REVIEW The Capture (S2 E6/6)

Well now. Wasn’t this just about the most bonkers, most ridiculous and the most deliciously addictive finale to a bonkers, ridiculous and deliciously addictive series?

It really did play with our emotions, and – in many skilful ways – manipulated us about as well as Truro Analytics did to Isaac Turner.

Along the way, I heard myself muttering many a time, “man, I just don’t buy this AT ALL”. However, a stunning final sequence put paid to that – it really was a terrific wrap-up where all ends were tied and resolved to stunning effect.

We all know The Capture is a cautionary tale with something serious to say about emerging identity-thieving tech and data mining wrapped up in a high-concept thriller. Both of these marks were hit quite spectacularly in this finale.

We found out who the Big Bad was – it was Frank Napier… AND Gemma Garland, both so lost were they in what they were doing (and believing that the game they were playing was righteous) that they ceased to adhere to any serious moral code. And what were they doing? They had entered into some kind of Faustian pact with Gregory Knox – in return for data that would transform their surveillance operations globally, they would help him and his company send Isaac Turner to Number 10.

Up until that reveal, I did have a hard time buying everything. Turner – with the promise of power and riches – decided to abandon everything and say sod it all. He was being deliberately set up to be a flawed character, one that we rooted for one minute and disliked the other. Turns out he did have an affair with Victoria Bello, although the jury is still out on whether her son is his. This was all fair enough and, in many respects, really good writing. However, he did seem to drop everything far too easily and quickly… until the final acts when Gregory Knox’s real motivations – and his pitch to Turner – were revealed. Annoying, but also clever writing.

As for Knox, he came over a bit too modern Bond villain cartoonish at times, and then there was Rachel. Holliday Grainger is fine and I like her a lot – she’s a talented young actress – but bloody hell she doesn’t half like a pout or seven. And as for her character, it was interesting to me that she shared a lot of screen time with Paapa Essiedu’s Isaac Turner (Essiedu was very good). Whatever the reason, I started to groan a little bit when Garland – after finding out Rachel’s plot – just basically let her off and offered her her job. For all the world, Rachel looked as though she was going to accept. It really felt like the end of the first series, where Rachel decided to get into bed with the very people she was pursuing. Again.

And then the final twist – Rachel had managed to get her surveillance information to Khadija Khan and had (with the help of Tom perhaps? I wasn’t sure) staged her own deep fake interview with Isaac Turner, who exposed correction to the world, exposed Knox and data-mining companies while saving his own reputation. Not bad for an interview that didn’t actually take place.

I really did feel that The Capture snatched victory from the jaws of defeat several times during this episode. Which, again, was very clever writing. In fact, it was audience manipulation of the highest and most enjoyable form and presented us with a group of flawed characters that were, yet again, susceptible to power and greed.

All that being said, The Capture was a thrilling ride and provided something bold, thought-provoking and fresh, even though it contained all those traditional thriller beats. Furthermore, this series has that same kind of relentless, kinetic energy and visceral addictiveness that Line Of Duty has in spades and is surely its worthy successor. If the BBC had anything about it – and it generally does – it would commission series three forthwith. This could run and run and absolutely deserves to do so.

Paul Hirons

Episode rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Series rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.






The Capture is broadcast in the UK on BBC One and on iPlayer


5 thoughts on “REVIEW The Capture (S2 E6/6)”

  1. I really enjoyed both seasons of The Capture, it’s certainly food for thought & definitely have to have the brain engaged. I’ll rewatch season 2 to see what i missed.
    Thank you for the reviews.


  2. I really enjoyed this season, better than the first, although I liked that too.
    The only slightly jarring thing, was the large circular concrete bunker they used as the new control room appears to be the same location used for a similar purpose in the comedy crime series Code 404.


  3. Hmm…I was engaged until about episode 4, then I felt the pudding was over-egged; in fact, by the end of the series, I was just irritated. I liked the cast; just didn’t care about the story.


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