Episode 3

So last week we established that, basically, Harry Venn would honestly be much better off if he didn't trust anyone. Especially if that someone happens to seem like a really nice, lovely person (*cough* Sir Nigel Fountain *cough*). There was an almost laughable chase/danger scene in the abandoned warehouse of every horror film ever made, and Harry's tearaway son got jailed for selling crack. Oh and it turns out that James Morpeth, influential billionaire, seems to be on a mission to kill everyone just as Harry or Gina is on the brink of solving everything. Good. On with this week's episode.

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The episode opens back in the warehouse, just after a balaclava-clad heavy conveniently saves Harry and Gina (you know, the one that had us all thinking 'what if that's Harry's conveniently alive brother?!"). Harry does his brash I-was-worried-about-you-but-obviously-I-can't-reveal-that-you-silly-cow routine and everything is back to normal. Shock revelation! Sepia-tinted French Woman With A Baguette was Gina's mother (she doesn't half like to keep things to herself!). Now it makes a little bit more sense that she would go charging willy-nilly into warehouses. Harry is basically useless at trying to get Mezwar Tanzir (the killer) to talk, (really? Shaking a man that's been shot to get information? Really?) and then Gina gets angry and runs off.

Shock revelation! Lovely old evil Nigel Fountain isn't actually Gina's father, she isn't actually a lawyer, Jason Styles (of lurking outside prisons and wrecking Harry's life fame) ordered the killings, oh it's all coming out now. Honestly, you'd think that the writers of Hidden would run out of things to blindside us with, but oh no. Apparently not. On the bright side, I'm so caught up in trying to work out where I am and what's going on that I'm not concentrating on the still slightly awkward dialogue. It would all work if all of Harry's lines didn't demand that he deliver everything in a "BUT WHY?!" sort of way.

The music's very good though. Very good. Very creepy.

Oh no, help desk. Help Desk means bad things. I'd be willing to bet my left leg that someone's going to die.

One thing I do like is that that Gina speaks French. I think that's really cool. It's not so cool, however, that Harry speaks French and then asserts his English-ness by saying "Bonjour, hello" when introduced to charming friend of Gina's, Nadine. We get it Harry, you're a rough 'n ready man of action, not a man of culture.

Also, at some point, Gina and Harry really need to get that Nigel Fountain isn't to be trusted. Come on. At least the two of them are bonding over mutual hatred for Jason Styles and difficult families.

But.

But please don't make this a romance. Please. That's not what anyone is watching this programme for. They're watching it for exciting murders and Shock Revelations. Don't fall foul of the eternal cliché and create an Unlikely Romance between the male and female leads. For once let us have a programme where adults are able to get along with out endless Unresolved Sexual Tension.

Our loveable rogue Frank Hanna is back again, stalking along a- oh God, adorable sidekick Kevin's hung himself. (Although, it's likely that not all of the motivation for hanging himself was entirely his own. Grr, help desk!) At least I get to keep my leg.

On a related note, despite how ruthlessly murderous they are, I still find myself rather liking the trio of plotters (Bertie Carvel as Alexander Wentworth, Anna Chancellor as Elspeth Verney, and Matthew Marsh as James Morpeth). Maybe it's the suits. Maybe it's the unabashed smarm. Maybe it's the hilarious determination with which they've decided to take on the distopian society and, by default, the hopeless Prime Minister.

Back to Suchet. One thing Nigel Fountain has been good for so far (other than shifty sidelong glances) is telling it how it is. Thank God there's a character willing to point out the stupidity of going to an abandoned warehouse. Curse David Suchet and his kindly old man face, he's almost got me convinced that he's a nice person.

Speaking of fathers, 20 seconds in and I love Papa Venn already. He's like a funnier, drier version of Harry, with a perfect amount of world weariness and an innate ability to make Harry feel like dirt. The dialogue in this scene is exquisite; Rupert Simonian delivers every line as if it were a tiny weapon, trying to crack Harry's tough guy exterior.

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It's not really looking good for Harry. His father hates him, his son hates him, and then he turns to Hanna. Luckily, Hanna doesn't hate him (even if he does have a reason to- see Dead Sidekick) what an accommodating fellow. It really is lucky that Hanna doesn't hate him, 'cause if he did, we'd never have had the perfectly explanatory reveal scene (this is sarcasm) starring the word "Cockburns" as its main clue, rendering everything obvious. (Again, sarcasm. I honestly had no idea what was going on during this scene. It's never explained.)

Coming back to Suchet, once again, he's tricked us with his kindliness, and while dear Gina is recuperating in bed, the blaggard invites Jason Styles over (dubbed 'Christie' for secrecy purposes). Luckily, Gina legs it and rejoins Harry. There's an exciting confrontation at Braddick House which ultimately ends in Frank getting shot in the stomach. Oops.

So, in summary, Gina's parentage is no longer a mystery (much), there appears to be a link between Harry and Gina after all, what with their various family members all getting killed in sepia flashbacks on the same day, and the political plot is now an actual plot, and not just some weird clips of Carvel on the news, Morpeth ordering deaths, and Verney being enigmatic. Also, the Help Desk doesn't seem as scary anymore, what with it now not being very good at 'dealing with viruses' anymore. Such a shame, after 23 years too.

Overall Verdict: Quite good, with a dash of What Is Going On.

The final episode of Hidden airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One. Here's hoping for actual explanations (I'm not counting on it).

















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