The Innocents Season 1 Episode 3: Bubblegum & Bleach Recap

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Best episode title ever.

There they go again. With so many people chasing them, June and Harry are always moving from place to place, trying to stay once step ahead. It’s a stark contrast to the Norwegian portions of the show, which are based on the subtle, slow moving character arcs of the people living in the Sanctum compound. You can’t help but compare June and Harry’s youthful exuberance to the damaged, uncertain middle-aged adult shapeshifters at Sanctum. Is June doomed to also lose her confidence and identity, or will Harry’s love and a supportive community help keep her psyche intact?

Harry gives Christine a rare chance to parent him without any interference in this episode. With just a few words she shows what an impact a supportive community can have. He’s overwhelmed by the ramifications of June’s shapeshifting, and not sure he can cope with how huge the whole thing is, plus he’s worried that he’ll end up injured by one of her shifts. When he tells Christine this, in very general terms, she says that’s how love works. Things change, but it’s still the same person.

Between having someone to share his burden with for a minute, being reminded of the example of his parents’ marriage, and hearing his mom’s sympathetic but realistic response, Harry gets what he needs in order to stick with June. That means that June continues to get what she needs as well, which will eventually help her figure out how to resist being triggered. Harry and June get to keep some of their innocence for a while longer, in exchange for the hard work of loving someone else unconditionally.

The beginning of episode 3 finds Harry and June asleep in a playground playhouse. June wakes up screaming after dreaming that she’s become Steinar again. Harry reassures her that she’s still in her own body and no one else has found them.

Harry exits his dream house by sliding down the exit slide head first, then they go to the park’s rest room to wash up. Both take off their shirts for the first time in front of each other (June keeps her bra on) and they each take covert glances at all of the newly revealed skin. Harry tries the park-provided soap, and judges that it smells like bubble gum and bleach.

June says that the cut on Harry’s eye from the fight with Steinar looks better. He turns to her and says, “Yeah?” She touches his eye and says, “No.” They finally give in and kiss, slowly and gently. June pulls back after a moment, looks deep into Harry’s eyes and asks what he’s feeling. He says he doesn’t know, which is good enough for June. They go back to kissing, only it quickly becomes more involved.

June sits up on the sink counter so that they’re at the same height, Harry moves between her legs, and they lose most of their shyness. It’s still slow and exploratory, mostly just making out, but I was ready to turn on the air conditioner.

Just when it’s getting really good, a custodian walks in, mop in hand, and, with a “seen it all before” tone in her voice, says, “Lovely spot for a hot date.” June and Harry break apart, laughing. June says, “Yeah, you’re right. I could do a lot better.”

The lovebirds throw their clothes back on, grab each other’s hands, and run through the park, laughing. They’re young and in love. They’ll worry about being broke, homeless, dirty and on the run later.

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Christine stops by the farm to check in with John, but, unlike his daughter, he’s terrible at communication and hasn’t called her to let her know he’s left town. Christine leaves a phone message for him. Too much of her life is spent trying to get through to uncommunicative men. No wonder she’s exhausted.

I’ll forgive John for not picking up this time, because he’s currently pulled over and helping Ryan with a panic attack. John wants to turn around and take Ryan home because he’s worried about Ryan’s health, but Ryan, the brave soul, insists on continuing. He’s not going to let June down, no matter how much suffering it causes him. John agrees to carry on. 😿

Up in the misty Norwegian fjords, Elena is pining for her daughter (ha!) and wearing an amazing sweater. Sigrid is preparing for her last day of therapy and left out of the sweater game, signaling her low status in the harem. Runa is worried about Elena and wearing a gorgeous sweater to rival Elena’s, signaling that the two of them are rivals for Ben’s attentions. (June has spent two episodes in a comfy, bulky white sweater, signaling the obvious.)

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The first time I watched this scene, I watched the sweaters and missed the dialogue.

Ben is distracted by Elena during his conversation with Sigrid. Runa wonders how they should handle Elena’s isolation. She asks Ben if they should tell her about Steinar and June. Ben adamantly opposes that idea. He feels the stress could jeopardize her progress. He wants Elena to feel safe and supported right now. Runa offers to talk to Elena. Ben agrees that would help.

