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'MaryLand' Recap: Episode 2

Daniel Hautzinger
Becca leans against a wall and looks shocked with a hand over her mouth
New revelations about her mother keep emerging and shocking Becca. Credit: Monumental Television and Masterpiece

MaryLand airs Sundays at 8:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes. 
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This episode contains discussion of suicide.

When Becca wakes up in her recently deceased mother’s bed, her sister Rosaline is already awake at the other end of the bed, working on her laptop. She needs better WiFi, however, so she’s going to find a cafe in which to work. As she’s leaving, Becca finds a cat sitting by a bowl in the kitchen – even though the sisters thought their mother didn’t like cats.

That’s the least of Mary’s secrets. Her friend Cathy spots Rosaline at the cafe and joins her. They discuss Mary and take a walk on the beach. It sounds like she was a completely different person on the Isle of Man than the mother Rosaline thought she knew. Cathy asks Rosaline what she needs to know about her mother, but Rosaline responds that she doesn’t even know what to ask.

Becca, meanwhile, goes to speak to Pete, the friend who found Mary dead on the beach. I know you were having an affair with my mother, she says as soon as Pete opens his door to her. (The men’s shirts in Mary’s house were a giveaway.) Pete tells Becca that Mary wanted her and Rosaline to know about her life on the Isle, and implies that their father Richard knew about it and the affair. Whereas Richard has told a reverend planning Mary’s funeral that he had stopped listening to music and Mary had retreated into her headphones to listen to podcasts, Pete tells Becca that he and Mary shared a love of music and literature. Mary was happy on the Isle, and wanted to move there permanently. She even told him she wanted to be interred there.

Becca refuses that last assertion, but Pete backs it up by listing how much he knows about Mary – even parts of her Becca didn’t know, like that she wanted to write but only began doing so on the Isle. Pete wants to show Becca some of Mary’s writing, but she leaves.

After she’s gone, Pete receives a letter. “Thank you for the perfect day,” it says. “Love, Mary.”

Becca and Rosaline are called to the coroner for another surprise: Mary likely died by suicide. She consumed a lethal amount of morphine. Whereas Becca was the one full of questions during the first visit to the coroner, this time she is quiet and Rosaline is the one to quiz the coroner. Becca eventually leaves without a word, and refuses to discuss the topic with Rosaline.

Instead she calls Jim, her husband, and is annoyed that he has more questions about running the house in her absence, revealing in his ignorance his lack of contribution to their typical domestic arrangement. Becca hangs up on him. She hasn’t told her kindly daughter Lauren anything she’s learned about Mary, and doesn’t start now.

She immerses herself in sorting through her mom’s clothes back at the house, still not speaking to Rosaline about the new revelations. Rosaline goes for a run. She trips and falls while a taxi drives past. It stops, and out gets Jacob, the man who has driven Rosaline and Becca twice already. He helps her up and then buys her a snack and drinks. She vents, telling him that she wasn’t close with her mom and that she has no idea how she will tell her dad about the suicide.

Jacob drops Rosaline back at Mary’s house and Becca watches from the window as she thanks him and he gives her his address. Rosaline then goes around back to a shed and calls her dad. The police already came by and told him they suspected suicide, but he didn’t believe it. Rosaline urges him to stay with Jim for a bit, but he refuses. He’s eager to have Mary’s remains back in the UK.

When Rosaline comes back inside, Becca is scrubbing the bathroom. She’s annoyed that Rosaline has been spending time with a man – Jacob – and bridles when Rosaline says that she has invited Cathy and Pete over to discuss Mary. Becca doesn’t want to talk to them.

She listens from behind a wall, however, as Rosaline tells Mary’s friends that Mary died by overdose. Cathy admits that Mary had Alzheimer’s, which might explain suicide. But Pete is shocked – I told her I’d look after her, he says. Mary was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a year ago. Rosaline is surprised neither friend had a hint of what Mary planned to do and asks when they last saw her. Pete says he and Mary had a perfect day, with a picnic and drive, five days ago.

Rosaline walks out and sees Becca listening. Becca flees, and Rosaline cries.

Becca is again interrupted by domestic annoyances when Jim has Lauren call to ask another stupid question about the house. Becca gets mad at him and lays into him; he gets upset in return.

Rosaline runs Becca a bath that night, and Becca asks her to stay while she soaks. She admits that Mary was a bit off the last few times Becca saw her. Whereas Becca is furious, Rosaline doesn’t know what she’s feeling.

Becca wants to go out, so the sister head to a pub where Becca downs a drink. She then drags Rosaline to a livelier bar, orders shots, and takes both when Rosaline refuses. She asks Rosaline what it’s like to have an affair with a married man, since Rosaline has done so several times. Rosaline is offended and goes to the bathroom. She sits there for a while and then rushes out when she hears Becca singing karaoke. She finds Becca flirting with a man and tries to get her to leave but Becca refuses.

Rosaline leaves the bar and calls Jim, telling him in a voicemail that she’s worried about Becca. She then shows up at Jacob’s door; he lets her stay the night in her own bed. Becca sleeps at Mary’s house, but not before having more drinks and making out with the man at the bar. She wakes to missed calls from both Rosaline and Jim.

The next morning, Rosaline calls to see if the results of her biopsy have come in yet. Over coffee with Jacob, she explains that she had cancer as a teen and again about ten years ago. Becca helped care for her, but they had vastly different experiences growing up with their mother. Rosaline’s fights with illness make her even more upset that her mother decided to end things in the face of illness. Rosaline didn’t give up.

When Rosaline returns to Mary’s house, Becca is furious at her for “interfering” in her marriage by calling Jim. They argue over how they each see themselves, and each other, and their relationship. They both think the other was their mother’s favorite.

Becca reveals that Mary had a nervous breakdown right after Rosaline left for college, and Becca was forbidden from telling Rosaline and ruining her college years. Because Richard had to work, Becca took care of Mary, even dropping out of college to do so. Rosaline thought she dropped out to marry Jim at 18, but Becca married Jim because she dropped out and needed support.

Mary was in a bad enough state to do something stupid, Becca says, but she didn’t because Becca was there to stop her. This time, however, Becca wasn’t there.

A car pulls into the driveway, and out steps Jim.