REVIEW Craith (S3 E2/6)

Last week’s series opener compellingly laid the platform for the third and final series of Craith, and offered up an intriguing murder mystery as only Craith could – present a number of suspects in bleak and beautiful landscapes, each of them living hard, unforgiving lives.

As we all know by now, Craith is more of a whydunit than a whodunit, but this series is being presented like the latter. In the frame is Siôn Thomas, an obviously tortured soul who is carer to his younger brother Glyn, who has learning difficulties.

For all the world it looks as though Siôn did something to Ifan Williams, perhaps in defence of Glyn. We saw in the last episode that he had a bit of go at one of the youths who had accosted Glyn outside a local convenience store. And he had a go again at one of them in this episode.

And we also got some tantalising glimpses into why Siôn might be so tortured. A labourer, he’s currently working on a big restoration/conversion called Awel Fan. It looks like an old school perhaps, or even a religious building of some kind. We’ll no doubt find out soon exactly what it is, but as Siôn saw the old play area with a rusty swing still just about intact, he seemed to slip into some kind of reverie.

And then we get on to Father McEwan – one of the creepier, potentially manipulative and passive-aggressive priests you’ll see on TV. He’s been helping young Lea Price in her rehabilitation (we’re yet to find out fully what happened there, but Father McEwan sure does), and he definitely knows Siôn – during one night visit to Glyn, he told the returning older brother that his mother would not have held on to such bitterness.

So what does Father McEwan know about Siôn’s past, and what happened?

We also got to find out more about the murder victim himself. Taking over the prize-winning farm from his father, he became negligent and forgot to vaccinate the herd of cows generations of his family had worked so hard to cultivate. The whole herd had to be terminated, which did not make Ifan a popular man, especially with former family friend Daffyd O’Connell.

With Father McEwan flaoting around, Siôn and perhaps even Glyn, O’Connell and then – right at the end – Siôn’s rival at the building site, Piotr Korecki seen smacking the victim outside the rugby club on the actual night of his murder on CCTV… you can see why this series has more of a whodunit feel to it.

Which is no bad thing, and slightly different for Craith. However, all the themes, all the tropes and all the beautiful photography is still in place. You feel yourself drifting along with it, drawn into the landscapes and the damp, dewey feel, the downtrodden characters and the soft-hardness of it all.

There is one thing that’s different – Cadi. We knew from last week’s opener she had gone for a job interview, and now we find out that she got it. A DCI in Liverpool. As she looks around the office, you can tell she’s conflicted. And when she tells Rachel, the news does not go down well at all.

So it’s all change… but you sense that Cadi can’t let this one go just yet.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.


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