Tenko: episode guide

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The Reuion

Marion is shopping in London in 1950 when she bumps into Dorothy in the street. They meet for tea, and catch up on old times and old friends: Marion and Clifford have divorced, and her son is at Oxford. Dorothy now owns her own antiques shop. Maggie is married and has had another baby. Alice is living with her overprotective father. Bea and Stephen are running the Centre. Christina is teaching Chinese children, and helping at the Centre. Dominica Van Meyer is living at her husband's estate in Malaya, not far from Singapore. Kate is in Australia, studying to become a doctor. Sister Ulrica has left the leper colony, and neither Marion nor Dorothy are sure where she is or what she's doing at present, but believe Bea would know.

Marion remembers the group's agreement to have a five-year reunion at Raffles on 20 October 1950. The meeting with Dorothy spurs her to write to everyone, reminding them, and asking them to come. We briefly see everyone in their current lives, and we also see some of the Communist unrest in the Singapore region.

Marion, Maggie, Dorothy, and Alice arrive in Singapore, and their seaplane is met by Kate, Bea, Stephen, and Jake. Christina and her boyfriend Lau Peng are taking care of things at the Centre. When the group arrives at Raffles, they are informed that one of their group has already arrived, a Mrs. Forster-Brown. This causes confusion until it's revealed that this is Dominica Van Meyer, remarried after the death of her first husband shortly after the war. Dominica has arranged good rooms for herself, Marion, and Alice, but is disconcerted when Dorothy and Maggie are shown to one of the hotel's suites. Dominica tries to console Marion about her divorce, and tells Marion all about her current happiness—everything would be perfect for Dominica if it wasn't for the Communist unrest.

Kate brings the group to the Centre, and introduces Lau Peng. The Centre is busy, but not chaotic, and the group is brought into the Joss Holbrook schoolroom where Christina is teaching a group of Chinese students, and a picture of Joss hangs on the wall.

The group goes to visit Joss' grave, and they wish that everyone they knew could have a proper burial and grave. Marion says that she's tried, but none of the authorities want to know about civilian graves, especially those of women. Kate stops by Tom's grave, and meets Dr Duncan Fraser, a friend of Tom's from the men's camp.

The group returns to Raffles to get dressed for the reunion party, and Dorothy spots Ulrica driving up to the hotel in a truck, Ulrica's response to the invitation apparently lost in the post. Ulrica is working at a native hospital, and has survived three Communist raids to date.

Jake and Stephen hang out at Raffles bar, talking about Korea, the First World War, and the women. The women take a table, and pick up where they left off, talking about the people they knew and the times they had. They remember the dead from the camps, although Marion's plea to remember the Japanese causes the usual division. Marion realises that she doesn't hate any of the Japanese anymore, not even Sato.

Dominica convinces the group to come out to her plantation for the weekend. There are concerns about the Communists, but Dominica assures everyone that the plantation has more than enough weapons and ammunition in case of a raid. The group agrees, and each follows their own pursuits for several days before leaving for the plantation.

Marion goes to look at her old house, but can't bear to get close. She visits some old neighbours with whom she was good friends, but finds that they have distanced themselves because of her divorce. With Clifford and his new wife are expecting a baby, and with the reunion reminding Marion of when she was respected, Marion feels that she needs more in her life.

Bea's eyesight is much worse, and she feels somewhat useless. Kate helps out at the Centre, and then meets up with Duncan Fraser again for lunch. She confesses that she's not very satisfied with medical school: she resents the distancing of the doctor/patient relationship being promoted in the school, she finds the other students young and inexperienced, and she's being taught medicine by people with half her experience. She's thought about dropping her studies and working at the Centre, but doesn't want to disturb Bea's pride, so is thinking about working at Ulrica's hospital instead. Kate and Duncan get on quite well, both finding it a relief to have someone they can talk to, and they decide to get together when the group returns from Dominica's.

Dorothy runs into Jake and they go antiques shopping. Jake is working with the Singapore police in identifying probably Communist agents. Dorothy and Jake have a great time together, and Dorothy decides to skip the trip to Dominica's to spend more time in Singapore with Jake.

Alice and Maggie goes shopping, Maggie taking lots of pictures with Dorothy's camera. Alice confesses that, whenever she gets close to someone, all of her emotions just shut off, and she's not sure what to do about it. Maggie suggests that she talk it out with someone, but Alice is unable to. Maggie herself is upset because Dorothy paid her way out to Singapore, and she dislikes being dependent on people; she also thinks that Dorothy has become a little bit of a snob.

When the weekend comes, Alice, Marion, Maggie, Christina, Bea, and Kate head out to Dominica's; Ulrica plans to follow the next morning in her truck. The group arrives at Dominica's plantation, where the gates remind them of the camps. They are greeted by Dominica, who introduces them to her new husband, Teddy Forster-Brown. It is clear that the couple are devoted to each other. During the tour of the house, Christina notes rifles in the hallway; Teddy assures her that they have plenty of rifles and ammunition in case of attack, and that everyone is perfectly safe.

That evening, the group gathers in the living room and sings Gilbert and Sullivan songs. Bea phones the Centre to check on things with Lau Peng, and then turns the phone over to Christina so she can speak with her boyfriend. Teddy takes Marion aside. He says that his roots are in Malaya now, and he doesn't want to give up the plantation to the Communists without at least some resistance. If something should happen to him, since Dominica has no one else, he would like to know that Marion would be there for her. Marion agrees, saying that even if she isn't their leader anymore, she still feels responsible for all of them.

