We were on the verge of saying that the narrative of Episode 1 and Episode 2 of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart should have fit into one episode, but then we remembered that this is about the beauty and haunting quality of the hidden stories of the women in the Thornfield farm. Some stories need to give the audience time to feel what they wish to convey, and this series is doing exactly that, and the details of it, which are unraveling slowly, are able to do the job so far. We haven’t made up our minds on whether the clues are actually well-placed or not, and despite our good faith in the pace of the series, we have yet to be proven right about it. Until then, this is the recap of the second episode.
Who Are The Women In Thornfield?
We had trouble understanding in episode 1 how June Hart was connected to Agnes, other than the fact that the latter was her daughter-in-law. June mentions at the beginning of episode 2 that Agnes had been in their house. It is not until much later that we find out what that means.
Before we get to that, let us try to understand Alice, who is still adjusting to the new atmosphere in Thornfield. This place is everything that her home was not, and she is not used to the difference. When she wakes up having wet her bed due to a traumatic memory, she expects to be beaten by her grandmother, and the way she looks at her is proof of that. But June gently guides Alice to clean herself up, shows her around the place, and makes her meet the people. Everyone is warm and welcoming towards Alice but it is not enough for her to start talking again. Later in the day, when she asks Candy to take her to the river, the woman guides her to it and asks her to come back as soon as she can.
Candy is Clem’s sister, and we still don’t understand why, but she doesn’t seem to be completely in tune with the policies and philosophies of the farm. We could be wrong about this, but we have to wait to find out about it. She mentions to Alice that she was adopted, and Alice notices the mark on her hand like the one her own father had. Distance from her father is constantly reminding her of him, and when she goes near the riverbank and gets in the water, she recollects how her father had pushed her into the sea when she had been unable to balance herself on the boat for him to take a video. Her mother had pulled her out of the water, and at this moment, a boy named Oggy saved her. He did not venture too close to Thornfield because of how protective June was about the place, but he becomes friends with Alice and seems to be a decent boy.
When Alice goes back home, she can see that everyone is worried about where she has gone. This reminds her of when she had gone to the library in episode 1, and her father had beat her for it. She thinks the same thing is going to happen again and has a full-blown panic attack. June and the others realize what is happening to her, and while June doesn’t mind getting her the needed therapy for the PTSD and the anxiety, she is apprehensive about the drugs.
Alice starts going to school, and she makes friends with Oggy. But she runs into trouble the first day itself when some of the other kids try to bully her and Oggy with some name-calling of the women on Thornfield Farm and throw a punch at Oggy. Alice beats up the boy who hits Oggy, and that brings Twig to the school to speak on her behalf. We don’t think Alice is in any major trouble, but she must be confused about the place she is in.
Why Did June Hart Get Beat Up?
It gradually becomes clear that June has made Thornfield a sanctuary for the women who are seeking a safe space from their abusive partners. Our suspicion is that it may have started with Clem and his father, because why else would June call the family cursed? She still remembers him from when he was a child, and something must have happened when he was at that precise age for June’s memories to haunt her at that particular point every day. That, in addition to the need for the safety of the women on the farm, is why she must be so secretive about the place, which doesn’t sit well in the gossip of a small town.
Oggy had told Alice that his mother used to live on the field before she moved away. Maybe she was one of the people June protected until she could stand on her own two feet, and Oggy recognizes that, which is why he is nicer to Alice than the others. Right now, June must protect Stella, whose husband is out of jail and is in town looking for her. At the same time, Sally is hell-bent on getting custody of Alice, which can only happen if June is somehow declared unfit to take care of her granddaughter. That sends Sally down a tunnel of desperation, especially when she hears that Alice had a panic attack. When Sally finds out that June has a few cases of assault on her record, she sets out to intimidate her. Her husband, John, gets wind of this and he asks her why she is so desperate for custody. He also tells her that the cases were not against June, but she had been the victim in all of them.
At the end of episode 2 of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Sally comes clean to John and says that she had an affair with Clem and that Gemma, who had passed away a few years ago, was his daughter. Agnes had probably suspected this or knew this for sure, and that is why she trusted Alice with her, because they had all been victims of the same man in some capacity or another. In the meantime, June meets Stella’s husband and provokes him enough that he ends up attacking her, and now she has a case against him, which will keep him away from Stella.
When Alice sees June’s injuries, she tries to tell her that a branch hit her, but June is used to seeing these bruises on her mother, so we know that she definitely did not believe her. But the real shock for her is when she finds a letter her father wrote to her mother. Agnes had come to live in the house, and Clem had fallen in love with her. They had probably gotten married after that, and we suppose June had not given her approval for reasons we still have to find out. This means that Agnes had gone from one abusive household to another, and it could be one of the reasons she felt so trapped with Clem. We are also suspecting whether Alice was Clem’s daughter or whether Agnes was already pregnant with her when she came to Thornfield. Either way, Alice is angry with June, maybe because she has started blaming her for the life her mother had to live. We will know more as the narrative continues.
We are tolerating the pace of the series for now, and while we are refraining from making a demand to make it faster, we need something extra that stops us from zoning out of the show. It is a decent watch with a lot of promise, and the only question is whether it can hold our interest.