Review: Hinterland/Y Gwyll (S2 E6/8), Sunday 18th October, S4C

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Apologies for the lateness of this review – it has been a super-busy week and this is truly the first time I’ve been able to sit down, watch and review this episode of Hinterland/Y Gwyll. It was the second part of the story that started last week, which told how the discovery of a young woman’s body – later established as a Polish woman called Kasia – triggered a desperate search for Greta Pritchard, a primary school teacher, whose car the body was found in. The final scenes from the episode saw Greta’s father Gwilym pulled from a smoking barn after he tried to gas himself via the fumes of a tractor. Why did he do that? And where was his daughter?

Gwilym Pritchard was saved and recovered; recovered enough to talk to Mathias and Rhys. He told them that after his wife died he had become dependent on his daughter Greta for pretty much everything – cooking, cleaning, general TLC and all the other things families provide in times of crisis. He befriended Kasia, via Greta, and began to develop a sexual relationship with her. It turns out the money he was paying her wasn’t for sex – it was to help bring Kasia’s daughter over to the UK. Greta was furious when she found out about their relationship and ditched her dad.

How very Hinterland… such believable stories. Nothing is sensational here – every suspect has a real human reason for either being a suspect or being the killer. I often find myself nodding at some of the suspects’ stories, acknowledging their turmoil and at least half-way understanding their pain.

But the investigation surged on. There was Harry Jenkins again (nasty, but not a factor), and Kasia’s Polish friend Bronka, who helped to fill in some of the blanks about her friend. It was a fairly conventional establish suspect/eliminate suspect type of deal, but there was a curious interlude three-quarters of the way through. Mathias spotted Dylan Thomas in the trailer park where Kasia had lived, so he followed him. When he finally caught up with him, Thomas – a character from a previous episode – chided Mathias for not being able to solve all these murders that were happening and that he was unable to even prevent the death of his own daughter. Naturally, Mathias didn’t like this, and as he held Thomas firmly by the scruff of the neck he also asked Mathias how well he knew his boss, Prosser. Didn’t he think there was a reason for all these murders happening? Talk to your boss!

Now Prosser is one of my favourite things about Hinterland/Y Gwyll. He’s slightly comical in the way he just appears from nowhere and then skulks back into the shadows, just uttering a line or two. This series, however, the actual threat he possesses has obviously been ramped up a bit and, with the final two-part story of the series starting next week, I’m pretty sure Prosser and his back story will take centre stage. Whether he’s a bad egg or not remains to be seen, but something’s going to happen.

Something also happened with the Greta Pritchard case. If truth be told this wasn’t the strongest story or episode in the series but it was, at the very least, an intriguing story and not every week can be about angry farmers who want revenge for something horrible that happened to their family/land/livestock (delete where applicable). It did have a strong ending though, which felt and resembled a horror movie.

As Arwyn Parry was established as the man who assumed the identity of Ben Willis, murdered Kasia and met with Greta because he wanted to… kill or kidnap her? That was the major question left – was Greta Pritchard still alive? As Mathias crept around the old school looking for Arwyn, in the dark and via torchlight only of course, the danger music was turned up to the max and so were the thrills and spills. Mathias found a secret doorway (another Hinterland/Y Gwyll favourite) and, in turn, found Greta imprisoned in a well. She was alive.

Shout out to Rylan Teifi who played Arwyn Parry. His performance in the end scene – snarling, bleeding, spitting, crying, mad – was truly exceptional. Proper Hannibal Lecter-style levels of psychosis.

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray

For all our Hinterland/Y Gwyll reviews, go here

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