Teddy asks Dominica to return to England, but she refuses: she loves him too much. Marion asks Bea to return to England with her: with Bea's eyesight, she can't continue much longer, and Marion has a huge empty house to share. Bea refuses: Stephen is deteriorating, and will die within the year, his time in the men's camp taking it's toll. As he loves Singapore so much, it seems only right to let him stay, and Bea will keep looking after him.

In Singapore, Dorothy and Jake end up in bed together. She tells him that he is the only man now who knows everything about her, and still accepts her as she is. Jake asks her why she isn't married; she replies that men expect women to support the man's career and not have one of their own. He says that he can support her career. She asks him to move to England, but he is somewhat resistant. She replies that she needs a partner, personally as well as in business, and that there's more room in England for misfits these days. The next morning, Dorothy and Jake pick up the prints of Maggie's pictures. Flipping through them, Jake noticing Lau Peng talking with a Communist agent in one of the pictures. Dorothy and Jake speculate that Lau Peng is a Communist agent using Christina.

At the plantation, life is sheer bliss for the women, the life they all dreamed of having when they lived in the camps. Teddy goes off to see to the plantation's needs. En route to the plantation, Ulrica stops for a spot check at a road block. Her truck is searched, and she is let go on her way. After she leaves, it becomes apparent that the roadblock was a fake. When she arrives at the plantation, she is let through the gates, and everyone comes to greet her, excluding Bea who has dropped her glasses.

The back of the truck bursts open and soldiers emerge. Servants outside and inside the house are killed, and the women are lined up. The soldiers are loud and demanding, and Marion gets Christina to interpret. The soldiers want to know who owns the house. Dominica steps forward. The soldiers want to know where the guns and ammunition are. Dominica refuses to answer, even when she is hit by the soldiers. The soldiers grab Alice and threaten her life. The threats break through Alice's emotional wall, and she goes into hysterics. Ulrica tries to go to Alice's side, and is shot by the soldiers. Dominica tells the soldiers that the guns and ammunition are hidden in the master bedroom.

The soldiers bring Dominica and Christina inside, and interrupt Bea in the hallway where she is trying to make a phone call. Bea is almost shot, but Christina intercedes, and Bea is spared. The soldiers retrieve the guns and ammunition, tell the women to leave the country to the natives, and leave.

The group runs to help Ulrica, while Alice remains in hysterics. The women load the wounded into Ulrica's truck, and Marion, Dominica, Kate, and Bea take the wounded to the hospital. The doctors say that Ulrica will be fine by Christmas.

That evening, the women try to determine how the Communists knew to get into Ulrica's truck and that the plantation had weapons. When Christina isn't around, Dorothy offers up her and Jake's suspicions of Lau Peng. Marion, Bea, and some of the women take their suspicions to the police, who ransack the Centre, smashing the picture of Joss in the process. In the wreckage, Marion finds the evidence the police are looking for.

Christina walks in to fetch some books and asks what's going on. Bea replies that Christina has been found out. Christina tries to bluff her way out, but Bea has put it all together: Christina heard about the guns before they left, told Lau Peng details of the plantation and Ulrica's travel plans over the phone, and Christina had *ordered* the soldiers not to shoot Bea. Christina looks to the others for their support and belief, but their suspicions have been raised. Faced with their disbelief, Christina confesses: she is actually the leader for the Communist cell.

Bea and Stephen are devastated by Christina's revelation. Stephen tells Bea that he wants to go home to England to die. Bea wonders who will take over the Centre when they're gone, but Kate is happy to take over. Kate has to take care of some things in Australia, but Alice is happy to take over while Kate's away. Alice's father will probably disapprove, but Alice has decided that it's her life.

Maggie realises how much she misses her husband and children. Jake has decided to come to London over Christmas, where he and Dorothy will give things a try. Dorothy visits Ulrica, who is happy for her and Jake.

Marion visits Christina in prison, over Christina's protests that she doesn't want any visitors. Christina explains that there is no equality under the British, and she doesn't believe that there will be equality after the British graciously give them their independence. She feels that democracy is wooly idealism, and that it's better to earn their independence than wait for it to be handed to them. Marion has tried to intercede on Christina's behalf with the authorities, who are willing to be lenient if Christina cooperates. Christina refuses, and asks Marion why she cares. Marion replies that Christina cared enough to stop the soldiers from shooting all of them. Christina reminds Marion about her uncle.

Later, Bea visits Ulrica. Bea is still uncertain about imposing on Marion, but Ulrica points out that Marion *needs* people to look after, and that that includes Bea and Stephen: that if Bea and Stephen stay with Marion, they will be doing Marion a favour. Bea tells Ulrica that, even with her eyesight so poor, she's not giving up on life or living: she'll be teaching about tropical diseases in England. They both recall how they were before their internment, and how far they've come together, and how close they are; and that none of them will ever be entirely independent of the others.

At the airport, the group splits up, more determined than ever to stay in touch. Bea and Stephen and Alice are staying on at the Centre for a while, and Kate is heading back to clear things up in Australia. Dominica reveals that she and Teddy are moving back to England because of the dangers in Malaya. When it's discovered that almost everyone will be in London for Christmas, Marion insists that they all celebrate the holidays at her house. As Kate, Dominica, Alice, Jake, Stephen, and Bea wave off Marion, Maggie, and Dorothy, Bea muses, "Like we said in camp, 'We'll be home for Christmas'—and now we will."

At Christmas time, in Singapore, Kate, Ulrica, and Duncan Fraser serve dinner to the poor. Alone in her cell, Christina sits silently. And in London, everyone gathers in Marion's house, where they toast to absent friends.