Thursday, 5 November 2015

River Returns for more in a modern Noir of the highest quality.


What have we learned prior to this week's return to East London to visit with River? Missing a week in a blog series is unforgivable, so there follows the briefest of précis' to fill in the gaps before this week's Episode.

Stevie eats so many Kebabs that the pin code to her clandestine phone is her favourite order.

She was apparently having a dalliance with the man in the car but it is still undetermined as to just how far her relationship with River himself went.

Stevie's Estranged Big Brother is a meanie who makes  what it turns out are idle threats that put him right in the frame for her murder. Her little brother is vulnerable enough to warrant a large lump sum be left in trust with a River to look after him, thus making her actions prior to the murder seem more likely that she was worried she might get hurt, which in my mind suggests deep undercover work rather than criminality on her part 

Ira is a family man with a sweet teething baby whom River seems to have the closest affinity with now that Stevie is gone.

River has a propensity to become infatuated with the wrong women, following his police psychologist to the Globe in well a distinctly stalkerish manner,where he discovers she is involved with evil chief Superintendent Owen Teale who I am still erring towards as Stevie's killer, but for this supposition I have absolutely no proof. He wants River gone just too vociferously for my liking. She obviously finds River intriguing as she has given him a free pass to carry on serving in the Met as long as he attends regular meetings.

Building sites are a hotbed of sexual intrigue and live wiring.

And so to this Week:

River and Ira are staking out the kebab shop. The man in the Blue Mondeo is the voice on Stevie's phone and a raid is designed to smoke him out. No one admits to knowing this mysterious Haidar, but the team know that  they know something that they are not telling. 

The scene outside the shop prior to going in is revelatory in of itself. The local resident street drinker, lurking outside the kebab shop accuses River of talking to himself, when for once he is speaking to the team via an earpiece. His diatribe about the One Pound  bucket only goes to show just how outside of normal society and behaviour he is. This drunken old timer is actually the catalyst that breaks the investigation.

The appearance of Haidar as a  malevolent "manifest " whilst still (as far as we are aware), alive is a twist for this show and I suspect is symbolic of the decline in John's coping ability as the series has progressed. His blatant confession is not the pattern of his visions who prefer the cryptic queue or breadcrumb to follow and so points to a weakness in River, a jealousy, a regret and anger that someone Stevie trusted might have extinguished her life.

The Episode focuses much on Love, when Haidar's true personality is revealed, we see a kind man  who joyfully greets River  like an old friend, is devoted to family and friends and who loves without condition ,which  of course contrasts so starkly with River, who obviously loved Stevie and was accepted and trusted by her when few else would see past his peculiar shell. He has friendship of a kind with colleagues but he does not immerse himself in it.

River's mental status appears to be balancing on a knife's edge. 

His visits to the psychologist are making him confront his frailties head on as his trust in her increases , the visitations are getting more disruptive and I am starting to think that the Manifestations are reflections of his self loathing, his abandonment issues from an absent mother splitting off into separate personalities personified by the people closest to him and as he is pretty much friendless, the victims in his cases too. 

My reasoning here is  that despite him being alive, the suspect was able to (falsely as it happens) confess to Stevie's murder in conversation when previously all manifestations  have already passed away.

 His fiercest critic Dr Thomas Cream is constantly trying to poke at his tender spots and I suspect he is nearer suicidal since Stevie stopped protecting him from view. He is still unable to be totally open in his sessions. He is teetering  and this crusade to avenge Stevie is the thin thread hold his disparate mind together

It is apparent that River is afraid of intimacy of any kind, apparently shying away from Stevie's advances and those of his boss, whose own home life is far from Idyllic. One wonders whether there is a subtle  twist in this tale,  the revelation that Stevie had her Husband's number on her phone is going to explosive. Stevie was onto something  that no one in the office was aware of, she had tried to speak to her just prior to her death and the poor Haidar dies at the hands of someone who wants to keep that quiet. 


The seeking detective in me  wonders whether she knows that her husband was philandering and silenced the only person who could reveal this. My list of subjects are herself and the assistant Commissioner who pushed so hard to have him dismissed, worried perhaps that River was privy to more that he actually was. If the driver of the blue Mondeo was not the shooter, or at least not her friend, it had to be someone who knew he was linked with the Somali family and this list is short unless a new player will be introduced in episodes five and six

I am enjoying the burgeoning friendship between Ira and John though. The tender shoulder squeeze and the squeeze in response after River was unable to save  was lovely to behold. It is always gripping viewing whenever any of Stevie's Irish family is on the screen from sweet Frankie to the slightly ominous patriarch Uncle who connects Haidar to Stevie to in another way


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