Episode 4 Recap

In Flesh and Blood‘s juicy finale, a victim and a perp are finally revealed, but a shocker leaves us hanging in the final frames! Return to the scene of the crime, rehash Jake’s inevitable disaster, and revisit Mary’s triumph—and the cliffhanger that could undermine it—in our Episode 4 recap. We still have questions!


  1. 1.

    Vivien: Dreams Dashed

    Francesca Annis in Flesh and Blood on MASTERPIECE on PBS

    What We Know
    When Helen asks Vivien to come over, she’s happy to go. But she arrives to find all three kids and what feels like an ambush as they warn her about the death of Mark’s first wife. She surprises them by saying she’s known all along, then leaves, hurt and angry and asking for their blessing. When she arrives home, she’s dizzy and woozy. Mary helps her out of her car, and Vivien admits, during a heart-to-heart, that she’s worried about the trip to India and her health, which had always been perfect before. Mary says that what matters about Mark is whether she trusts him, not what the kids think. But Vivien is not so sure. Later, while Mark sleeps, she sneaks out of their bedroom to look through his luggage, finding syringes and the mysterious vial. She’s caught by Mark! They soon have it out on the beach, where she explains that her trust was damaged by her husband’s cheating, and Mark says he wasn’t even there when his wife died; he was with his daughter. But he’s had enough with suspicion and gossip—he gives her an ultimatum, and she says she trusts him.

    At her party, she’s shocked to find Mark smoking and surly. As Jake antagonizes Mark, toasting his dead father, she rises above it and then raises her glass to her children and to Mark. But when Jake and Mark get into an ugly, drunken argument, she faints. By the time she regains consciousness, everything has changed. Surrounded by her family, she is shocked, disconnected, and devoid of her spirit. We leave her gazing out at the sea, now tethered to her old life, her dreams gone with the tides.

    What We Don’t Know
    At the end, is Vivien just in shock, as she looks around the table? Or is she suspicious of Mary and her children?

  2. 2.

    Mark: Surprise Survivor!

    What We Know
    After Mark’s ultimatum and Vivien’s reassurance that she trusts him, he’s anxious to depart for India. When Mary arrives for Vivien’s drinks, he’s already started drinking, and he makes no attempt to hide his disdain for her. Sulking out on the balcony, he snaps at Vivien, and when Jake toasts his father, he takes the bait and retaliates. Things instantly devolve into a hostile confrontation, as Mark roughly shoves Helen out of the way, distressing Vivien so much that she faints. Everyone rushes to her and push Mark away as he keeps trying force his way through, shouting, “I’m a doctor!” As he’s pushed away, he knocks Helen to the ground. A furious Jake hauls him away and Mark punches him in the face. Then Jake launches himself at Mark full force, his sisters trying to stop him but getting caught up as Mark crashes back against the railings, which break and collapse, and falls to the ground below.

    He’s unconscious and bleeding from a head injury as Mary pretends to do mouth-to-mouth, but actually attempts to suffocate him. Later, we learn from the detective that he does have a daughter, with whom he’s very close, in Spain. And as he lies still on life support in the hospital, we learn that he had high levels of alcohol and diazepam in his system, and that he’s unlikely to wake up. But suddenly, his eyes snap open!

    What We Don’t Know
    Will he recover? Will he remember what Mary did? And was he innocent of our suspicions, or had he been trying to kill Vivien after all?

  3. 3.

    Mary: First Responder

    Imelda Staunton in Flesh and Blood on MASTERPIECE on PBS

    What We Know
    Mary helps an unsteady Vivien out of her car when her friend arrives home after the confrontation with the kids. As she makes Vivien tea, she takes note of a bottle of pills in the kitchen. During their heart-to-heart, Vivien admits that she’s not always been there for her friend, but Mary disagrees; she’ll never forget how Vivien was there for her during and after the death of her baby. Mary vows that she’ll always be there for Vivien.

    Mary wants everything to be perfect for the celebration, baking canapes and putting finishing touches on the quilt she’s made of clothing from Vivien’s family. When she arrives at the celebration and gives Vivien the quilt, the two hug and share an emotional moment. During the celebration, she keeps refilling Mark’s glass. When Mark falls from the deck, the kids are frozen in shock, but Mary, sober, takes charge. She sends Natalie to call for an ambulance, Helen to her mother, and Jake indoors. Then she goes to Mark and, acting like she’s performing mouth-to-mouth, suffocates him.

