In episode 2 of this personal detective drama (based on the true story of actor Ruth Wilson’s grandmother), this is precisely what Alison endures as she seeks the real man behind her husband’s face.
After hearing the name ‘Dorothy’ by Shahbez (Anupam Kher), an acquaintance of Alec (Iain Glen) when he was stationed in India, Alison (Wilson) goes on her own investigation – discovering the reasons behind her husband’s deceptions and extramarital activities. She finally finds Dorothy (Keeley Hawes), who she saw at the funeral, and uncovers another upsetting story.
There’s an almost Hitchcockian tone to this series, which, though absorbing, comes up against the truth of the story. Alison’s like the Private Investigator, delving into her own case, moving through other deceptive and secretive characters, and roughly pulling out the truth. She’s not a patient detective, she’s no-nonsense, and wants to quickly reach the point. When Dorothy refuses Alison entry into her home, she knows how to quickly gain access with her stern words.
On top of this is the booming, Bernard Herrmann-like music and the ‘60s suburban living that’s had some movie gloss wiped over it. It's almost Hollywood in its colour, without acknowledging much of any British misery (where's the rain?). This kind of exaggeration muddles the series' sense of ‘truth’ (followed closely by writer Anna Symon) like director Richard Laxton is stuck between genre and realism, but embraces an element of noirish fun.
Alison's story is inviting as she walks into different tunnels to see where they lead, all while maintaining the foundations of Alec’s memory for her two floppy sons. That desire inflates after her visit with Dorothy, who’s had to keep secrets from her own son, in an absorbing dialogue that shows the staggering talents of Wilson and Hawes. Hawes in particular has a cold, burrowing fury that’s at boiling point and shakes her entire being. Watching them both together is compulsive viewing.
Mrs Wilson is (so far) an enjoyable little series, its story well suited to the format, but the surprises are few and even underwhelming at times. It’s reasonable to wonder whether the third and final episode will have many twists that correspond with the truth with what really happened. If this was a genre spy thriller, there will be. If it was a realist drama, it’s uncertain. Given that Mrs Wilson is an uncomfortable amalgamation of the two, it’s hard to know. Regardless, we’re excited to see where Alison ends up.
|What||Mrs Wilson episode 2 review|
On 04 Dec 18, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM