This review contains spoilers.
You can say this for Clique’s second series – there’s no shortage of stuff going on. The pure ambition of this second batch of episodes continues, as week four offers a suicide, a Munchausen’s diagnosis, a real rape, a fake rape, and a hit and run all within an hour.
So let’s start with what we know – the somewhat obvious reveal that Rayna had actually been raped on the night of Freshers Week that we keep flashing back to. Because she had dragged Jack into the bathroom before insulting his manhood after he rejected her, she assumed that it was him who let himself in moments later and attacked her. Crucially, we see only Rayna when the attack is depicted, so it’s likely to have been someone else entirely.
Given that we saw Fraser meet her on that very same night, and it’s unclear when this took place (Rayna was upset, but nowhere near upset enough for this to have followed the attack), there’s a small chance that Fraser may have been the perpetrator. It would certainly make a point about toxic masculinity, and the entitlement that some men feel when they don’t fit the stereotypical mould.
The episode was a complete rush of emotions as, before his flashback, we’re led to believe for close to half the episode that Rayna had planned the attack on the beach as a political move, and Agnes – an abusive mother who had convinced Jack for much of his life that he was unstable – was using her in turn to win the election. But, thankfully, that’s not even close to the full story.
It’s all but confirmed at the end that Agnes is indeed the mysterious Will that had groomed Rayna into taking action against her son, which is pretty ruthless even if you truly believe he’s dangerous. Framing your son for rape is not going to win you any mother of the year awards. But if that’s true, then there’s another player willing to commit murder to keep the truth covered up.
Fraser’s death ups the stakes considerably because now Rayna’s plot has hurt more people than her assumed rapist. It also might be the thing that divides the previously conspiratorial Twitcher boys. The dynamic between Calum and Jack is the most interesting, and the mere suggestion that the latter had stabbed his foster brother during a violent outburst in their youth is enough to cast doubt on his version of events. But is Jack a victim?
He probably didn’t rape Rayna, but that doesn’t mean that his blackouts and behaviour are entirely down to his mother. Medication might cause blackouts, but it usually doesn’t make you stab people.
The loss of Louise is disappointing, not least because it means we’ve lost a queer black woman in a story that’s otherwise very white and heteronormative (which may end up being part of the point). It may be good for the mystery and for Holly’s character development, but not for television in general. We also need her to tell Holly things like “If you’re going to sleep with the enemy, at least get some answers” from time to time.
Just when I was thinking that Rachel’s presence wasn’t really adding much to this series, we get a fun little insight into how she’s operating within the facility. Manipulating your therapist into accepting sexual favours in order to later blackmail her is a smart move for any fictional psycho, but we still don’t know what her ultimate agenda might be. She wants to help Holly, of course, but to what end?
The phone call that ends the episode pitches Rachel as Holly’s shoulder devil and Louise as the opposing angel. But what happens when the angel is taken out of the equation, and Holly is left only with the manifestation of her own worst instincts?
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode here.