Vigil episode 5 review: penultimate episode leaves characters in danger
We’re really entering Vigil’s home stretch now – and perhaps for the first time, we ended tonight’s episode with more answers than questions. The mysteries as to the identity of Craig Burke’s murderer and the Russian spy are now apparently linked, with revelations that can prove a bit conflicting among fans. But the drama is far from over – and tonight’s episode ended under wonderfully tense circumstances, with several characters in danger of death, preparing perfectly for next week’s finale.
For the second week in a row, we started this episode by setting up emergency protocols on the submarine: only this time it was not an exercise. Picking up directly at the end of last week’s episode, it was revealed that Jackie’s death came after she came in contact with a deadly nerve agent – the same one that was used to kill Craig Burke. And after a few exploits from Glover (who certainly went a long way to redeem himself in this episode), the situation was somewhat contained. Throughout the series, the show made great use of the sub’s claustrophobic nature, and by making huge swaths of the boat off limits, it only got better this week. This helped create a brilliant, urgent intensity throughout most of the episode, which made it perhaps the most gripping episode yet.
Anyway, what about these revelations? It was clear from the events of the last week that Jackie was somehow involved in the plot, but it was still unlikely that she was the real villain, and that’s what s. ‘turned out tonight. It turns out that she had killed Craig Burke, but only so that the submarine could surface in such a way that the real villain, Matthew Doward (Lorne MacFadyen), could take his place on the boat. Now that revelation certainly came from left field – sure, there had been a few shots of Doward behaving a bit suspiciously in the background in previous episodes, but overall he’s a character who had very little to do.
It’ll probably be a bummer for some viewers – it’s always a little tastier when the villain is someone we’ve come to know well over the course of the series, after all – but I thought it worked pretty well in a way. spectacular in the context of the episode, especially when Amy finds herself alone with Doward in the very last moments. It also raises questions as to why Burke was murdered in the first place: if the real motive was to bring the boat to the surface, and not to get rid of a potential whistleblower, then must we assume that the Russians do not Weren’t everyone concerned – or at least not fully aware – of the information Burke had about their activities? Or did the murder actually serve a dual purpose? Presumably we’ll find out next week.
There was also a lot of drama on earth tonight, with peace camp leader Ben Oakley exposed as another Russian asset. I have to say I found this revelation a little less surprising – there had always been something very fishy about him, especially when he reacted in a rather hostile manner to Kirsten in episode two, but I enjoyed it. how he was able to trick MP Patrick Cruden into offering him protection, and that sets up another intriguing chase ahead of the final episode.
Amy and Kirsten’s past relationship was also deepened, as we (and Kirsten) met Amy’s daughter and in-laws, with a few more flashbacks for good measure. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, these aspects of the show are still the parts that convince me the least – I understand the appeal and importance in the story of giving these characters a past, but I think the flashbacks are just too heavy and detract from the most interesting plots. Seeing Amy leave a note for her daughter before heading to the contaminated part of the boat was fine – and even quite emotional – but I don’t think we needed to see all of those flashbacks for that to be the case.
Just look at someone like Glover, who has managed to be a complex and nuanced character without the need for excessive backstory. There is clearly a past there, we just don’t need to be spoon-fed in all of its aspects. Anyway, speaking of the coxswain, it seems his days are well numbered – it would be a miracle to see him survive his fate at the end of this episode. Despite his rather untrustworthy nature earlier in the series surrounding his hidden relationship with Docherty, I think his actions in this episode help put him firmly in the camp of the good eggs – a flawed person no doubt, but fundamentally decent nonetheless. . Either way, he was a brilliant character and if, as expected, he bites the dust, it will be a shame to see him go.
Despite a few missteps, Vigil has been one of BBC One’s best new thrillers for years and as we head into the final installment we can only hope it will hold the landing. Anyway, it’s been a great ride so far.
Vigil ends Sunday, September 26 at 9 p.m. on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. For more to watch, check out more of our dramatic coverage or visit our TV guide to see what’s going on tonight.