Mrs. Wilson (2018) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

Who was he? Who was my husband? He betrayed Gladys, he seduced Dorothy and he married me.
Why? I just need to know who he was.
Alec was a first class agent.
One of a tiny handful at that time.
His work out in India and then during the war He saved hundreds of lives.
So it wasn't a professional relationship? No.
I wouldn't call it that.
What are you doing to provide for my grandchildren? I just want to give the boys a good future.
Do the right thing for them.
So do we.
My condolences, Mrs Wilson.
Alec was such a fine chap.
Much loved at the hospital.
- Such a good man! - Why does everyone keep saying that?! One son, the Navy, the other off to University What are you saying? Don't jeopardise their futures.
Mum, what's going on? Stop digging, Alison! None of it makes any sense - who was he, Mum? I have genuinely no idea who Dad was.
Did he lie to you, too? I said you better bloody leave! Alec let me down, Father.
Why should I believe you? How do I know you're not lying as well, covering up for him? And how would I be judged by your God? The one you're not sure about? Did you write that letter, Mum? Did you write that bloody letter?! Go upstairs, get Nigel and get out! I said get out! And us women have to pay the price? Do his dirty work? Lie to our children? It's the price you have to pay.
For the service he gave.
Ladies! Ladies! Form an orderly queue.
Raise your arms! Ohhh! Oooh! Why is she getting all the attention?! I'm sorry you have to come here.
There are fascists here, Mosley followers.
I have to get in with them, gather intelligence.
So the charge of theft, it's not true? Of course it's not! Alison It's in the paper that you're here on remand.
So they're going to try you for a crime that you haven't committed? There won't be a trial.
I'll stay here until I get what I need, and then I'll come home.
Sorry, I can't do this any more.
Well, don't visit me.
It's fine.
No, I'm leaving you, Alec.
We need money.
The rent's overdue.
We've got no food.
Your children are hungry, Alec.
I'll work something out, send you some cash.
Why don't they pay you properly? Why do we have to live like this? It's my cover.
You know that.
When I'm out of here, I'll-I'll sort it all out, I-I promise you.
Um Don't leave.
I need you! I'm going to sell this.
I need to buy tickets.
I'm taking the boys up to Cumberland.
I need to go.
- Look, wait! Look! - No.
- They've taken my things, but as soon as I get out, I can show you! In my wallet, there's proof of my work! - No, I can't, Alec! Sorry.
- There's proof of my work! I've boiled all your clothes, and we can mend them in the morning.
Oh, and I found some flannels, so .
I can make up smocks for the boys.
Thank you.
You've always been a dreamer.
Believed the best in people.
You don't know the whole story, Mother.
Well, I know he's in jail for theft.
You've done the right thing, Alison.
Ease up, lads! One, two, one, two! Keep going! That's it lads, keep going! Another circuit! What's wrong with you, boy? I did write that letter, Gordon.
I'm so sorry.
I just couldn't believe that Dad didn't own Blakefield.
When I opened that letter, I was so disappointed, I didn't want you to feel the same way, to feel that way about your father.
- So everything was a lie? - No.
- It's very complicated, Gordon.
- It seems pretty simple to me.
- Dad made it all up - even his work.
- No, not his work.
Then why was there no record of him at the Foreign Office? What, you think they give out the names of their employees over the phone? Come on.
So you think he did work there? Of course he did - that's where we met.
I promise you.
The man at the funeral.
- That chap from the hospital.
- What about him? He seemed to know Dad pretty well.
As if they'd worked together.
Or as if he looked after him when he was a patient.
I saw Dad at the hospital once.
Pushing a trolley.
- In a porter's uniform.
- When? Years ago.
When Nigel broke his leg.
He said he was volunteering as a porter for a day.
I believed him.
He had cover jobs - for his work.
- I just want to know who he was.
- I know, I know you do.
And I'll do all I can .
to find out his connection with Blakefield.
I'll find that porter.
Please tell me the truth, Mum.
No more faking or forging.
I'm going to do all I can.
Alec has turned up.
Where? He's with the boys.
Gordon was a brave soldier.
He wasn't afraid of the enemy, was he? No! He was going to win the war for his country.
He led his soldiers over the highest mountains, across the widest rivers, marching onwards - march, march, march! - March to victory! - Alec.
I don't suppose you got much home-made cake in Brixton prison.
Gordon's been out on a tractor.
- Oh, gosh! - Yeah! - I bet he was thrilled! Oh, he loves it here.
And Alison's old nanny's come back to help out.
I'm very grateful for everything you've done while I've been away.
Alison and the boys can stay - as long as they like.
I've found us a new flat.
And I've been given a pay rise.
Well, you must be tired, Alec, after your long journey.
I've made up the spare room for you.
No! No, get off! Alison, don't.
Go! Go! Shhh! No! Stop! - Stop it! - Shhh! Stop! Hey.
The same dream? In the Somme? Hey.
Stay a minute? He could come and visit.
It's not as if you'd never see him again.
But my life up here, what would I do? Bring up those lovely boys.
And I'm not getting any younger.
I'll need looking after soon.
Is it his age or the fact he's a Catholic that you hate so much? Oh, for God's sake, Alison, wake up! Can't you see who he is? I told you - it's his job.
He's a crook and a liar.
I don't believe a single word he says.
It was still at the pawnbrokers.
A farmer my own age from a good, local family.
That's who I should have married.
You'd have been bored silly.
You said yourself you'd go mad up here.
It's the boys.
They get fresh air, protein .
proper meals.
Life will improve.
They've assured me there'll be no more work in prisons.
They've found me a cover job locally, so I'll be at home more to help out.
I've got to get back.
I'm leaving on the morning train.
- Alec? - Come with me.
How can I? When you give me no reassurance? First arrested for fraud, then .
jailed for theft.
I Go to the courts, Alison.
See if you can find a single conviction against me.
What are you afraid of? That Mother's right.
That everything - that you .
it's all just a lie.
Why would the service still employ me? Well, how do I know they still do? You follow me, when we get home.
Maybe then you'll trust me.
How can you believe in him without evidence? Sacrifice your whole life without any proof? Well, it's not always easy.
But I believe in God's goodness.
You never doubt him? We all have doubts at times.
It's normal.
- Central Middlesex Hospital, please.
- Right you are, Madam.
I need your help, Mr Ashby.
I believe my husband worked here as a porter? For many years.
Do you remember his hours? Well, it was shift work.
Was he full time? I don't think so.
He was always in and out, in and out.
Was there a problem? - Was he sacked? - No, no.
He could never do enough for the patients.
Was he just a normal porter? He wasn't involved in anything else? Bert.
My husband had other business when I married him .
and I have to know if he was still involved.
I covered for him.
He used to meet up with a lady.
She used to hang around, waiting.
He'd drop everything for her.
How often did he see her? Every week.
He called her "the boss".
Old lady, chain smoker.
Wait for two minutes, then follow me.
Trust me, Alison.
Oh 20 years he worked for you? If it weren't for my mother's inheritance, we'd still be living in a rented room, scraping to eat.
Can't you see the harm you did? The doubts you seeded? Why didn't you pay him? I have a right to know.
My sons have a right to know.
This is the British intelligence service.
You don't have any rights.
I sacrific-Alec sacrificed .
his name, his happiness, everything for you.
There are things you don't know.
- Oh, please tell me.
- You don't want to know.
- Tell me.
- You don't want to know.
- Tell me.
- You'll regret it.
Tell me the truth, Coleman.
I'm giving you one last chance - to walk away from all this and live the rest of your life in peace.
You lived in poverty because with a criminal record, Alec was only employable only in the lowest positions.
We fired Alec from the service in 1942.
Sorry? We fired him.
No, he uncovered the the traitors at the Egyptian Embassy.
I typed it up, I I heard it.
Ah, no, you typed up his translations.
But he didn't translate what he actually heard.
What? Well, he embellished the facts.
He spun us a fantastical web of intrigue, I mean, a wonderful spy story - none of it actually true.
No, he helped us win the war! No, he didn't.
MI5 spent months - precious, wasted months - trying to track down this so-called Egyptian spy ring.
He went to Alamein - I saw the passport, I saw the stamps - No, it was faked.
- .
I saw No.
- He was in prison for fraud.
- No.
- Jailed again in '44.
- No, stop it! - You should have stuck to your guns - Stop it! - .
and left him.
- Alec's skills of deception were judged - Stop it! .
to be so dangerous that the service decided to - watch him for the rest of his life.
- No, you're lying! You're his handler, I saw you.
I saw you with him.
People saw you at the hospital, they saw you with him.
As I said, the service decided to watch him.
He was under my surveillance.
I don't believe you.
I think you already do.
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
I have been trusting.
Forgive me, for I loved my husband.
I believed him.
I lied to my sons.
Forgive me for being weak - so weak! And vain and stupid - just! Mrs Wilson? He offers you hope, so you lower your guard, and then he disappears.
You're grieving.
You think God has abandoned you.
It's natural.
You loved Alec so very much, didn't you? What you need now is sleep.
Some rest.
There is a community of Servite women who take others in - for retreat.
I could call them? God is testing you.
Be patient.
Search for a chink of light.
It will come.
And when it does .
open yourself up and let God in.
Hello? Who is this? My husband gave me this number.
He-he left me a card in his wallet.
Then we need to have another talk, Mrs Wilson.
Mr Karim, is that you? Yes.
I've just got back from Lahore.
If you knew about Alec's work, why didn't you tell me before? I'm sorry, I made a promise to Alec many years ago.
Let me explain.
Here we are.
Please have a seat.
I don't need much.
Just enough for an odd visit home and .
the subscription to my club.
You've been in the wars.
It was all a lie.
Everything Alec told me.
I have no idea what you can add .
but I know that Alec was sacked in 1942 for lying.
He was sacked for telling the truth, Mrs Wilson.
There was a group of agents in MI5 who wanted control of Alec's phone line to the Egyptian embassy.
Why? Couldn't they just read his transcripts? Don't assume everyone in the service was on the same side.
You think that Alec was set up by a double agent working in MI5? I don't think so.
I know it.
Why? They said that Alec was fabricating material, so they could sack him.
Why? With their own man on the line, they could send intelligence straight through to Moscow.
But how could they do that? How could they smear Alec like that? He was a story teller, and he didn't help himself, you see? The complicated love life, the reckless exaggerations about his background.
What a good friend you are, Mr Karim, protecting Alec like this.
Mrs Wilson .
it's all true.
You want me to believe in him again.
I just don't have the strength.
Hello? Mum? What's wrong? Gordon said you're OK now, that you've been to see him.
I'm fine.
- How's Oxford? - It's great.
My digs are really nice.
That's good.
Listen, Mum, I know you miss Dad, but me and Gordon - we're always here.
Where do you learn such kindness, Nigel? From you.
I love you.
Look, I'd better go.
I'll call you at the weekend.
You're stronger than you think, Mum.
Just keep going.
I will.
Bye, my love.
These are all the letters Alec wrote pleading his case.
But as soon as he made progress, they framed him - planted stolen goods on him.
You surely can't believe that he was capable of theft? He gave everything to the service and they broke him.
Cast him out without a penny.
But why didn't he tell me the truth? He wanted to protect you.
And then I think he let the lie take root in his own head .
till he almost believed it himself.
If he wasn't a spy, then who was he? He wanted you to think the best of him.
I know that much.
I want to believe you, Mr Karim, I really do.
But it's so incredible.
Is there someone else I can talk to? I can't introduce you to the KGB.
Then how do I know who to believe? Don't give up on him, Mrs Wilson.
Choose faith.
Go to the courts, Alison.
See if you can find a single conviction against me.
What are you afraid of? - Marylebone Crown Court, please.
- OK.
Thank you.
I've just come from the court records office.
I met an archivist.
Nice fellow.
Couldn't have been more helpful.
Why are there no records of the crimes you say he committed? Why were there no trials, Coleman? You were married .
to a pathological liar, Alison.
Accept it.
You can't answer the question, can you? And now you're on some wild goose chase, led by his great pal, Karim.
You sacked an agent, destroyed him.
Covered it up for 20 years.
We fired your husband because his transcripts were make-believe.
So, why would he listen to one thing and make up another? Fiction.
- It's what he did.
- What, jeopardise his career? The war effort? For the sake of a story? - I don't think so, Coleman.
- It's who he was.
No, he loved his country.
Why would he do that? You think I haven't wondered about that myself? I watched him for 20 years.
I never found any answers.
You just believe what you like.
You won't find a scrap of evidence.
My boys are fine, aren't they? Their careers were never in any danger.
You know, I know that Alec had wives before me.
I know that he lied about his background, his family life, his education.
He lied to me so many times.
But not this.
He did everything for his country and you destroyed him.
I know who he was.
I know.
Gordon, it's Mum.
I really need to talk to you about Dad.
He made mistakes, Gordon, he made lots of them.
But .
I know who he was.
He loved us.
Oh, he loved us.
Olive, the boys are coming home for the weekend.
You must both come in for a drink.
Alison, we would love that.
Are you all right? Yes, thank you.
What's your name? - Douglas.
- How old are you, Douglas? - Eight.
- Are you meeting someone here? My mum.
I'm meeting her here after work.
We're looking for my dad.
