Episode 6 may be the best episode of The Changeling yet. We were all praises of LaKeith Stanfield’s performance in episode 5, but Clark Backo hits it out of the park in this one. We really see her determination as a mother to get to her son (the real one) after she destroyed everybody’s trust, especially Apollo’s, and fled the scene. While Apollo thought she was a murderous witch, acting on the orders of Cal and her women, Emma was busy trying to make her way to her son. Clark has the ability to be frightening in one second and then emotional in the next, balancing the act of being a mother on a mission in between all of that. Truly great stuff from her here. Let’s quickly get into the episode.
The Branch Of The Norway Maple Tree
After Emma kills the baby that she has in place of Brian, she has to leave to find her own son. She knows she has to make her way to Cal on the secret island, but she finds a twig in Brian’s crib that she takes with her before she can make it out of the apartment. Emma then makes her way to the Wise Ones’ magical island. On the ferry there, Kim, her sister, says goodbye to her and Emma is desperate for Kim to join her on the mission, but Kim knows she has to go on this journey alone (this means Kim knew that Emma was alive when she met Apollo later). She throws her into the water, where she’s rescued by the women of the island. Immediately, Emma is skeptical of Cal and her women because they’re certain Emma would never be able to find her baby. They want Emma to join them on the island, so she’s safe from the people of New York, where she’d be arrested for killing her own baby. Emma is aggressive and spiteful at this time. She needs to find her baby to be well again, but Cal drugs her so she can get some much-needed rest. Emma hasn’t been sleeping at all, and this could add to her delusions of “feeling” her son alive. But that’s not it; Emma’s motherly instincts are sharp as ever; it’s only her physical body that needs rest to function.
Going Back And Forth From The Island
Furious from the forced slumber, Emma tries to get answers from the other women who are on the island. She asks where the boat is, and a woman who sees her desperation gives her the answers she’s looking for. Emma breaks into the shed and steals the boat at night, something that everyone knows she’s doing. They let her do it because they’ve been there too and they understand how she feels. Emma miserably makes it out alive and back to New York City, almost failing to get on the boat but using the strength of Apollo’s love to get there (aww, how romantic). She makes it to the library and steals some books for the kids on the island. She’s looking for To the Waters and The Wild, Apollo’s favorite book.
Emma starts to be herself a little more and interacts with the other women and kids after returning from NYC. She asks the woman who helped her if she too had found anything in the crib when her baby was taken. It turns out that she had in fact found some soil and dirt, and in the end, she had found a leaf. Emma asks if she still has the leaf, but the woman says she doesn’t have it. She can draw it for Emma instead. This is a much better clue than the little twig she has with her. Emma heads outside and collapses in the grass desperately when the same leaf falls on her. She is grateful for finding the tree and now needs the internet to know more. Cal shows Emma a new way into the city that is safer and will keep her hidden. But she warns her that if the police catch her, she’ll be on her own, and they can’t ever help her. Additionally, she can never mention the island to anyone.
The Underground People
Emma is met with a man named “Wheels” when she shows up at the spot Cal tells her to go to. Wheels shows Emma a diverse underground community (known as the Grand Central Community) that is thriving. He shows her that there is no divide between people there because of diversity, so they’re better off than the people above. Wheels drops Emma off at a subway station, from where she can make it out onto the mainland. Emma finds the library again to get to the internet. She uses it to find information about the Norway Maple and the location of all Norway maples in NYC. She decides to take some more books, and as she’s done packing them, one of her ex-colleagues shows up. Emma hides in the toilets until she thinks it’s safe to get out, but that’s when she hears a gunshot. This is when Apollo comes to find Emma in the library. She overhears him, but she knows she has to escape because the police will be there soon after hearing the gunshots. Emma makes a run for it, but they spot her, following her into the subway. Emma narrowly escapes them thanks to Wheels, who immediately drives her away.
Wheels is obsessed with history, and he asked Emma for a book in return for helping her. She gives him the book and also tells him her plan. Wheels sees the map Emma shows him and tells her that it all started at a spot called Little Norway. He points out the spot on the map for her, so she has a starting point, and it’s possible her answers lie there.
Ultimately, Emma decides to make her way to the spot that Wheels showed her, because in the book, the fairies take the baby to a forest, and the description is eerily close to Little Norway. She tells Cal that if Brian shows up without her, she should give him Apollo’s favorite book, and he’ll find the answers in there. Emma also thinks Apollo could show up looking for her, but Cal says no one short of God could find them. Apollo is a god, though, so Emma is certain that he’ll make his way there. Finally, Emma journeys to the mainland in front of Cal, and as she voices her promise to Brian about finding him, she begins to glow with blue light. It seems Emma has some sort of power in her.
The Changeling Episode 6 really hits the right spots, and we can feel Emma’s need to find her baby Brian. We can also feel the tension of her losing time and struggling to make the right choices in time to save her child. Her dynamic with Cal is also interesting and adds a bit of humor to the episode, which would’ve been too fierce otherwise. With only two episodes remaining, there’s hope that Emma will actually find Brian after seeing how determined she is here. We know Apollo is eager too, and what they don’t seem to realize is that their power together would be infinite and they may actually get to Brian, unlike the other women who had to work all alone.