The story of how Max (Richard Gere) came to be the steely cold-hearted man he is today was revealed on tonight’s episode of MotherFatherSon.
If you want to avoid spoilers for MotherFatherSon, stop reading this article now.
Last week’s episode ended with Max racing over to meet Kathryn (Helen McCrory) and Caden (Billy Howle) to have a family summit but Caden warned his mother that Max isn’t the person she thinks he is. Tonight’s episode was split into two narratives revealing what Max’s childhood was like and unfolding the complicated dynamic that Max, Kathryn and Caden now have.
It turns out that Max was raised his father Walter (Ciaran Hinds), a man who moulded him into the person he is today. From a young age Max was schooled by a private tutor in the steel factory his father operated and it was established that Walter was a strict man that didn’t really understand love and affection.
As a teenager Max was told his mother was alive after spending years thinking she was dead and Walter told him she had tried to kill him as a baby. Minutes later Walter was pushing Max to ‘become a man’ by arranging for a prostitute (Kerry Fox) to have sex with him for his birthday. Max couldn’t go through with it but more goading from his father eventually convinced him to do the deed.
As Max started to work for his father, the relationship between the two men failed to improve and when Walter had a heart attack, Max decided to let him die so he could be free from his control.
In the present day that revelation eventually came out but not before a lot of anger and rage from Max, Kathryn and Caden. Max insisted the family had dinner and tried to persuade them not to talk about their issues because it would only end badly.
Caden couldn’t hold it in when Max mentioned that he knew his son was in love. Pushing for an answer as to how he could possibly know that, Caden put the pieces together and realised that Andrew (Steven Cree) had been spying for Max. That led Caden to start revealing his father’s secrets as a shocked Kathryn looked on and the realisation that her husband had been monitoring her set in.
Tensions continued to rise as Caden punched Max in the face before falling to the floor. Kathryn rushed to his side but once Caden was on his feet again, he made another attempt to attack his father.
As the atmosphere began to simmer, Max opened up to Kathryn and Caden about his father and his childhood. Armed with all of the details she’d discovered over the course of the evening, Kathryn threatened to come after Max with all her might and when he made a thinly veiled threat towards Scott (Joseph Mawle) and Orla (Niamh Algar), Caden retaliated by telling Max that he would spread his darkest secrets across the news if he did anything to them.
Before leaving Kathryn’s house, Max told them that he had a story on Jahan (Danny Sapani) that could take him out of office. He’d discovered that Jahan’s son had purposely looked up extremist Islamic content on a computer in Number 10. to get at his father. Max suggested he was going to print it and asked Kathryn and Caden what they would do. Both said they wouldn’t print that story but Kathryn did tell Max, with some pleasure, that she would print the truth about him given the chance.
MotherFatherSon continues at 9pm Wednesday on BBC Two.