One of Us: Episode 4
When a viewer embarks on the journey that a good murder-mystery should take them on, there are really only two questions that need answering: who, and why? Clear and decisive yet unexpected answers are required in order to justify the four hours of their time that viewers have invested, and in the One of Us finale this evening, the answers we desired were granted. To quote Agatha Christie’s great novel Murder on the Orient Express, “The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearance”. The fourth and final episode of One of Us evidently abided by this logic in its dramatic reveal of the circumstances of Adam and Grace’s grim departure.
Before I go on to consider the details of this incredibly intense finale, I will again remind readers that it does contain spoilers. In this episode, we were introduced to Moira Douglas’ (Julie Graham) bad side. Now, we already knew that Moira was a little promiscuous when it came to male partners, but the full extent of her promiscuity became clear when she was exposed for having also had an affair with Louise’s (Juliet Stevenson) now ex-husband Peter. It later became clear that Grace Douglas was the product of this affair meaning that (get ready for it) this entire time, Grace and Adam had been brother and sister. Seeing their relationship as “ungodly”, the identity of the individual who orchestrated their demise was revealed to be Bill Douglas (John Lynch). I touched on my suspicions of Bill in my review of episode three but never could I have predicted this haunting twist. After bribing a local thug to carry out the killings, Bill saw to it that the thug would not speak a word of his employer to either of the two families.
Sometimes with dramas like these, writers seem to delve far too much into the domestic lives of their characters leaving little time to tie up loose ends and thus leaving an incomplete feeling in the air; this was not the case with One of Us. A thrilling solution to the puzzle was provided that was at the same time unpredictable and believable. It was also seen to that the subplot involving the drug-dealing police officer Juliet (Laura Fraser) was given a satisfying conclusion. No loose ends were left untied which allowed for a welcome sense of contentment with the explanation viewers were presented with. There was no “Find out what really happened in Series 2!” or other ridiculous, inconclusive endings aimed to warrant an unnecessary second season.
Directors Harry and Jack Williams got the timing perfectly right for the series; four hours was sufficient. Juliet Stevenson did well enough in this time to demonstrate her infinite crying abilities (in fact, if it were any longer I might have been the hysterical one). But what next for the Williams brothers? Well, a second series of 2014 hit The Missing has been commissioned. Only this time, it will follow a different storyline to its first season, making the show an ‘anthology series’. And since both One of Us and the first season of The Missing were so thrilling to watch, its second season will not be one I’ll want to miss.