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The Stranger Recap Episode 2


The Stranger, Richard Armitage
Image from The Stranger, currently streaming on Netflix

The most horrifying moment of the second episode of The Stranger for me was the attack on Heidi (Jennifer Saunders) by Katz (Paul Kaye). Heidi lived the most normal of lives -- she ran a café, she saved for years for a vacation, she raised her child. When the Stranger and her blonde accomplice approached Heidi and blackmailed her for ten thousand pounds, Heidi's initial reaction, like a law abiding person with nothing to hide, was to go to the police. Later, she decided to go see her daughter and confront her about the circumstances that led to the blackmail. Before she died, Heidi had decided to sacrifice years of savings to save her daughter from humiliation and likely a ruined future.


Kimberly, Heidi's daughter, was in university. Because her education would have left her deeply in debt, Kimberly decided to join a website that introduced her to wealthy men. It was online prostitution. Somehow, the blackmailer found out. Heidi saw her daughter's bright future going down the drain if her secret came out, so she decided to pay the blackmailer.


Heidi was alone in her café, sorting out the accounts, when Katz came knocking. He introduced himself as police and claimed he knew about the blackmail. He was interested in everything she could tell him about the blackmailers. Heidi figured out that Katz was lying and tried to call for help. Katz overpowered her, however. With a bullet wound in her leg, Heidi tried to be quiet, because Katz threatened Kimberly. To her last breath, Heidi still fought to save her daughter.


In a show that exposes the secrets of good natured neighbours and friends, Heidi seemed like a thoroughly decent person. This is why it was so difficult to watch what happened to her. Katz, it turned out, was a real police officer; he worked with Johanna.


Corinne still had not come home. Adam hid the truth from his neighbour Tripp, who kept asking about Corinne. Adam, however, confessed that he did not know where Corinne was to Vicky. Vicky covered for Corinne at a school activity because Corinne sent her a text message saying she would not be in.

Image from The Stranger, currently streaming on Netflix

Adam was surprised when Vicky told him she knew he and Corinne were having problems; as far as Adam knew, he and Corinne were fine until the Stranger came along. Vicky said that Corinne had been stressed in the last few weeks.


Vicky was struggling with her own issues; she now knew why her daughter Ella was upset. Someone uploaded graphic photos from Ella's phone online. Ella denied that those were her photos, and Vicky believed her. Adam advised Vicky to call a family lawyer because Ella was 14 years old and what happened to her was child abuse.


Daisy, Ella's sister, figured out what to do with the severed alpaca head in Thomas's closet. Daisy, Thomas, and Mike went to bury the head in the woods; Daisy was going to make the scene appear as though there was a satanic ritual. They were interrupted by the appearance of a man in the shadows. The three got separated as they ran and Mike, with the garbage bag that used to hold the alpaca head still in his hand, was found by Johanna and Wes.


Using an app in Dante's phone, Johanna and Wes found the bonfire site. The app was also how they tracked down the three friends to the woods. After seeing Thomas, Mike, and Daisy in the hospital visiting Dante, Johanna was convinced they knew more than they were saying.


That the Stranger was a blackmailer was a surprise to me because she did not give any indication that she wanted money from Adam in the previous episode. A character doing dastardly things for money was a far less interesting character than someone who just wanted chaos for the sake of chaos, or truth for the sake of truth. The Stranger could very well be both but, as of this episode, all we knew was that a policeman, Katz, was willing to kill to find her.

Image from The Stranger, currently streaming on Netlifx

Strays

■ Heidi's café was Brown Sugar Café. Aw. Her final gift to Johanna was a penis shaped cake delivered in a pink box with a balloon. It was funny, sweet, and very Heidi, based on the little we know about her at this point.

■ Johanna and Heidi agreed to meet at Heidi's café on the night Heidi was attacked.

■ When the blackmailers mentioned the website, Heidi first thought her husband Ian was cheating on her.

■ Adam continued to hide Corinne's disappearance from the boys.

■ This episode was the first mention of a sickly student in the school.

■ Mike believed that someone spiked his drink at the bonfire.

■ Adam purchased DNA testing kits to check the paternity of the boys.

■ Adam asked Martin to look for Suzanne Hope. It turned out that Martin had been using his free time to look into missing cases. Martin found Suzanne's home address fairly quickly. When Adam went there, however, Suzanne's husband attacked him at the mention of Corinne's name.

■ Adam's father Ed (Anthony Head) was a silent partner in the company trying to evict Martin from his home.The relationship between father and son was clearly not great.

■ Adam grew up on the street where Martin lived.

■ Bob and another member of the football club, Jason, wanted to know where Corinne was. They suspected Corinne of stealing a substantial amount of money from the football club.

■ I meant to mention this in my previous recap, but one tiny detail I noticed in these first two episodes was how the camera would pan on Corinne's earrings. The earrings would be mentioned later in the series.


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