Welcome back to the second installment of our gripping thriller The Replacement; someone died, someone was born and someone wants answers. Let's find out after the break!
So. Last time we had Ellen (Morven Christie) finding out two very happy bits of news: her design on a big project was going ahead and she's expecting a baby! Husband Ian (Richard Rankin) was happier about the latter than the former, Ellen's boss Kay (Neve McIntosh) was that but exactly opposite. New hire for Ellen's maternity cover Paula (Vicky McClure) is just that bit hinky; Ellen can't stand her and has started to believe that Paula is gunning for her EVERYTHING, including dishy hubs Ian and OF COURSE the client loves Paula, fine! We ended last episode with Kay crashing through a skylight after telling Ellen she'd figured out what was going on. Let's find out what was going on!!
We open with Paula holding Ellen's new bebeh (IT'S A GIRL!!) and we're BOTH freaking out until Ellen wakes up; whew, just a nightmare.
The police have decided there wasn't anything suspicious about Kay's death, they're closing it and calling it a suicide no matter how much Ellen protests. Ian would like Ellen to stop obsessing about the death and take care of their brand new baby girl Leah, fanks! I mean. Have you ever met a brand new baby that DIDN'T consume your whole life? You can spend five minutes thinking about the suspicious death of a close friend without being a bad mother. As long as you only breastfeed. I'M KIDDING.
Now the real Paula has come for a visit; I think to find out if Ellen saw anything that night. So much tension and suspicion, beautifully portrayed by both actors like a tennis match. Ellen's sister Rianne (Sarah MacRae) interrupts and gets all the eyes to not bring out baby Leah; off goes Paula after some pointed talk about lack of bonding due to mothers having caesarean sections.
A hilarious moment between sisters when Rianne asks what's wrong? She's lovely! And then laughs at Ellen's face until she realises her sister is having her on, hahaha.
Ellen really is having trouble bonding, though, probably stress.
Ellen's off to see David (Dougray Scott), husband of Kay and also Ellen's boss. What was Kay upset about? Well, Kay thought David was having an affair, so they fought and off she went. He doesn't say who Kay thought he was sleeping with, but I have a guess!
David is devastated; he thinks Kay killed herself because of their fight but Ellen suggests maybe there was someone else on the roof. Maybe a robber, or...someone with access? She excuses herself to the bathroom, where she smells Kay's perfume and cries, then notices Paula's lipstick in David's bathroom. Huh.
It's time for Kay's celebration of life, oh yay, look who's doing a reading?
Just as well, a crying baby has caused Ellen's breasts to let down; nipple pads are your friend, Ellen! Oh dang, she gets called up to the front anyway, with her leaky breasts and post-partum hormones making her and everyone else cry all the way through. Paula saves the day, of course, but there is a marked lack of sincerity and warmth in her speech.
After the ceremony, Ellen thanks Paula for her help after her breakdown during the speech, just kidding! She pointedly asks where Kieran (Navin Chowdhry) is? Hm?
And that is Paula's next course of action: she's going to bond with the baby by investigating the Reeces. Was Paula with Kieran that night? Or somewhere else? Let's ask Kieran!
She fakes a coincidental meeting and takes coffee with the fella; awww too bad Paula isn't around to meet the baby. Kieran is the worst liar EVER. Whatever they were doing, it wasn't hanging out all evening together.
Oh yay, Ellen's mother in law in staying for a while, wheeee.
Ellen goes into the office next; she tests the waters about coming back to work but David asks her to sleep on it a bit longer. She asks to catch up on a few things...so she can get on Kay's computer and get Paula's daughter Caris's phone number. Paula interrupts; Ellen is a master at seeming normal, even inviting her and her family over to Paula's for a family supper. Then she texts Caris and Ellen: that's not okay. Remember how mad you got when Paula texted your grown adult husband? And not your ten year old daughter?
Now Ellen is outright stalking; following David and Paula as they leave work together and drive to David's house. A cab comes not long after; Ellen watches as Ian calls, frustrated with a crying Leah and his absent wife. She'll be home in an hour, Ian, gahwd! You can't fathersit for an hour, Ian?? She pumped gallons!
She waits a minute and pops in to see if David has Kay's phone, he's HAD it. He drags her upstairs and hands over everything Kay had with her. Kay was just to see a woman named Georgia at another architecture firm, was that somewhere Paula worked?
David pretty much throws Ellen out after she mentions the lipstick; it could have been a gift or a lend, but the only thing for sure is that Ellen and David's friendship is RUINT. Ellen leaves and I legit got goosebumps right here
Did David text her? Did she know Ellen was following them?? That was bizarre! And scary!
Ellen gets home to get some actual useful advice from her mother-in-law: talk to Paula more, maybe. The more you talk to a disturbed person, the more they reveal themselves. It's TRUE! I look mostly normal most of the time, but ask one real question combined with any kind of physical contact and I will be crying and telling you my life story within seconds. I'm SO MUCH fun at parties!
Ellen makes me laugh when she goes upstairs
Sometimes I think she and I are the same person! Except for literally everything else.
Ian rakes her over the coals in bed: the usual, really. She's a bad parent since she wasn't around her baby every second of the day. HOWEVER: if she left the house at 8 am without her baby and didn't get home until midnight, the only thing I'm worried about is that her breasts must be KILLING her.
She's had enough of the mom-shaming and goes downstairs again where her MIL has thoughtfully bookmarked the page with Postpartum Psychosis. Jeebus wept. PPP is incredibly rare, but it is the one where you want to harm yourself or the baby, so it could be used to keep Ellen away from Leah, even though she's not exhibiting any of the symptoms.
Ellen tracks down one of the addresses in Kay's phone, it's a fish and chips shop so a dead end. The architecture firm was somewhere that Paula used to work, so there's that.
Caris finally messages back, so Ellen suggests they surprise Paula with something fun. On the other end of the chat is Paula and she scary.
So. Ellen is back to work; one day Paula even brings Caris (Christiane Robinson) by and um. Not only does Caris not look like Paula as advertised, but she dosen't much look liker her dad either. And I'm pretty sure she's another colour. Genetics! So odd. Ellen's in her old office looking up Georgia's number when they come in; WHY did Paula keep one of Ellen's sonogram tracing drawings under her keyboard? Is she one of those people who steal babies?? Is she??
Ellen finally brings Leah into work, I laughed because this is exactly what happens
But then Ellen's been pretending to be nice to Paula so she has to let Paula hold Leah. She really does not want Paula to touch her baby AT ALL but she hands her over and then gratefully takes her back a minute later. Paula really does NOT like David coming over to see the baby, or really: him paying any attention to Ellen at all.
Ellen retreats to her office with the baby for Feeding Time! Paula is furious, she texts the client Vernon (Gilly Gilchrist) who walks in on Ellen nursing. He looks somewhat aghast at the "c'mon guys: sign's up, tits are out" she throws over her shoulder, Paula swoops in to save the day.
That's not cool, Paula, you're jeopardising the job now.
Ellen comes in to meet with Vernon and Paula, but Leah screaming in the background...it's like a drill to the brain, newborn crying. She finally gives up and nurses while Vernon and Paula continue their conversation sans screaming baby.
I can't be the only one surprised she's back after only 4 weeks away. You're not even allowed to vacuum yet: stitches.
Ellen's worried because her 2 pm meeting with Georgia is looking extremely unlikely; even more so when David pulls her aside and asks her to take over in Kay's position. He offers her a promotion and all she can think about is her old job! Honestly. She leaves after dropping the name of the architectural firm she's gone to visit, I MEAN.
I did that once, turned down a promotion into a different line of work that would have meant a huge amount in career development because I was young and a moron. I wasn't even tracking down a murderer.
Paula's been watching all this from across the room, she runs into David's office and about swallows her tongue when he tells her where Ellen's gone.
Ellen pulls up the meeting spot; seeing a blonde woman gathering her things in the window. She just got off the phone; Ellen calls to make sure that it's Georgia (Sharon Young) and knows it is when Georgia ignores her call. She chases Georgia out the back door, leaving Leah alone in her carseat unattended.
Paula pulls up, sees Ellen and the baby alone and snaps a picture of Leah. Well. We already know she has Ian's number.
Ellen doesn't get anything but animosity from Georgia, so that was a costly trip for nothing, Ellen. Jaysus. Back at the office, another tense go around with Paula and Ellen leads to a dinner invitation on Friday at Ellen's house.; I'm getting an ulcer just watching these two. Paula is terrifying
The police are at Paula's house when she gets home; an official report has been filed showing Leah alone in a locked car for ten minutes. Was it that long?? It didn't seem that long. There must have been time stamps on the photos?
Ellen is convinced that Paula and Georgia are behind this (TOTALLY ARE) but Ian doesn't want to hear any of her (TOTALLY TRUE) conspiracy theories; when is she going to take responsibility for her actions! Okay, he's got her there. I hollered when she chose to follow Georgia instead of taking Leah with her.
Now they have to deal with Social Services and how she responds will be determine whether or not they will be investigated further or maybe even lose their daughter. She gets some coaching from Ian and sails through the Social Services interview.
They make up after; do they still have to go to Paula's? I love that he's the one that says they probably have to.
This is the weirdest dinner party EVER. Caris isn't there, which is the only reason Ellen wanted to come anyway; Kieran wants medical advice for his "friend" whose wife has untreated mental health issues; Ellen asks about Georgia and says she's had it up to HERE with people giving her mothering advice. I legit laughed out loud because that was an incredible run all in 3 minutes.
Ian's had enough; he makes an excuse but Ellen isn't leaving. Paula offers Kieran to drive Ian home and now the game is set. Kieran and Ian are extremely reluctant to leave these two alone, but as their wives say: if it wasn't now, it would be another time. Might as well get it done.
There are only three minutes left and I'm WORRIED. I don't think Ellen can take Paula in a straight-up fight, look for a weapon, Ellen!
They volley accusations back and forth, every thrust has a parry as they're evenly matched. It's interesting that Paula thinks Ellen is in love with David; he's a stone cold fox but I don't think I picked up on that vibe. Ellen mentions Kieran's wobble earlier and keeps pressing the sore point of Caris; over and over and finally Paula gives in: Ellen wins.
And we're out.
What does that mean?? Hmm, I'm wondering if they even have a daughter, yes we saw someone in the back of a car and yes we saw another someone in the office, what if Paula took those ten years off for mental health reasons, i.e., she DIDN'T have a daughter?
Still thinking about Ellen possibly being in love with David; the preview for the next episode looks...not awesome. Okay! Until next time, you lot, keep your month-old babies with you and your investigations to one hour and 55 minute blocks! Cheers