Runa goes straight to Elena’s room. She finds the door locked.

Runa: Elena! Door unlocked and unobstructed at all times. You know that.

Elena: No privacy, no belongings, no sharing of secrets.

Runa: It’s hard at first, but it will get easier.

Elena: If we don’t participate in the program, do we have to leave?

Runa: The therapy isn’t easy for any of us, but surely you want to get better? [Runa gets a strange look on her face for a moment.] I know that June ran away from home.

Elena: What?

Runa looks confused: I thought Ben had told you. She’s like us. A shifter.

Elena: What? She’s? Are you sure? No.

Runa: She’s got the gift.

Elena: It’s not a gift. It’s a curse. I don’t want her to be like me. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Now, go, please.

Runa: Yes, yes. Yes, of course.

Runa leaves. She pretended that she told Elena by mistake, but she didn’t. She wanted to see what Elena’s reaction would be, and she didn’t get the reaction she was expecting. Her jealousy may be causing her to think that Elena is hoping to use being part of a mother-daughter shapeshifter pair to hook Ben.

Harry and June wander through the park and discuss their situation. They consider buying a tent and camping, once they’ve retrieved their bags from the flophouse. Harry thinks it’s too dangerous to go back, but June convinces him they need their stuff and the prepaid credit card. Harry gives in, but insists that he’ll go back alone.

They’re walking along a canal or river, and happen upon a boat having a yard sale. June picks up a snow globe to admire. A doberman rushes out of the boat, soon followed by its owner. He tries to strike a bargain with them for the snowglobe. When he discovers that they’re broke, he offers to let them stay on the boat while he and the dog run an errand. Having nothing to lose, June and Harry accept.

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Runa finds Ben working in the garden and confesses that she told Elena about June. She claims she forgot she wasn’t supposed to mention the news, and that her short term memory is getting worse as part of the progression of her “illness”. She tries to look contrite.

Steinar and Alf are parked in an empty lot, having slept in the van. They don’t have any leads on June and Harry. Alf asks what’s really going on, since he hadn’t seen Steinar for 8 years before his friend showed up with this strange job. Steinar admits that he’s not well.

The kids settle in on the boat. June thinks that Steinar is her only lead to her mom, but Harry still thinks that John knows much more than he’s told June. June is certain that John wouldn’t keep a secret like that from her. He was as devastated as the kids when Elena left. Oh, sweet, innocent summer child.

June goes to take a shower. These are innocents, so Harry doesn’t offer to join her. He tells her he’ll keep watch instead. The angels weep.

Ben joins Elena, where she’s pining next to the fjord.

Ben: June would be happy here. Safe.

[I think June’s shown pretty definitively that she has no interest in a place like that. Not so sure about her safety either, from a psychological angle.]

Elena: I want that for her. I love her so much. What you want from me, the past, the pain? I can’t go back there.

Ben: Yes, you can.

Elena: I’ll break. I’ll go mad.

Ben: I won’t let that happen to you, Elena. Listen, I know it’s difficult, digging up what’s buried, but you’re gonna have to face this. You’re gonna have to face June. And what are you gonna tell her? How are you going to teach her, now that you know that she is the same as you?

June: I felt it from the minute I held her in my arms. And ever since, I put myself first. So, what kind of mother am I?

[When Elena says she’s always known June is a shapeshifter, Ben gets so excited he almost jumps out of his skin. He holds it in, of course, but watch his face. There’s a little music cue, too.]

Ben: Listen, when June gets here, she’s gonna have two things that you never had: a support system and a role model. That last part is up to you.

I can feel in my bones that Ben is evil, but I want so badly to believe that he’s trying to help Elena. Meanwhile, this day/conversation is a turning point for the harem. Ben has openly put Elena first. He didn’t spring into action when Runa told him that her condition is worsening, unlike the dramatic scene the series opened with. He’s ignoring Sigrid’s big graduation day. All because Elena is quietly pouting after yesterday’s difficult therapy session. Whatever Runa hoped to gain from telling Elena about June, it backfired on her. She probably hoped Elena would leave to go find June.

