This review contains spoilers.
Bear with me, I’ve done some maths.
If Innocent were a longer series—six or eight episodes say, instead of four—then Rob Moffatt would almost certainly be Tara’s killer.
Here’s my working out: traditionally, the finger pointed at the end of week two is quickly un-pointed before spinning back around again at the end after a bit of key evidence is dug up from under a patio/awakens from a coma.
In a four-part series though, it’s both too late and too early for the true killer to have already been revealed. If it is Rob, and the camera swinging down to that maritime knot—the same used to tie up Tara’s body—in this episode’s closing shot has unmasked him, then a round of our guessing-game has been taken away too soon. There’s no room left for surprise twists, the life-blood of any crime thriller. Ergo, therefore and thusly (despite there having been a massive killing hammer on his workshop bench during the interview with DI Hudson), Rob ain’t our guy.
Episode two was all about lies unravelling. Everybody’s been telling porkies, from Tara’s ex-lover Tom, to her sister Alice. Hermione Norris is doing solid work as Alice after episode two revealed her to have had a much more ambivalent relationship with her sister than it first appeared. Norris gives a good account of herself, despite the ‘driven jealously mad by infertility’ thing being tireder than a new parent. Her arrival at the cabin to collect Jack created this series’ first moment of genuine, unpredictable tension.
Tom, we know is an utter bastard for a few reasons: one) the affair with Tara, two) breaking Tara’s cheekbone, and three) refusing his ex-wife her five-grand blackmail money/child support because he “can’t afford it” when a single one of the tap fittings in his chic modernist designer home must have set him back that.
As DI Hudson discovered, the suspects aren’t the only ones who’ve been economical with the truth. Her partner DI Beech’s original investigation was negligent at best and corrupt at worst. Hudson’s currently doing the professional equivalent of reloading the dishwasher from scratch because her other half’s put the saucepans in sideways and left all the mug handles rebelliously askew. Trusting gut instinct over proof, Beech failed to submit evidence and massaged witness statements in order to ensure a conviction for David Collins. It’s just how it works, he told Hudson. If she thinks that you can lock up baddies without some sleight of hand in today’s unfair world, she’s naïve.
And Beech is naïve for thinking that Hudson and her son are going anywhere near that three-bed semi if that’s the kind of fella he is.
Episode two showed us a little more of the kind of fella David Collins is, perhaps enough to strike him from our suspect list. David’s scenes with son Jack were well-played and affecting. Lee Ingleby conveyed a convincing struggle between David’s desperation to be a father to his kids again with the need for a tentative approach, while Finn O’Shea seemed to shed years as he slowly warmed up to his dad.
An air of doom hung over David’s little victories with Jack. His joy at Jack accepting his friend request was tempered by the murmuring group of disgruntled men that seems to accompany David wherever he goes. If he really is innocent, then being mis-served by vigilante justice as well as the legal variety would be a cruel, cruel blow.
Who though, delivered the cruel blow that killed Tara? We’ll know soon enough.
Innocent continues tomorrow night at 9pm on ITV. Read our review of the previous episode here.