Warning: this article contains spoilers for episode two of The Cry.
Episode two of The Cry, starring Jenna Coleman and Ewan Leslie, aired at 9pm on 7 October. And, much like the first episode – which dealt with the ENTIRELY FAKE disappearance of Alister (Leslie) and Joanna (Coleman)’s baby son, Noah – it left us with a lot of questions.
Here, Stylist’s digital editor Kayleigh Dray does her best to unravel them all. Because she wants answers, ASAP.
What really happened to baby Noah?
Surprise: Noah wasn’t actually in the back of the car.
That’s right: the baby’s “disappearance” was staged by slippery AF Alister, who – as we see at the end of the episode – is completely aware of what has really happened to his son. Although, to be fair, so is his wife: indeed, at the end of the episode, we are shown the pair pulling up to the grocery store and Ali telling his stricken wife to wait a minute before coming inside. As she counts down, the camera pulls back to reveal the baby already gone.
So… where the hell is he?
Well, let’s think back: the last time we saw Noah alive and well (and blissfully silent) was sitting on Alister’s lap on the plane, having just touched down in Australia.
After that, things get a little hazy: we see his pushchair, but we never see him sat in it. We see Jo and Alister talking in the car, but we don’t hear a peep out of their cantankerous baby. And we did see Joanna holding what appeared to be Noah in her arms in the living room of their holiday rental – or, at the very least, a bundle of blankets and a little knitted cap.
Indeed, as we pointed out last week, the young mother is already behaving oddly at this point in the timeline: when she is asked how older her son is by the owner of the property, she answers with a precise “three months and 17 days”, before crushing Noah’s “body” towards her and rushes outside to vomit over the balcony.
At what point, then, did Noah actually disappear?
Why are Joanna and Alister lying to the police?
The easy answer here, of course, is to cover up a crime. However, it seems Alister (whom we have had pegged as a slippery character since episode one) has more to gain from his son’s disappearance than Jo: he can use it to smear his ex-wife’s character, and win custody back of his teenage daughter.
“We’ve done the right thing,” he tells Joanna, during a secret conversation in the garden. “The only thing that makes sense.”
“Chloe, Alexandra – they don’t deserve this,” she responds – possibly referring to the DNA-smeared sock found in Alexandra (Asher Keddie)’s home.
“We just need to let this play out,” he insists. “These cops are smart – but we’re smarter.”
One thing’s for sure, though: both Joanna and Alister know exactly what happened to their son. Which means that one – or both – of them is the cause of his disappearance.
And on that note: what will happen to Alexandra?
Suffice to say, things don’t look good for Alex at the moment.
Let’s review the evidence piling up against her, shall we?
1) Her car was seen at Elizabeth’s house, and at Alister and Joanna’s holiday cottage.
2) She had created a fake Facebook profile under the name of Daniel Falcon, purely to stalk Joanna on social media for three years.
3) She was found inside the holiday cottage just before Alister and Joanna’s arrival.
4) She barged into a fast-food establishment, looking dishevelled and suspicious, extremely near the spot where Noah (supposedly) disappeared, at exactly the moment he was supposed to have been taken.
5) She had a shovel in the boot of her car – and fingernails smeared with dirt.
6) She called Joanna a couple of weeks before the trip to Australia to talk about the custody battle, telling her she didn’t know how it felt to have a child taken away from her.
7) That aforementioned sock – how did it get in her house?
No wonder they arrested her, really. I would have arrested her, and I know for a fact that she didn’t bloody do it. However, as we saw in the ‘future’ timeline, it is Joanna who ends up on trial – not Alex. Which suggests that things can only get better for the Aussie at some point.
“There’s a lot of fear in Alexandra and I hope that I have made the progression from really palpable fear on her part through to great strength,” Keddie told Stylist when we asked after her character earlier this week.
“There’s a redemption for her as a woman and as a mother later in the show.”
Was Alister abusing Joanna?
“I’d forgotten that I used to be strong,” Joanna tells her court-appointed psychiatrist.
It is a loaded statement, and one that makes us even more deeply suspicious of her husband. After all, he’s the one who refused to help out with the baby at home. He’s the one who made her feel like an inadequate mother. And he is seemingly the one who decided to lie about Noah’s “disappearance”: we see him orchestrate the events leading up until it – and after it, too. Alister is the one who demands that his wife cry during the press conference, who gets in touch with a dodgy journalist to strike a deal and sell their story exactly as they wish it to be sold. It is he who makes a short film of clips to demonstrate to his fragile wife how she had been messing up in front of the world’s press (yes, really).
One thing we don’t know, though, is whether he is the cause of the mysterious bruises on Joanna’s arm.
Speaking about his character previously, Leslie said that Alister is “someone who likes to be in control” and slowly starts to unravel throughout the series.
“He is a tricky character,” the Top of the Lake actor continued. “I imagine he will be a tricky character for the audience.
“He’s a tricky character to play because he’s not very sympathetic.”
Again: why is Joanna on trial?
As noted last week, Joanna is a person of extreme interest in a court case. She spends time with a psychiatrist, who attempts to ascertain her state of mind (the ruling: that Joanna has suffered significant trauma, but is of sound mind) – and takes to the stand to be questioned.
However, we still don’t know what she stands accused of: kidnap? Fraud? Murder? Something that is somehow worse than all of these put together?
Speaking about her character, Coleman has said: “‘When we meet her she’s dealing with post-natal depression. What’s interesting is that she doesn’t behave in the way that someone whose child has gone missing should.
“You would expect outpourings of emotion, but that doesn’t happen.
“And once a newspaper puts a lens on that it’s, ‘Why is she not grieving? Is she in shock or is she a liar?’ I guess the question is, ‘How would you expect someone in that position to behave?’ There’s constant double-bluffing going on.”
Where is Alister during Joanna’s court case?
Alex and Chloe’s attendance at the trial has been confirmed with a fleeting shot or two – but Jo’s slimeball of a husband remains pointedly absent. Could it be that he is also a P.O.I and is, therefore, waiting behind bars for his own trial? Did their marriage fall apart after the events of Noah’s “disappearance”, resulting in him refusing to attend her trial? Did he shove all of the blame on his wife, so that he could get away scot-free? Did he crack under the pressure of the investigation? Did he join Noah, wherever Noah might be?
We guess we will have to wait and see. Roll on the third episode.
The next episode of The Cry will air Sunday 14 October, 9pm on BBC One. You can watch the first and second episodes here.
Image: BBC One