'Flesh and Blood' Recap: Episode 2

Daniel Hautzinger
Mary in 'Flesh and Blood.' Photo: Masterpiece
Mary's emotional life is more complicated than it seems. Photo: Masterpiece

Flesh and Blood airs Sundays at 8:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes.

Vivien has decided to sell the house where her children grew up. Not surprisingly, they are all upset, but she wants to travel more: she’s off to Spain with her boyfriend Mark to meet his daughter soon, and then they are planning a six-week trip to India. Everyone must clear out their bedrooms before she leaves for India.

As Vivien defends her plans to her children, her neighbor Mary stops by to drop off some treats. Before she is seen, she overhears Vivien explain herself. I want some adventure, she says; I don’t want to end up like Mary. Mary leaves the treats and goes home.

Mary’s emotional life is more complicated than it seems. She lost a child around the time that Jake was born, and then her husband left her. She helped out Vivien and her kids all the time, and they consider her almost like family herself.

She sometimes acts like she’s part of the family, too. After Mark buys Vivien a flashy new car for her birthday and they go for a test ride, Mary wanders into Vivien’s house, going through her rooms. She pulls some pills from Mark’s bag and pockets some. Later, she reads up on them: they’re for erectile dysfunction.

As the children stop by to clear their stuff from the house, they speak with Mary, who sows doubts about Mark. Good thing he’s a doctor and was there when Vivien collapsed, she tells Helen. How could Mark afford such a nice car, she wonders to Jake. Perhaps he bought it on credit.

Jake is familiar with debts. He’s working hard to pay off a huge one he owes to his wife Leila after her mother stepped in and paid off his gambling debts, but even though his sleek new apartment is free—he’s getting it in return for personal training and sex with Stella, its owner—it will still take months. Plus, his children tell him that Leila has been seeing another man.

Stella encourages Jake to truly apologize to Leila and tell her he misses her. When he apologizes, Leila thanks him but says she’s still angry about being lied to for years; the kids could have ended up homeless. Jake brings up the man she has been seeing and she tells him it’s none of his business before angrily ending the conversation. “I miss you,” Jake mutters after she leaves.

Natalie misses her boss—and secret boyfriend—Tony. He has asked her for a week to sort things out in the wake of her news that she’s pregnant. But Natalie can’t wait: she watches him and his family from the bushes at his home—and is seen by his wife. As she drives away, an aggressive car comes up behind and drives her off the road. It’s Tony’s wife. When Natalie tells Tony about the incident—failing to mention that she was at his house—he says he will leave his wife within the week.

Natalie also becomes embroiled in her sister Helen’s marital difficulties. When Jake has the family over for a housewarming—Mark tries to reassure Jake about his intentions, defending Vivien as her own woman—Helen’s husband George spends some alone time at the pub. He’s approached by a friendly woman who flatters and engages him in simple conversation.

She’s Meera Kapur, a disgruntled employee whom Helen let go in the restructuring. Helen has noticed Meera following her and asked the hospital’s security to be on high alert.

Vivien in 'Flesh and Blood.' Photo: MasterpieceWhile her children's lives unravel, Vivien is happy - except that her children keep disapproving of her decisions. Photo: Masterpiece

Meera surreptitiously snaps photos of George while he buys another drink, then sends them to his daughter Lily on social media with the comment that he’s a new boyfriend who’s great in bed.

The next day, Lily is nowhere to be found. Eventually, Natalie calls Helen: Lily is with her, and she wants Natalie to speak to Helen—just Helen—about something. Natalie shows Helen the photos and message and encourages Helen to talk to George about it; she doesn’t know the facts. But Helen is furious, and angrily denounces the woman—an uncomfortable position for Natalie.

Instead of speaking to George, Helen waits until their next marriage counseling session to bring up the alleged affair. Obviously, he denies it, saying he just chatted with the woman and doesn’t even know her name. Helen demands that he bring her the woman so that Helen can hear her deny the affair herself.

Unlike her children’s, Vivien’s relationship is progressing happily. While Mark’s daughter is called off to attend an emergency before Vivien can meet her—she’s a doctor, like Mark—she and Mark still enjoy their trip to Spain. They even jaunt down to Gibraltar and get married on the spur of the moment—Vivien’s idea.

Her children are upset. Not only was it sudden, it was the day before their late father’s birthday. They wonder about Mark’s intentions. Helen checked him out in a medical database and he was a legitimate, well-regarded doctor, but Jake is still skeptical.

Even Natalie is a bit suspicious, and asks Mary to keep an eye on Vivien when she returns from Spain. Surprised by the marriage, Mary frantically says to Natalie, I wonder what Mark’s first wife died of? Shaken, Mary retreats to her bed and cries.

When Vivien returns to England, her children raise objections to the quick marriage, but she says it’s practical, in case something happens to either of them while she and Mark are in India. It’s not that big a deal, anyway: she’s had a health scare and wants to enjoy what life remains. Isn’t anyone happy for her?, she asks her children. Not everything is about you, she scolds them.

Just then, Mark runs down to the beach where everyone is sitting: Vivien’s car is on fire!