Speaking of the office doofus, the mole is totally Kevin. What? I know! I don’t think anyone saw that one coming, ever. Even though Gill forbids anyone to have contact with him after they’ve compiled damning evidence against him, Rachel meets with him to find out why. Basically, Kevin feels like everyone in the unit thinks he’s a dumbass, especially Gill. This bitterness built up to the point where, when a journalist started prying him for information and made him feel interesting and important, he couldn’t help himself. What really grosses me out about this is that while Kevin, even now, seems to view this whole thing as somehow getting back at his co-workers and superiors, he doesn’t appear to have a shred of guilt about who snitching to the press really hurt, and hurt deeply, as we’ll see: Helen Bartlett.
He’s also, unsurprisingly, convinced that he and Rachel really are made for each other after their bout of lovemaking. Because as he says, they’re both the screwups of the joint and hence soulmates. Rachel says he’s wrong, and sums it up perfectly: “I’m a fuck up. You’re a twat.” Still, this whole thing also bums me out on the other hand because, well, I enjoyed his twattiness. He was often the sole comedic relief in what can be a very depressing place. No one likes seeing part of the family dissolve.
Episodes 6 and 7, by the way, were also written by Amelia Bullmore, Miss Gill herself, and they were just as smashing as Sally Wainwright episodes. All of which leads me to believe that I probably have a crush on Amelia Bullmore.
But anyway, if you think Rachel and Janet not speaking and Kevin being a selfish douche are downers, just wait for Episode 8! We return to the very first scene of this series, with Gill taking a trip to Costco to buy goods for her son Sammy’s engagement party that evening. We see the scene more fleshed out now, though: Helen Bartlett driving into the parking lot after Gill, somewhat nervously and clumsily climbing into her backseat with a clunky blue bag, and then waiting for the moment Gill gets off her cell phone to throw the belt around her neck. It’s after she’s latched it securely that she also brings out that ginormous, shiny knife.
Interestingly, Gill and Helen have never met. But Helen’s seen Gill on TV, and believes her to be the One in Charge for her ruined life. It’s not just the fact that she was charged with the unlawful burial crime, but in the whole shitstorm of things, she’s lost her job, people say ignorant things to her everywhere she goes, and kids throw bags full of shit at her as she walks down the street. On top of that, her girlfriend with the lovely neon hair has left her. Helen’s spent her life trying to get away from the horror of her childhood, but now that she finally helped the police learn about that horror, everything she’s built has been taken away from her. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Helen Bartlett’s life is the absolute worst.
Gill, for her part, stays in DCI mode as best she can, attempting to talk Helen down and figure out what she’s thinking. I almost snorted when, with her neck constrained and a knife at her head, she calmly informs Helen, “You haven’t thought this through.” And my heart broke when she tells Helen that she wants to help her, and that she believes she CAN help her, she really can. But Helen is way past the point of believing in the police.
Gill continues to try to get Helen to talk, even after she gets hit roughly in the head with the blunt side of the knife. There are brief moments when she loses her cool, when she shouts, “I want to know where we’re going!,” and when, after being perfectly honest with Helen’s questions previously, she pauses for a second when Helen asks her son’s name. She then says, “John.” I can’t think of a good reason for this lie, other than Gill’s starting to feel a bit nervous, and perhaps believes that she’ll actually break down if she has to say the name of her son that she loves so much out loud.
Part of me just wants to transcribe the entire ride to the ocean–because that is where Helen is instructing Gill to go–which is perfectly paced and lasts for almost the entire episode. But even the dialogue alone wouldn’t capture it completely, while the dialogue is brilliant. You both sympathize with Helen’s pain and are terrified for Gill. The suspense is spot on. And the acting is outstanding. It is a literal perfect hour of television worthy of all the awards.