We thought he lived here.
What do you mean? We need to see him.
He's stopped sending us our money.
What does your dad do? He's a doctor.
He's probably in Pakistan.
He's got a big house there in Lahore.
He even taught me to count in Urdu.
Ek, do, teen, chaar, paanch, che.
Excuse me? Excuse me, I'm looking for my husband.
Could you open the door, please? Hello? I'm looking for my husband.
My name's Mrs Wilson? Elizabeth Wilson.
I need to find my husband.
Could you please open the door? Hello! I have no-one else to speak to! I need to find my husband.
I can't believe she's never been back.
What have you got there? Just found it.
Shoved right to the back of Mum's wardrobe.
It must be the only photo she kept.
Come on.
Susan'll kill me if she goes into labour before I get back.
Oh, Deborah.
Oh! She's gorgeous.
Can I? Sh, sh.
Oh, you're gorgeous.
Yes, you are.
Thank you for bringing her to meet me.
I know I shut you out.
I had to.
I'm sorry.
I'm splitting the proceeds of the house between the two of you.
- Mum - No, I want to help you each buy a place of your own.
I won't have your children growing up as you did.
It's all right, we can sort ourselves.
No, I've already arranged the bank transfer.
But what will you live on? - I don't need anything.
- Not now.
I didn't want to tell you until I was sure, but .
I've decided to stay here for good.
No, it's good news.
I've found peace.
As long as you're happy? I am.
It's all right.
We'll still meet and talk.
I found this, in case you want it.
Bless you.
Come here.
Look after yourself, love.
Hm? When Deborah grows up, what will I tell her about Dad? Take care, love.
How kind of you to meet me after all this time.
How are you? Mmm.
And Gordon and Nigel? We're fine.
We're all fine.
- Gordon's just had a baby, actually.
- Ah.
She's got the Wilson eyes.
Yes, she has.
A new cousin for my two kids.
Do you ever wish you hadn't found out about us? No.
I'd rather know the truth.
Who Dad really was.
I've just kept it from them for so long.
You're a good mother.
They will understand.
What's on your mind? How can I give myself to God while I'm being dishonest with my children? What do you mean? There's still so much I haven't told them about Alec.
Well, then, it's time to talk to them.
I know.
And I want to, I just It has to be done the right way.
With kindness, compassion.
You're asking me how you can forgive Alec? Understanding comes first, Alison .
then forgiveness.
You must have spent time with Alec when he was a young man.
Yes, of course.
How did you know him? I'm sorry, I just never quite understood his connection to this house.
Oh, it was used as a military hospital during both wars.
Alec convalesced here when he came back from the Somme.
Just a teenager when he arrived back from the front, poor lad.
We were all terribly fond of him.
We'd be in here on our break and hear him crying out.
He was very low.
The things he'd seen He had nightmares his whole life.
I used to read to him, take his mind off it.
Romances, mysteries, you name it.
We went through the whole night sometimes.
And then, a doctor brought him in a typewriter.
And that was it.
- He started writing here? - Mm.
A story about a young officer.
Can you remember any of it? Well, it was a bit of a fantasy, really.
This chap saved all his men helped win the war.
Oh, now, then.
What was it called? He led his soldiers over the highest mountains, across the widest rivers, marching onwards.
March, march, march, march to victory! The March To Victory.
That's it.
He started eating again.
Walking in the garden.
He came back to life.
It was remarkable.
Did he ever tell you how writing helped him? He said it took away the fear inside him.
And he could fiddle with a story, give it a happy ending.
Did he carry on with the fiction? Until the very end.
"My dear Gordon and Nigel.
"This is the true story of our life.
"I've wanted to tell you for so long, "but the truth is complicated "and it felt kinder to keep it from you.
"But the lies must end with me.
"Only with the truth can I tell you that you have a greater family.
"And how can I deprive you of that? "The chance to get to know your own flesh and blood.
"Maybe, when the hurt has faded, you will find your brothers.
"Or, in years to come, your children will find their cousins "and make friends.
"Perhaps some good can come of this.
" And the Holy Spirit.
I, Alison Wilson .
have lived the life of the Servite Secular Institute for three years "You must decide for yourselves who your father really was.
"But you should know that, with God's help, I have forgiven him.
"I hope, one day, that you may be able to do the same.
" Therefore, I, Alison Wilson .
vow to live in chastity, in poverty and obedience.
In the body of Christ.
"This is the true story of our life.
"Never doubt that Dad loved you.
"As, of course, do I, my darling boys.