Identity episode 5 review

As Identity reaches its fifth episode, Mark wonders if the show needs to get some identifiable characters to liven it up…

5. Somewhere They Can’t Find Me

The last two episodes of Identity haven’t moved the premise on any further, and I’m getting the distinct feeling that all the eggs in this basket have been kept for the season finale next week.

Somewhere They Can’t Find Me, was an interesting idea that somehow didn’t actually fully deliver for me. A woman is knocked over by a car, and for whatever reason (which wasn’t really explained), her DNA is taken and she’s identified as a long-disappeared terrorist. There then follows a rather obtuse narrative where it is revealed that her story is more complicated than the one that’s initially presented and, frankly, I didn’t find the final explanation of what happened very plausible.

The idea, and I’m guessing here, is that we were meant to draw all sorts of meaningful parallels between this woman and Bloom, who appears to have lost all sense of logic.

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In an interview on ITV’s website, show runner Ed Whitmore explains that the episode was inspired by the case of an American freedom fighter who turned up 20 years after an arrest warrant for her was issued. The question the story asks is, when you’ve been living another life for that period of time, can you reverse those changes and revert to the person you were previously?

In the context of the story the answer is ‘yes’, but there are also deeper overtones of the impact of going undercover and how it alters those who commit to it entirely. Mmm. Like Bloom…

More interesting to me in this story was Bloom’s bigger story arc actions. He’s got the body of the Turkish Mafioso occupying his fridge, and seems in no great hurry to make room for fresh food. As brooding as all this lets-look-in-the-fridge tension was, the longer he stays in there the greater chance Bloom will have some serious explaining to do. I’m presuming that next week there will be a gap for some margarine, but given the lack of immediacy exhibited in the last two episodes, there doesn’t seem any big rush.

If this story had an upside, and it’s a thin one at that, it’s that it finally gave Keeley Hawes more to do, although we’re still gloriously unaware if she has a cat at home or a long collection of surly bed partners in her untold history. In fact, the only thing we know about her with any certainty is that she likes Bloom, which, given we’ve now had nearly four hours of this show, doesn’t really constitute character building.

The only character with any real background is Bloom, and everyone else has been hung out to dry. Having seen the trailer, I’m pretty certain that episode six is likely to be all about Bloom. Any plans to expand those paper-thin personalities seems, at best, a pipedream.

My money is on DS Anthony Wareing (Shaun Parkes) turning out to be someone entirely different from that title, embedded in the Identity team for nefarious purposes, probably to put Bloom behind bars. The problem for me, personally, is that the impact of any potential character fatalities that might be lined up is that I’ve yet to develop any empathy with them, so that rather dulls the effect.

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I’m hoping that Identity is going to go out with a bang, and match the genuine tension that the third story delivered. Here’s hoping.

Read our review of episode 4 here.