It’s party time in Little Birds episode 2, as subplots continue to develop, but the show is still suffering from a lack of urgency.
This recap of Little Birds season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Since Lucy isn’t getting any at home, it only makes sense that she’s attracted to the work of Lili Von X and seduced by her claims that the camera loves her – after all, beyond the odd snarky remark, she really has no recourse against Hugo for not wanting to put it about. Naturally, though, he still wants to play husband when it comes to banishing Lucy from mixing with Lili and suchlike at a swanky wrap party.
This is only one of several burgeoning subplots in Little Birds episode 2, but it becomes clear early that they’re due to coalesce at the mansion party. Secretary Vaney is trying to avoid rebellion before the arrival of the King and invites Cherifa, word about whose defiance is beginning to spread, up to the party. With him in attendance, Hugo will be on-hand to sell gear at Grant’s behest, though he’s initially turned away, while Lucy secures invitation from the Contessa.
Lucy needs someone to accompany her to the party, obviously, and so after tracking him down through his bar tab, she asks Adham if he’ll take her – he will, and before that, he’ll take her out shopping. Hugo is none too keen on all this at first, but the rather exclusive attendees of the party compel him to attend; they arrive as a fittingly dysfunctional threesome.
By this point in Little Birds season 1, episode 2, everyone’s there, including Cherifa’s lover Leo, doing a job of work for the Contessa as penance for an earlier break-in. The Contessa is concerned about rebellion given the King’s impending return, potential nationalist support, and the prospect of independence, but Secretary Vaney is quite sure that French imperialist rule will continue to be kind to her.
It will not, though, be kind to Cherifa, who sees the Contessa with Leo and gets hysterical about it, nor will it be all that kind to Hugo, who can’t get Vaney’s attention for love nor money. But Lucy can. He notices her dancing and pulls her aside, inviting her to lunch – without her husband, naturally.
The high-society shindig is virtually mandatory in such things, but at least Little Birds got it out of the way early. An indulgent episode, both in terms of setting but also pace, it’s clear that Sky Atlantic’s off-kilter drama is still laying the groundwork at this early stage. But with only six episodes, two of them now expended, it’s about time that the various percolating subplots really start to heat up.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.