REVIEW: 35 Awr (S1 E5/8)

Up until now, Welsh-language crime drama, 35 Awr, has been content to concentrate on the 12 jurors who have been tasked with trying to figure out who killed Heulwen. They’ve been manoeuvred expertly like chess pieces by writer Fflur Daffydd – they’ve been placed in confrontational situations and slowly but surely revealed secrets of their own.

But now, in the home stretch of this series, episode six narrowed its gaze onto the case itself.

With the 12 jurors now ensconced back in the jury room, debate turned to whether Kelvin actually killed the elderly lady. And if not Kelvin, was it his brother Leighton? Or perhaps the mysterious John, location now unknown.

Leading the charge to try and establish Kelvin’s innocence was Matt, whose amateur detective dossier came into full effect in this episode. He began to outline his theories – that Leighton’s girlfriend Susie (currently languishing in hospital) drove a wedge between the two brothers and drove Kelvin back onto the drink (he’d been sober for two years), that ‘John’ wasn’t really a person at all but a manifestation of Kevin’s darkest thoughts, and that Leighton was the man to watch in all this. As Matt’s theories were being gleefully expounded, flashbacks provided some visual meat on the bones. Yes, Susie had tempted Kelvin with a couple of tinnies, and when he refused, he attacked her and stormed out of the house. She smashed her face against the fridge door to give herself injuries so she could blame Kelvin. And yes, Kelvin went around to Heulwen’s – he and Leighton did odd jobs for her and she always treated him with kindness – and yes, ‘John’ appeared but then disappeared, a character in delusion only. ‘John’ goaded Kelvin and told him to teach the old woman a lesson.

When Leighton arrived, he saw his brother stooped over Huelwyn covered in blood.

This was all fair enough, but I wondered whether the flashbacks were indeed concrete renditions of what happened or just a version of the truth – Matt’s truth – or, as Merired mentioned, an unreliable narrator.

When Matt was revealed to have befriended Susie to gain inside information for his dossier, his methods were – rightly – shot down, and the jury voted nine-to-three in favour of finding Kelvin guilty. It was inconclusive – one more guilty voted and it would’ve given Stewart and co a workable majority. They faced more debate.

So it was back to the hotel. Merired, after a quiet few episodes, revealed that her own daughter suffered from mental illness (which was why she felt so much empathy towards Kelvin), Steve was still stalking Haydn (Haydn had botched an operation on Steve’s mother, which resulted in her death), and Nadine was coming on strongly to an incredulous Carwyn (something’s going with Nadine).

And Rhiannon… Haydn had her laptop and she was still communicating with someone on the outside. But who, and why? (My feeling is that she’s a journalist or a blogger.) Could it be Leighton, who received the location of the hotel and was now skulking around in the grounds?

We’ll see.

Paul Hirons




8 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom says:

    I’ve re-watched the end of episode 4, and I would say that Susie surely died in hospital after the mysterious woman delivered flowers to her room (and I came away with the impression that somehow the flowers were the cause). The equipment showed Susie flatlining, the doctor examined her, then shook his head no and the nurse covered her as if she’s died.


    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Agreed. I think Susie’s story will be picked up in episode six


    2. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

      Interesting. I somehow missed that part.


  2. Tom says:

    It’s just dawned on me that the scene from a couple of episodes ago where Leighton let himself into the mystery lady’s home and she made him a bowl of soup, it perfectly mirrored the flashback scene where Kelvin let himself into Heulwen’s house and she made him a bowl of soup.


  3. cocobeauvier says:

    no closed captions?


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