This review contains spoilers.
The identity of the man at the bottom of the loch is finally unearthed and he proves to have a significant connection to one of Lochnafoy’s families. Mhari Toner is desperate for Annie to reveal anything that would exonerate Dessie and Craig Petrie finally hits some consequences for his actions. Meanwhile, Quigley and Albrighton clash on their theories around the murderer. Quigley doesn’t want to look any further than Dessie, but Albrighton remains convinced that the teenager had help.
Ok, so that the answer would come out of the leftfield wasn’t an entirely inaccurate prediction on my part. Though I must admit, The Loch went one twist further than I thought it was going to. The inclusion of the Jordan Whitehead plot was always going to play into the finale somehow and it turned out to be quite the payoff. And so it was that Kieran became Jordan and Jordan became Kieran as their desperate mother tried to repair the damage done by their violent father only for it to backfire spectacularly.
As murder mystery solutions go, it’s a fascinating one and something which renders what has been a show fairly black and white on its morality into something a little more grey. We haven’t seen much of Bea Whitehead, though her behaviour was suspicious throughout, and the episode added a lot more depth to those earlier brief scenes. It’s a desperately sad end for a family on the run from violence, only to find out that for Kieran/Jordan, it’s the only thing he knows how to control.
Maternal desperation became something of a final theme in The Loch and it’s probably the most cohesive it’s been in terms of building in some depth to its central murder mystery. Simone Lahbib’s performance as Mhari, trying to come to terms with not only the death of her son but also the possibility that he is the Lochnafoy murderer, nearly steals the episode. It’s heartwrenching, a moment of raw emotion in what has elsewhere been a rather pulpy Scot noir.
It seems fitting that we get one last sequence of Annie driving maniacally through Highland country lines in a race against time. On this occasion, saving Evie not only helps the plot out but also their underlying arc of maternal antagonism. Hell hath no wrath like a mother scorned and dealing with a murderer. The show proves these kind of sequences are its strength, splicing in everyone else figuring out that it is Kieran/Jordan responsible for the murders.
To end on one last positive note, the music from Ben Bartlett has been brilliant all series, from that haunting theme to the mournful strings and piano that have accompanied much of the action. The score has kept up the atmosphere that characterised the first episode throughout the rest of the series, even when The Loch found itself at its silliest.
Had The Loch not had such a superb cast and an ability to surprise its audience, it might not have been as compelling as it has been. Plenty of genre tropes were present and correct and a few baffling professional decisions crept into the investigation, but it has been quite enthralling from that very first underwater scene.
Read Becky’s review of the previous episode here.