After last week’s shocking ending, I was looking forward to seeing how this would progress. Not only was there the surprise, but the action also has the possibility to send Mathias and, especially, Prosser into new directions as characters. Which is good for everyone.
NB: Spoilers inside
After he threw Thomas off Devil’s Bridge Prosser visited one of his cohorts, suggesting this was, as Thomas had said, a cover-up featuring a group of people. A man called Bates was mentioned. For Prosser, normally so calm, calculating and expert at skulking in the shadows, killing a man was a chastening experience for him. He was visibly ruffled and in distress. It was the first time we’ve seen him in this state.
As Prosser calmed down, straightened his tie and headed back into work the next morning, Mathias and Rhys had their hands full with another case: a young woman called Laura Dean was found murdered in the woods. As ever, Mathias and Rhys did the rounds, slowly and methodically but instead of the usual working class, rural communities this show shines a light on, this third episode entered the world of the middle classes – specifically, the bohemian world of the rural artist. Laura Dean had a boyfriend called Ifan Riley, a geeky, sensitive sort, but she also fraternised with nationally-renowned artist, Lewis John. A fiery idealist he wasn’t beholden to the kind of rules mere mortals like you and I observe, he was in an open relationship (ie he slept with most of his female models, because ‘he wanted to see what was inside of them’) with a wife that didn’t seem too keen on the idea of an open relationship.
There was a marvellous stylistic moment when Mathias first met Lewis John out in his shed/studio. Shards of sunlight pierced the cracks in the wooden walls, slashing both Mathias and John’s faces with noir-like strips of light. I enjoyed that, whether it was intentional or not.
But let’s face it, the real action lay with the Iwan Thomas strand of the narrative and, sure enough, DS Owens – investigating the case, remember – not only found Thomas’s body at the bottom of Devil’s Bridge but also determined that Mathias had been searching for his tormentor at the same time Tomas probably died. So, predictably, it looks as though Mathias is now in the frame for his murder, and Y Gwyll might turn into a story of a man trying to clear his name. I wonder if he’ll have to go rogue and underground at some point to investigate Prosser and his Devil’s Bridge gang himself, and I wonder if Rhys will come to the rescue somehow and some time. We’ve kind of seen those sorts of developments in so many crime dramas, I do hope that this takes a few unexpected twists and turns. We’ll see.
So, with DS Owens investigating her boss, and an independent investigator – John Powell – brought in to oversee the case, Mathias looks as though he’s in for a bumpy ride. I have this nagging feeling – and this is absolute, pure speculation because I know nothing – that Mathias might leave at the end of this series. You see it sometimes when new characters are brought in half-way through a series or an established character gets a promotion. These shifts and easing in of new characters sometimes signify a change in cast. I’m not saying this is going to happen, but it’s something to consider.
Part two of this story next week…