    In her interview with the police, she tells a very convincing story of trying to save Mark. Without anything to go on, they close the case, leaving Mary gleefully raising her glass from her new place at the table, finally ensconced in the heart of Vivien’s family.

    What We Don’t Know
    Was Mary, constantly refilling Mark’s glass, the source of the diazepam found in his system, and if so, was her attempt to kill Mark premeditated, or opportunistic? Was she trying to protect Vivien and the kids, or was a warped and toxic jealousy behind her act?

  4. 4.

    Jake: Inevitable Exposure

    Russell Tovey in Flesh and Blood on MASTERPIECE on PBS

    What We Know
    Things look promising for Jake’s future as he, Leila and the kids take an idyllic walk on the beach. Stella, sensing what’s in the cards, regretfully tells Jake that they should discontinue their arrangement—with things going so well with his marriage, it’s not right. She’ll let him stay in the flat, partly because she suspects he’ll be returning to his family home before long. But just after they had their final, parting encounter, Leila lets herself into the flat, finding Stella, post-coital, in nothing but Jake’s shirt! Leila storms out, thoroughly disgusted. Their marriage is over.

    On arriving at Vivien’s celebration, Jake is already drunk and belligerent. He deliberately tries to provoke Mark by toasting his father, setting the stage for Mark’s bitterly sarcastic retaliation about Viven’s “wonderful, wonderful” family. An angry, drunken argument ends with Jakes’s accidental push of Mark off the balcony. In the aftermath of the events, he’s with his family, sans Leila, congregating for a meal at Vivien’s house. The scene is one of warmth and connection, but the guilty looks that the siblings exchange between their laughs and smiles signal the dark side of the family’s restoration: that they are now and forever bonded by secrets and lies.

    What We Don’t Know
    A reconciliation with Leila is certainly not in the cards, but is there a spark of unexpected connection, beyond their transactions, between Jake and Stella?

  5. 5.

    Helen: Hard Truth & Hope

    Claudie Blakey in Flesh and Blood on MASTERPIECE on PBS

    What We Know
    Helen’s daughter Lily delivers some hard truth to her mother when Lily tells her to back off with George, and to stop drinking so much. But the damage is already done, as Helen learns that not only is Meera filing a wrongful dismissal suit against the hospital, but that she’s threatening a suit against Helen as well, and is using the unsavory material about Helen she’s compiled through Lily’s social media posts to force Helen to accept the board’s recommendation that she resign. But, having lost all she’s worked so hard for, she puts her loss to good use and seeks out George to confesses that she’s taken him for granted; she’s not listened; and she doesn’t blame him for leaving. He kisses her with a newfound urgency, but says he can’t come back, not yet.

    What We Don’t Know
    We don’t know for sure if George will come back and their relationship will survive, but Helen appears to have had a genuine breakthrough that should help her and her loved ones find happiness.

  6. 6.

    Natalie: A Bun in the Oven?

    Lydia Leonard in Flesh and Blood on MASTERPIECE on PBS

    What We Know
    Surprising Natalie (and viewers), Tony reveals that in spite of how furious he is about the lies, he loves Natalie, admires her guts, and wants to marry her. They return to the dream house where he describes his plans for their life together. Between the house, the pool, and the horses, he says, she will be too busy to work. As Natalie protests that she likes her work, she sees her attractive young replacement waiting for Tony by the car. Crying “I can’t do this,” Natalie flees, knowing that marrying Tony would be a huge mistake. Later, at Vivien’s celebration, Natalie confides in Helen that her period is late!

    What We Don’t Know
    Natalie hasn’t done a pregnancy test yet, but it’s unlikely that she’s mistaken, given how closely she was paying attention when she was trying to get pregnant before…


The For Sale sign is removed, the family is restored, and the case is closed…until Mark regains consciousness! What does this cliffhanger ending portend? Was Mark intending to kill Vivien? What were Mary’s motivation? Does Vivien suspect that her family is hiding something? Trade theories with other Flesh and Blood viewers in MASTERPIECE’s Mystery group on Facebook.


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