Review: The Level (S1 E5/6), Friday 28th October, ITV

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the_level_star_karla_crome_on_filming_that_big_twist___i_didn_t_see_it_coming__With ‘Undercover Barbie’  Nancy knee-deep in Elliot’s dirty business, the case of missing driver Stefan Millner and his phantom truck has rather gone on the back burner. But to complicate things further, it now appears that someone has got to Nancy’s mother, prompting her to abscond from her care home.

Now, we’ve always been led to believe that the underlying plot of The Level is about Frank Le Saux, his dodgy underworld connections, and something to do with a missing shipment of ‘medical supplies’ – presumably the sort you snort at media parties. But what if it’s not about that at all? What if it’s more to do with Frank’s past, his relationship with Nancy’s mother, and his secret family? At least when Teresa is found, Nancy and Gil have something of a reconciliation.

When the truck is found, Kevin arranges for it to be disappeared sharpish; yet no-one points the finger of suspicion at him. Neither does anyone suspect that he might be the unshaven, besuited man who visited Nancy’s mother – they all assume it’s nasty Shay Nash. But simply texting a photo to the care home could have sorted this out.

Nancy makes the most unconvincing bent copper ever – it should be obvious to Elliot that she’s setting him up. When she loses a necklace in the arson attack and Newman has to recover it,  we reckon it’s just another thread in the chain of evidence which will bring her down. But in any case, why does Elliot need Nancy on his side, when he already has Kevin?

At last, we’ve had a bit more for Cherie to do; while Nancy wobbles about telling Hayley the truth, Cherie reveals that she has figured out her secret. This means that just about the only person who didn’t figure out that Frank was Nancy’s father, was supposed hot-shot detective Nancy.

Even Gunner realises that the plan to catch Elliot with the missing truck is bound to go wrong; it’s about the most unconvincing bit of misdirection ever hatched. No surprises, then, that Elliot has battered Kevin and rumbled Nancy; but he’s hoist with his own petard when the engine block meant for Kevin squashes Elliot instead.

We rather imagined that Elliot was going to die, because if the missing consignment could be pinned on him, that would wrap things up rather too neatly. No, we’re still of the opinion that frank is out there somewhere, manipulating events and trying to find out who wanted him bumped off. Our money’s now on Cherie, who’s finally shown that her grasp of events is far finer than she has let on.

When the truck’s contents turns out to be guns and a dead driver, no-on can figure out if Le Saux, Elliot or Nash is responsible; but Cherie’s little smile indicates that she knows more than she’s revealing.

While we’ve been waiting for Frank Le Saux to return from the grave practically from the moment he was declared dead, our new theory is that he won’t come back until the final scene of the final episode; and by that time, Nancy will be in the frame for something, and the two wil have to prove their innocence together. So, will Season Two see the pair on the run, disguised in dark glasses and beards, holed up in a Travel Tavern? We can’t wait to see that.

Chris Jenkins

For all our reviews of The Level, go here

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