This review contains spoilers.
I wasn’t too thrilled about last week’s Bedlam, and this week might be even worse. Last series, the guest stars were top-notch, from The Fades’ Lily Loveless to Ashley Walters, but now we’re handed the stiff and non-present Tiana Benjamin, and the episode ends up suffering more than it can possibly take. The relationship triangle between Ellie, Dan and Max is stirred up and left to settle in a very different dynamic, but things between them still feel a little forced, especially when compared to the ensemble last year.
This week sees Rita, an engaged tenant at Bedlam Heights, engaging in some extra marital activity with Dan. This happens in the first five minutes of the episode, and is more than a little hard to swallow when we don’t know anything at all about the character. We know that she isn’t happy with her nice, faceless fiancé and we know she’s doing something wrong, but a slow reveal of her issues, and development of her relationship with Dan, would have surely made her a smidge more sympathetic. We have no reason to care about the case of the week simply because she seems to deserve everything she gets.
But Ellie cares, due in no small part to the death of Cass in the last episode. Things are taking their toll on her after two short weeks, and the discovery of Max’s Bedlam Watch blog pushes her over the edge. Desperate to save Rita from the same fate as Cass, she recruits Max, himself an ex-boyfriend of hers, to help her solve the case. The ghost this week is a little grim, since she was abducted from her wedding and thrown into Bedlam. After being assaulted by one of the guards, she dies from blood loss and apparently vows to take vengeance on anyone insulting the sanctity of marriage.
The flatmate situation isn’t getting any better either. Part of the appeal of last year’s cast, though flawed in their own way, was their dynamic in the down-time, as there was a base for any exposition or character development needed. Now we spend as little time as possible in the flat, and we barely ever see the three of them together in a room. There’s no explanation as to why Dan and Max are friends in the first place, and now that both seem to be after Ellie, a familiar love triangle has emerged where three friends might have worked better. Even if sleeping with her flatmate was a bad decision, it’s still refreshing to see a female character taking control of her own love life.
And Dan is acting very strangely anyway. Apparently jealous of Warren’s relationship with Kate, he’s searching for some kind of twisted affection from his boss. Is he another Bettany that Warren doesn’t know about? It’s certainly possible, but doesn’t explain why he’s torturing him with photographs and phone calls. I’m interested in how it plays out at least. The other ongoing mystery of Eve is still hanging about too, and both look like they’ll develop next week. I just wish the intrigue could be spread out over the series better, as the last two episodes of last year were much stronger than the preceding four.
Read our review of last week’s episode, here
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