knows she has some psychological issues around boundaries and attachment, let alone a possible criminal past. Your basic nightmare as it relates to a serious situation like surrogacy.

Kaya thinks she’s been healing the family, but Dan and Emily don’t look very happy. He’s cleaning something wrecked and she’s picking up Kaya’s room.

James checks in with fellow social worker Janis (Liz Ewing), one or both of them was supposed to have turned her in by now. James looks to be holding a grudge against the vast wealth of Dan and Emily, he didn’t enlighten them as to Kaya’s past.

Dan meets with his business partner Souter (David Hayman), who’s managed to find out something about Kaya, but nothing useful it turns out. Kaya’s had her record scrubbed. I can’t be the only one thinking of Jess Warner from Wentworth and her predilection for “rescuing” babies.

Souter is extremely skeptical of Dan and Emily’s plan with young Kaya, but Dan shrugs it off. “You can’t unring a bell” and ain’t that the truth.

Ohhh, silly me, last episode I misunderstood what I saw at the end. We met young Doddy (Paul Brannigan) giving Dan a hard time in protection of Kaya, threatening to go to the papers to embarrass him. At the end, we saw his battered face sinking into the water and I didn’t know if it was some type of artistic homage to how we saw Emily swimming or not. Apparently not, since he’s turned up dead. Now, was it Kaya who killed him, she sort of threatened him, or was it Dan, with his hard life in his youth?

Or someone else entirely? Kaya looks genuinely shocked to see the news of his death in the paper. She continues to struggle the rest of the night, not even eating Emily’s superfood supper with kale and lentils.

*I would probably find a reason to not eat that either, although I do like both, just not…together.

Kaya sneaks out last that night and takes her three-month pregnant self clubbing, dancing like she’s not at all high af.

She drinks soda all night, buying drinks for her friends and dancing all night until one friend starts yakking in the alley.

This friend doesn’t have a name yet, but she does have a child. When Kaya explains that she’s pregnant and how, the other woman seems disgusted and walks away, seemingly rejecting Kaya. Kaya responds by drinking shot after shot in the bar, binge drinking until she can’t see. She manages to not have sex standing up, yay? And heads home to wake Dan making an after-bar snack.

He confronts her in the kitchen, she full-on pulls a knife on him and threatens his life. Emily walks in and Kaya drops the knife and runs out into the night, to be stopped by Emily. Kaya screams at her, you can see she’s starting to realise she doesn’t know what she’s gotten herself into.

We switch to the newsroom of the local Scottish paper, Eleanor (Katie Leung) is stuck getting coffee and breakfast for her condescending arsehole of a boss but she wants to branch into in depth reporting, starting with Doddy’s death in the canal.

Her arsehole boss would rather she cover the upcoming public meeting with our Dan instead, fanks.

It’s a quiet group at a checkup for Kaya the next morning, Dan frustrated, Emily withdrawn and Kaya looking quietly repentant and a wee bit defiantly hungover. Dan and Emily would like the doctor to check to see if the baby’s been harmed, they’re not calmed by the doctor’s assertion that stress can be even worse, so she kicks them out so she can speak to Kaya separately.

The doctor wants to know what’s gong on, she can see the tension between Kaya and Dan, what about with Emily? Emily quit her job to take care of Kaya as she had a rough first trimester, now her care is making Kaya insane. “It’s more like jail than the jail!”

Ah so she has been to jail.

The doctor asks if Kaya’s going through with the surrogacy, there’s not much she can do now, is there? After everyone leaves, the doctor calls SafeGuarding, which looks to be some sort Child Protective Services for children and young adults.

That would be quite something if Dan and Emily were written up after Kaya threatened Dan with a knife. Speaking of, Dan’s arranged for security care for Emily when she’s alone with Kaya, this does not please Emily. Dan rushes off to his public meeting and Kaya collapses on her bed in her spacious yet cell-like room.

Kaya calls James to talk about Doddy’s death, kicking off her shoes to show us a tattoo of “NEVE” written across her foot. Hm?

The public meeting is packed, but they’ll be waiting longer for Dan, as he’s stopped off to see his sister Hillary (Fiona Bell) to ask her to pull the social services files for Kaya. He hasn’t spoken to her for three months, not since he ran off to a foreign country to get Kaya implanted, and now he’d like her to risk her job for illegal activity, fanks.

She’s furious that he is treating Kaya like a problem to be solved, she views it as straight up exploitation and she won’t have anything to do with what he’s up to.

Dan runs straight into the public meeting, late, it’s to debut his controversial new project in the east end. People heckle, he gets mad and just manages to calm himself down by talking about all the opportunities he gives to young people when our James pops us and dings him for exploitation.

