Review: One Of Us (S1 E3/4), Tuesday 6th September, BBC1

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 30/08/2016 - Programme Name: One of Us - TX: 06/09/2016 - Episode: n/a (No. 3) - Picture Shows:  Claire Elliot (JOANNA VANDERHAM) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Hal Shinnie
(C) BBC – Photographer: Hal Shinnie

The first two episodes of this good-looking and starry four-parter from the Williams brothers promised a great deal, but I was left at the end of those two instalments unable to really connect with it. It has been breathless stuff, and posed some interesting moral questions, but as much as I like the cast I wasn’t particularly looking forward to watching this third episode with my chocolate Hobnobs and a cup of tea on a Saturday night.

So the main questions about what would you do if the murderer of your child came knocking on your door was emphatically answered by the end of episode one, and as we’ve trundled along we’ve been exposed to another one: investigating officer Juliet’s little side earner syphoning off tabs of acid to a local dealer to help fund her daughter’s medical bills has had tragic consequences.

There’s a lot of stuff going on here and it ebbs and flows, with each character – every single one of them – flawed in some way and hiding some deep secrets. I’m just not sure everything is hanging together very well. The Williams have thrown so much mud at the wall, none of it seems to be sticking. In this episode we saw Alistair and Moira hit the bedroom in an apparent continuation of their previously illicit affair, Bill’s Parkinson’s disease be exposed accidentally by son Jamie, the motorway suicide of Peter Elliot (which was a genuinely jump-out-of-your-seat moment), and Juliet starting to make inroads into the case, which lead to arrests at the funeral. That’s a lot of plates to keep spinning there, and perhaps too much for a four-episode series, because there’s so much going on I’m starting to lose interest, despite a brilliant cast and some good moments.

Rob is still in prime position as the main suspect – especially after the discovery of the bloody knife in his room – but I’m not so sure. Rob still seems too much of an obvious choice to me, and attention has switched to Bill, who was caught arguing with Adam on a wedding video. That same wedding video we saw at the very start of the series. It’s anyone’s guess who really killed Adam and Grace, and why, and who killed Lee Walsh, and why.

Paul Hirons

For our episode one review, go here

For our episode two review, go here


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