REVIEW Y Golau (S1 E3&4/6)

During episode three of this intriguing, excellent and very human crime drama, there was a moment that really encapsulated what this show is all about – the details in grief.

During an argument with Gafyn, he turned off Sharon’s hallway light. Sharon went berserk and told her ex that she had not turned off that light since Ela had disappeared. The very act of turning off that light was something momentous, something that signified turning off her search for Ela. And, of course, this series is called Y Golau, which translates in English to The Light. Remember also that the original title for this series was called The Light In The Hall.

There may be something in this light – some extra significance – there maybe not.

If the turning off of that light had any metaphorical value for Sharon, you wouldn’t have known it in these two episodes. After another visit from journalist Cat Donato – which, again, didn’t go well – she redoubled her efforts to find out the truth from Joe Pritchard, by foul means or fair. She not only enlisted shady Ian once again, but handed over Greta’s wedding money to boot, in order for Ian’s goons to beat the information out of Joe.

But something was shifting in these two episodes – secrets were slowly beginning to come out. We found out more about Joe and his relationship with his overbearing, gruff father Wyn (it wasn’t good), and Cat and Caryn, two teenagers and former friends of Ela, were revealed to have been not very nice at all to their disappeared friend.

We were also introduced to two new characters – local councillor Nina Vaughan and her (pregnant) daughter Isabel. Cat found out that Joe once worked for Vaughan, who is now running for a high-ranking position and in the middle of canvassing voters. Not only does Nina Vaughan have a handy line in passive-aggressiveness, but links with Joe’s father Wyn were also revealed.

Once again, this was all bubbling away nicely. But what of Joe Pritchard himself? Beaten to pulp, he eventually turned up at Cat’s house, and observed with her the damage that had been done by a vandal. Still bloodied by his ordeal, she let him clean himself up and observe the board she had constructed to help her along with her investigation. And this, of course, triggered Joe – he remembered that his father had been in the woods when Ela had disappeared.

This triggered a frantic end to episode four – Joe and Cat went to Sharon’s to confront her, and they found the house on fire; and Wyn, at a fancy retirement do in front of his farming pals (including Nina Vaughan) got the shock of his life when Shelley (who had disappeared from the town after Ela had died, never to return) stormed in and seemed to imply that Wyn had abused her when she was a child.

It was quite an ending and just the injection of drama and explosiveness the series needed. There has been some clever writing so far, and this elevation is yet another example of it. Consequently, Y Golau is nicely paced, well played and concerned with the details.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.