REVIEW Vigil (S1 E4/6)

Vigil has bubbled along quite nicely over three episodes, its initial locked-room (or locked-sub) mystery intensifying as the weeks go by.

In many ways, I’m enjoying the parallel investigation by Kirsten Longacre on dry land more than Amy Silva’s onboard the sub. And, at the end of last week’s episode, Longacre was apprehended by some shady MI5 types, which suggested that her investigation into what happened onboard Vigil was beginning to ruffle a few feathers.

She was told in no uncertain terms to lay off until they found out more (although they were quite easy to release their own investigation info to Kirsten, which is plainly something that would never happen). But it didn’t just end there – after a meeting with Shaw, she was told that something indeed did go wrong in Florida and the Americans were now pissed off at them and wouldn’t tell them what was going on.

So Shaw pushed them, and it turned out they had a suspiscion there was a Russian spy onboard Vigil who was intent on sabotaging the mission and the sub itself. Furthermore, after a meeting with the Defence Secretary no less, it was decided that the sub should break cover and come back home.

Which is something that should’ve happened right from the start, let’s face it.

Onboard Vigil, things were tense. Amy freaked during a (very realistic) simulation and was confined to the captain’s quarters. Showing her kindness was cook Jackie, who, it was revealed, had a son who had just been mysteriously released from an Indonesian jail. Relevant or another red herring?

The two parallel investigations were interspersed with flashback sequences showing how Amy and Kirsten got together. They were really rather sweet, but they can only mean one thing – when the emotion is ramped up in any crime drama you know the writers are clearing the way for a Big Event. That could be a death, it could be something else.

By the end of the episode, Jackie lay dead on her kitchen floor (the stroganoff it was probably not) and Amy was rugby tackled by an assailant (or saviour?) wearing a gas mask that was almost certainly Glover. Or perhaps it was Prentice, who she was building bridges with earlier in the episode.

Either way, I’m hoping that the final two episodes will be better than this mid-season dipper.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith says:

    I fear they may be in danger of over-egging the pudding. We’ve got the tension on board the sub and also on land but now adding the lack of comms to the sub seems to be a bit too much.

    It’s going to be a busy couple of episodes to wrap this up but I’m way more invested in Vigil than I am (was…) in Annika…


  2. malerogue says:

    Disappointing…Burly FSB agent caught and rugby tackled by slim woman…yeah right. A definite whiff of the BBC propaganda dept about this series who want to keep ramming things down our throats drives me to distraction


    1. Keith says:

      Yeah…I did think that scene was stretching credibility somewhat… Rose Leslie channeling her inner Ygritte!


    2. Alan says:

      Yeah. She was unarmed. He’s big and athletic, could easily have outrun her, or just turned and knocked her out. I put his capture down to panic and inexperience but when we learn who he is, that fell apart.
      Otherwise wondering what the Vigil is doing tootling around in busy shipping lanes in the North Sea, just below the surface. Missile subs are meant to spend their time in remote parts of the ocean, running deep, never coming close to land or any ship.
      I thought it was pretty odd that of the four Vanguard subs only one is at sea, but apparently that’s how it really is. Seems pretty bad idea to literally have all your eggs in one basket so if Russia or China tracked and knocked it out it would leave the UK unarmed. But another two are loaded up with missiles so could presumably set to sea at short notice in a crisis.
      I think the torpedo tubes are a Chekhov’s gun. I thought Glover might shoot Burke’s body out it in this ep to remove evidence. But given Amy’s claustrophobia she’ll probably end up in one in the finale and be rescued at the last second.


  3. Chris says:

    This story has so many holes I’m waiting for the sub to sink any minute. My biggest complaint right from the start is a civilian police dept would not be investigating anything aboard a HMS sub. Military depts have their own law enforcement agencies. But I will watch the last 2 to see if I smell a possible season 2.


  4. Elaine says:

    I seem to be the lone, dissenting voice here, as I was enjoying the series, and thought it was great but thought episode 4 took it up a level. I am enjoying that it’s still a whodunnit at heart but the tension has ramped up with all the land based agencies working together now against a huge potential threat, whereas in the sub there’s a murderer on the loose. I agree with Keith, as I am more invested in this than Annika (which is ok) and to be fair more invested in Annika than many other recent programmes (such as the poor Professor T). Looking forward to the last two episodes.


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