Episode 5 of Midwich Cuckoos begins a year later from the events of the previous chapter. Cut off from the world, Zoe decides to write up her experiences. She discusses how living in Midwich is like living under occupation. The difference here though is that the kids are the wardens and the gatekeepers. Zoe wants the terror to end, and believes telling the whole world what’s going on is key to this. Sam is working alongside her.
After printing out her work, Zoe hands it over to Bryony and demands a meeting, while the rest of the mums remain unaware of this in Midwich as they attend their usual group therapy session.
The official report from Amrita comes back, with the “accident” chalked up to her getting blind drunk and into the wrong vehicle. This obviously isn’t true but it’s the cover story they’re running with all the same. Paul knows this and tells Susannah as much, wanting her help in understanding what these kids are doing – and their affect on the others.
The kids continue to tighten their grip on the town in the meantime, and despite some months of peace, begin acting up again. They rip Jodie’s nose-ring out and watch everyone like a hawk.
Zoe speaks to Bryony and tells her she wants to leave Midwich with Sam. They bring up the NDA she signed, but Zoe bites back, promising to destroy everything she’s got if she can leave town. Bryony eventually agrees. When Zoe walks triumphantly back to her house though, she ends up holding her stomach again. Yep, she’s pregnant!
With plans in place to leave, Zoe is spotted by Joe up in her room looking at the envelope and unfortunately, that news gets across to Hannah, who heads upstairs to take a look herself.
Paul colludes with Susannah and the pair begin working together. With the audio recording of Nathan in his possession, Paul has it “cleaned up”, where he hears audio chatter in the static, including fragments of Russian.
Paul continue to investigate, finding evidence of a strange occurrence in Russia where the population of a town suddenly dropped to 0 over a matter of weeks. This was back in 1973, and as he looks through the files he’s angry that it’s been kept from him. Paul calls out Bryony for her lies, but she claims to have been under strict orders from Mr Westcott to stay quiet.
Susannah speaks to Cassie about what happened in the past and the big secret she’s been keeping. It turns out Susannah actually gave up Cassie for a year to foster parents when she was going through a rough time. They had the option to adopt her for real but Susannah managed to get better and decided bring Cassie back. She was ashamed to tell Cassie, who has become convinced that Evie punishing her for any wrongdoings is a good thing because she’s only doing it “when she deserves it.”
There’s a clear correlation in this storyline between domestic violence, and the show does a pretty good job showing that. When Evie shows up, she tells Susannah that she’s “too late to stop it.”
During the picnic, all the kids seem to realize that Sam and Zoe are about to leave, which reinforces Evie’s chilling revelation earlier on. Sam races back home and begins packing his things. However, he notices movement out in the garden. It’s Joe. He controls Sam, forcing him to pick up weed killer and spray it in his own face.
Not only that, but we also find out the origin of the bad dreams too. It turns out the children have been here before, and were the same ones back in 1973 that caused that Russian town to drop its population to zero. Apparently they were kept outside in the cold and that appears to be the root of their anger. These alien entities chose to come and live on Earth, wanting to be welcomed, but instead were tricked and killed. The Russians evacuated the whole town, trapped the kids in their school classroom, and then bombed the area. They all died.
After understanding why they’re so angry, Hannah controls Zoe and forces a whole bunch of poisonous berries into her hand. Paul attempts to stop her but Nathan drops him to the ground before he can interfere.
Susannah is the one who manages to stop this madness, talking to Evie and promising that things will be okay and love will return – but only if they don’t hurt Zoe. If this doesn’t happen, then Susannah is going to bear the brunt of blame here. “A promise is forever granny.” Evie says, as all the kids relinquish their grips, and the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
It’s always Russia isn’t it? Whether it be Stranger Things, Rocky IV or even James Bond, it seems our European cousins are always the villains! Quips aside, this episode allows us to understand why the kids are so distrustful and why they want to be loved by their parents too.
Seeing both Susannah and Paul investigate this from different angles is a nice touch too, allowing us to understand both the human cost and the hard facts surrounding what happened in the past.
It’s now clear that none of these guys are going to be able to leave Midwich. Although to be fair, we kinda already knew that from the opening of the first episode.
Despite this, The Midwich Cuckoos has a lot of intriguing elements and the drama continues to deliver here, as we move toward the business end of this season.