Normality has been slipping away from Budd (Richard Madden), faster and faster, since the moment he was ordered to enter the covert and dangerous sphere of Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). But as Montague's world of deceit, double-crossings and grabs for power becomes even more frantic, Budd finds himself suddenly cast aside – condemned as failure and possible co-conspirator – now alone with nothing but his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jed Mercurio's Bodyguard has dominated the TV ratings this September (putting ITV's Vanity Fair to shame), thanks to a constant (and rather tiring, sometimes) oscillation between mounting tension, big explosion and back again; a Game of Thrones-like cavalier attitude to the lives of its characters and an ungovernable web of lies that tangles all its conniving participants up into a big ol' mess.
The question of who replaced the bullets in Budd's gun with blanks pulls our hero back into the fray. Budd's not done being a part of the action just yet, after all. When he's not in police interrogation cells he's back at the hotel where Montague last slept, flicking through doctored CCTV and trying to grab the attention of officers and politicians who no longer have time for him.
The lingering questions – how much is Budd lying to the police? What was in the suitcase? Who was Montague meeting with on those dark nights? Who is working against who for what reason? – are compelling and, if we're totally honest, sometimes confusing. But it's Budd's declining mental health and the soft touches of his soon-to-be ex-wife that ensures Bodyguard has enough heart to keep us emotionally invested in between all those out-of-control explosions.
|What||Bodyguard episode 4 review|
|Where||BBC One, BBC One | MAP|
On 09 Sep 18, Bodyguard airs 9pm on Sunday nights