Runa and Sigrid work in the boathouse and fume over the attention Elena’s getting. Sigrid complains about her workload for the last 3 years, as compared to how much attention and appreciation Ben gives her. She asks Runa not to tell Ben about her jealousy. I wouldn’t count on it.

Then Sigrid asks Runa what her final therapy test was like. Runa hesitates and just says that the therapy was very different when she did it. That doesn’t sound ominous or anything.

When Shane, the boat guy, returns from his errand, June is asleep. He and Harry have tea. Shane is pleased that the two have made themselves at home. So what’s the catch?

Christine stops by Doug’s office to tease him about his smoking. He asks about Harry and she says that she thinks he’ll be home soon. He wouldn’t hurt them by leaving for good.

Doug moves on to asking her how she can stand to watch him get the promotion that she was in line for. Christine tells him to lay off it. He wanted the job, so stop bugging her about it. Then Doug acts like she brought the subject up, and asks if she’s upset about the job, or the Pennines Five and Lewis? Because the previous supervisor took them off the case when the leads ran out, and he’s not going to reopen it.

Christine turns to walk out of the room, but he asks her to stay. She leaves, and his party and cake find him in his office.

June has another nightmare that she’s being kidnapped by Steinar or turned into Steinar. She wakes up in Harry’s arms 😻 and checks her hands to make sure they’re her own. There’s a party going on up on the deck, so she wakes Harry and they head topside. Shane introduces them to Lil, who’s gorgeous, vivacious, and taken with June.

Now that they’re rested, Shane presents them with a business proposal. He and Lil want to bring them to a club tonight, with a “load of what the party people want.” 😜 They get to keep 20% of what they bring in, cash in hand. Unless they have a better offer. The two kids give each other a long look, weighing the pros and cons of the endeavor. Harry looks more conflicted than June.

Christine is notified that Harry’s car was found in Stratford.

Steinar and Alf stake out the flophouse. Alf shows Steinar a photo of his girlfriend, who’s in the process of becoming surgically enhanced on his dime. Once she’s her “perfect self” she says she’ll marry him. I have a feeling it’s not going to go the way he hopes. Steinar shows some actual common sense about their relationship.

John and Ryan pull up at the flophouse and John goes inside. Does he go quietly, so as not to startle the wildlife or scare June and Harry off? No, of course not. He busts through the door and barrels up the stairs, yelling June’s name the whole way like he’s Stanley Kowalski. By the time he gets to the top of the stairs, the flat is empty except for Kevin, the guy who let Harry and June in. John shows him June’s photo and threatens to rough him up, but it’s not necessary. Kevin’s a decent guy and answers truthfully. As John’s leaving, he sees June’s bag and questions Kevin’s information, but Kevin tells him that the kids were running from someone. Maybe now he knows who. John takes the bag and leaves.

He doesn’t bother to find Harry’s bag. His continuous disregard for Harry and Christine really bugs me.

Back in the truck, John looks through June’s bag and discovers the credit card. He gets angry with Ryan when he realizes the extent of Ryan’s involvement in the escape. Ryan deflects by telling him that Christine keeps calling, so John finally calls her back. The first thing he does is accuse her of doing nothing and being too calm.

They exchange information and decide John will check hospitals. Christine will stay at home in case they come back. John agrees to stay in touch. Christine tries to call Harry again.

Lil gets June ready for the club, including a sparkly makeover with drugs concealed in her hair. I wanted her to put a weapon in there too, but maybe shapeshifters don’t need any other weapon. Lil is surprised to discover that June is a clubbing virgin, so she shares her motherly wisdom with June.

Lil: “It’s the easiest thing in the world. There’s just three things you need to know. One, if you’re dancing and it feels good, trust me, it looks good. Two, a drink isn’t just a drink, it’s a contract. Some guy buys you a vodka tonic and you’ll never be able to shake him off. He might think he can touch you, which is never okay, unless you want him to. Three, it is always more fun with the girls. Don’t tell Shane I said that.”

Lil is absolutely right on all counts, and I think I love her.

