It’s not often that TV chooses to give you a relationship as complicated as the one between Pat Simms and her husband Bob on “Home Fires,” mostly because this is a case where many fans just can’t get behind wanting to root for these two to stay together at all. He’s a terrible human being, even to the point where you don’t even feel that sorry for him after his injuries. We do not wish death on anyone, even TV characters, but we do hope that eventually Pat realizes that there is a way to safely escape his clutches and find some other happiness for herself.
At least briefly on Sunday night’s new episode, Pat had that happiness courtesy of some time she spent with Marek, who treated her like a real person rather than just a tool or someone to order around. It is too bad that the two are likely afraid of taking it any further, knowing what society would do to them. It was temporary happiness in the midst of what was elsewhere a fairly sad episode. Take, for example, Will’s disease continuing to progress, and his fear beginning to run rampant that he will not be able to be there for his children moving forward. Just like with marriage, few shows also show characters legitimately afraid of death much as people are in real life.
Now, let’s turn to the real shocker of the night: Before his death, Peter was apparently signing some items away, which makes it clear that he may not have been as loyal or as faithful as everyone thought. Maybe perhaps we’re reading too much into that, but why craft this episode with that as the cliffhanger ending otherwise? We feel for Frances, though to be fair we also did before this revelation was made.
Also in this episode, we saw Stan return home, but he and Steph had so many concerns that there were not many opportunities for them to relax … though it’s not like this is the sort of world where anyone can relax when you really think about it. This storyline was one we actually felt going in was going to produce a larger ripple effect; in the midst of the other super-depressing parts of the hour, it was almost a mere footnote in the midst of the drama.
Overall, “Home Fires” remains fine entertainment, but not the sort of British series you want to watch right before bed if you are feeling rather sad already. Episode Grade: B.
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