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Alice Hart’s story, both as a child and a young adult, has always been about heavy themes like the effects of abuse and trauma. Other episodes have broadened that to include other characters. Now, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart 1×06 emphasizes the cyclical nature of abuse more than any episode of this show has so far.
Alice (Alycia Debnam-Carey) found a safe haven at her grandmother’s flower farm after her parents died in a fire when she was 9. Her father Clem (Charlie Vickers) had been abusive and Alice started the fire to stop him from hurting her and her pregnant mother Agnes (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Though she was safe with her grandmother June (Sigourney Weaver), Alice discovered as a young adult that June kept secrets for her own misguided reasons. Alice left and didn’t want any contact with anyone at the farm. Which is understandable. But it has also had unfortunate consequences. More drama and revelations were clearly in Alice’s future.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart 1×06 does not shy away from the tough subject matter that has defined this show from the start. It also does a strong job of fleshing out character backstories. This has a positive effect on the entire overall narrative.
“Written in the stars.”
In the previous episode, Alice started a romance with Dylan (Sebastian Zurita) who works at the local national park with her. I suspect most viewers were like me and felt apprehensive about this guy immediately. Well, unfortunately, those instincts prove correct. Alice and Dylan seem happy at first. Then, he starts guilting her into staying away from her friends. And then he starts demanding where she’s been. It’s textbook abuser behavior.
This continues after the first time he hits her. He cries, apologizes sincerely, and promises it will never happen again. It’s sad and frustrating to watch Alice go through the same pain and then forgive this guy. Not to mention enraging. We know he won’t stop and she should know he won’t stop. When he inevitably hurts her again, it’s genuinely frightening.
The show also wisely takes the opportunity to show how abuse can repeat itself. Not just through the plot but also through other storytelling techniques. Alice inevitably remembers her father during this time, and as Dylan is yelling to be let into her house at the end of the episode, she imagines her mother encouraging her to let him in. “It’ll only get worse if you don’t.”
“My love will not leave you.”
The stories of June and her wife Twig (Leah Purcell) in this episode also support this theme. Twig has left the farm because June lied to everyone about Alice’s little brother. He survived his premature birth due to the fire and Twig is searching for Alice to tell her. Alice manages to avoid her. She also leaves her a message convincing her she’s happy and she’ll get in touch when she’s ready. While she’s searching, Twig’s past comes into focus. She used to be involved with a man who spitefully got her kids taken away from her.
Meanwhile, June has her own history that falls under the category “Men are the worst.” Facing the last stages of her cancer, June wants to write to her first love, a woman named Roberta, to say goodbye. She reveals to her adopted daughter Candy (Frankie Adams) that she and Roberta were surprised by a gang of men one day. June got Roberta to run but the men caught June and raped her. That is how Clem was born.
Now, June’s choices which seemed overbearing make more sense than ever. Of course the idea of Clem having a male child scared her. Clem must have reminded her of his father when his violent tendencies began. With Twig now headed back to June and Alice on her own against Dylan, the final episode has a big job ahead of it. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart 1×06 layers the theme and characters of its story together very well. The next episode has a chance to resolve these women’s connections in a satisfying way.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart is streaming on Prime Video.