Ivy is 26 years old, 13 years ago she was abducted the day she bunked off school to see her friend. When that friend ditched her, Ivy started walking towards her house. Somewhere along the way Ivy got grabbed. Leading a police investigation which leads nowhere for years. The leads just dried up after a few sightings. Until one day Ivy just comes running out of nowhere shouting to anyone who will listen who she is and that she was kidnapped so long ago.
Telling the police where she had been kept, saying that finally after all these years she had been left alone so could run away. Something just doesn’t ring true about her recount making the police suspicious. However Ivy manages to prove she is genuine via DNA testing and is released into the care of her family. Her parents had split up over the years, but for Ivy’s sake they agree to pretend to still be dating. That everything is still normal in the life she used to remember. Her little sister is all grown up now, with a live in fiancee getting ready for their big wedding. Her school sweetheart is now married, but again he agrees to pretend like nothing has changed for her sake. Not entirely sure how to break the news to her anyway.
Ivy spends her days between therapy, police interviews, family and her old friend trying to recover. As the police start discovering she is lying. Ivy claimed that she was beaten and locked in the basement. They find clothes her size in the wardrobe of her captors bedroom. Her long brown hair in his bed covers.
Then there is the outburst when the police want to interview her and she refuses as she wants to spend time with her friend. No abuse victim would ever explode like that. She would be meek, weak, eyes to the ground, obeying their every wish. She admits to intercourse, yet allows men to be around her and to touch her after only a few minutes. Rape victims take years to be able to allow that kind of touch.
With another little girl’s life on the line, the police must uncover the truth fast if she is to have any hope at all of surviving. Ivy even lies that she didn’t know her abductor only to be uncovered that he worked at her school. As Ivy discovers her family and friends are lying about everything that's happened for the last 13 years. She becomes even more unstable admitting to her shrink that she wishes she had never left her captor. That she wants to go back, to not be alone anymore. Starting to try to form relations with her male police worker to not feel alone anymore.
A CCTV tape is uncovered showing that Ivy has also lied she was scared for her life. That she was never left alone, couldn’t have ever escaped. Showing her captor taking her to a shopping centre. Her leaving him to go to the bathroom alone, and leaving it seven minutes later still alone. Searching the crowd openly looking for him, only to sit next to him and take his hand like they were lovers. Leading the police thinking even more that she is suffering from stockholm syndrome. A mental disorder where the victim ends up falling in love with her abuser. Is completely incapable of telling the difference between those fake emotions and real love.
This is a very gripping, interesting series. I hope that they show Ivy in a kind light as the show progresses. That even if it is stockholm syndrome that it is not her fault how she has been made to feel. It is sounding very much like she was groomed from a young age at her school to be his lover. She wouldn’t know any other life, and just think these emotions and actions are perfectly normal.
I do wish they would show her with more of the fear/panic attacks rather than the angry/violent ones. The rage just doesn’t seem to fit her situation although as the show progresses and we learn more of her abuse it may make more sense.
You can catch up with this amazing series on BBC Iplayer. 4/5 stars
Sarah Beth James