Episode 2 of The Midwich Cuckoos begins two months after the blackout. Deborah’s death hangs heavy over the Hayne’s household, with Paul preparing to visit Jodie. Things are estranged between the two, partly thanks to Paul taking out his grief and anger on her. She’s had enough of it now though, and wants to try and move on with her life. Something is drawing her back to Midwich though.
Zoe and Sam’s initial elation at becoming pregnant soon turns to dread when a doctor shows up with DCI Haynes to discuss the night of the blackout. Taken into the town hall with all the other women, they learn the shocking truth.
Every woman of child-bearing age has fallen pregnant who was within the blackout range. How this happened is unknown but they’re all forced to sign an NDA to make sure they don’t tell people what happened.
It’s Susannah who actually calms down the mass hysteria gripping the village though, helped partly by estate agent Mary-Anne speaking up and telling the others she’s not had sex for years. Not only that but the kids from the silent disco? Yeah, some of them are also pregnant too. After this revelation, everyone stands up and signs their agreements.
After the meeting, Susannah is brought in by the authorities for an alternate proposition. Mr Westcott want her to help with the “mothers’ journey” through pregnancy, which includes Jodie and Mary-Anne. While some of the mothers are contemplating terminating their babies, it’s fair to say the ones who don’t are going to be watched carefully.
Just to make things even more bizarre, Sam and Zoe’s relationship takes an awkward turn when they find out there’s no evidence of paternal DNA whatsoever. Although it’s not technically Sam’s, Sam talks Zoe out of aborting their baby and decides they should keep it. After all, prior to arriving in Midwich they were given less than 1% chance to conceive. Oh, and Amrita is also pregnant too, messaging Stewart and telling him she’s missed two periods.
Speaking of bizarre, those who decide to terminate their babies are stopped from doing so. When it comes to following through, they’re somehow and inexplicably entranced and leave the clinic, heading back out into Midwich. “It’s happened again,” Bryony says grimly, as it would appear this has affected multiple women.
We then cut forward five months later. Zoe tries to leave Midwich but something binds her to the town, unable to move on the platform and board a train. Spooked, Zoe visits Susannah and explains what happened. Zoe admits that whatever this child is, it seems to have a will of its own and is binding her to the village.
Just like that, all the women suddenly go into labour at exactly the same time, with their waters breaking simultaneously. There’s a really slick montage here, as orchestral music is joined by doctors moving back and forth to help each of the women give birth. As the screams fade to exhausted snores, Paul heads in to check on the women, as the babies happen to be sleeping peacefully their cribs. When he leaves the room, that strange flicker of light returns and this time, each of the babes awaken with their eyes glowing a strange shade of yellow.
The Episode Review
If there’s ne thing this show manages to absolutely nail, it’s the eerie atmosphere of what’s happening in the story. I must confess I haven’t read the original novel (although halfway through this episode I did hastily add it to my amazon basket!) but the story is developing really nicely, with a great blend of eerie and strange occurrences accompanying strong character work.
Given how many women we’re dealing with here that are affected, The Midwich Cuckoos manages to juggle all of that with a good deal of elegance and confidence, switching between each of them and allowing us to understand their plight. Whether this will continue when the kids grow older and we have more characters to juggle remains to be seen..
The ending hints that we’re probably going to have another time jump, especially if we’re going to catch up to the events at the beginning of episode 1. However, the ride there is certainly going to be strange and surreal, with plenty of drama to come. Bring it on!