Can we talk about the drill? I think we can. When army liaison officer Adam Gettrick was revealed to have been ‘Alice Webster”s captor and father to her child (or at least that’s what was inferred) and mercilessly and brutally killed German Polizei Jorn Lenhart with a cordless drill (I still can’t drive past a B&Q after that), everything changed. It was bold by Harry and Jack Williams to reveal the captor and/or killer so early, eschewing the usual last-episode reveal, but now we want answers. What happened between Gettrick and Alice Webster? Was the Alice Webster we saw in the Swiss restaurant and the cabin the Alice Webster? Where is Sophie Giroux? Where is Lena Garber? What did happen in Iraq and what did Stone, Reid and A N Other do? We might not have got all the answers tonight, but we got some, in another very strong episode.
NB: spoilers, la la la la la, spoilers, la la la
Once again this episode had a lot going on, but with the dual-timeline narrative having now chilled out a bit, we are getting some good characterisation. There’s just more time to do it. I’ve mentioned before that David Morrissey and Keeley Hawes (Sam and Gemma Webster) are two very fine actors that felt slightly in the background in the first half of the series, but in this episode they really showed their acting chops.
We saw them in both timelines struggling badly – in 2015 they were having supreme difficulty coming to terms with the loss of Alice, Gemma continually calling in sick to work, zoning out on the couch and showing signs of depression; in 2016 Sam told her that Eve was pregnant with his child, and the pair was having difficulty in coming to terms with that news, too. In this present-day timeline Gemma, fully fuelled by the search for Alice, did something unexpected – she sat down with Eve and asked her if she was going to keep the baby. When she said no she almost urged her to keep it and not to get rid of it because of guilt. It’s alright to be selfish once in while, she told Eve. When Eve left the office briefly, she hooked into her computer and stole some records for Baptiste. Nice one Gemma.
Ah, Baptiste. The glue that holds this series together was really struggling. His condition had worsened and he was fully aware that his search needed to be stepped up a notch. Hallucinating didn’t help (we finally found out what the card he always carries with him was all about). He felt he was getting closer to the truth, tantalisingly close, but… he was also getting desperate. Frantic. Angry. Sometimes violent. In the final scene he confronted Nadia Herz (who had had quite the episode herself… she was released from hospital, found her incarcerated husband’s missing camera and saw pictures of Alice on there) after he had found that she had been with Stone and Reid in Iraq.
The most interest strand in tonight’s episode was Gettrick and Alice. We saw him clean up the mess after the drill incident, but we were also given some detail into his relationship with Alice. In the 2015 timeline he called what we know as Alice Webster ‘Alice’, which surely confirms that she is indeed Alice Webster. We saw how he locked Alice and their daughter in the room; we saw how, after he came home from work threw a conciliatory supermarket-bought sandwich to her for her meal; we saw him explain in a moment of exposition that his uncle had locked him up when he was a child; and, crucially, we saw Alice say that she wanted to live a normal life… together. This was Stockholm Syndrome off the charts – she loved her captor, and wanted to be with him… to exist as a ‘normal’ couple.
With all this back detail and extra (welcome) characterisation, this episode once again packed emotional punch (thanks mostly to the excellent Morrissey and Hawes), and creeped me out only the way kidnap stories can – through control, manipulation and incarceration somehow and sometimes comes love. What a world we live in.
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