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The Guilty – Series 1 – episode 3

Chloe Hamilton

THE GUILTY EP1 03 300x199 The Guilty   Series 1   episode 3SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen Series 1, episode 3 of ‘The Guilty’

I found the end of The Guilty a bit of a cop out. Different, yes. Thrilling, sort of. But it had a frustrating “and he woke up and it was all a dream” feel to it, which made me ball up my fists and pummel them into the nearest scatter cushion. It was all just a terrible accident. Of course.

Naturally I was relieved our man wasn’t Tom Rose (Rosen, Rose… anyone??) who turned out to be a red herring designed to throw us off the scent. Like all good red herrings, he looked guilty as sin. He knew of crucial evidence, explained his motive and, crucially, he confessed to the crime. I found it a bit tenuous that DC Brand kept niggling at the dad when the case seemed so obviously closed (jeez Maggie, go home and put your feet up) but it transpired she was right to niggle and we later learn that Daniel Reid buried Callum’s body to protect his other son, who he thought had killed his brother in a fit of jealousy.

Ultimately however, Rose’s role in the drama was meaningless, unnecessary and dull. The character had no connection to the crime and his confession only confused the plot further.

Emotionally charged though it was, I also found little satisfaction in the climax of Maggie’s story. It wasn’t linked to the main plot and each time we deviated from the murder investigation I lost my way a bit. Although her son was the sweetest little boy I’ve ever seen on screen, I think the story line would have been better suited to a series, rather than a three part drama.

In the end all that made The Guilty stand out against the other murder mysteries currently clogging up the TV listings was the fact that there was no murderer.

But what to the writers might have seemed like a clever twist, in reality stank of an under developed plot. I like my detective dramas to come together at the end with a spectacular, “well OF COURSE it was him, it all makes SENSE now” but The Guilty didn’t deliver that. Not only was the ending unrealistic (I’m still not convinced a four-year-old could hang himself using a karate belt), it was slapdash, as if the series had backed itself into a corner and had nowhere else to go. As the credits rolled for the final time I admit I felt rather fed up with the whole thing.

Then again, maybe I’ve just seen too many TV detectives scrabble around in the dirt to solve a case. Maybe I’ve become hardened to big shocks and surprise endings. Maybe when a child hanging himself from his bunk bed isn’t alarming enough for you, it’s a sign you’re watching to many murder mysteries. Maybe.

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  • molesey_,mole

    .

    Why print a review 20 hours before the programme even starts on TV ?

    Are the Independent’s IT staff so useless that they can’t be trusted to post something at a certain time ?

    .

  • greggf

    “I found the end of The Guilty a bit of a cop out.”

    Well I’m not sure that’s fair.
    What happened to the father who hid a dead body which is criminal offence might be described as such.
    But the boy’s accidental suicide is real enough risk for many parents. And the intricacies of the various outcomes arising from the father’s covert action is perhaps typical of perverting the course of justice.

  • greggf

    “I found the end of The Guilty a bit of a cop out.”

    Well I’m not sure that’s fair.
    What happened to the father who hid a dead body which is criminal offence might be described as such.
    But the boy’s accidental suicide is real enough risk for many parents. And the intricacies of the various outcomes arising from the father’s covert action is perhaps typical of perverting the course of justice.

  • georgygirl29

    does Tamsin Greig have any other facial expression other than the one in the picture above?,if so I’ve never seen it

  • Jude

    pretty much agree.. Writers seem to want to stray so far from the norm now that cop outs are the only way out.. The other issue was practically every sub plot was a dead end and pointless.. Would have made a better 2 hour one night show

  • http://survivinghomecareuk.blogspot.co.uk/ Janel Jones

    I agree too, we probably have seen too many multi-layered murder dramas to make it possible to be enjoyably surprised and fulfilled by another one. So many recently have ended with an “unintended” murder, where working out motive is no longer useful. I do quibble with including a conversation between Luke and daddy Daniel in the previous episode talking about “this was just an accident” which then clearly pointed to Daniel’s involvement to cover-up whatever happened.

    After watching that rather nasty little community full of secrets I feel guilty myself now, that we as a society don’t include our children more in family activities but try to shove them off to unsuitable babysitters – both the Polish nanny and the reluctant teenage son of the neighbour – while the adults get blotto, scrap and have meaningless sex. Such role models…

  • BalladCafe

    Must admit at feeling a little let down, but it gave me the opportunity of watching and listening to Tamsin Greig, whom I’m quite captivated by – just love her voice.


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