In The Widow, Georgia (Kate Beckinsale) lives as a recluse in Wales, hunting animals and breathing the scenic air – still affected by her husband’s death, three years prior. Keeping to the Williamses love of time-hopping, we’re constantly stretched between then and now. Georgia was in a loving and intimate relationship with her husband Will (Matt Le Nevez), sharing sweet jokes and kisses, before he gets on a flight to the Congo, never to return.
But then, in current times, she watches a news item about the Congo, in which people storm the violent streets. She sees the figure of a man that closely resembles her husband. Indeed, she’s certain that it's him. Despite being encouraged away from this wishful thinking, she immediately flies to the Congo and conducts her own investigation.
How do Congolese child soldiers connect to Georgia's story?
Like with The Missing and Baptiste, The Widow draws out seemingly irrelevant details before revealing their connective importance. The episode opens nicely: two Congolese children climbing a tree before being called by a nearby adult, whom we assume is their parent. When they follow the voice, they’re handed AK-47s and join a garrison of others. They’re actually child soldiers. But how does that connect with Georgia and her story?
Another character that initially feels out of place is Ariel (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), a blind Icelandic man who travels to a Rotterdam clinic in the hope of curing his eyesight. His relevance also isn't clear, at first.
These character hints are planted with patience and intrigue, possessing an absorbing subtlety that’s always promising something. It’s worth watching just to see how the pieces fit together.
Ariel (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) is another piece of the mysterious puzzle
Strangely, these mysterious pieces are sometimes more compelling than the central story. Of course, Georgia is the most important pawn in the story and everything revolves around her, but her story sometimes feels too fast, with its rushed and overly expositional dialogue. Hopefully, this won’t recur much through the series – the Williamses are best when they’re going slow.
But Beckinsale moves well in this pace, proving to be an excellent emotional actor and (like Richard Gere in MotherFatherSon) another great transfer from film to TV.
Episode one of The Widow promises a lot – not only because of the unparalleled talent behind it, but through the fascinating and numerous units that gradually build the story. This episode is very much a prologue, needed before the real action takes place. Let’s hope the Williamses can deliver.
The Widow airs on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9pm on ITV
|What||The Widow, ITV review|
08 Apr 19 – 08 Apr 20, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM