The least jumbled, and not inconsequently, most captivating storyline in tonight’s episode, gives viewers a whole new understanding of what’s happening inside the Webster home. We already knew “Alice” was dead in 2016, but we didn’t how it happened, and its reveal turns out to be much more devastating than previously thought. Not long after “Alice” escapes in 2014, the very day Julien Baptiste (Tcheky Karyo) accuses her of being Sophie Geroux, “Alice” kills herself, and she does it quite horrifically.
She asks her “brother” Matthew (Jake Davies) to again lock her in the shed at night, for it’s still the only place she can get something close to a good night’s rest. Shortly afterwards, parents Sam (David Morrissey), Gemma (Keeley Hawes) rush out to the backyard after noticing huge flames outside their bedroom window. Even though the shed is already lit up like a Christmas tree, and there’s a clear view of the gruesome blackened, charred body of “Alice,” adrenaline gets the best of Sam. And in his heroic, yet futile attempt to to try and save his already dead daughter, he suffers such bad third degree burns, he’s rendered unconscious.
It’s a gut-winching scene. But now we know why Sam is hesitant to fix his scars. He either thinks by removing them, he’ll also be removing his memory or “Alice,” or that he deserves to look this way as punishment for failing to protect his “daughter.” It also explains why there’s such a deep disconnect between Matty and his parents. Their son’s face while watching the shed burn, knowing his sister was inside, and that he had assisted in her suicide, it’s a combination of fear, sadness and crushing guilt.
Even though Gemma and Sam love their son, every time they look at him, Matthew sees a flicker of blame in their eyes. What’s causing Matty to rebel against his parents is far more complicated than your average teenage angst. In his heart, Matty knows he was only trying to do what little he could to make his “sister” happy, but like his father, he can’t stop punishing himself.
In present day, Matty is still waffling on carrying out the last favor “Alice” had asked of him. She wanted Matthew to visit Kristian Herz (Filip Peeters) in prison, and say “I’m sorry” on her behalf. Matthew does it begrudgingly, but remains steadfast that the man sitting before him doesn’t deserve her forgiveness. He’s a monster, the real reason his “sister” is now dead.
However, viewers see this scene in an entirely different light. Knowing that “Alice” was really Sophie, and overhearing the conversation she had with Brigadier Stone (Roger Allam), we get the feeling Kristian’s not to blame. It seems “Alice” was forced to pin everything on him, and it was weighing on her that Kristian now saw “Alice” as being her captor’s accomplice. She wanted Kristian to know that there was nothing she could do to help, and release herself from that burden before committing suicide.
On a much lighter note, we not only figure out why Gemma is addicted to searching though those rollercoaster photos, she’s successful in her mission. “Alice,” on the rare occasion she talked at dinner time, describes the day she and Sophie were taken to the amusement park, and that feeling of absolute bliss during that drop from the top of the ride.
At the time, this discussion blows up into an argument. The Websters can’t fathom her ever “being happy” while being held prisoner. But “Alice,” finally acknowledging she indeed gave birth while in captivity, insists every moment she spent with her child was happy, and that she’d give anything for her baby to still be alive.
Flash forward to 2016, Gemma discovers the rollercoaster photos taken of people at the top of the ride have been made available on the Internet. After digging through what must’ve been years of pictures, from every day that rollercoaster was open, she finally finds what she’s been looking for: A photo of “Alice,” sitting next to her daughter, the real Alice.
Rounding out the grim episode’s cliffhangers, Baptiste finally finds Daniel Reed (Daniel Ezra), whose research into his father’s suicide turned out to bring nothing but bad news. After discovering Henry Reed was sending money Mirza Barzani in Ebril, Daniel can only now think to spit on his father’s grave. But before Baptiste can get more information, the Iraq camp is attacked. Baptiste is forced to take shelter while Daniel grabs his gun and soldiers on. Fighting terrorists in the war torn desert is the only way Daniel can stop thinking about whatever evil his father did. Constantly putting his life in peril for the greater good is how Daniel sees that he can amend for his father’s sins.
So, who’s Barzani? And what does this have to do with the two missing girls? And who were the two thugs in animal masks that brutally beat up Nadia Hertz (Lia Williams) shortly after Kristian was arrested? So many questions. So little answers. And still no clue how everything will tie together.