The second season of ITV’s Home Fires delivers us back to Great Paxford in June, 1940 — one month before the beginning of the Battle of Britain.
The skies are sunny and the people we’ve come to know and love are trying to live simple lives with everyday joys, but the foreboding specter of war overshadows everything.
Laura Campbell is dishonorably discharged while the Wing Commander who was her consort has simply been reassigned. Outraged over the disparity of their treatment, Laura and her family soon feel the harsh reality of the double standard. Erica rises to the occasion when she tells her despondent daughter, “If you refuse to be defined by this, you stand every chance of getting through it.”
Miriam Brindsley has been hounding the local authorities for information about David’s fate, to no avail. She finally secures the name of a supervisor that she can write to.
When she reports this happy news to Bryn, he tries to quell her optimism, cautioning that the information they seek won’t be divulged. Miriam is undeterred. “David will be home in time to meet his brother or sister, Bryn. Mark my words.” We certainly hope so.
Bryn’s longing for his son is heartbreakingly portrayed in a scene where he rises before Miriam and goes to meet the early morning bus into Great Paxford. We watch as hope drains from him when David fails to step off the bus.
Three thousand Czech troops march through the center of town and set up camp in the countryside. An unfortunate encounter with some drunken soldiers leads Pat Simms into an infatuation with a Czech officer. Marek Novotny proves to be kind, thoughtful, and sensitive. Pat’s furtive glances into a mirror to glimpse the soldier changing his shirt and a tentative touch of hands between the two after church are filled with sensual longing, far sexier than the most graphic portrayal.
On a happier note, Spencer and Claire elope. When Jenny tries to wrong-foot the couple by leaking the news to Mrs. Barden, Mrs. B is savvy enough to see through the ploy and spoil Jenny’s plan.
The dashing pilot that almost kissed Sarah last season is appointed the new Wing Commander and returns to town as Sarah learns that Adam has been captured by the Germans. A shaken Sarah tells Frances and Peter, “I know that this could be a lot worse, but this is bad enough for me.”
Bob Simms has been injured at the front and we see him being carried into a hospital on a stretcher. Sadly, he doesn’t look badly hurt.
After being summoned to police headquarters four times in three weeks, Alison Scotlock learns that all charges of accounting fraud against her will be dropped. Although she’s not required to cooperate with the authorities, she decides to do her patriotic duty and help them in ways that we assume will be revealed this season.
The episode closes as the after-church crowd rushes to the scene of a serious car crash involving Peter Barden and his assistant, Helen. We don’t know if he’s dead or alive. We also don’t know if his relationship with Helen was on the up and up—so we don’t know what to hope for.
Next Sunday night can’t get here fast enough!
Aired at 9pm on Sunday 3 April 2016 on ITV.
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