REVIEW: 35 Awr (S1 E7/8)

We’re almost at the end of this twisty-turny Welsh-language crime drama and, carrying on from the end of episode six, there was a real sense that secrets were beginning to tumble out and things beginning to be resolved.

We last saw Leighton – brother of the accused, Kelvin – in the back of the car strangling bent copper, Stewart. Mererid had returned from her visiting her children, and sat back down in the car. Instead of Stewart, she found an on-edge Leighton (well, you would after just killing a copper). He made her drive back to the hotel and get him some food (always the first thing on someone’s mind when you murder someone). This rumbled on until Mererid reluctantly told Matt what was going on and, for his offer of help, got biffed over the head by Leighton with a what looked like a lead pipe. Very Cluedo.

Elsewhere in the hotel it was touch and go for Haydn, who was – literally – hanging by a thread. But something unexpected happened – Steve, who went to check on a trussed up Ree, was persuaded by her to destroy him forever and prolong his pain. Don’t kill him, she pleaded; record a confession, put it up online and let the world and the law pass judgement. Steve liked this idea. Ree, on the other hand, (to save her own life more than anything) explained that she was gathering information for a blog called The Fox (I was right!), who wanted to expose the terribleness of the jury system.

The rest of the jury? Everyone was getting hammered in Moira’s room. Val was once again in her element, but Carwyn was in a spot of bother – at the end of episode six, his fiance Jo turned up… as he was in bed with Nadine, who seemed determined to sink her claws into him. Perhaps it was this episode that made Carwyn really think about his situation – he admitted to Jo that he didn’t love her and she stormed off, leaving him standing in his pants, locked out of his hotel room.

And this is interesting. Not because a man was standing in his pants locked outside of his hotel room… it was because Carwyn’s drama signified another exploration of the state of a human relationship. Pretty much each of the jurors – aside from Ree, perhaps – had a relationship problem on the outside. Val hated but loved her husband, Taz was single, Peredur had experienced an adulterous wife, Moira an adulterous husband, Nadine was dealing with the grief of losing her husband in warped ways… the list went on. Each one of these emotionally scarred misfits had been thrust together and provided an interesting subtext to the whole story. It reminded me of Rear Window – as James Stewart’s LB Jeffries peers out of his window, he sees in each window of his courtyard characters in different stages of relationships. Newlyweds, singletons, lonely hearts, unhappy in marriages… it all presents itself to Jeffries, who himself is grappling with the idea of marriage. Here in 35 Awr things are slightly different – jury service, whether it be in the jury room or in the hotel, feels like a purgatorial experience for them, forcing each of them to re-evaluate their relationships on the outside.

The real action in the episode though came at Rachel’s place. We saw how Rachel and Heulwen became lovers, and how Rachel was the first to find her body. There at the scene was Stewart, who told her go quickly. As she was leaving, she saw Susie in the drive way – a new wrinkle – and she explained to her slightly incredulous husband how Stewart had suggested that she get rid of Susie in the hospital for fear of her speaking out. So it was Rachel we saw enter Susie’s hospital room at the start of the series…

If it didn’t already, it looks like Stewart may well be a murderer. But with one episode to go, there still feels like there’s plenty to play for.

Paul Hirons







2 Comments Add yours

  1. Elizabeth Macpherson says:

    Never mind the whodunit, i want to know why Meredith didn’t change her skirt ..


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