This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
After episode four of Clique upped the ante and revealed just how bleak and seedy Solasta’s underbelly truly is, you might expect things to start going the way of the heroes. But there’s the structure of a television series to think about and, with two episodes left, Holly hasn’t quite been beaten down enough.
She’s understandably shaken by what she saw in Faye’s video and, after a restless night filled with repeat viewings interrupted by naps, she marches down to the office to confront those involved. But her outburst at the party last week has cost her, and she’s been locked out of Solasta and all the clues it contains.
But the Holly we saw in episode two – the one with the glint of madness and ‘do whatever it takes’ determination in her eyes – is back, and she isn’t going to take no for an answer even when it comes from Rory’s angelic face. Now that she knows just what Georgia’s going through and how it could get worse, her personal revolt against the corrupt system has been given a new lease of life.
Yet she’s not likely to get any help, with everyone serving their own agenda in one way or another. Rory, previously her one glimmer of hope, is revealed to not just be lying about being a cop, but also as the killer of both Faye and James. Faye had attempted suicide in the house, but her fall from the hospital wasn’t self-inflicted. They had threatened to take Solasta down, and Rory killed them to keep it quiet.
The driver, Mo, is also back this week with more dialogue than he’s had since the premiere. It might be too late for the show to dig into it now, but Mo’s situation as an undocumented immigrant could easily be compared to to the powerlessness of the girls. As the show paints him, he doesn’t exist aside from what is needed of him, and he’s unable to be seen for fear of being punished.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Clique’s second half has been Jude, and the forced confrontation with the politics her entire empire revolves around. She doesn’t believe in the modern feminism of social media outrage and victim-making, but how does that fly when the girls under her care are actually being victimised? Even worse, when it’s by her brother?
Louise Brealey is great here as Jude’s world crumbles around her, particularly in the scene between her and Georgia. She’s just doing what she was told, Georgia says, and using what she has just like the boys do. Jude looks absolutely horrified, and she should.
One girl who appears to not be entirely on board with the way things are going is Rachel, but the final moments of the episode complicate things where she’s concerned. My first assumption was that she was snooping on Holly to get inside information for Solasta, but then later her exchange with Jude reveals her as far more ruthless than we’ve witnessed before.
And she doesn’t just hit Rory once to save Holly, but again and again as the show cuts to black. We’re supposed to be horrified by this in the same way that Holly is, but it’s not yet clear exactly why. Has she been similarly abused, and is thus lashing out, or does she have another reason to want Rory dead in a way that can’t be explained away as self-defence?
As the show moves towards its finale, the very idea of fact and fiction are being challenged. Georgia is carefully constructing a narrative around her abuse to justify not getting out, simply saying to herself that Holly doesn’t understand because she’s not as ambitious.
Similarly, when Holly, Elizabeth and Rachel air Faye’s video during the open day they’re certain it will bring the whole thing tumbling down. But they underestimated how far people will go to believe an easier, more palatable story over one of deep corruption and sexual assault. The public (and police) are willing to believe the word of a man with authority over what they see with their own eyes.
And the worst thing of all is that Georgia’s helping Alistair gaslight the nation, falsely declaring him a good man and a feminist on the evening news hours after a video of him raping Faye has hit the internet.
Can Holly find justice for Faye and Georgia? As Rory says early in the episode, it’s a rich man’s word against a dead girl’s, and the events that have unfolded so far prove which one has more power.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode here.