The Guilty – Series 1 – episode 3
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.Tagged in: Broadchurch, Tamsin Greig, The Guilty
Recent Posts on Arts
- Jordan Peak: The Rogue element
- Friday Book Design Blog: 3:AM Press
- Children’s Book Blog: Discovering stories in East London
- Friday Book Design Blog: Leaving The Sea, by Ben Marcus
- Children’s Book Blog – books for April: The Day the Crayons Quit, The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig and Grasshopper Jungle
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter