Black Cake continues to be one of the best shows on air right now, and it is winning hearts with the deep subtleties of the characters. A lot of the events of the show are heartbreakingly practical, and the way they are expressed is what makes the story so believable. The following is a recap of perhaps the best episode of the show so far.
Does Eleanor love her child?
On Covey’s wedding day back on the island, her mother’s friend tries to give her a necklace, which was Mathilda’s gift for her. Mathilda had always intended to come back for her daughter, but it had simply not happened. Covey thinks that if only her mother had loved her more, she would have stayed for her. Covey is convinced that she is completely alone in the world, as she has been abandoned by her mother and being ‘sold’ off by her father. She also doesn’t have Gibbs to count on at that time because she herself has told him to leave her to her fate.
When Covey (Eleanor from now on) comes back from Scotland, she visits the hospital because of her sickness and finds out that she is pregnant. Eleanor is absolutely devastated because she has no idea what she can do next. She has no money and no job, and the baby is a reminder of what happened to her in Scotland. As Eleanor is crying in a church, she meets Sister Madeline, who offers to help her. There is a home for expecting mothers where they can give the baby up for adoption once they deliver. There is no cost to Eleanor in that place, but she will have to work to contribute. It may look like a win-win situation, but the audience is never allowed to forget, even for a second, that it is all nothing short of a business for the sisters. The health and well-being of the mothers is a priority only as long as it affects the baby they are carrying. The women are put to extremely hard work, though Eleanor welcomes it because it gives her the chance to stop thinking about the baby. One time, she accidentally falls down the stairs, and that is when the nurse puts her on bed rest until she delivers.
Eleanor had been trying to distance herself from the baby right from the beginning. She avoided thinking about her, and whenever the nurse tried telling her about the baby, Eleanor requested that she be spared that information. For her, the more she knew about her child, the harder it would be to separate, and Eleanor was positive that she would want nothing to do with the baby once it was delivered. The nurse understood what Eleanor was saying, but ultimately, it was up to the mother to take care of the child in her care. Eleanor had been having difficulties eating food as she kept throwing up all of it. The nurse encourages her to change her eating habits and eat very small portions over the day so that the baby will get the nutrients and Eleanor will have the required energy to carry her. Eleanor certainly takes her advice, and it may be the first thing she has consciously had to do for her child.
Later, when Eleanor is put on bed rest, she cannot use work as an escape from her feelings, and that is when she properly evaluates what she feels for her child. Eleanor had been feeling the kicks and flutters that the baby had been sending her way, but she had ignored them. Now, she had nothing to do but think about them. As she found herself bonding with the child, her feelings of resentment started going down, and she started looking forward to having her. But the exact opposite was happening with her friend, Irene.
Why does Irene not like her child?
Unlike Eleanor, Irene was looking forward to her child. She had gotten pregnant with her boyfriend, Tommy, and they planned to run away once Irene had the baby, since her parents did not approve of the boy or her situation. Sadly, Tommy stepped back from the relationship, and Irene was left all alone. She wanted her baby, but Eleanor asked her to think about whether she had what it took to raise a child on her own, facing all the difficulties while being reminded of Tommy, who had broken her heart. It is upon Eleanor’s advice that Irene starts to follow the former’s path. When Irene gives birth, she intentionally pretends to hate the care-giving activities, since that would prevent the bond between them. Eleanor apologizes to Irene and asks her to rethink what she is doing, but Irene has decided that this is the way for her. Soon enough, she left the house, and it was now Eleanor’s turn.
How was Mabel taken from Eleanor?
Eleanor’s journey into motherhood has also made her understand her own mother some more. Mathilda had left the island because of her husband’s gambling, but she had every intention of taking care of her daughter. It is unclear what happened to her, but now that Eleanor is in such a situation and she is seeing others around her like that, she realizes that her mother may not have had a different choice. She had done the best she could, just as everyone was trying to do. During her delivery, Eleanor remembers how her mother taught her to swim and to be brave in the face of the unknown. That is the exact lesson that has served Eleanor so far, ever since she left the islands.
Eleanor grows to love her child in the little time she has with her and decides that she doesn’t want to give it up for adoption. Sister Madeline tells Eleanor to think with a clearer head, since the truth hasn’t changed, and Eleanor has no means to take care of her child. But Eleanor believes that her love will show her a way, just like it has done so far. However, before she can act on that and claim back her child, she is adopted and taken away, even as Eleanor continues to scream that she doesn’t want to give her up. At the end of Black Cake episode 7, Sister Madeline tells Eleanor that the couple has agreed to let the girl have her middle name ‘Mathilda,’ and a part of Eleanor will always remain with her. A few months after that, Eleanor met Gibbs, and they started their new life together.
In the present day, Eleanor’s recording continues, and she tells her children that they should try to contact Bunny for the secret of what happened at her wedding. Likely, Eleanor’s mother’s friend was the one to poison Eleanor’s husband, but we will know conclusively in the next episode.
The only secret we are interested in is whether Mathilda came back to the island and if she was the one to rescue her daughter from such a fate. Is there something worse that happened, and how did Eleanor come to know about it if she lost touch with everyone on the island? These are the final answers to be given.