Mr Westcott’s Stratagem
Episode 6 of The Midwich Cuckoos begins with another time jump, this time 2 years after Susannah’s promise to the kids. She’s working with the Mr Westcott, Bryony and Paul, and there appears to be harmony in Midwich. At least for now.
Mr Westcott admits that he wants to take some of the kids into a military base several miles out the village to do some tests. He’s confident that they’ll want to go ahead and leave, especially as they’ve been talking in Ward 300 about what lies beyond the village.
There are some big developments around town too. Zoe and Sam’s child Ellie is getting along well, while Curtis has moved out and is sharing custody of David, who really isn’t a fan of his father. There’s a rift in this family, one that Joe nestles himself firmly in the middle of. As David is forced to leave with Curtis, Hannah watches from the window and seethes with anger. Zoe urges Hannah not to get involved.
While most of the kids are taught over at the Prep School, a couple of the kids head off to the military base for testing. Those happen to be Evie and Nathan. They’re taken up to the research centre, but it’s a limited access area, meaning Paul and Susannah can’t actually follow and are forced to wait in the jeep outside.
The kids at the school knock out Sam and collude together in the basement, working with the hive mind of Nathan and Evie. It seems like they’re trying to control the military force, and brief flashes seem to reinforce this idea.
While this is happening, David heads off to the Prep School and sneaks down to the basement, where he notices the rest of the kids standing in a circle. They spot him and unfortunately cause him to become mentally frazzled. He doesn’t recognize his own mum, he’s whispering and his eyes are glossed over. Even worse, Rachel overhears Mr Westcott talking to Joe that night, discussing what happened and how it’s “a mistake to keep him alive.” The him, of course, being David. Rachel is shocked and snatches up her son, determined to leave.
When she tries to drive back into Midwich though, three of the girls are there and they control Rachel’s car, forcing her to crash into a van. A large wood block impales straight through her skull, leading to a gnarly and bloody “accident.”
Now, it appears that the kids are convinced Susannah has “broken their truce”, as a big town meeting gets underway. Jane, Cassie and Susannah all decide to walk out of the meeting, while Westcott breaks the news that the kids have decided to leave Midwich and stay in a government facility from now on.
That night, Paul meets with Susannah in confidence. He’s found that toy robot and the basement where the kids joined together that fateful day of the military base visit. Two of the kids appear like the sisters from The Shining and force Paul to hand over his keys. He’s told to join them, as Susannah is unknowingly locked in the basement.
Al the other kids suddenly head out in the middle of the night too, with Nathan staying with Paul that night. Nathan wants to help Paul, as he admits that pain blocks out this hive mind from hearing everything he does. Nathan could be the key to stopping everything here.
Down in the basement, Mr Westcott shows up and begins looking around. He too has those same strange glowing eyes, as it now becomes clear that he’s not just part of this group – he’s also one of them.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to The Midwich Cuckoos starts to tighten the screw, as it would appear the children have an alternate plan to deal with Midwich. After their research into military outfits, not to mention their ties with Mr Westcott, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this whole operation has a far deeper connection to what’s happening.
The drama involving the kids is continuing to reach fever pitch, although it’s interesting to see that Nathan is actually the weak link in all this and could be key to stopping the hive mind and breaking what they’re doing.
As a slight gripe, it would have been nice to see how some of the other mums have been dealing with this, as the series appears to be focusing almost exclusively on 2 or 3 sets of parents rather than the whole community. For example, seeing Jane walk out on her daughter loses the emotional gravitas it could have had if we actually saw her journey, especially as we know she’s religious and was featured quite heavily in episode 1. Since then she seems to have disappeared from the screenplay.
Likewise, Sunny has had very little to do in this episode after featuring prominently before and we still don’t know why the kids have suddenly burst into action after she returned.
Despite those gripes, The Midwich Cuckoos leaves plenty to whet the appetite moving into the final chapter, which is actually the longest episode of the whole season at a little over an hour long.