Recap: Mothers and Daughters - Season 1 - Episode 1

Kat and teen daughter Alice move in with estranged grandma Del. Escaping the tension, Alice explores the farm and finds herself on a surprising journey.

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The year is 1814 in Port Haven, New Brunswick and an unknown young woman is terrified and running for her life. Covered in dirt and out of breath, she’s being chased by shadowy figures. With them closing in, she reaches the end of a forest and there’s nowhere to go besides the pond in front of her. She mumbles to herself briefly before jumping in and disappearing under the water, free from her pursuers.

Forward to present day, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where 15-year-old Alice Dhawan is up next to perform at her high school talent showcase. She’s introduced by the host and takes the stage. Before she begins, she glances over at her father, Brady, in the audience, only to see him distracted on his phone. Her mother? Nowhere in sight. She runs offstage and sets off the school fire alarm before exiting the building.

Outside, Alice’s mother Kat rushes up to the school only to meet ex-husband Brady and Principal Mendoza mid-conversation. They are both disappointed to learn from Ms. Mendoza that Alice is no longer welcome back at the school. They call Alice, who doesn’t answer. A vulnerable Kat reveals she’s been let go from her dream job as a reporter while Brady shares that his girlfriend, Rachel, just moved in with him. Brady receives a text message: Rachel knows where Alice is.

Kat and Brady arrive at Kat’s house and discover Alice is throwing a house party with her friends. Angrily, they kick everyone out and demand an explanation from Alice. But Brady announces he can’t stay as he is due in court in the morning. Kat attempts one more conversation with Alice about the fire alarm and house party. But Alice is still frustrated by her mom’s absence from the talent show. She tells Kat their family is a big mistake and runs upstairs.

That night, Kat finds a letter in the mail from her estranged mother, Del Landry, in Port Haven. The note ends with two words: “Come home.” A shaken Kat needs a moment before making a direct phone call to Del.

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On the car ride to Port Haven, Alice expresses to Kat that moving to the middle-of-nowhere is ridiculous and she shouldn’t be comfortable going because she will be forced to remember the past. Kat reassures her it’s best for them for now because it is a special place.

When Kat and Alice arrive, Del briefly acknowledges Kat but goes immediately to Alice. She offers to take Alice on a tour of the farm. Kat goes inside and soaks up the nostalgia, experiencing memories of happier times.

At dinner, Del asks Alice and Kat their plans while in Port Haven. Kat admits she wants to write a book, while Alice wants to do school virtually. Del tells her it’s not a good idea; she should go to school and meet people her age. Alice reluctantly agrees and heads upstairs to her new room, which is her mother’s childhood room. There, she texts her father that she hates the farm and asks him to call her. Under the bed, Alice finds a funeral program for her grandfather Colton, from February 2000.

As Del and Kat wash dishes from dinner, Kat thanks Del for taking the first step to mend their relationship by sending the letter. Even though it was in her own handwriting, Del denies she sent any letter and walks off.

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The next morning, Alice comes down for breakfast in pajamas and fluffy slippers. Del instructs her to get dressed before breakfast but Alice refuses. Since their dog, Fynn, needs to be let out, Del asks Alice to do the honors. She lets Fynn out and is met with the horror of fully dressed high school kids working on the farm. They take notice of her pajamas and she is mortified. She runs back inside and questions if Del did that on purpose. She did, if only to teach her a lesson on getting dressed in the morning.

Kat reaches out to an old contact to share a pitch for her book idea, but the conversation goes nowhere. After her call, she hears Del outside questioning Kat’s childhood friend, Elliot Augustine. Del wants to know if he sent the letter to Kat or not. Kat rushes over to greet him and they embrace. He shares that he also moved home a few years ago and now teaches science at the local high school. Del leaves them to get caught up.

Alice runs outside and urgently tells Kat she cannot be late for school. When Alice arrives she feels like the center of attention amidst the whispers of other kids. She sees two of the students she saw working at the farm, Spencer and Zoey. They vow to protect her from the other kids and the rumors (including one that she set her old school on fire).

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At home, Kat receives a call from Brady, who wants to know how they are doing. Unhappy, Kat explains she heard his call with Alice and she’s disappointed that he continues to let her down. Furthermore, he has yet to tell her about Rachel moving in with him. Kat also shares Del has removed the history of her brother and dad from the house. Brady encourages her to stay strong, and that he still loves both her and Alice.

She decides to confront Del on the erasure of their family memories from the house. Del insists that it was best, that she needed to move on and so should Kat. But Kat disagrees – now she has nothing from the past to cling to.

In science class, Alice meets Elliot, her mother’s old friend. He assures her that if she ever needs anything – at any time – she can come to him. Alice nods and heads out only to be met with teasing kids at the door. Embarrassed, she bolts while Elliot looks on.

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Back at home, Kat visits the house’s basement, reliving memories of her father, Colton, and brother, Jacob. She’s interrupted by Del, who informs Kat that Alice is skipping school.

Kat finds Alice at a local café watching an old video clip of herself receiving a bracelet for her 13th birthday with the inscription “K + B, 1999.” Kat angrily interrupts and demands she get in the car.

When they arrive at the farm, Alice expresses she never asked for a new start and she wants to go live with her dad. Kat reveals that Rachel moved in with him. Alice is crestfallen that it’s really over between her parents. She runs off into the forest that Del told her about during their tour. She discovers the pond and removes her bracelet, angrily throwing it in. She immediately regrets her actions. But when she leans over to try and retrieve it from the pond, she falls in.

Submerged under water, she panics, trapped beneath the surface. She’s soon rescued by a 15-year-old girl who introduces herself as Kat Landry. Alice is in shock; she recognizes teen Kat as her mother. On their way back to Kat’s house, they run into a teenage Elliot as well as Kat’s father. Alice recognizes him from the funeral program she discovered in her room.

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In the house, as Kat helps Alice find some dry clothes, Alice notices the date on the calendar: it’s 1999. As she goes downstairs to dinner with Kat, the scene before Alice takes her breath away. Her grandmother Del, decades younger and very much in love with her husband, is smiling and friendly, while their son Jacob, Kat’s brother, is alive and well. Through conversation at dinner, Alice notices how much Del has changed since Colton and Jacob passed away.

After dinner, Del insists that teen Kat and Colton walk Alice home. Alice declines and assures she’ll get home safely by herself. Alice shares a tender moment with Jacob before hugging the teenaged version of her mother goodbye. Jacob steals a Polaroid of the moment. Outside, Alice is moved by the vision of the warm and loving family she sees through the window. It’s a far cry from the lonely house she left that morning.

Back in present day, it’s dinnertime and Kat is frantic about Alice as she sits with Del. Del isn’t worried, but when Kat mentions Jacob, tension flares between mother and daughter. Kat already regrets coming back to Port Haven. Kat calls Alice and leaves her a voicemail pleading for her to come back home. Defeated, Kat goes to Jacob’s room. In a tin box she found in the cellar, she finds a collection of his Polaroids. One of them is the photo of Kat and Alice, whose image is blurred, just out of focus. Kat stares intently at the picture, only to be distracted by a notification from Elliot. He texts her to tell her not to worry about Alice. She’ll find her way home.

Back in 1999, Alice heads over to teen Elliot’s house. She calls in the favor that he offered up to her earlier that day, that he would help her any time, any place. While teen Elliot is confused, in the present day, adult Elliot is not. He stands in the moonlight at the pond, looking out on the water. Kat’s call interrupts him. She questions him about his text message. He reassures her again that he is positive Alice will find her way home.