In case you’re keeping track, that’s twice he’s been called exploitative in the last five minutes.

His talk tanks as soon as accuses social worker James of “sucking at the public’s teat” and knowing nothing about business. He’s faaaar too hyped up to be giving public talks, his partner Souter is furious.

Things don’t improve when Dan gets home, the security guard he hired to protect Emily has been banished outside BY Emily and inside Kaya is ready to blow up all over Emily’s over-protectiveness.

Dan asks Kaya point blank: what do you need? Kaya needs OUT.

Somehow, Dan thinks giving Kaya a job in a bar will stop her from being bored and making bad choices involving alcohol. That’s…the whole raison d’ĂȘtre FOR bars. Emily is not appeased by this plan, nor Dan’s assurances that they’re past the 12-week danger zone. There’s still 13 more weeks left that Kaya could abort their baby, however, Emily’s not going to feel any better until that time passes.

Dan points out that they’ve already given Kaya all the power in this relationship, they’ve got no choice but to trust her.

Kaya is at that moment deleting pictures of Doddy from her pre-2005 cell phone.

Dan walks into his restobar and arranges for Kaya’s employment, I can see Dan is feared as a businessman. He chooses to have her as front of house as the bartenders have to climb ladders for fancy liquor.

Eleanor’s editor is not happy that she’s not working on writing up that disaster of a public meeting and instead is still investigating Doddy’s death, until she shows him the connection between our hapless dead fella and our Dan. Doddy took a bunch of pictures of Dan when he came over to strong-arm Kaya one night, posted them on his Instagram and boom: we have a story.

Kaya is not doing well at the front of house in the posh Scottish eatery where she’s been dumped to alleviate her boredom.

Emily goes back to work, yay! I know there was a big deal made of Emily only being happy since she and Kaya came to terms, but if this isn’t pure joy, I don’t know what is:

Her co-worker is surprised and cheered to see her, but not at all shocked to hear that Emily’s doing Kaya’s head in, hahaha.

Kaya finishes her first day of work, a frustrated coworker Gina being rude almost gets a bottle in the neck.




The only reason Gina didn’t have her throat slit for a disrespectful act is that her boyfriend showed up. Also, we know her boyfriend, it’s Jack (Samuel Paul Small) aka Dan and Emily’s nephew.

*Scotland is like…super small, right?

The next day, Kaya returns to work but I thought she was blowing it off until Jack pops up and walks with her to work. He’s figured out who she is, he thinks what she’s doing is awesome, awesome! He shows her the ropes at work, which appears to maybe be the first time.

This help and his friendliness has her already buying curtains with him in her mind, she definitely has emotional attachment issues. I love that she

  1. Asked him if he was straight
  2. Said “you don’t seem it” when he responded in the affirmative
  3. Said “no offense”

And he smiled and said “none taken” and rolled off. I love that! He’s a quite lovely young man.

Dan’s got some making up to do, a dinner with journalists to make up for his disastrous press conference ought to help. Souter lets him know said journalists (at least one) is checking about Doddy too, how does he know Dan again? Dan says he doesn’t know any Doddy, never met him. That’s a particularly stupid lie, with the photographic evidence on a public profile on Instagram.

Jack invites out our shy Kaya to go out with the group, I’m sure Gina is going to looooove that as much as Emily and Dan. The work group is having a great time, but Jack leaves early because he doesn’t have his headphones and Kaya follows.

It’s a relaxing dinner with Dan and the journalists, Souter takes the opportunity to press Eleanor’s editor to quash the story about Doddy’s connection to Dan. Her editor doesn’t even know Eleanor’s name, which is fair maybe because I don’t know his.

Emily’s out with her colleague Zoe (Christine Bottomley) for a drink too, everyone’s out and not trapped in that gorgeous glass prison tonight!

Emily is waiting up for Kaya when she gets home, she shares what’s driven her to be so overwhelming. Something bad happened to her, it’s made her not trust that things will be okay.

Kaya is soothed enough to sit and chat for a moment, I’m on tenterhooks hoping Dan doesn’t burst in with his chaotic energy and spoil this bonding.

Kaya asks Emily why they weren’t able to conceive naturally, it’s called “unexplained infertility” combined with a sparse egg harvest and difficulty carrying to term.

*I’ve realised how much I dislike Dan now because I immediately wondered if he’d done something to ruin their chances.

**Also, I was listening to a podcast about surrogacy associated with Chinese parents and how different it was and anyway, the upshot was the biological mother could not carry to term because of Preeclampsia. So she sent her eggs all the way around the world to Oregon where an idealistic young woman was looking for a way to help people. She developed Preeclampsia as well and almost died, it was a shock to realise that sometimes it’s the eggs itself that are the problem, not the carrier. I’ve been thinking about that this whole series so far.

