The overt theme of episode 2 is protection of loved ones and how that’s best accomplished. Do you tell all and keep them close? Do you keep secrets and keep them at a distance? Do you lose hope and give up on life? Do you become so overprotective that you’re willing to cross any line to protect your own?
Do you stick your head in the sand and pretend the crisis isn’t happening for as long as you possibly can?
That’s the choice of most of the British people, as Elaine has the Hard Sun story published, but MI5 quickly has it debunked as a hoax. Elaine and Charlie are now relatively safe, but left with the underlying theme of the night, paranoia. The paranoia theme is really the stronger theme, since Elaine and Charlie don’t trust each other, Charlie’s family life is strained, Daniel is spiraling again, Grace continues to stalk them, and there’s a new serial killer on the lose, inspired by the Hard Sun story.
The cinematography is very Hitchcockian, with odd camera angles and shadows that distort people and make locations look sinister. Elaine and Charlie spend a lot of time looking sideways at each other, instead of straight on, slyly trying to determine if the other can be trusted, or if they can get away with their next lie. There’s a strange glow to the light, reminding us at all times that the Hard Sun is coming, and the changes have already begun.
The villain of the week looks like Harry Potter’s friend Hagrid gone bad, grimacing insanely at everyone he encounters. He even goes to Hagrid’s isolated cottage in the country. We’re reminded that a friendly giant turned into a scared, violent ogre is only the beginning of the troubles ahead.