Weekly coverage of HBO and SKY’s limited series co-production The Baby continues with episode 2 “The Seduction.”
Missed an episode? Catch up here: Episode 1
Episode two begins in the near immediate aftermath of episode one, as Natasha (Michelle de Swarte) struggles with the sudden reappearance of the mysterious baby (Albie Pascal Hills & Arthur Levi Hills). Following a brief visit with Rita (Isy Suttie) that adds several new interesting elements to the mystery (more on that in a moment), Tasha investigates the background of Lydia (Sophie Reid), the woman whose body fell off the cliff in the cold open last week.
Of course we know from “The Seduction”s cold open how Lydia came into possession of the baby: she inherited it after the cursed child caused its former caretaker, Yolanda (Angela Yeoh), to choke on a cookie at the amusingly named Crookies Cookies.
It’s definitely alarming when Tasha learns that she’s the latest in a long line of unfortunate women that the baby has latched onto (and presumably killed). What’s more fascinating, however, is seeing the range of the baby’s powers: I had wondered how other characters would react to the sudden appearance of a child in Tasha’s life, so her encounter with Rita, where the baby telepathically makes Rita believe that Tasha has always had a child, is a fun (by which I mean terrifying) solution.
Aside from these revelations, the best part of “The Seduction” are Tasha’s reactions to the baby. It doesn’t hurt that Albie and Arthur are so expressive, so the demon child frequently looks like it’s laughing at her and enjoying her torment. Their road trip adventures in the episode are definitely a high point and another great showcase for de Swarte’s comedic timing.
- The last few minutes of the episode see Tasha attempt to leave the baby in the woods, but she ultimately returns to pick it up. This is a pretty significant moment considering Tasha spent most of the premiere looking for any opportunity to pass it off; still, it felt like series co-creator and episode writer Siân Robins-Grace wanted to play this interaction as a bigger deal than it actually is. After all, don’t we already know that regardless of what Tasha does, the baby will end back up on her doorstep?
- In case you were wondering, the sex of the baby is male. We’ll see if that plays a role in the series’ future (perhaps this factors into why he seemingly only targets single women?)
- I was unsure how to feel about Divian Ladwa‘s Fooze in the cold open, but when Tasha shows up and he not only cracks jokes, but also helps her change the baby’s diaper, I quickly warmed up to him. Ladwa’s mile-a-minute line delivery is spot on, and a nice counterpoint to de Swarte’s frustrated, browbeaten Tasha.
- RIP Rover. You were a good boy that we all knew was doomed the minute we saw you chase that tennis ball.
- Speaking of Rover’s death, I definitely got Gage from Pet Sematary vibes from his protracted death set piece on the highway. Anyone else?
- We hear a mention of, and even see the back of Tasha’s sister Bobbi (Amber Grappy), but no reveal. It’s an interesting creative decision to draw out her appearance.
- The more immediate “threat” occurs in the climax when Mrs. Eaves (Amira Ghazalla) appears in Tasha’s backseat. There was a lingering shot of a car parking in the Crookies Cookies parking lot earlier, so it’s safe to assume that this woman has been tailing Tasha throughout the episode and likely passed along the hard drive in the manila envelope.
- Best Line of the episode: Following an overhead shot of poor Rover’s highway accident, we get a smash cut to Tasha in the car exclaiming to the baby: “Super fucked up! You can’t just kill a dog!”
The Baby airs Sundays on HBO