Episode two of Expats directly dives into all of the questions we had in mind after watching the first episode. We finally found out the connection between Margaret and Mercy, and we also got details about the incident. In the second episode, we discover the reason behind the distance between Hilary and David and what led to David meeting Mercy. The episode also focuses on how the wives of the expats have a tough time fitting into a different country with a radically contrasting culture. While the husbands are busy at work, these women, who once had careers of their own (some still do), are forced to adjust themselves according to the social expectations of the foreign country.
How did Margaret and Mercy meet?
Schooling the helpers and servers seemed to be a topic of great importance among the wives of the expats. While Margaret tried to establish that she treated her house help as her family, the others warned her not to make that mistake. Gus’ relationship with Essie was admirable, and Margaret was thankful for the added help she got. Eventually, in episode two, we witness how Gus’ closeness to Essie starts bothering Margaret.
Margaret was at a boat party when she ran into Mercy. Gus was his usual energetic self, and he kept Margaret on her toes. Mercy managed to get hold of Gus just as he was attempting to jump off the boat. Margaret was thankful, and the two got back to their own groups at the party. Mercy was invited by her friend Philena, who belonged to an affluent family. We find out that it was Philena who bought Mercy her ticket to Hong Kong. She used to live with her mother before moving away, and she completed her education at Columbia. Mercy was particularly offended when someone described her achievement as being lucky. All her life, she had grown up listening to how her face attracted misfortune, and the card readers confirmed the same. She considered herself a little cursed because all her predictions stated that she would never marry and end up alone. Mercy quickly realized that her audience had lost interest, probably thinking that she was simply too strange. To divert their attention, she spontaneously jumped into the water. She had successfully entertained her audience, and she took up another challenge of swimming under the boat and appearing on the other side. Crossing the under-boat area was scary at first, just like the predictions that were made for her, but she managed to swim to the surface, and it made her believe in herself for a brief moment. While she struggled to overcome the hurdle, the audience was already bored and gone. The rich never cared, as much as she would have liked to retain their attention.
Mercy was completely drenched when Margaret found her, and she offered to help. She was not like the others, or so Mercy thought. Mercy could easily bond with kids, and Margaret took note of it. She offered to help once she realized that she had the chance to get a job and that Margaret had the money to keep her afloat. Margaret took the offer into consideration.
What secret was Hilary hiding from David?
Hilary considered adoption because that was the next step she and her husband had decided on. But she never experienced the maternal instincts that the women around her did. She went to an adoption center, and instead of feeling joy, she felt overwhelmed. Hilary was handed a baby to hold, and she immediately knew she was not meant to become a mother. She did not feel the urge to bring the baby home, and the entire ordeal was heartbreaking for her. When she expressed her concern to David, he suggested that they try to conceive instead of adopting. Clearly, that was not the solution Hilary was looking for, but according to her husband, her instincts would naturally kick in once she was pregnant.
It is when Hilary and Margaret have a conversation that we discover that Hilary was on pills and David was unaware of it. As guilty as she felt, Hilary believed she had no other choice. With most wives of the expats giving up on their careers after transferring, the focus was on building families. Hilary felt compelled to do the same, but she realized it was not a path she was meant to take. Margaret believed that once the baby was born, Hilary would be glad about the decision she made. But Hilary was not ready to make sacrifices, especially after seeing how the lives of the women she knew turned out to be. She had no doubt that David would be an amazing father, but she was not so sure that she wanted the same for herself. Towards the end of episode two, we find out that David failed to stay away from alcohol, and he found himself at a bar with a glass of beer once again. Their marriage was dead, and his chances of becoming a father seemed slim; maybe all of it together resulted in him choosing to give up once again.
Why did Margaret decide to meet Mercy again?
Margaret was bothered by the relationship her housekeeper, Essie, shared with her children, especially Gus. She could feel Essie’s influence on her son, and she was not happy about it. She wanted to raise him a certain way, while Essie always ended up showering him with too much love and attention. Instead of learning to adjust, Gus started to make demands. Margaret was particularly embarrassed when Gus refused to have the lasagna she prepared and begged Essie to make him chow-faan. There was clearly a clash of cultures, with Essie applying her Asian mother instincts while Margaret wanted to raise Gus in a more American way. Margaret decided to be more involved as a mother. While she wanted to believe Essie was her family, the decision to replace her crossed her mind. She believed she had to do it for the betterment of her son, and that was when she decided to meet Mercy. She was young and had spent most of her life in the States, a perfect combination considering the kind of influence Margaret wanted in the lives of her children.
What happened to Gus?
Margaret and Mercy met at the market, and they had dinner together. Mercy was confused about the nature of the meeting, and she wondered if it was a trial of sorts. She texted Philena if she should pay the bill in such a situation, but before she could reply, Margaret insisted on paying. Mercy did her best to prove that she was perfect for the job, and she readily took on the responsibility of taking care of Gus and Philip. Mercy got caught up in her thoughts because she could not stop worrying about whether she would ultimately get the job. The market was busy and noisy, and in that moment of chaos, all Mercy could focus on was the sound of her phone chime—she had received a message. For a second, she chose to let go of Gus to check the text. Maybe she desperately wanted to read a message that would make her feel hopeful about the meeting; after all, she was young and desperate to make money and fulfill her dreams of traveling the world. She bit more than she could chew, and in the process, she made a terrible mistake.
During Expats Episode 2’s ending, we find out that Gus was never found again. It had been a year since the incident, and all hope was lost. Mercy lied about holding Gus’ hand at all times, but of course, Margaret saw through her lie. It was possibly a kidnapping case, and the detective concluded that it must have been someone close to the family. David was in the same area, but he could not be completely honest about his whereabouts. He met Mercy that night and felt sympathetic for her because it was simply an unfortunate incident. He offered to drop her home, and we can assume that was when the affair began. The ending of episode two clears all doubts, but at the same time, it makes us wonder if the case is dead or if there is still hope of getting back Gus. Considering the time passed and that the parents have given up, maybe they never got a hopeful response from the detective in charge. But is all hope lost, or will we get to witness the unexpected?