Home Fires Season 1 Episode 2 Review

Home Fires

Home Fires Season 1 Episode 2 Review

England has entered the war against Germany and the bucolic beauty of Great Paxford in the late summer sunshine is marred by troupes training in the streets.

Our heartstrings are pulled taut in the opening scene when Miriam Brindsley glances out the butcher shop window at a group of young solders running in formation. She thinks she sees her David in uniform, at the back of the pack. Miriam tears out of the shop in hot pursuit, calling his name. As the soldiers pull away, David emerges from the shop to calm his confused and shaken mother.

Seeing his wife’s fragile emotional state, Bryn counsels David. Do you want to “show your ma you’re no longer a child, David? Give her this. Wait to be called.” David reluctantly agrees and relays his decision to his relieved mother.

Home Fires


Frances Barden has decided that the cricket pitch should be plowed up and pressed into service as agricultural land. This idea is not endorsed by most of the local men. Her loyal gaggle of gal pals, led by her sister, convinces her to postpone this initiative until after cricket season.

Joyce Cameron, of course, has not been sitting idly by. Stirring the pot is her long suit and she does just that by deliberately starting a rumor that Frances intends to plant flowers (not food) in the pitch to beautify the town during wartime. She’s also convinced the local council to requisition the school cottage and the WI meeting hall for the RAF.

Home Fires


Teresa Fenchurch, the town’s new teacher, finds lodging with the widow Alison Scotlock and they bond over a harrowing incident with her ill-tempered dog Boris. We’re glad Alison has some company—she’s going to need a friend. Local businessman Mr. Driscoll wants Alison to overlook his shady bookkeeping, allowing him to profiteer from the war. Alison’s unshakeable integrity shines through and she shows him the door.

Pat surreptitiously secures a job as a telephone operator, but not before enduring a humiliating encounter with her abusive husband where he dictates when she can visit the loo. We want this guy hauled off to the front lines, fast.

With the WI hall requisitioned, the group finds a new home above the Horse and Groom. The best scene of the episode occurs when the members are casting their secret ballots for president—with the only candidates being Joyce and Frances. They’ve been asked to wait on the bench outside the room until the vote is counted. Joyce turns to Frances and asks, “Mrs. Barden, have you ever wondered what might be achieved if we joined forces?…We both know what we want. Neither of us suffers fools gladly. We’re cut from the same cloth, Mrs. Barden, and I think you know that.”

Frances replies, “What are you proposing, Mrs. Cameron? A ministry of all talents?”

“We’d be a formidable team. Unstoppable. And please call me Joyce….Unstoppable, Mrs. Barden?”

“Unthinkable, Mrs. Cameron,” Frances declares to our great relief. Mrs. Barden is elected president.

The episode ends with National Registry Forms being collected in the village. Miriam fills out the form for the Brindsley household, listing only she and her husband. We know she’s hoping to save David, but we’re left with a very uneasy feeling.