Season 1 Episode 8

The Cradle

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 16, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
306 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sheriff Underlay tracks down a mother who has abandoned a baby at Russell's ranger station. The mother denies that the child is hers. Her mother-in-law swears that the baby is her grandchild and that Christina has been acting strange ever since the hurricane hit. Meanwhile, Mariel who begins questioning why she has been losing touch with her kids makes a shocking discovery in the water.moreless

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  • An exciting episode.

    We're introduced to a misguided teen mother Christina played by Elizabeth Moss. Christina is a hybrid just like Mariel, but she's an interesting character, she's psychotic. We're shown a hybrid alien who happens to be homicidal in nature. This provides a new tension that gives our main characters a new type of uncertainty that might come to haunt them later. This episode loosely explores the Christina character. This is a good episode, it employs the same pacing used in American Gothic but Invasion is so much better. The writers created another great episode. I'm looking forward on watching the next episode.moreless
  • i do not know what to think

    this show is so slow in the storie line that has me thinking that the idea is not that great. I also think that they have a good product but need some more adventure. I think this episode is more adventurous that all that i have. I look forwards for the next show tosee if the directors and writers makes us understand better what they want with the story
  • Another truly chilling and engrossing episode, there's fantastic atmosphere, and some great character moments here. The focal characters of this installment, Mariel, and Underlay have real resonance now. Her discoveries, and his continued deceptions creatmoreless

    Another truly chilling and engrossing episode, The Cradle has fantastic atmosphere, and some great character moments. More than making up for last week’s ‘filler’ episode, the focal characters of this installment, Mariel, and Underlay have real resonance. Her discoveries, and his deceptions are much of what make this show great. And here the tone is captured perfectly.

    While I admit that the other players in this episode are all but forgotten. The story of the baby is merely a plot device then tossed away, Larkin continues to annoy sometimes overacting, and Dave is practically non-existent. The episode succeeds fabulously in continuing our journey with Mariel, and exposing Tom’s maddening deceitfulness. I have to give serious credit to Kari Matchett (Mariel) this episode. In the past I’ve definitely felt that she wasn’t showing her best work, or she was written badly and just kind of playing along, but here, oh here it’s another story altogether. We’re really getting to the meat of her arc that’s been developing since the first episode and she is playing it wonderfully. Wounded, fascinated, calmly terrified, she pulls off this really conflicted state of mind with real style here. And she really deserves to be applauded for it.

    Ultimately the tone of the show; that being the quality clever writing, editing, music, and lighting, along with the superb acting which I already mentioned are what made this episode one of the series strongest to date. I love the way sentences and moments are left to hang, the viewer has time to really feel the weight of developments as they occur. This is another reason why I think the pacing of the show works so well. I don’t feel like I’m being rushed through the story. I can relish every interesting, character moment. If unfortunately I have to suffer through a lame immediate plotline that I don’t think is executed well, like in the previous episode; I’m grateful that I know they are developing all of the character to such an extent that I really will care for them, when eventually the real dangers develop…

  • Her Ring

    So, we finally know why she didn't have her wedding ring after the storm... It was on her finger.

    I don't see that it was as revealing as other people seem to think though. It was still as vague as it could possibly be in an episode where it seems like so much is revealed.
  • Finally, some actual information! Oh, and a very creepy guest character...

    I’ve been complaining about the pacing for this series for quite some time, so I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. It didn’t move the story forward too far, but a lot was covered and it was handled well. Suddenly there are new levels to the complexity of the story, and while this is still an unusual exploration of dysfunctional family dynamics, it’s no longer just that.

    I was under the impression that Underlay was aware of what was happening, since he was the first (or so we are led to believe) to be changed. Now it makes a little more sense. This is very much like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, in that the people changed are not quite who or what they think they are. The original person is dead, but the copy runs around with limited understanding of their own nature.

    The result is actually quite interesting: Underlay has been running around, sure that this is all for the better, as if his body was super-charged. Now he knows the truth, that he’s been dead for years and he’s really something else, an “alien” with his memories and personality. More than that, he’s completely unaware that the other “aliens” have more or less awareness of their true nature.

    So the end of the episode is not just a lie to Mariel, but a lie to himself. He’s in serious denial, and he may even think that he can remain in charge. It’s going to be a lot harder for him to do that, though, because Mariel clearly has a lot less understanding of her new nature than, say, Christina.

    Speaking of Christina…what a creepy character! I’ve always been on the fence with Elisabeth Moss. On the one hand, she has a very sexy line delivery, but she also has a very down-to-earth look. In that respect, she’s similar to Kari. Elisabeth did a great job in this role; it was unnerving to see Zoey Bartlet like that!

    I think we’re supposed to assume that the skeleton found in the pilot was, in fact, Underlay himself. That would make sense in terms of the wedding ring found with the bones, though it could still be Underlay’s first wife. A bigger question surrounds the role of the military. Are they trying to contain exposure and prevent the “invasion”? If so, why would Underlay be working with them? Why would Underlay show Larkin the military activity in the first place?

    Even the family-oriented scenes were more energetic than usual. Russell’s incredibly stupid mistake with Larkin was appropriately cringe-worthy, and Mariel’s concerns about her emotional state was well communicated. I hope that the season continues along this same vein in the future, because if the writers can make it this interesting every week, I might stop asking myself why I’m still watching the show.

Ron Butler

Ron Butler


Guest Star

Lee Garlington

Lee Garlington


Guest Star

Nathan Baesel

Nathan Baesel

Deputy Lewis Sirk

Recurring Role

Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 10:00 pm