Much like the opening of the series, Mercurio stretches the action beyond the normal standard without (like many action-thrillers) feeling tired and repetitive. As we follow Budd through the episode, the intensity is jacked up higher than all the previous episodes put together and watching it is like being crippled by a slow rubbish crusher. The BBC should’ve had a warning in place before the opening titles: ‘may cause swearing, screaming, and severe loss of hair’.
Director John Strickland extends the suspense even more, slowing things down, zooming in, and capturing the true emotional weight of the moment. And, considering the Home Secretary’s demise in episode three, we’re never sure how these calamitous events will turn out. Not since the days of 24, now a morally ambivalent series, has there been such eye-popping severity on the small screen.
This isn’t to say there aren’t problems. The motivations behind one of the masterminds, revealed in the last 15 minutes, aren’t as mind-bending or empathetic as the complicated build up led us to believe. Although it’s a chilling twist, the character shifts from three dimensions into two within the blink of a CCTV monitor. The very end, too, isn’t altogether convincing, needing a solution when the lack thereof would be more engaging – leaving the episode, and the series, on a regrettably dull note.
But the first 60 minutes are a milestone in British television, and television full stop. And with the series being picked up by Netflix as well as plans for season 2, this won’t be the last we’ve heard from Jed Mercurio.
|What||Bodyguard finale review|
|Where||BBC One, BBC One | MAP|
On 23 Sep 18, 9:00 PM – 10:15 PM