Episode three of this excellent drama wasn’t quite as frenetic nor edge-of-your-seat as the previous two have been, but it didn’t make it any less riveting.
When we joined last night’s episode, a few months had passed and Juliet went into labour within minutes of the show starting, but not before one of the male prison warders made an overtly and rather gross pass at her, salaciously rubbing her distended and heavy-with-child stomach.
Perhaps it was that frightening incident that brought on the premature birth of Juliet’s baby girl, but the baby was born fit and well. I don’t know if Maxine Peake did an hour on a treadmill or something to prepare for the birth scene, but as she cradled the baby, Juliet’s newborn, she had the true look of a woman who’s just been through childbirth. The woman is a chameleon…
Meanwhile, Ella was still with the Rose family but things were getting tense; her vivid nightmares and subdued waking hours were taking a toll on Katy Rose and her mother, all of which Dominic Rose tried his best to studiously ignore lest he have to deal with it.
The brilliant Saul paid a visit to Ella to give her what amounted to a coaching session on representing her dead father and his supposed innocence when it came time for her testimony in court. Ella meanwhile was being counselled having had a PTSD flashback while walking past a butcher’s shop.
Back at the prison, her social worker had to tell Juliet that there were no places available in a Mother and Baby unit and so had to take the baby away from Juliet to put her in temporary care. It was physically painful to watch Juliet handing over her child and issuing forth a silent but from the gut wail. Yet again, Maxine Peake blurred the lines between acting and reality, so real felt her portrayed pain.
Then came the family court where it was to be decided if Juliet should or could keep the baby, when and if a unit place came up, and once again, we witnessed Juliet’s OCD-like eyebrow worrying.
Back at the nick, Faber and Sexton were still at loggerheads over Juliet and her case, with Sexton’s wife and fellow officer Flo tending towards siding with Faber, much to her husband’s chagrin. In one tense scene, Sexton, Flo and Faber had what amounted to a face-off and once again, the acting made that tension seem palpable.
Kate Hardie as Flo does an outstanding job of portraying her character, who it seems may be having second thoughts about trying to conceive with the husband she seems to be finding things out about, and she doesn’t like what she sees.
The episode ended with a real shock moment though, which literally made me jump given that the pace prior to that had been somewhat pedestrian. Angie, Juliet’s old cellmate – she of the now horrifically burned face – jumped down from her bunk, went to collect her trusty shank-like blade and rather than using it to cut her arm, as we’d seen her do in previous episodes, she drew the blade across her throat and a shockingly realistic camera angle showed her carotid pumping out her lifeblood across the floor of the cell.
Which leaves one obvious question; will Juliet be accused of her murder or will Juliet’s story that Angela did this to herself be believed?
And yet again, I’m counting down the hours until it’s on tonight. Gaw bless ya Peter Moffat…