This episode was solid and a lot less packed than the pilot, which I appreciated.
A couple of weeks have passed, the Moon Landing is around the corner, Shirley’s in-laws are in town and Annie is trying to return to a normal life.
Shirley dealing with her in-laws visiting unexpectedly was filled the right amount of tension and expanded her character. Ella Scott Lynch’s performance was brilliant, displaying realistic anxiety, accurately portraying the collapse & injuries and the way in which she revealed that she had given up a baby before, hence her relationship with the Matron. I also enjoyed Ryan Corr’s performance, showing Johnny’s love for Shirley by carrying her all the way to the hospital, despite the risk of exposing their secret.
I enjoyed the footage and references to the Moon Landing, as well as its service as a plot device. Its service as a plot device was to establish setting and provide the opportunity for character development, with the revelation of Viv’s brother in Vietnam and the budding friendship between her and Patricia, despite the rockiness presented in this episode.
Gracie Gilbert’s performance was again spectacular with Annie trying to return to a normal life. I can’t imagine how painful it would have been for the victims of forced adoption to try to return to or even forced to return to a “normal” life. The ending of her running away back to Stanton House and wanting her baby back was obvious, but it was played out very well and lead to the perfect dramatic ending of the episode, I’m looking forward to seeing where they take this storyline.
Meanwhile it’s more obvious that Joan is going to ruffle feathers, this is especially obvious at the beginning of the episode with Joan providing contraception classes and Matron’s quick actions in shutting it down, only just stopping short of threatening Joan. I was happy that Joan decided to move out of her parents’ home, as she was in need of independence and was clearly confined under her parents’ roof–emotionally as well as physically. The interaction between her and her former boyfriend, Phillip, was amusing but fell a little flat.
Overall a solid episode and much easier to digest than the first.