Then she slides something dangerous and illegal into our Sweet 16’s hair, and I’m not so sure.

But, then, they step up onto the deck, where the boys are waiting. When Harry sees his girlfriend looking like this:

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It puts this look on his face, and that proud papa look on Shane’s face, and all seems right with the world for a moment:

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Shane says, “Lucky boy.”

Side note: This is where we say goodbye to June’s trusty white sweater, which has carried her through 2 days of hard times and adventures.

While the show plays a cover of I’m on Fire that apparently isn’t available anywhere, the foursome gets dinner from a foodtruck and Lil shares more wisdom.

Lil: “I like Harry. Bet he keeps you busy, too.”

June, giggling: “What do you mean?”

Lil: “Boys that age are engines that run on sex. I mean, they can’t get their minds on anything else, can they? I guess that’s why they say girls mature faster. They get over the pure lust stage. Except me. No one ever said that about me.”

Shane does what we’ll soon realize is his patented handshake and half hug with the bouncer to get them into the club, then explains how they’ll operate inside. The handoffs will all involve the same handshake-bro hug move. They separate to different parts of the club. Business is brisk and it doesn’t take long for the product to sell out.

Shane and Lil buy a round of drinks, sample a little merchandise and spike Harry and June’s drinks. They join the couple on the dance floor and pass them their drinks. Shane tells them they’re off the clock for the night.

June and Harry get separated, with June left on the dance floor zoning out on the drugs and environment. Lil joins her for a dance, grope and make out session. June doesn’t mind at all.

A fight breaks out next to the girls and Lil is pushed away from June. June goes into shift state. Lil finds her again, then hugs her as she tries to calm her. June shifts into Lil and Lil passes out, or whatever it is they’re actually doing when their likeness is being used.

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June finds Harry, but she looks like Lil, so when she wants to kiss him he pushes her away. She’s so stoned that she doesn’t know she’s shifted. Harry figures out what happened, but still doesn’t want to kiss her. He says that it’s not right when it’s not her.

Well, that explains why Ben has the shifters repeat so much personal information geared toward remembering who they are. If enough people tell you you’re not you, you’ll start to believe it.

Hearing her boyfriend say she’s not her, which is a pretty profound statement when you think about it, sends June to the bathroom in tears, crying, “It’s not me!” She hides in a stall and pounds her fists back and forth on the walls in a way that makes me think she’s going to hulk out or evolve to the next stage or something, especially when she screams, “What’s happening to me?”

But she’s just having a really bad shift.

Harry, the best boyfriend in the entire world, fights through his own drug and alcohol haze, and his own freak out, to follow her into the ladies room stall. He doesn’t leave when she tells him to. Instead he promises that he won’t ever leave. He asks her to listen to his voice, and reminds her that she won’t look like Lil forever. It’s just for now. He holds her and speaks softly, switching his bracelet from his wrist to hers. 😭😍🔥💗

All of that love and amazingness brings June to the place she needs to be in to switch back to her own likeness. Harry leans toward her right away, and whispers, “I’ve got you.” June is still recovering, but she whispers, “I’ve got you,” back to him.

There’s an ambulance outside for Lil. She didn’t wake up when June returned to herself. Shane is freaking out, worried the drugs were bad. He knows Lil’s always careful with how much she takes.

June moves toward Lil, but Harry stops her. June explains that she’s the one doing this, not Steinar. He’s not here, and it happened again. Harry tries to deny it, but June knows it’s the truth. When the ambulance driver asks for someone who knows Lil to tell them what happened, June steps forward. She gives the paramedic the pill bag, and rides to the hospital with Lil.

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Shane tries to give Harry money, which Harry refuses. Then Shane leaves, worried he’ll be arrested. The paramedic tells Harry that June will be at the Princess Victoria Hospital.

Elena has a nightmare that includes flashbacks to John telling her to pack a bag and leave. The shocker is that she dreams about Harry’s dad, Lewis, asking her to be truthful and wanting to know what she sees when she looks in a mirror.

Harry finds June at the hospital. She says she was worried he wouldn’t find her, but he says, “I will always find you.”

