As the 3rd episode begins, Francis (Michael Nevin) and his family watch a play. Michael (Owen McDonnell) makes sure his son pays close attention to the moral of the story. We see a young girl walking the aisles peddling food items. Michael uses the story as a way to teach Francis that thievery is bad. Once the event ends, Emma (Eileen O’Higgins) admits she bought a piece of food from the young girl. It ended up on Kate’s jacket. Seconds later, Barney (Gavin Drea) learns that Maisie (Sophie Mellotte) has fallen ill. The sickness is blamed on Maisie’s frequent trips to the dump. Seamie (Isaac Heslip) and Francis visit the dump. They climb under a fence and begin looking for items to salvage. A guard, Stagger, arrives and runs the boys off. Francis makes it home with a toy airplane.
Doctor Black (Charles Lawson) tells Rose (Hattie Morahan) about Maisie. He confesses it could be scarlet fever. Emma and Francis are told to stay away from Maisie’s house. Then, Rose urges the Doctor to keep a closer eye on Maisie. He doesn’t seem eager to do so. That night, Rose takes matters into her own hands. She writes a letter pleading with the army to send a nurse to the Quinn house. In the morning, she visits Ronald Dreyfuss (Aaron Staton) and explains the situation. He agrees to speak with his boss and Tillie Zeigler (Kate Phillips) about it. Then, Ronald warns Rose that the army will be searching homes in the nearby area, since several cans of paint have been stolen. On the way home, Rose visits Kettie Brady (Antonia Campbell-Hughes). She learns that Kettie’s baby has a cold. Rose promises to drop off some of Kate’s old clothing at a later time.
Then, Rose tries to fill Sally’s shoes by cooking for the family. A knock at the door interrupts their meal. Rose answers the door and is introduced to Tillie. The woman explains she is in charge of the nurses and will be looking after Maisie. She also makes a comment about Ronald being cute. As Rose heads back inside, she agrees with that assessment. Later, Davey (Seamus O’Hara) and his family mess with Seamie and Francis. They offer them alcohol and quickly change their mind. German propaganda is heard on the radio, but it is quickly shut off. Ned (Des McAleer) speaks about the dump and scarlet fever. This sends Francis home in a hurry. He cleans the toy airplane as quickly as possible, before Rose enters. He lies and insists he was cleaning his hands with the chemicals.
In the morning, the military police arrive to search the property. Francis mistakenly believes they’re there to look for the toy airplane. Emma uses that to her advantage. They find nothing of interest. Nevertheless, Rose remains suspicious of her husband. Maisie is rushed to the hospital. Failey (Kerr Logan) speaks with Sally (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) and insists everything will be fine. Sally isn’t happy with him, since he hasn’t been around at all. Rose receives a visit from a stranger. He speaks about one of Michael’s suppliers, Sean Hamill. Apparently, the man wants to sell Michael stolen cigarettes. Rose tells the man to leave and never return. She makes her husband aware of the visit seconds later. During dinner, Emma notices her parents aren’t talking to one another. She tries to rectify that.
Michael and Rose speak in private. Michael insists he is trying to keep the family afloat. Michael leaves for the pub. Later that night, Ronald visits. He tells Rose that Maisie made it to the hospital fine. He is invited inside for tea. Eventually, Rose breaks down and begins to cry. Ronald admits he feels he should know how to stop her from being so sad. Once Ronald leaves, Rose heads upstairs and looks at the button she found. Michael returns home and finds Rose already in bed. He learns about the visit, but the two say very little to each other. In the morning, Emma and Kate feed the pigs. Kate becomes sick and is rushed inside. Rose cares for Kate, while sending Emma to notify Michael and to contact Doctor Black. The doctor examines Kate and immediately takes her to the hospital. Francis and Emma are told everything will be fine.
Francis visits Seamie. He is held at gunpoint and told to stay away. Francis explains that his visit to the dump has caused Kate to fall ill. Kettie arrives and reminds Francis he is supposed to stay away until everything clears up. Michael and Rose visit the hospital. They speak with Doctor Black and learn that the young girl at the play had Scarlet Fever. She was responsible for bringing it to town. Unfortunately, the little girl passed away. Rose tries to reassure Francis that everything will be fine when she returns home. Captain Dreyfuss arrives seconds later. He has brought along some gasoline, so the family can visit Kate a few times. In the morning, Francis finds the paint and tells his mother. At the hospital, Rose and Michael argue. Rose blames Michael’s dirty dealings for Kate’s illness. He questions why he is the only one who is wrong.
She also makes it clear she knows about the paint. Next, Michael learns from Failey that Maisie has passed away. A funeral is held for the girl. During the event, Michael promises to give up his dirty deals. Michael heads to the church and confesses to Father Nolan (Michael Colgan). He tells the priest about the paint. It becomes clear that the priest is interested in making the paint his own. Later, Francis tells his mother about the visit to the dump. She promises that his dump visit had nothing to do with Kate’s illness. However, she agrees to help him clean up the toy in the morning. Then, Rose burns the button. Francis wakes up in the morning and throws the toy into the ocean. Seconds later, Kate is healed and energetic at the hospital. Father Nolan visits Michael and tries to convince him to turn over the paint to the church. Michael agrees and they arrange to get the cans in the morning.
When they try to retrieve the paint cans, they discover that they’re already missing. We see that Francis and his mother returned the paint to the army.
My Mother and Other Strangers
The 3rd episode of My Mother and Other Strangers definitely hit the right notes. This episode didn’t feel flat or empty like the previous two. Suffice to say, it was the best addition to the series this far in. The introduction of scarlet fever and the loss of life helped to build up the drama and bleakness of the episode. It was also intriguing to watch three of the main characters place the blame on themselves.
One thing that I have noticed is that Francis doesn’t seem to think very highly of his father. In most of the narrations, Francis speaks highly of his mother, but not his father. There definitely seems to be some animosity there. This episode scores a 7.5 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of My Mother and Other Strangers before you go!