After the reveal of Andrew's guilt at the end of last week's episode I was less apprehensive about sitting down and watching episode four. But I was only partially right in thinking that it would be any less torturous than its predecessors.
Since she found the open threat of her lost earring in her house, Laura has made her way up to Edinburgh to do her own investigation into the death of Andrew's ex-wife Mary. Her first port of call is to Mary's mother, Felicity. All this gets her is a story of how Mary was always a sensitive girl, who was even scared of gingerbread men, and that in the end her darkness got the better of her. Next stop is Mary's friend Catherine, who, though at first evasive, reveals to Laura that she slept with Andrew before Mary's suicide, and that she thinks that Andrew may have done to her what he did to Laura.
At first Catherine agrees to come back to Kent with Laura but then changes her mind. As Laura tries to persuade her again she see's a plate of gingerbread dogs, Felicity's substitute for the scary gingerbread men, and realises why Catherine has changed her mind. Felicity's fierce protectiveness over Andrew is irritating but not surprising. She doesn't want to lose Luke or admit to herself that there was something that she could have done to stop Mary's death.
Felicity is also of an older generation, one who would have mostly been married before rape within marriage was made illegal in the late 1990s; this may be another reason that she is portrayed in this way. She may genuinely not believe that Andrew could do the things he is being accused of, or that domestic problems should be kept within the family. On the other hand it could be considered reductive to portray one of the shows few older characters as more conservative and more likely to side with Andrew.
Whilst Laura is in Edinburgh her flight home is delayed and she ends up talking to a man at her hotel bar, Ian. They talk for a while before Laura decides to go to bed and she abruptly shuts Ian down when he tries to convince her to stay. The story then develops when Laura finds a bouquet of flowers from Ian in her room at the hotel; this was weird and uncomfortable and leads to an awkward conversation at Ian's door as she returns the flowers.
It was a surprise that Laura even engaged with Ian. The flowers in Laura's room made my stomach drop as I wondered if Andrew has found her, But instead, this weird little side story served to show that Andrew isn't the norm, that there are men who are sensitive to women's feelings. It was only partly successful in doing this. The middle scene with the flowers was the main drawback. Firstly, because sending flowers to someone you barely know who already rejected you once is creepy. But also because, even after the creepy flowers, Laura says to Ian it is her fault not his. Whilst it is a good thing that Laura is portrayed as hurt but healing, it could have been done better.
It was a nice touch to send Laura up to Edinburgh to try and find out more about Mary's death and to see her away from Andrew. She is fierce and unrelenting even though she is scared and in pain.
Meanwhile, back in Kent, Andrew has another sick conquest on his mind. Early in the episode he is shown looking at DI Vanessa Harman's social media. From this we then follow Vanessa in her day as it is revealed that she wants to transfer departments. We follow her home to a skype call with a woman who is revealed to be Vanessa's significant other who is in the army. In this skype scene Vanessa talks about the progress of her pregnancy and the super juice she is drinking to make sure that she is getting all the vitamins she needs.
As always nothing is meaningless in Liar; Vanessa comes home a few nights later and drinks her juice before falling asleep in front of the TV, before Andrew breaks in. He washes her juice bottle, puts it in the dishwasher and walks over to the sofa where Vanessa is sleeping as we cut to the ad break. This plotline ends with Vanessa waking up and going to the toilet where she miscarries. We don't know exactly what Andrew did to Vanessa but it has had a huge impact on her life.
Episode four then ends with Laura discovering that unless she makes a post retracting her claims about Andrew, he is going to sue. Last week I knew it wasn't over for any of the characters, in no small part because of the fact there were three episodes left. But I didn't expect the rot and pain that Andrew has caused to run this deep. With all the remaining questions I look forward to getting some answers. But part of me will also be glad when this is over.