The Nest episode 4: Betrayal takes many forms, all of them painful

The Nest on Acorn TV. Martin Compston as Dan and Mirren Mack as Kaya © Studio Lambert and all3media international
The Nest on Acorn TV. Martin Compston as Dan and Mirren Mack as Kaya © Studio Lambert and all3media international /

The Nest episode 4 stabs everyone in the back.

This week’s episode of The Nest takes what should be the happiest time in everyone’s lives and manages to make everybody—including the viewer—quite miserable.

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the most recent episode of The Nest. You can also catch up by reading our recap of episode 3.

In “Clean Break,” it’s been two days since Kaya’s baby was born—but a lot has changed in that short period. Another suspect emerges in the murder of Kaya’s ex, Emily reveals a teenage secret, and the annoying reporter makes everyone’s lives worse.

So who can get out of this mess, and how? Here’s the breakdown, or many of them, in the next-to-last episode of this TV crime drama.

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For a guy who was crashing and burning last time out, Dan has made a fairly quick recovery in this episode. Perhaps it’s being around the baby, as he takes immediately to fatherhood.

Martin Compston even gets the great scene—and nails it—where Dan is terrified of dropping the newborn, who just looks at him with wide eyes like he’s the most interesting thing she’s ever seen. It’s truly heartwarming to see how Dan is at the hospital day in and day out, bonding with the child, after how emotionally bruised and battered he was previously. There’s a clear emotional arc for Dan.

But then The Nest goes and ruins everything by revealing that he isn’t the father of the baby. In that dodgy Ukranian clinic, Kaya was implanted with someone else’s embryo; there’s no genetic tie to anyone, meaning that Kaya has legal rights to the baby and Dan and Emily are out in the cold. For his part, Dan takes this about as well as any human being could, and doesn’t love the baby any less.

The show also proves he’s not a murderer in this episode, which is a relief; instead, Dan starts to bear the blame for the dysfunction in his sister Hilary’s (Fiona Bell) marriage. He’s been getting the finger pointed at him for a lot recently, and while he’s far from perfect, you have to sympathize with him because some of it isn’t his fault and what is hasn’t been malicious. He’s always been trying to do right, even when it’s led him wrong. And so far, he’s kind of gotten shafted for it.


Once again, Dan and Emily are on opposite sides of the emotional spectrum, because Emily is once again in shambles during a large part of “Clean Break.”

Not only is she upset at Dan, but once the DNA test results come back, she starts on the hunt to find out what actually happened to their embryo—something that The Nest does not resolve in this episode, but hopefully it will. So much was made at the start of how Emily didn’t want to just adopt, that she wanted their baby to be biologically theirs, that it would be an oversight not to have some idea of what happened to the embryo, especially since it was their last one.

But Emily spends this installment reconciling what she’s learned about Dan and Kaya with the people that she knew. Her budding friendship with Kaya is gone for good, and while her marriage is still damaged, at least Emily and Dan are talking to each other. That’s a start.

The big question mark comes as we finally learn more about Emily’s past. Having left the family home, she relates a story about how she tried Ecstasy with a friend as a teenager, and the friend died. This isn’t just something the show is throwing out for color; it’s going to have relevance in the next episode, but how? Will it connect to Dan’s established rough past, or the drug story that is unfolding in Kaya’s plotline, or both?

And what’s the relevance of drugs playing in all three characters’ lives, anyway? Is The Nest making some kind of commentary on the worldwide drug problem overall? Is it just there to add another crime element or some more drama? Right now, Emily’s backstory doesn’t fit in, but there has to be a reason or a metaphor somewhere.


The majority of Kaya’s arc in this episode is about her past coming back to haunt her—literally, since her ne’er do well mother Siobhan (Shirley Henderson) has arrived in town, courtesy of the smarmy reporter Eleanor (Katie Leung).

Along the way, Kaya finds out that it was actually a local enforcer who murdered her sort of ex-boyfriend Kian, acting on information passed to him by her social worker James (James Harkness). James has been on the take, and as police arrest him goes on a rant about how he’s not being paid enough, trying to make himself the victim.

This is all a lot to deal with, but unfortunately, The Nest makes it hard to feel much sympathy for Kaya, who seems to have regressed maturity-wise. Unlike Dan, her flaws aren’t out of any good place. She shamelessly extorts another 20 grand out of Emily to do a paternity test, and despite hating her mother with a screaming passion at the start of the episode, is persuaded by Siobhan to keep the baby at episode’s end—changing her mind just like Emily feared she would.

When added to what viewers have seen in the past three episodes, Kaya really just falls flat. She’s constantly waffling based on whatever person she can attach herself to at the moment—whether it’s James, or Emily, or Siobhan. She doesn’t think for herself, unless it’s to see what she can get for herself. And with one episode left, it’s unlikely that we’ll learn enough to see who she actually is or wants to be.

Next. Interview with The Nest star Martin Compston. dark

The Nest is now streaming exclusively on Acorn TV. Catch episodes 1-4 now with a 7-day free trial.