'Flesh and Blood' Recap: Episode 3

Daniel Hautzinger
Mary and Vivien in 'Flesh and Blood.' Photo: Masterpiece
Vivien begins to realize how much Mary will miss her when she sells the house. Photo: Masterpiece

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

Vivien’s children are not the only ones sad about her upending of her life. Mary congratulates Vivien on her marriage, but seems crestfallen that Vivien is selling the house and moving away. We’ll stay in touch, Vivien kindly promises.

Mary is quite attached to Vivien: she lets herself into Vivien’s house while she and Mark are out and goes through a box of crafts made by the children when they were young, pocketing a drawing by Natalie. Another time, she enters while Mark is in the shower and pushes a bottle of cologne off a shelf, startling him when it shatters.

Later, Mary pops in on Vivien to ask after her health. Vivien has gotten test results back, and it seems she’s healthy; her collapse may have just been a drop in blood pressure. Mary gives Vivien Natalie’s drawing, saying she found it in her own home. As she leaves, she grabs some bags of clothes meant for charity, offering to drop them off for Vivien.

Mary’s continual drop-ins annoy Mark, who “fixes” the fence between Vivien’s and Mary’s homes to close off the path, but Vivien doesn’t mind. Mary helped her a lot as she raised the children. With that in mind, Vivien later invites Mary to a small celebration of her birthday, the day before she and Mark leave for India. Mary may as well be family. I don’t know how I would have coped without you, Vivien says. Mary hides her face as she composes herself, and eagerly accepts. She chooses a dress from Vivien’s bag of old clothes to wear for the big night (she is sewing something out of the rest of the garments).

Jake is still trying to bring his former life back. He turns to Stella for help: first, he decides to have sex with her an extra time, for free; then she helps him write an apologetic email to Leila.

It works. On a beach walk, Leila tells Jake she was touched. He explains that he’s seeing a therapist of sorts—Stella—and that he has stopped drinking. Leila warms to Jake a bit, and tells him that she isn’t going on any more dates with a man she had been seeing.

When Jake excitedly calls Stella to tell her it went well with Leila, she has mixed emotions. She tells him she’s too busy to see him today—when she’s really reading a magazine in bed.

Jake is still skeptical of Mark. He thinks Mark may have bought the car for Vivien on credit, then set it on fire and claimed the insurance payment. He asks Vivien if she’s ever spoken to Mark’s daughter, or even seen a photo. Vivien dismisses his suspicion, even though she hasn’t. But later, in bed, she tells Mark she worries about her children, especially when she’s leaving the country for six weeks, and asks if she could see a photo of his daughter. He doesn’t have one on his new phone; he couldn’t figure out how to transfer them. Vivien goes to sleep with doubts. Later, a wave of nostalgia for her home and children hits her hard, and makes her snap at Mark.

Mark and Vivien in 'Flesh and Blood.' Photo: MasterpieceJake is still skeptical of Mark, and instills some doubt in Vivien's mind. Photo: Masterpiece

George is starting to have doubts about his marriage. He’s going to stay with his sister—Lily is still with Natalie—and won’t talk to Helen. As he’s walking out the door and Helen goads him, he spitefully describes what the woman he’s supposed to have had an affair with looks like. Helen immediately realizes it’s Meera Kapur, a disgruntled employee she had to fire. As she calls HR and tells George their troubles are over because she has realized Meera faked the affair, he says this doesn’t change anything, and leaves anyway.

HR reins in Helen’s aggression towards Meera, telling her to take a week off to tend to her family. Nonetheless, Helen visits Meera at her home. She’s moving with her two young daughters; she can’t afford the rent. Just leave us alone, she pleads with Helen.

Helen goes to pick up Lily from Natalie’s, and apologizes for being a bad mother—she really cares about her difficult job, which distracts her. Lily accepts Helen’s plea to come home.

Natalie has her own moment of clarity while watching her lover Tony and his wife from afar. She sees him lovingly kiss his wife and realizes he’ll never leave his family. Later, he frantically calls Natalie numerous times: why have you started to ignore me, he asks?

She meets with him and tells him the truth. She’s not pregnant. She has been off the pill for a while and expected it to happen, but it hasn’t. Five years is a long time to carry on an affair and lie to everyone. She’s done with it.

She goes to Helen for comfort. Helen knew about the affair—George had let it slip. The sisters offer each other support, and Natalie admits to being envious of Helen and how devoted George is to her. Helen realizes what she has been taking for granted—although it may be too late, since George tried to honestly open up in counseling and she left the room to attend to an “urgent” message from Jake, leading George to leave. He also hasn’t returned home yet, even though Lily has.

What’s so urgent? Coincidentally, Stella is Mark’s lawyer. When he and Vivien came to attend to business, she recognized Vivien’s name. She can’t tell Jake why they met with her, but she does warn him that records show that Mark’s former wife died of a self-administered overdose.

Later, Stella discovers that in an inquest into her death, someone implied Mark murdered his wife. She wasn’t depressed, and he stood to benefit financially.

When the children arrive at Vivien’s for her birthday celebration, Helen smells alcohol on Jake. Later, the police ask him about a wound on his hand. He dismisses it as nothing—but we see a flashback to him and Mark punching each other.