They checked June into the hospital, but she’s refusing to be examined. Lil is in a coma. That hits Harry hard. His dad was in a coma, and has been severely disabled since then. June insists that she never meant to hurt Lil or him. Harry has so many questions and is so confused and worried. June can’t stand the wait any longer and goes to see Lil. Harry can’t sit and watch another person in a coma, so he stays behind.

John is checking hospitals. He shows both June and Harry’s photos to the nurse. When he gets back to the truck, my baby Ryan is whimpering in pain because of his back, but he wants to keep going. John says they’ll keep going, but first they need to take care of Ryan. They drive away, with Steinar and Alf tailing them.

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Harry calls his mom.

Christine: Harry?

Harry: Mum?

Christine: Are you hurt?

Harry, in tears: I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t think I’m strong enough.

Christine: Hey. It’s…It’s alright. I’m not angry. Let me come and get you.

Harry: Weird things are happening.

Christine: Just tell me exactly where you are.

Harry: June is…June is different.

Christine: Huh?

Harry: She can change, and I keep wondering if she’s really gonna hurt me.

Christine: That’s love, sweetheart. Things go wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s no one’s fault.

Harry (sighs, and thinks for a moment): I know. I know, you’re right. It’s not her fault.

Christine: Come on. Let’s get you home. Where are you?

Harry: I’m sorry, mum. Give dad a hug for me, okay?

Christine just did one of the hardest things you can do as a parent. She did the right thing for her son, but also the thing that took him farther from her. But she saved Harry and June’s relationship in a moment of crisis. Someday she’ll probably be glad she did.

Montage time! June watches Lil, while Harry goes outside to think and pull himself together.


 

The women’s hair is as telling as their sweaters. June has luscious, long, wavy strawberry blonde locks that make her big, blue eyes pop, all of it symbolic of fruitful innocence. Sigrid has short, blonde hair that almost disappears, once again showing that she’s at the bottom of the ladder. Her dress and overall look are barely feminine and Ben shows no interest in her as a woman.

Runa has straight, thin blonde hair cut into a chin length page-boy bob. Her clothes are farmer’s wife chic and attractive. She’s feminine and attractive, but middle aged. Ben flatters her and values her opinions, but doesn’t touch her beyond hand holding and casual touches, even though she’s his wife.

Elena has long, wavy locks to rival her daughter’s, but hers are golden blonde. She also dresses in feminine style suited to the farm, with clothes that could be straight out of a catalog. She’s moody and needy, and Ben is drawn to her. So, Runa chases Ben, who keeps her on the string while he chases Elena, who is too messed up to be interested in anyone, but still misses her family. Sigrid feels used and left out, like her hard work is never appreciated. Ben throws her a bone whenever he senses he might be losing her.

John has one emotional setting, fury. It was there even before June ran away. Just who is he and how did he end up with custody of two kids who aren’t his own? Where’s Elena’s family, their birth father, and his family? Why is he so devoted to them that he’s willing to sacrifice everything? Why is he so angry?

Despite what Doug said, he must have some guilt over the whole situation, given the way he brought up his promotion and the Pennines Five, then goaded Christine into anger. There were unanswered questions, but the higher ups won’t support a new investigation. But was Christine asking for one? I thought she was just thinking about the case because of the anniversary and her personal involvement. This case derailed her career and personal life. I bet she’s thinking about continuing to investigate now, since she has nothing left to lose.

There was a guy recording the fight. How much did he get?

When June was in that bathroom stall, pounding on the walls, I really wanted her to sprout wings or become invisible or something, but we’ll let my superhero dreams pass for now. We’ll just have to place those hopes on Ryan. But, seriously, someone needs to realize how to use this ability, not be afraid of it or abuse it. We need controlled shifting experiments, stat.

Were Elena and Lewis having an affair? Were Christine and Doug?

Lewis knew Elena and was in a coma. Now Lil’s in a coma after June shifted into her. Did Elena put Lewis in a coma, and is Lil doomed to be trapped in her mind and body the way that Lewis is?

John and Christine both showed that they’re caring parents this episode, and we started to get some backstory on how their lives unravelled.

 

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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