Thirteen, episode 3 – review

“Less dark drama and more a dysfunctional episode of Family Affairs”

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© BBC

Written by Michael Lee.

Previous episode reviews.

There is a very different feel to proceedings as we enter the half way stage in this glorious web of intrigue. However, it is a shame that the cliffhanger ending from last week now feels a bit soapy and redundant, resolved as it was within a minute. It turns out the perpetrator dragging Ivy away was the father of missing girl Phoebe, hellbent on answers from our protagonist. Luckily, little ‘sis Emma rushes out and the family follow. We now know that Phoebe is not Ivy’s child but naturally, as soon as we get one answer more questions follow.

The vibe is less dark drama and more a dysfunctional episode of Family Affairs. Here, everything including the kitchen sink is thrown into unsettling the domestic set up further. While Ivy (Jodie Comer) and Emma (Katherine Rose Morley) are finally bonding again, Craig (Joe Layton) is taking exception to the disruption it’s causing his relationship. His nice guy persona decreases throughout as mild agitation becomes ultimatums and glimpses of aggression. Things truly spiral when the truth of Angus’ affair surfaces. It sends Ivy into a rage, the first time ever we see her break. He leaves with his tail (or a much ruder word) between his legs. Yet another man in her life is causing problems too, as gormless Tim’s (Aneurin Barnard) attempts of reconciliation are rebuffed and his pictures torn down in the bedroom.

The Mark White storyline may seem like it’s taking a back seat to all the familial unrest but, perhaps purposefully his influence is always lurking. He sends a letter under the pseudonym of Leonard to the Moxam’s house that’s addressed to ‘Alison’, the name he called her in captivity. It reads “I know you didn’t leave me, I know you’ll be back” and his sinister boot print is stamped on the hour. As for good cop and bad cop, between withering looks of hate and bedroom escapades they still have time to discover Mr White has a half-brother, Dylan whose prints were also at the red doored house. Sadly, as a team their pairing has all the unity of Madonna and Guy Ritchie, their different methods hindering the case big time. Perhaps this is why you should never mix a difficult kidnapping case with pleasure. That old saying, eh?

While episode three may have lacked the surprise and drive shown so far, it feels like events are building up to some very big things indeed.  The slight dip in quality ends on the tantalising caveat: “I should never have left him. All I want is not to be alone any more.” With this, we are caught up in the web once again. 7/10

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CASE NOTES:

– That chair really could have been pushed that yard rather than lifted. Integral plot hole there.

– Who does Mr Headmaster man want to make it up to? Ivy? Christina?

– Is Craig showing unhealthy signs of control brimming to the surface? “You’re my girl” sounded very pointed.

– Did Ivy spot as such when talking about the photos of him and Emma together?

– Unsurprsingly, Ivy’s views on sex are conflicted. She seemed surprised when Emma declared she liked it and went off Elliott almost immediately when clocking that he had been sleeping with Merchant. It must be said, the moment Merchant tucked her clothes in at the crime scene was a tad silly.

– Tim really doesn’t seemed very arsed that his wife is pissed off. Is he preoccupied by love for Ivy or guilt? And for what?

– Eloise flitters between shifty and naive. We aren’t much closer to learning her big secret. What we have discovered is that she makes for an annoying flatmate.

– Who is in the bag?  All signals point to Dylan. Or worse – a load of rotten potatoes?

THEORIES:

– It seems increasingly likely that Ivy left of her own free will. What made her take that leap? Was it because Mark killed Dylan and then feared for her own life? Mark also offered forgiveness in his letter, did they have a massive falling out?

– When Ivy previously said “This was ours” was she referring to Dylan? Was he also a captive?

– On a bigger scale, there is a possibilty that Ivy killed Mark’s half brother