Episode 2 of The Baby starts at a café, some time in the past. A woman hurriedly eats her food as our strange baby stares at her. The woman pleads with Lydia (the woman from the start of episode 1) to help her.
When Lydia heads off to the backroom, this woman begins choking on her food. She scrambles across the room, desperate for help. Unfortunately she chokes on her food and passes away, with the baby watching nonchalantly from his pram.
Back in the present, Tasha awakens to find the baby staring at her. She’s armed with a knife, and backs away from him to answer the door. Rita has come over to help, suggesting she could take her baby out to go for a walk. Tasha clings to the word “her” as it appears the narrative around Tasha’s life is being rewritten before her eyes. Not only does Rita think this baby is hers, Mags does too during a phone call just after this.
Whatever is going on here, there’s definitely something spiritual involved and Tasha tells the baby – while he unnervingly sits on the sofa looking at her – that he’s not getting inside her head.
The pair head off to the Crookies Cookies shop (the one we saw at the start of the episode) as Tasha attempts to figure out how Lydia slots into all of this. However, there’s a problem. The baby needs his diaper changed.
Everything goes wrong, there’s faeces everywhere in the changing room and Tasha struggles to keep it together. She sits on the toilet, head in hands, wondering what to do.
Thankfully the store manager is there to help out. While he’s happy with the baby, his dog growls and clearly knows something is up. It’s around this point where the manager mentions the “crazy business involving Lydia.” This is, in essence, the events that took place at the start of the episode, as Lydia jumped off the cliff-edge.
Lydia wasn’t actually the baby’s mother and appears to have been a caregiver, just like Tasha is now. This also frames what happened at the cliff into view too. Unfortunately, the baby appears to control the manager’s dog’s fate too, as a ball rolls into the road and he gets run over. It’s a gnarly, shocking scene and likely to illicit strong feelings here.
Anyway, in the car heading home, Tasha questions the baby and what’s happened, pointing out that this is “f*cked up.”
That weirdness continues back home though when – after making the baby some dinner – Tasha receives a USB drive in an envelope outside her door. Within this are numerous pictures of different women through the years, each holding this exact same baby.
Seriously spooked and unsure what else to do, Tasha finds herself alone and panicked. She drives off with the baby and leaves him in the middle of the cornfields. She runs. Only… Tasha can’t do it.
Tasha panics, begins to cry when she can’t find the baby and eventually rushes back to find him on the floor, picking him up and cradling the boy, apologizing for leaving him.
Back in the car, a strange old woman happens to be sat in the back seat. “Mrs, I think we need to talk.” She says, as Tasha gasps in shock.
The Episode Review
The Baby is a beautiful and surprisingly deep allegory about motherhood. This idea that your whole world has changed and you now need to look after this other human being – one that has his/her own thoughts, feelings and dreams – is terrifying.
You feel alone, like your friends can’t help you, and no one really understands what you’re going through. At least, not those without children themselves. It’s such a clever way of framing this show, and to do so through the lens of a horror is something that works so well.
It’s also interesting to see Tasha slowly move into this idea of adopting the child of her own from how vehemently adamant she was that she’d give him up. Little details, like smelling his head after her chat in the café, or crying and panicking when she leaves the baby in a cornfield, reinforce this idea nicely.
That’s to say nothing of the nappy change while out and about too, which can be an absolute nightmare at times, especially if (without getting too graphic here) you know it’s going to be one heck of a mess to clean up. We’ve all been there and everyone will feel Tasha’s pain during this scene.
The mystery here is certainly gripping but beyond that, the character growth and themes are what make this such an underrated gem. Roll on next week!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|