Marchlands – episode three gets more complicated still!

by Lisa McGarry

The episode opens with Robert identifying Alice’s body by the side of Blackwater Tarn.

We jump to 1968 and a visibly disturbed Robert stares at his image in the bathroom mirror.

1968
Ruth is at the hospital for ongoing fertility testing. To his surprise Paul is also tested. And it turns out they are unlikely to ever conceive again due to his low sperm count. It’s a bitter blow. Alice was a miracle.

Paul becomes increasingly distracted – he feels Ruth deserves better. Later he tells her that he’d understand if she wanted a divorce. The ensuing fight (during which he blames her for Alice’s death) culminates in a distraught Ruth slapping Paul and she storms out.

In desperation Ruth gets on a bus to Leeds where she meets student, Brian Keith. They go to a party. Ruth gets high and ends up kissing Brian. It’s only when Alice’s silver cross falls on the floor that she comes to her senses and runs out…

1987
Following a visit from the Social Worker, Eddie and Helen’s opinions begin to divide as to how best to deal with their daughter. Is she ill or could Alice be real?

The next day whilst watching the news Amy confides in Eddie that she thinks Alice drowned because she’s always wet. She tells him that Alice is here, in Marchlands. Eddie is completely thrown by these remarks.

Whilst Eddie is in Amy’s room trying to communicate with spirits, he accidentally discovers Alice’s scrap-book under the floorboards. He shows it to Helen but she dismisses him, and it. Ignoring her he goes to the library and unearths a newspaper article detailing Alice’s death – with the link of Marchlands. Amy’s drawing of Alice also matches the one in the article. Eddie then finds Alice’s grave…

Meanwhile at the Runcie house, young Mark is with Olive. They kiss and end up in bed together.

Later, an increasingly isolated Scott lies on his bed, and has a seizure.

2010
Ruth rushes to Marchlands to find a distressed Nisha in labour. It doesn’t look like the baby’s going to wait for an ambulance. Mark arrives just in time and they are both overjoyed to welcome a little girl into their family.

Ruth brings a present for the baby – it’s Alice’s old music box. Ruth’s then a little spooked to hear that they are going to name the baby Alice, and more so when Nisha finds Alice’s old teddy bear in the cellar.

Later Mark reprimands Nisha for getting so carried away with recreating Alice’s old bedroom.

Ruth is bathing Baby Alice when she narrowly escapes scalding hot water, which suddenly appears from nowhere. As the mirror steams up a word is written – ‘a s k o r’. Ruth is perplexed.

As an escape, Mark goes out running but this time chooses to visit Olive. They reminisce about old times.

Meanwhile, at the village shop, Nisha discovers via Scott that Mark had an affair with Olive. As she leaves she tells Scott they’ve named their baby Alice…

Thursday, 17 February 2011, 9:00PM – 10:00PM ITV1

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