Here’s our spoilery Trust Me episode 3 review.
Trust Me’s over the hump, and this third instalment duly does its job and sends the narrative careering towards a conclusion.
The world-building done to establish Cath Hardacre’s character in the first episode, and the peripheral characters in the second, duly begins to pay off as we get some idea of how all this is actually going to play out. Along with the interesting, dark twist of Bridget’s drinking problem to set up next week’s final episode.
It’s all expertly done, there’s no doubt about that. While the script and the direction have dropped into a more quotidian tone since the kinetic opening of the first episode and the keen, sparse set-up, it’s been sturdy drama of a good BBC standard. The major problem I personally have with it all is the uneasy feeling that the whole conclusion we’re heading for is going to be wholly unsatisfying.
Yep. Sorry, but I have issues. And, I’d assert, so should you.
It’s not like the signs haven’t been there, of course. I’ve mentioned it in my previous two reviews that I find the drama of Trust Me problematic due to the way Cath/Ally has been sympathetically handled despite her beyond-the-pale behaviour. Here we see a couple of things that hint that the conclusion may well see her get away with her subterfuge. The shifting of Bridget for likeable party girl to Voddy-in-the-draw alcoholic is just one of them.
While Cath getting away with it could undoubtedly play into a headily black finale, I remain to be convinced that this is where Trust Me is heading. As a show that has foreshadowed so many of its major manoeuvres, and played up the underlying integrity of its character to get you on her side, anything so callous as Cath embracing her dark deception and throwing a colleague under a bus would surely jar.
I guess, generally, the point of a good drama is not seeing the ending to clearly – but here, any decent moral compass should see where this is going. I’m just not sure it is.
The character I have the most trouble with is Andy. To me, nothing in the burgeoning relationship between Cath and Emun Elliot’s character we’ve seen over the last three weeks – likeable as he is – has foreshadowed him becoming the deus ex machina that can insulate Cath from having to pay for her misdemeanours. We are constantly told how amazing Cath/Ally, but we actually see little of it. Certainly not in the way that she treats him. Certainly nothing that would warrant a seemingly sane person stepping over to the wrong side of the moral dividing line and betraying all his morals in the way that he offers to. It was even stranger after so much time had been dedicated to framing him as a potential fly in her ointment.
I’ve largely been very far from disappointed with Trust Me, but that Andy is needy enough to potentially trash his life for a woman who has lied to him so comprehensively that everything he knows about her is various shades of half-to-untruth is just that. Disappointing. To feel sympathy for her situation is one thing. To want to forge a relationship and mend a fissure in his life, is another. Both understandable. To side with a woman that’s lied to you from day one, and break the law for her is something completely different, surely. Jodie Whittaker’s performance has been laudable. Engrossing and believable. But there simply not enough to Cath/Ally to warrant saving her.
Thus when the dramatic moment of the whole episode comes, and Andy shouts her real name across that Scottish hillside, we expect things to really kick off. Yet, what we actually move to is Andy framing a scene that attempts to excuse her actions to the audience. What we need is to be told there are no excuses, because – quite simply – there aren’t. Yet, here we are. By the time the horrific events of the final few scenes have gone down.
It looks increasingly like Bridget is going to be framed in some exercise in distraction-creating relativism as the vultures circle around the troubled Edinburgh A&E. Look! Look at her! She’s an alcoholic!
Of course, there could be a twist – I sincerely hope there is – but everything in Trust Me has been framed to elicit sympathy for Cath/Ally, one doubts it.
I’ll certainly be tuning in for the finale. It has warranted my attention. But I can’t see how I won’t be sighing or screaming at the TV by the end of it at the moment.