Uh oh, we’ve veered into soap territory now, with this third episode meandering and crawling through all the established characters, and even throwing in new ones, as though we’ve got all the time in the world for more questions when, actually, it’s really about time some answers were forthcoming.
Essentially, I’ve forgotten what the point is. And so, it seems, has everyone in the story. Only SIO Stallwood seems to be remotely interested in getting to the bottom of why the collision happened. Tolin’s gone off on a tangential investigation about Karen and the danger she got into with the two men who escorted her from hospital, leading to her apparent suicide or murder. But in the course of him going off on a tangent he actually went off on a tangent, getting all worried about his daughter Jodie (Jo Woodcock) going away to Edinburgh University. I mean, there was a whole scene in which father and daughter cosied up on a sofa with glasses of wine and chatted about the open day. Excuse me, Inspector! Back to the issue in hand, please! Hello? Collision!
I’m increasingly worried that very little collision has happened at all, considering it’s supposed to be about a sudden intertwining of characters. Let us review, for a sec, which of the characters have now become interlinked in some way. Well, there’s Jane and Richard, the entirely unnecessary, dull love story between poor girl and millionaire; this episode saw them having a twee little dinner date at Skylon Bar in London. Jane came out with some corkers: “I had dreams of travellin’ the world. Sad, innit” and “You must fink I’m mad”. Richard’s all bewitched by Jane’s unworldliness and has invited her to a posh invite-only art opening. Someone pass the sick bag.
And, actually, their ‘collision’ has very little to do with the car crash. Since Jane works in a service station, she obviously ‘collides’ with people every day and it’s not outside the realms of possibility that Richard would have stopped off for a coffee and a chicken salad and a toilet break during his journey on the A12 anyway; he didn’t require an injury to bring him into Jane’s world. So that’s failed.
Other collisions? Well, there’s Tolin and Karen, but that’s not really very surprising either, because he’s a police inspector and she’s a victim of a car crash, and a dodgy person in the first place, involved in all sorts of underhand dealings that Tolin wants to investigate. As for Tolin and Stallwood; well, just because they’ve been thrown into a case together doesn’t mean they’ve really collided in any meaningful way, because they already have a history.
No, I’m just not buying into the collision concept, I’m afraid. They’re all pretty much entirely separate groups of characters with stories that could all coexist and develop for umpteen episodes, not just five. A bunch of characters have been chucked out there and left to happen. Hence my feeling that’s it’s gone a bit soapy. It really looks like it wants to be a soap: we get two-minute scenes of each set of characters, with no logical flow between them, and no sense of urgency towards any conclusions.
The moment that rescued this episode was when the camera suddenly panned to a bathroom floor, then a pool of blood, then a bath containing the dead body of Karen. There’s obviously much about this ‘suicide’ that Tolin will be investigating over the final two episodes. But, to reiterate, this is not the case at the heart of the drama. Anne Stallwood needs to bang everybody over the head and get them back on the collision case. Although… I’ve forgotten what we’re aiming to find out from that, too.
Read our review of episode two here.