It’s all intrigue and French people.
Last week’s episode of Hidden was very enjoyable, ending on a cliffhanger that almost made me punch my television. My expectations for this week were high, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The secure line ‘IT Help Desk’ phone calls are creepy. Really creepy. At the beginning of the first episode, I thought that they were something to do with calling for help from the police, or for requesting back-up or something, but with the second episode in full swing, it is clear that I am wrong.
Frank Hanna (Richard Dormer, pictured above) is back in style, doing the classic hacking-into-the-dubiously-trustworthy-slightly-psycho-doctor’s-computer thing, complete with bewildered sidekick and faces lit up by computer screens. Hanna remains the casual law-breaker with quips about porn as his guy does all the hard work, and from past experience of every night time hacking session, I just know that something’s about to go wrong…
Aaand true to form, it does. The phone call voiceover continues as dangerous looking men pile out of a suitably innocuous black van. You can just tell that the stream of thought running through Hanna’s brain is “shitshitshitshitshit” so he nicks the Doctor’s phone and legs it. Now, say what you will about torchlit getaway scenes in a house at night, but it definitely ratchets up the tension, coupled with frantic incidental music. These scenes are the best, relying solely on camera work to create atmosphere, rather than relying on the script. The scene ends well, with the head honcho bad guy emerging onto the street, with a perfunctory “Shit.”
Did I mention how creepy it is that people are referred to as a computer virus? Because it’s creepy.
Also, in my last review of Hidden (found here) I mentioned that I was still waiting for the Venn story and the political story to become relevant to each other. Now, I don’t know if it’s just me, but that voice on the other end of the phone line sounded like smarmy politician Wentworth.
In this episode, Matthew Marsh is the suspicious construction billionaire James Morpeth. In the first episode, the political plot seemed a little forced and slapdash, but this week, given what seems like more thought, it becomes rather more intriguing.
Back in the world of Harry Venn, vagabond solicitor, things are finally getting interesting. Harry has another confrontation with his son who has his same lack of respect for the law, and has a run in with the unpleasant Mr. Russell.
Venn visits Sir Nigel Fountain QC (after flustering the secretary and generally causing a hoo-ha) and it turns out that he’s Gina’s father and he’s also very helpful and lovely (well of course he is, I mean he is Poirot), except for when there’s no-one else around and then the music changes and it turns out that, wait no, he’s actually evil and not to be trusted. Venn doesn’t see this though, (of course!) and spills the beans about the case that he’s working on and how he’s hoping to get more information from Stevie Quirk.
Silly Venn. Never trust the ones that seem kind and helpful! Next thing, Quirk’s being trapped in a cage and stabbed with a kitchen knife by a cellmate with crazy eyes after the IT help desk makes a certain call. Bad Poirot.
Meanwhile in France, Gina is on the case, re-enacting the murder of the French woman we saw last week. She uses her detective skills to arrange a meeting with the murderer, alone, in the warehouse from every horror film ever made. Naturally it all goes pear-shaped and there are more heavies all over the place but it’s all fine because Harry turns up in just the nick of time to save the day and then REVELATION: it turns out that Paul Hillman, whom we were led to believe was DEAD, is in fact NOT DEAD. So does that mean Harry’s brother is alive? It might do, but who knows? We certainly won’t find out this week because Hillman gets shot by a fellow heavy- ooh, is THAT Harry’s brother? I just don’t know any more.
Even though I enjoyed this episode, I found the script lacking. With “I can’t just leave it” and general Ooh Look I’m Harry Venn and I Don’t F*ck Around ‘Cause I Mean Business behaviour taking centre stage.
Oh and Harry, for God’s sake, do one more button up. Please. Oh and discipline your son. You really don’t have time to be keeping an eye on him too. Look what happened last time. Jeez.
The next episode of Hidden airs at 9pm on 20th October on BBC One.
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