In episode five, the penultimate
chapter of the series, Steve’s mind seems on the brink of snapping as he
faces a police trial for gross misconduct and malfeasance.
Karen Edwards (Imelda Staunton) with husband Charlie (Peter Wight)
stress of the charges against Steve begins to bleed into his home life. Contrary
to the deep drama of previous opening scenes, this episode begins happily and
idyllically: unwrapping anniversary presents in bed with his wife and kids. It
sets a lighter tone than normal, much of the material less gruesome than in other
Pope focuses on Steve’s anxieties, his doubts, his sureties. His
relationship with his wife Yvonne (Kate Ashfield) becomes strained and frosty
as she encourages him to leave the police. In one short scene, delicately
written, she suggests he have a shower and he robotically states the issue of
‘obfuscation’. His mental state is starting to slip.
is assuaged, if only slightly, by the efforts of Karen Edwards (Imelda Staunton)
to support Steve with a petition to raise in Parliament. ‘Justice for Steve
is justice for Becky,’ she says about her murdered daughter to her husband
Charlie (Peter Wight).
She goes so far as to try and change the law, so that
Pace (the Police and Criminal Evidence Act) can accommodate extraordinary circumstances
like the Sian O’Callaghan-Becky Godden case. It’s doubtful whether Steve could have coped this far without Karen’s support, making their relationship
– slight though it is – fascinating to watch.
Karen tries to support Fulcher by petitioning to change Pace
the police continue to visit Sian’s mother Elaine (Siobhan Finneran). Pope
largely avoids the harrowing in this episode, but there is a morbid scene in
which Elaine asks about how her daughter was murdered and whether she suffered.
Director Paul Andrew Williams overlays too much music in these moments, short-changing
the overall sense of realism that the series aims for. But Pope’s writing still
hurts with these horrifying details.
relationship with her boyfriend Pete (Derek Riddell) unveils with more subtlety. Pete grows more domineering with each episode: clearly wanting to be the
ultimate male protector, making Elaine’s every decision, and getting angry at
the smallest things.
be intriguing to watch how the series concludes, as six hours’ worth was
clearly a struggle to facilitate. There are many details that could have been
trimmed around the edges, but each episode delves into these real-life characters with such detail and precision that it would be difficult to know what to cut. We’ll
find out soon enough whether it’s all been worth it.
A Confession continues Mondays at 9pm on ITV
|What||A Confession episode 5 review|
30 Sep 19 – 30 Sep 20, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM