At the beginning of the 2nd episode, Douglas Archer (Sam Riley) arrives at his son’s school. Harry (James Cosmo) arrives moments later. Unfortunately, Spode is nowhere to be found. Oskar Huth (Lars Eidinger) and his fellow soldiers storm into the church. They begin taking students into custody to question them more thoroughly. Douglas sends Douggie (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) home with Harry. Huth makes it clear the he knows all about Douglas’ encounter with Sylvia (Maeve Dermody). Huth questions how Douglas was unable to determine the woman was a member of the Resistance. When Douglas returns home, he finds Harry. Harry is thanked for his help. In return, he ridicules Douglas for using PC Jimmy Dunn (Aneurin Barnard) instead of asking for his help.
During their conversation, Mrs. Sheenan (Christina Cole) enters with her son, Bob (Kit Connor). Mrs. Sheenan explains that they were delayed at the school by soldiers. Harry and Douglas head to the pub. Once there, Douglas is ridiculed for having no hope. Douglas also learns about an invitation from an art dealer named Sydney Garin (Danny Webb). Douglas is told being so close to Huth makes him look bad. The next day, Archer meets up with an Fritz Kellermann (Rainer Bock). They discuss Huth’s interest in the murder at the Shepherd Market. Seconds later, the men are interrupted by the arrival of General von Ruff (August Zirner). Ruff ridicules Kellermann for using the King’s horses. Archer meets up with Huth, who is trying to reassemble the note found at the murder scene.
Archer is told he will be contacted again soon. He is told to agree to give the Resistance whatever they want. Huth reveals that 15 Resistance men are scheduled to be hung, but he could always halt the executions. At this time, Huth receives a tip about Sylvia. The men travel to an artist’s workshop. Douglas finds Sylvia and speaks with her. She insists his son would have been safe in her care. Once again, Douglas lets Sylvia slip through the cracks. Huth orders the paintings to be destroyed. He also tells Archer to meet him at the Ministry of Information the following day. Archer does so. The men watch a propaganda fill featuring Rear Admiral Connolly, who suggests he is the representative of the British nation. Archer is then asked about Barbara Barga (Kate Bosworth). He is told all encounters with the woman need to be reported.
Next, Archer heads to the party. He meets with Garin. They speak about a Turner painting briefly. Archer is then introduced to Barnard Staines (Julian Rhind-Tutt). Barnard insists things will get better, if they make them better. Staines agrees to let Archer in on his secret later. Then, Archer meets with Barbara. They chat about a few paintings, while discussing Garin. Barbara makes it clear she is married. The couple dances and discusses Archer’s wife and child. Archer rendezvous with Staines. He sits down and plays cards with Bernard, Sydney and George Mayhew (Jason Flemyng). The men question Archer about the structure of the German army. Archer learns that not everyone agrees with Hitler’s policies. They also discuss Admiral Connolly. While they agree that Connolly must be brave, they suggest nothing will come of it.
Archer tells the men about Huth. He admits Huth wanted him to be open to offers. After the conversation ends, Archer leaves with Barbara. All the way back to the motel, Barbara complains about the greedy politicians. They return to Barbara’s room for coffee. Archer spots paperwork featuring Barbara’s fingerprints and picture. Their conversation quickly turns to something else. They sleep together. Afterwards, Archer is told he will be killed if he remains uncommitted. Archer phones Huth and is immediately belittled. Archer admits being with the girl. Moments later, he is picked up. He is transported back to a Nazi base. He looks over some paperwork, before Huth and Springer (Andrew Bicknell) arrive. Archer is asked why the Spode case would be important. He admits the man was an atomic physicist.
Archer suggests the man was killed by Resistance for working with the Germans. He also discusses the internal struggle of the SS and the army. Springer admits they need to find the brother alive and also suggests the bomb could wipe out an entire city. Springer departs seconds later. Huth reveals that the Reich will be truly invincible once they’re taken the bomb. He explains that the bomb would bring an end to all war and the Germans would bring their industries, such as Bosch and Siemens, to Britain. Next, Huth transports Archer to his former home. They venture inside and discover Jimmy Dunn dead. Huth explains that his death is Archer’s fault. Archer punches Huth. Huth explains that Dunn was killed by the Resistance. Huth suggests they’re sending a message to Archer.
Huth asks Archer if he remembers any awkward questions about his involvement with the Germans. He also suggests Archer’s reputation has grown and this should have caused others to begin sniffing around. Then, Huth mentions Barbara Barga. Archer confesses she just wanted a story. He is told not to play both ends against the middle. Archer returns home and begins drinking heavily. Mrs. Sheenan enters and attempt to comfort Douglas. She mistakenly believes he is mourning his wife. Archer angrily sends her way.
I sincerely want to love SS-GB, but it is becoming increasingly hard to do so. The death of Jimmy was very predictable and the storylines are somewhat disjointed. The biggest problem is the Douglas Archer character. The somewhat cartoonish accent doesn’t both me. I am still perplexed by Archer. What is his purpose? The entire show seems aimless, because Douglas has no objective. At this point, I am not sure why Douglas just doesn’t cooperate with Huth.
Perhaps I am missing something, but I am truly lost. SS-GB has tons of potential too. The alternate history is very interesting and the actors and actresses are mostly great. Nonetheless, I still have no clue what the heck is going on. A 5 out of 10 is deserved for the second episode. Catch up with previous recaps of SS-GB now.