Dear Child – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review


Episode 1 of Dear Child begins with a woman and two children playing inside a house. When the father approaches the room, they all line up with their hands held out in front of them. The man (we don’t see his face) seems happy with the condition of the kids’ palms and let’s them go with a bar of chocolate. When he gets to the woman, we see a round mark on her hand. She is scared and crying. The man tells her to remember the rules.

The next scene cuts to the woman running away from something. She’s dressed in a white nightgown and is frantically running through a forest. She sees a passing car and runs towards it. A crash is heard. In an ambulance, doctors try to stabilise the woman. In the corner, a little girl named Hannah sits shrouded in a blanket. She tells them her mother’s blood type is AB and her name is Lena. When her heart rate increases, Hannah tells her mother that she is right there beside her.

A policewoman stands by the site of the accident and tells someone on the phone about a hit and run. She sees something in the forest and investigates it but doesn’t find anything. We see somebody hiding amongst the trees.

As Lena is taken inside the hospital, Hannah looks at all her surroundings with awe. She wanders around while her mother is rushed inside. When a nurse named Ruth approaches, Hannah holds out her hands. Ruth asks about her last name and Hannah says Goliath, but claims to have just decided on it herself.

While Lena is being operated on, we see flashes of the abuse she endured. Her voice is heard, begging to be allowed to ‘sleep’. The doctors then realise that something is wrong as Lena begins to convulse.

Ruth gets Hannah some new clothes and asks her about the hit-and-run. She claims the man who hit her mother was nice and stayed until the ambulance was near. She describes her mother as really clumsy and says she needs help to even stay upright on the toilet seat. To Ruth’s shock, she then reveals Lena wanted to kill her father by accident.

Ruth is shaken and goes off to find Hannah some drawing supplies. On her own, Hannah tells herself that she did everything right. She’s a big girl, after all. Ruth goes out and meets Aida Kurt, from Aachen CID, who is with the policewoman from earlier. She conveys what Hannah told her. In the hospital’s break room, Hannah looks out of the window and names the objects she sees, including a circulation machine.

The lack of a last name and address perturbs Aida. Ruth goes to call someone from the psychology department and Aida tells the policewoman to look at escape routes around the forest.

A man named Gerd Bühling looks at the hit-and-run police report on his computer and something seems to strike him as odd. He makes a phone call. An old man rouses from his sleep and picks it up. Gerd tells the old man that a woman named Lena has been found and is admitted to Aachen University Hospital. The phone suddenly disconnects. The old man, Matthias Beck, tells his wife, Karin Beck, that their Lena has been found, alive.  

The doctors finish the surgery on Lena. They were given the wrong blood type but managed to save her. The surgeon tells a nurse to find out why the mistake was made.  

Meanwhile, Hannah draws her house on a sheet of paper and tells Ruth that she has a younger brother named Jonathan. She seems unconcerned that he’s alone at home and refuses to give her home address. She even colours the windows in black, saying they don’t need to see through the windows since the circulation machine gives them air to breathe.

We then see Lena sleeping in a bed with the kids, struggling to breathe. A man in a gas mask comes in and says the ventilation is working again. Hannah drowsily thanks her father. Ruth asks Hannah about her house but Hannah claims they shouldn’t be found. She describes a blow to a skull and the noise it makes, making Ruth increasingly uncomfortable.

The Becks are on their way when Gerd calls them and tells Karin that the woman may not be their Lena. But they decide to go to the hospital anyway.  

Aida speaks to the doctor who tells her about the mess up of the blood type. She then greets a doctor named Benedikt Hamstedt who’s here to speak to Hannah. They enter the break room and Hannah stands up with her hands out again. She says the nails have to be clean and she must show she’s not hiding any kind of weapon. Aida does the same to show Hannah she’s not holding anything.  

Ruth takes Aida outside and narrates everything Hannah said about the house and Jonathan. We see clips of young Jonathan cleaning a bloodstain off a carpet. Behind him, a man seems unconscious on the floor.

Benedikt asks Hannah about her father and she says her mother hurt him by accident. Aida enters and questions Hannah about friends and school. She says they don’t need friends and she’s home-schooled. She claims her mother told her about her blood type.

Aida asks what they were running away from but she doesn’t respond. She names a cat, Miss Tinky and then puts her head down on the table. Eyes closed. We can hear her thinking — she wants to go home. Or to the seaside with her mother, like they had gone once.

While investigating around the forest, the policewoman sees a flash of light and follows it but doesn’t find anything. Benedikt tells Aida they’re going to need time with Hannah. He says Hannah will stay here for the rest of night. Aida gets a phone call. Matthias and Karin get ready to go see Lena as one of the doctors tells them about her condition.

Ruth enters the break room and pats Hannah, who hugs her. She asks to see her mother. Inside Lena’s hospital room, Matthias grows distraught when he sees her and realises that she isn’t his daughter.

Gerd, who is from State CID, meets Aida at the hospital. He recognises her from her application to State CID. He tells her he was in charge of the Lena Beck case, a woman who disappeared 13 years ago. They hear a commotion and follow to see Matthias being held back by two nurses. Gerd calms Matthias down but Matthias retorts that Gerd had promised to bring their daughter home.

At that moment, Ruth arrives in hand with Hannah, while escorting her to see her mother. On seeing Hannah, both Matthias and Karin recognise her and call her Lena. In Hannah’s mind, she calls Matthias grandfather. On the outside, she hides behind Ruth. In the hospital room, the woman’s thoughts show that she can hear everything but can’t do anything about it. She then think, “Lena, you know what he did.”

The Episode Review

Episode 1 of Dear Child sets up a truly intriguing mystery. The show has an air of suspense right from the beginning, highlighted even more by its keening background score. The plot is a bit slow moving but it’s clear that this episode is primarily meant to set things up. We have several different characters introduced and placed as if on a chessboard, with the links in between them still unclear.

Naila Schuberth does a brilliantly eerie job as Hannah and her cryptic dialogues are what make this episode. The fact that we can hear Hannah and Lena’s inner thoughts is also a fascinating element, particularly since we never know what part of the truth we are getting.  

Of course, the cliffhanger is what cinches the deal with multiple reveals in a matter of seconds – Hannah is possibly the Becks’ granddaughter and the real Lena’s daughter. The woman in the hospital is not Lena, nor Hannah’s mother. All in all, a compelling start for sure!


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You can read our season 1 review of Dear Child here!

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