They finally relax, now that Emily’s stopped doing this.

Dan’s happy to find a relaxed Emily soaking in the tub, everything is going to be okay. One question: why did we focus so long on this? What am I missing?

Emily’s at work the next morning, so Dan invites Kaya to walk with him on the beach with his dog to discuss possible baby names and genders.

We don’t get many laughs on this show, I’ll take it!

Kaya asks about using the name Neve, hmm, what does that mean anyway? Who’s Neve?

Kaya must then have spent the next half hour texting Jack because his mother and Dan’s sister Hillary notes the multiple beeps and has a look. She’s not happy to hear that her son is making friends with That Girl Who Is Being Exploited By Uncle Dan but he defends himself and Kaya vociferously. For one thing, she and his dad Callum (Bailey Patrick) have never met Kaya, they have a history of disparaging things Dan does too. Interesting.

Eleanor gets shouted at by her editor, but it doesn’t slow her down at all. She goes to Dan’s restaurant where she spots Kaya, why is that a thing? Ahh, because of Doddy’s Instagram account, where he also posted pics of her. Souter sees Eleanor in asking for Dan but doesn’t say anything to her.

Eleanor returns to the bar later, approaching bartender Kaya for a friendly pint. She fakes some chitchat about being from Lewis, the “arse-end of nowhere”, did Kaya stop breathing when she said that or am I imagining things? Also, the pictures of Kaya on Doddy’s ‘Gram are more romantic than we saw before, hmm.

Eleanor sneaks a picture of Kaya but fails to notice that someone has relieved her of her bag. She runs off looking but it’s already in Dan’s hands. We know the bouncer as the security guard from Emily and Dan’s house, he must move pretty quick for a big fella. Of course, Eleanor was completely focused on taking a blurry picture of Kaya at the end of the bar.

Jack shows up at Emily and Dan’s house, can he stay? Kaya leaves work early, upset, calling her social worker James over and over. James isn’t answering because he’s putting his adorable little girl to bed, apparently there’s a mum who’s gone missing because she’s not well.

That can’t…be Kaya’s little girl, surely. She’s only 18, the wee lassie has to be four or five at least. Kaya’s devastated when James doesn’t answer.

Dan reads through the contents of Eleanor’s bag, which is full of the research she’s done on Kaya, who we now know as “Scotland’s Youngest Killer.” She was only 11 when she murdered a pregnant woman, who happens to be wearing the exact same pendant Kaya wears.

Dan and us:

Could…that be the mother of James’s child that Kaya murdered? She didn’t look seven, but it’s hard to tell.

Kaya has gone back to where she and Doddy lived side by side, but she can’t get in and his ghost is everywhere. She collapses as James finally calls her back to calm her down. They always knew someone might recognise her, he tells her to go back.

Go back..where? What?

Dan keeps digging, he finds a video on YouTube of Kaya’s mum Siobhan (Shirley Henderson! You probably know her as Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter movies, but she’ll always be from Happy Valley Series two to me) who gives us some more insight into Kaya’s personality. Kaya was always secretive and manipulative with a hair-trigger fuse. Neve is the name of the woman Kaya killed.

Souter bursts in as Dan’s frantically going through paperwork, he does not share what he knows with his partner.

Dan heads to see his sister and Kaya goes home to see Jack playing piano, she’s VERY happy to see him. He’s as happy to see her, they end up kissing, which he stops because he didn’t properly obtain consent. Awwww, I love him! I hope my kiddos are that awesome when they’re 40 and allowed to date!

Dan has gone to Hillary because that’s what he does, she’s his older sister and has looked out for him since their mother died at 13. I am not sure I understood what Dan and Hillary’s exchange was about how many weeks they have until they’re in the clear with Kaya, 24 weeks seems to be the prime moment. She holds him, he’s got choices and he’s got time.

Jack’s got a new girlfriend, that’s what he’s got, we’re out watching them surreptitiously hold hands watching TV with Emily.

I can’t make up my mind about how to feel about Kaya, she’s complex. Yes, she’s violent and we know about her past but we also know that the reason there are different rules for young offenders is that their brains have not stopped growing and they don’t understand things the way adults do. So. Hm. The thing is, she’s still very much a child, only 18 and having a baby and they should have RUN, not walked, away from this situation. But they didn’t. So what now?

Do people who come from horrifying backgrounds deserve no second chances? Do you believe that people are born a certain way and there is no chance of redemption? WOW. This is waaaaayyyy too deep a dive for a thriller, let’s contemplate the overarching societal questions AFTER we getta see a bebeh, okay? We’ll find out some more next time! Until then, cheers.