This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
At a press conference to appeal for information about the missing Jonjo, Blake Albrighton throws the proverbial cat amongst the press pigeons when he declares that there is a serial killer lurking in Lochnafoy. Annie searches for Jonjo as well as investigating the car that attempted to run Evie and Dessie off the road. Quigley wrestles with the fallout from Albrighton’s declaration and the handwriting on the newspaper could prove to be a valuable clue into the identity of the serial killer.
It’s a well-known and oft-repeated wisdom that time is of the essence in missing persons cases and The Loch takes that to heart by picking up shortly after Jonjo is declared missing. But the episode’s sense of time feels fractured. It’s clear that everything is building to the reveal of Jonjo’s body in the evening, but before that, the editing makes it somewhat confusing as to where everyone is. In one scene, we see PC Denny (who, bless him, continues to be a bit useless) told to quickly sort out the Mercedes van in front of the village hall, but he shows up next doing the DNA testing around the village, only showing up to deal with the van in the evening.
Then there’s Annie’s day. She’s running the parole for Leighton now, but also zipping up to Foyer’s Point, passing time with Bethan’s family (who are now firmly on the roster of suspects), and investigating the trailer that we saw Jonjo in last week. All of this is in broad sunshine. When she arrives at the village hall, which she informs us is about fifteen minutes away from where she is, it looks late at night. It’s clumsy structuring and serves to distract from what continues to be a compelling mystery at the heart of the show.
The village of Lochnafoy seems full of potential suspects, all of whom have varying levels of shifty, and that’s the fun part of this episode. There’s the near miss when Alan’s shiny new camera films the body, but he’s too distracted to notice. Dr Marr is focused on most, subject of another classic trope when he conveniently arrives home just as Evie is trawling through his house looking for evidence of his considerable shiftiness. I am greatly enjoying John Heffernan’s performance as a man who has clearly done something dodgy with his babysitter ineptly trying his utmost to make everyone else look as sinister as he is.
Elsewhere, the Leighton sub-plot develops into something of a distraction from the main storyline and it’s unclear what purpose it has other than to expose the community of lies that Leighton mentioned back in the first episode. On a positive note, Siobhan Finneran’s dry delivery is magnificent this week, whether it’s relating an anecdote about her wayward trip to Prince’s hotel room or commenting on the Chief Inspector’s decision, and she continues to be the highlight amidst the gloom. The episode also has a great creepy shot when Annie walks away from the trailer to reveal Jonjo’s cardigan hanging from the scarecrow keeping watching on the field.
Despite the odd time lapse that is required to get everyone there, the final village hall scene is a strong finish to the episode. Albrighton, who is apparently a handwriting expert too now, has matched the handwriting from the newspaper on Carn Mohr to Craig Petrie’s personal information form. I’m still firm in the belief that this is a red herring, but the construction of the scene, zipping between the meeting, Albrighton, and Annie zooming in on Jonjo’s location, recaptures that tense atmosphere from the first and strongest episode. With a suspect in custody, a third victim, and a village on the edge, let’s hope The Loch can keep it up next week.